Are You as Healthy as You Think You Are?

A revealing poll shows many Canadians rate themselves as ?healthier than they really are?

Credit: Flickr/Mike Baird

Many Canadians overestimate how healthy they are

We’re not as healthy as we think. That’s according to the Canadian Heart & Stroke Foundation’s 2011 Annual Report Card on Health

In their annual poll, they found that many of us are in denial about our risk factors for the most common health problem to strike Canadians. 

The survey discovered that while nine out of 10 Canadians rate themselves as healthy, these same folks are in fact jeopardizing the quality and length of their lives because they actually do have at least one risk factor for heart disease and stroke. 

What Health Risk Factors Do You Have?


Not surprisingly, weight is one of the areas where people underestimate their problem. Only 18 per cent of those surveyed said they were obese when, in fact, 25 per cent of Canadian adults have now edged into the ranks of the obese.


Only one-third of those polled felt they were physically inactive. In reality, stats show that half of all Canadians do not meet the physical activity recommendations needed for good health.

When it comes to cardiovascular health, both of these issues are estimated to shave four years off life expectancy. And it’s not just years at stake, but also quality of life. 

Eating Habits

We’re also overestimating our good habits when it comes to consuming the recommended five or more servings of fruits and veggies a day. In reality, 54 per cent of Canadians do not achieve this goal. 

“There’s a disconnect between what people believe they’re doing and what they actually are,” says Dr. Beth Abramson of the University of Toronto, a cardiologist and spokesperson for the Heart & Stroke Foundation.

Assess Your Health

So, are you curious about your real risk level? Not surprisingly, there’s an app for that.

The Heart & Stroke Foundation has launched a high-tech way to help people take control of their health. Available as a free app on most mobile devices, this risk assessment lets you gauge where you’re at when it comes to your own personal health. 

The questionnaire is also available online and looks at your genetic risk, blood pressure, diet and physical activity. Once you get your report, you can sign up for an action plan that helps you track your activity on a chart and follow your progress.

You can also chart your blood pressure, keep track of medications and get e-mail reminders to help keep you on track. It’s a good tool to help you objectively assess your risk. 

The free “My Heart & Stroke Health App” for Apple devices can be downloaded from the iTunes store and is also available for BlackBerry and Android devices.

Your Health with Dr. Rhonda Low airs weekdays during CTV News at Five and CTV News at Six.

Originally published in TV Week. For daily updates, subscribe to the free TV Week e-newsletter, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.