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Mum's Put Family Before Their Health.


New Member
Nov 10, 2004
When it comes to health, women are constantly scanning their surroundings for signs of trouble, ready with the cough syrup, the thermometer, the doctor's phone number should a target come up on the radar.

"Need-seeking devices," Dr. Ana E. Nuñez, an internist and director of the women's health education program at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, calls them. "We are socialized to find out what others need and to provide it," she says.

That picture of women — as keepers of the family's health, sometimes at the expense of their own — comes through clearly in a survey of women's knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of their health, released last week by the Washington D.C.-based National Women's Health Resource Center.

Not only are most women in charge of their family's healthcare decisions — 71% report that they decide when and whom family members will see for medical care — they also define their own health in reference to their family's health.

Asked to define "being healthy," 44% of women responding chose "having a healthy family." The answer beat out "being physically active" (27%), "not having chronic diseases" (26%), "eating healthily" (15%) and "not being overweight" (11%).

The survey — the first in a planned annual gauge of women's health — plumbed the views of 1,005 women (18 years and older) of various races, ethnicities and incomes last March.

It's not that women don't care about their own health, or that they lack the know-how to maintain it, the survey suggests. A majority of those asked accurately identified heart disease as the leading cause of death among women (although African American women, Latinas and Asian women were less likely to know this fact). Large majorities know they need regular screening tests such as Pap smears, pelvic exams, mammograms and cholesterol tests.

But the survey found that, in spite of their knowledge, few women are able to make large-scale or permanent lifestyle changes to improve their health. The majority of women said they were exercising more and had dieted, but few reported they had met their weight-loss goals.

Women said that they are chronically short of time and overstressed. Almost four in 10 listed "reducing stress in life" and "having more time to take care of self" as one of the most helpful steps they could take to improve their health. Yet, when asked to list their highest priorities, only 40% picked "having enough free time" as very important. And just 15% of those surveyed said they had visited a mental health counselor in the last year.

"It's clear that women put the health of others ahead of their own," said Amy Niles, president and chief executive of the National Women's Health Resource Center, a clearinghouse of health information.

Link..... http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-...ack=1&cset=true
This probably isn't news to any mums out there, I know I do it.

It's silly though that we always put ourselves last, we are the main caregivers and home organisers and need to be healthy.