Saturday, 12 July 2014

I Have an NHS Health Check...

......and find I am an officially inactive, overweight, near-alcoholic with high cholesterol.

See, the Check was offered and I thought I would have one because I never see a doctor, cos I be so "healthy". No-one have taken me blood-pressure for years... so I was interested to get that done... I also thought maybe they'd do some kind of diabetes check, cos they be all up-in-arms about diabetes at the moment.

First I had to fill out forms saying how much exercise I took, hours of housework, walking, gardening, etc... as well as active sports and exercise like cycling, swimming, etc (can't do neither of they, I'm afraid). And I had to do a score test on my alcohol consumption. Well... I do like my weekend bottle of wine... which do last me three days.. and maybe I have another couple of drinks over the week.

Then I be measured, weighed, blood-pressured and had me finger pricked for a cholesterol test .....That was it. The Health Care Assistant then asked me if I had kidney disease or be diabetic. (So I be a bit disappointed that she wasn't going to test that.) And asked if any immediate family had suffered heart disease. Then she gave me my results based on my questionnaire and those things which she have measured.

The good news is that I have beautiful blood pressure.

Otherwise... the BMI index rated me overweight and 2 points below obese. Cholesterol at 6.07 be declared "high". I be labelled "physically inactive"... and, to my horror, presented with a further questionnaire about my alcohol consumption which included questions like "Did I need a drink first thing in the morning?" - "Did I suffer guilt or remorse over my drinking?" - "Had I ever caused injury to others due to my drinking?"... On and on it do go and although I laughed and joked... I went into shock and when I recalled it later... I be furious.
I was issued with a diet sheet for my weight and cholesterol level, only being asked as afterthought if I be vegetarian... so I be given the veggie option in addition.... and be waved good-bye with the promise of another blood test for cholesterol in six months time.

Actually. I am rather angry and disappointed. Sure... some of this is guilt. I would like to be more active and to weigh less... so I shall try. But there is controversy over the use of BMI as a calculating tool for estimating weight problems...(I just did an online test which gave me a top weight of 9st 11lbs and at my most active and slim (work, walking, dance classes and a full on vegan diet) I was probably around that.... But never in a million years since childhood would I manage the bottom weight of 7stone.
And the diet sheet? My "breakfast" should be what I normally eat... plus the addition of a low-fat yogurt. The diet sheet includes plenty of low-fat, no-fat dairy products. Nowadays some pundits are pointing out that low-fat products are routinely stuffed full of sugar and salt to make them taste better.

Time for this Free NHS Health Check to become more up to date and genuinely informative... not just a box-ticking exercise.

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