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Victoria Taylor Murray

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Ahh..... That New Year's Resolution
by Victoria Taylor Murray   

Last edited: Friday, February 15, 2002
Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2002

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The new century has begun and, as a nation, some promises were made as to how healthy we'd be by now. When the "Healthy People 2000" campaign began in 1979, it targeted reducing our nation's top killers: heart disease, stroke and cancer. The good news is that, a generation later, there has been progress. Still, the progress is slower than expected- and there remains a lot or room for improvement. How have you been doing? How are you holding at your new year's resolutions for diet and health? Take this quiz and find out. Everybody gets 100 points to start.

1. Is your weight proportionate to your height? To figure the ideal weight for women: Allow 100 pounds for the first 5 feet, and then add 5 pounds for every inch over 5 feet. Men: Allow 106 pounds for the first 5 feet, add 6 pounds for every inch over 5 feet. (You are allowed 10 percent plus or minus the total). After you have your ideal weight, subtract 1 point from your 100-point total for each pound greater or less than the 10 percent range.

2. What's your waist-to-hip ratio? Divide your waist measurement in inches by your hip measurement in inches. A ratio greater than 0.95 in men and 0.80 in women indicates upper body obesity. Subtract 5 points if you fall above these averages.

3. If you do not know your cholesterol levels, subtract 7 points. If you do, and your total cholesterol is above 200mg/dl, subtract 10 points. If your LDL cholesterol is above 160 mg/dl, lose 5 more points.

4. Do you smoke? If so, subtract 75 points.

5. If you drink more than two alcholic beverages per day, take 15 points off for each drink over that two-drink maximum.

6. Is your blood pressure greater than 140/90? Subtract 10 points.

7. Do you engage in moderate exercise? Good for you-add 25 points. (If not, take away 15 points.) At least 30 minutes, three or more days each week, of activities such as biking or walking will do the trick. If you regularly exercise more than this minimum, add a bonus of 15 points.

8. Do you eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day? Add 10 points. No? Subtract 10. For each serving (about1/2 cup or one medium-sized piece) of fruits and vegetables you eat above 5 per day, add another 5 points.

9. Are you eating between 6 and 11 servings of grain products per day? Great! Give yourself 5 points. (If not, subtract 3 points.) Grains (especially whole grains) in breads, pastas, rice and barley act in a number of ways to promote health.

10. Do you know your Body Mass Index (BMI)? An increased BMI puts you at risk for high blood pressure, stroke, osteoarthritis, heart disease, and certain cancers. To calculate, take your height in inches and multiply it by itself. Divide your weight in pounds by the result. Now, take the answer and multiply by 704.5. Any number between 17 and 25 is healthy. A BMI above 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight, and a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese. If you fall into the 17 to 25 category, give yourself 5 points. If you land between 25 and 30, subtract 5 points. If you go above 30, subtract 10 points.

Your Score
100+ = Give yourself a blue ribbon. You've earned!
80 to 100 = You're on the right track for a helathy lifestyle.
70 to 80 = You're almost there; all you need is a little "fine tuning".
50 to 70 = Add activity to your daily schedule; then plan some diet changes- you have some work to do.
below 50 = You need to reassess your eating and exercise habits-it could mean your life.

Here's a Healthy Tip:
Improving your diet today could help prevent heart disease, stroke, and a number of different cancers. It doesn't take a drastic change in lifestyle to help ward off disease; make small changes you can live with. Eating more productive foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and grains, is easy when you expand your repertoire beyond apples and oranges to include fun, unfamiliar foods.

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Reviewed by Theresa Koch
Great and informative article!
Reviewed by Peter Adotey Addo
Now I am not sure if I should make one or not....
Reviewed by Evelyn Horan
Wonderfully informative. I shall try to apply these suggestions immediately.
Thank you for this timely article!
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