NOTE: The following is an excerpt from TeleVox’s Healthy World report, “A Call for Change: How Adopting a Preventive Lifestyle Can Ensure a Healthy Future for More Americans”, which highlights the fact that too many Americans are not adopting preventive care and lifestyle changes due to perceived high cost. Download it HERE!
Women in the media: perfect, unattainable, not real. The standards of how a woman’s body should appear have been set immeasurably high thanks to media and agenda pushing, which promotes an impossible and exhausting beauty.
Only over more recent years has the idea of health and a “healthy body” started to commingle into advertisements and self-empowerment messaging, but it still remains a low priority on the “to-do” list for many American women. Some women focus on surface or outside appearances instead of what’s happening inside their bodies, missing the overall point of wellness from the inside out. In doing so, these women disregard the importance of properly caring for themselves in the present to ensure a healthy future. Steps such as lowering stress levels, eating healthy, skin care, dental care, regular exercise and disease screenings will help women focus not on what their bodies look like, but how strong their bodies are capable of becoming.
According to A Call for Change: How Adopting a Preventive Lifestyle Can Ensure a Healthy Future for More Americans, exercise is, and should be, a common part of women’s wellness strategies, as 53 percent of the women surveyed reported receiving a suggestion to incorporate exercise from a doctor. And while 45 percent of women said that over the past two years they’ve tried to exercise routinely or at least three times a week, only 24 percent of women give themselves an A grade for their efforts to ensure preventive care.
Other Preventive Gaps
This isn’t the only gap in preventive lifestyles for women. Only about one-third (32 percent) of women have taken the preventive measure of discussing medical history and risk factors with their doctor in the last two years. Other gaps in the preventive process were highlighted in A Call for Change: Over the past two years, only 23 percent of women have been screened for diabetes, only 39 percent have had mammograms, only 14 percent have had any type of cancer screening, and only 29 percent have had their cholesterol checked. Moreover, almost half of the women surveyed, 47 percent, admitted they are currently treating a disease or chronic illness, such as high blood pressure, a heart problem, diabetes or cancer. And 53 percent of women said they take prescribed medication on a regular basis. These numbers need to change. With the Affordable Care Act, women need to understand that many preventive care services can be obtained at no cost for them or their families. Women spend so much time worrying about loved ones that sometimes they forget to take the necessary — and in this case free — steps to ensure a healthy future.
What’s Driving Preventive Decisions?
Although 93 percent of women surveyed for A Call for Change agreed that taking a proper preventive care measure can save patients money and believe it’s less expensive to prevent a serious condition or disease than it is to treat it, 78 percent of women also agreed that out-of-pocket cost is the main reason they decide whether or not to seek preventive care. The decision to undergo preventive measures should not be based on cost or a lack of knowledge on what is covered or the benefits of preventing a chronic illness.