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Great American Health Check
January 27, 2006 11:07 AM   Subscribe

The Great American Health Check
Cancer.org has a great online resource to figure out what your individual health risks are, to help get into better shape or to help quit smoking. Its free and kicks out a personalized list of concerns to print out and bring to your doctor.
posted by fenriq (21 comments total)

 
By the time I figure out that interface, I'll be more concerned about the robot uprising.
posted by kingfisher, his musclebound cat at 11:15 AM on January 27, 2006


Boy, what lousy interface. You know, creativity can sometimes be your enemy.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:15 AM on January 27, 2006


jinx!
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:15 AM on January 27, 2006


Yeah, I had to try a few times before it worked, which is annoying. But the Action Plan it gave me is cool.
posted by fenriq at 11:18 AM on January 27, 2006


So.... How did you get it to work?
posted by johngumbo at 11:20 AM on January 27, 2006


How did you make it work? I'm a-pointin' and a-clickin', but I can't get anywhere.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:21 AM on January 27, 2006


What a flash nightmare. And it didn't tell me anything that wasn't totally obvious. Eat more fruits and veggies? Get more exercise? Congratulations on not smoking? Seriously?

Also, there's no conclusive evidence that eating fruits and vegetables reduces your cancer risk. It'll help you lose weight, and may play a part in preventing heart disease, but there's no tie to cancer prevention. Bleh.
posted by lunalaguna at 11:22 AM on January 27, 2006


You have to disable pop-up blocker.
posted by lunalaguna at 11:23 AM on January 27, 2006


after all that work it told me that the doctor should check my "oral cavity" and that i am doing a good job at being healthy. kind of weak, maybe i will take it again and pretend i am a fat smoker and see if it gives me better advice...
posted by stilgar at 11:25 AM on January 27, 2006


Oh, and they use BMI, which is only really useful in certain contexts.
posted by kalessin at 11:25 AM on January 27, 2006


and to pile on, this probably took a lot of work to get done, all the video and flash and gah, but the end product is crap, if i was met life i would get snoopy to go kick the flash designers ass.
posted by stilgar at 11:26 AM on January 27, 2006


I clicked around the screen ALOT. I don't get why it doesn't work alot of the time and then, all of a sudden, does. Which sucks because its the only way I've found to do the check.

I wrote the site and let them know how annoying the interface is and that they are almost certainly losing a huge percentage of their visitors because of it.
posted by fenriq at 11:28 AM on January 27, 2006


When I entered the details about my lifestyle, my computer exploded. Is that bad?
posted by blue_beetle at 11:30 AM on January 27, 2006


This is teh suck
posted by Outlawyr at 11:31 AM on January 27, 2006


After all that hastle with the interface it basically tells me that I'm old and fat and waste too much time on the computer. Thanks. I didn't know that.
posted by octothorpe at 11:39 AM on January 27, 2006


What's with checking my oral cavity? Aren't they at all concerned with ass cancer? In my peer group (Men +40) it seems to be a recurring topic...as in So I went for my check up today and the doctor had this odd inclination towards my ass...
posted by Gungho at 11:47 AM on January 27, 2006


Sorry for the crap interface, folks. It was nowhere as difficult to use the first time I tried it.

I've written them twice now to let them know why they are losing so many visitors without them taking the check. Hopefully they'll be able to fix it.
posted by fenriq at 11:52 AM on January 27, 2006


The only thing I got told to do was eat more fruit and vegetables. It congratulated me a lot for not smoking and exercising and eating sensibly, which whilst I found it mildly irritating, is something I wish my doctor would do.
posted by ob at 12:03 PM on January 27, 2006


I would spend less time on the computer if I weren't taking this terribly-designed test. I'm aware that for some people information like "eat less processed sugar" is new, but for me, I was really hoping there would be some subtlety or nuance to any of this. As it was it was a lot of watching teevee type interfaces (oh look at all the multicultural people eating while I wait! what is that clock doing in the corner, is it telling me there's going to be three more hours until I'm done with this?) and it asked the same 15-20 questions that all the health surveys ask. If you're even moderately healthy you know what the right answers are, whether or not you actually use them in your day to day life [hint: take the stairs, eat whole grains].

fenriq, it's not your fault, it's an interesting idea excecuted badly. The whole idea of "ask your doctor" really misses the real healthiness issue in the lives of Americans which is that many people don't have a doctor or insurance at all and thus wind up with stuff like cancer more than they would have if they had been getting regular preventative care. I'd like to see a healthiness test that went more like

- do you have health insurance?
- do you go to the doctor when you are sick, or do you wait until you are nearly dead and then go to the emergency room?
- do you do breast exams regularly? Do you know what a breast exam is?
- can you afford to eat healthy foods or are you stuck with the meat&cheese-y ag-subsidy school lunches and processed-but-cheap corn-syrup-filled crap from the supermarket and/or WIC?
- do you know what US RDA means? Do you know what BMI means? Do you know how many calories you are supposed to eat in a day? How much fat? How many carbs?
posted by jessamyn at 1:25 PM on January 27, 2006


I agree with Jessamyn that this could be a much more useful test with some more questions that delve even just a little deeper than the "how often do you eat fruits and vegetables" questions that this stops at. For example, on the question of osteoporosis: women whose mothers/grandmothers lost height after menopause are at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis themselves. This risk is further increased in caucasian women, women on the low end of the BMI index (a case where being thin can actually indicate a health risk), and women who do not engage in weight-bearing exercise -- all of which are questions that could be built into the test quite easily, and may raise a health flag that many women may genuinely be unaware of (unlike being told that smoking causes cancer).
posted by scody at 3:30 PM on January 27, 2006


Here's the direct link. The low bandwidth version is less annoying.
posted by Sharcho at 4:40 PM on January 27, 2006


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