Apparently, women's health priorities are out of whack

A poll of 1,000 American women revealed that we may not have a very good grip on how to take care of our bodies and ourselves.

Half of the women surveyed said they were not happy with their weight. A third of those women said they were displeased with how their body performs physically. And 60% of those women were categorized as obese, the same percentage of Americans on the whole.

However, it doesn't seem that all that dissatisfaction is fueling exercise and healthy eating habits. In fact, the poll showed that the women exercised, on average, 80 minutes a week. This is almost half of the recommended 2-1/2 hours of weekly workout time.

The women polled did not appear to address their body issues by eating healthy either. Only 8% said they get five full servings of fruit and vegetables a day. Sadly, 28% only eat that recommended amount once a week or don't at all.

Also concerning is that the women who fell within "normal" weight ranges were critical of their bodies. Of the 500 respondents who said they were unhappy with their current weight, 26% of those women fell within a healthy weight-height range for their BMI. Further, 16% of the "normal-sized" women were still dieting to lose weight.

Approximately 25% of participants said they'd consider cosmetic surgery to build up their body image and most said they'd opt for a tummy tuck. I wonder if women know more about their quick (or quicker) fix options for looking thinner than they do about healthy ways to lose weight and stay in shape. Just as it is no surprise that most women would choose to have their belly fat reduced, it wouldn't be a big shock if women were overwhelmed by the amount of time and energy it could take to eat and exercise according to health recommendations.

Maybe women are having a hard time finding the hours to exercise and committing to their own nutrition. I also am curious if it is just too confusing or consuming to navigate our way through all of the diets, books, DVDs, magazines, and messages about being skinny or looking good or even solving bigger health problems. Whatever the reasoning is, it seems tricky for women to work out their body image issues or work out at all. I don't have the answer for getting that all in balance but I do appreciate that polls like this one raise some critical questions about women's health and esteem.

I love that University of Houston sociologist Samantha Kwan qualified all these numbers by adding that lifestyle is a better indication of health than numbers on a scale.

"Someone who is fat or even overweight can be healthy if they have a balanced diet and are physically active,"she said.

Maybe we all know this, somewhere deep down in our brains. But it's probably somewhere below layers and layers of upsetting body image memories, misinformation, and bad habits.

Are you a woman who wants to change her weight but doesn't exercise or eat well enough to make that happen?

Or are you a woman who is at a healthy weight but not happy with it?

What do you think it would it take for all of us to change our unhealthy ways?

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