A recent study by Oxford Health Plans (OHP), a company health plan provider, found that 17% of respondents – dubbed “health status deniers” – believe they are in excellent health. However, according to the study, they tended to:
- be at least 25 pounds overweight (55%)
- smoke (31%)
- drink three or more alcoholic beverages daily (21%)
- drink four or more cups of coffee or tea daily (29%)
- never exercise (36%).
They are also least likely to have a balanced breakfast (25%) and the most likely to eat fatty foods (24%), the survey said.
Finally, the “deniers” group:
- sits at their desks all day (37%)
- takes no breaks at work (41%)
- is the most likely to lose sleep over work (18%).
“Employers need to somehow get the message to those in
denial that these behaviors will negatively affect their
health in the future,” Alan Muney, chief medical officer at
Oxford, said in a statement. “If these people could just
eliminate one or more of the bad behaviors, their health
status would improve and the cost of medical claims would
Researchers divided respondents into four groups: the truly healthy (23% of respondents), the worried well (18%), a group that engaged in few bad behaviors but still worried about their health status, the deniers (17%), and the realists (32%), who perceived that their health wasn’t as good as the truly healthy.
The study covered 1,450 adults.