Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Answering surveys mean being a good consumer and citizen...

In my past, rarely did I answer a phone number I don't know. It felt invasive.

However, now that I get client and customer direct phone calls from varying area codes for both of my businesses, I tend to answer them more. (If I hear either word "mortgage" or "interest" in the first sentence, I hang up!)

Today, I'm glad I answered today's "random" call, because it was the Colorado Department of Health on behalf of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention calling with a health survey, which I was happy to fill out - not only because health is my new career and in hopes to somehow impact the health and statistics on American health, but also for selfish pride that I live in one of the healthiest states in the country and I wanted my healthy body and mind included in the results. 

Today I wasn't asked about my nutrition, and so at the end of the survey, I asked why. She knew I worked in the industry of health and nutrition because one of the questions was about my employment. She said because of this, I may be interested in the results, and more about the program. Indeed.

The survey was the The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and is the nation's premier system of health-related telephone surveys that collect state data about U.S. residents regarding their health-related risk behaviors, chronic health conditions, and use of preventive services. Established in 1984 with 15 states, BRFSS now collects data in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia and three U.S. territories. BRFSS completes more than 400,000 adult interviews each year, making it the largest continuously conducted health survey system in the world.

And while I wasn't asked about nutrition this year, I learned that a portion of the states do include that segment of questions (so it will be asked in other states this year), and last year it was asked in Colorado. Those results were a good read, because one of the opening paragraphs rung true for me: 
Eating fruits and vegetables contributes important under-consumed nutrients to the diet, reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, and may help individuals achieve and maintain a healthy weight when consumed instead of higher calorie foods. However, very few Americans consume recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. 
[Surveillance of Fruit and Vegetable Intake Using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System]
These results are included with their Track A results as part of the Healthy People 2020 objectives, which also include survey results Health Care, Physical Activity, Sugar-Sweetened Beverages, Cancer Screening, and Cognitive Impairment, in addition to Fruit and Vegetable Intake.  

Coloradoans - there is also information about our local survey here: https://www.colorado.gov/cdphe

So in summary, my plug is this (if I may be so bold), if you also get a call from your state on behalf of the CDC, please take the time to answer this, so that the center can better study and care for our public health.