Harvard Wants to Grade Your Heart Health
We like employing simple health calculators that researchers use to help people chart their health and risk of disease. There are some very positive things being said about this 10-minute survey from The Harvard School of Public Health that purports to calculate your risk of developing cardio vascular disease (CVD). The calculator crunches your diet and physical activity data. But we must warn you – the survey pages can take some time to load. The survey is quite comprehensive and a sometimes shameful look at our daily habits.
The survey crunches self reported data about your diet, your vices and the frequency and type of exercise you do. If you have a heart in handsfirm grip on how much oatmeal, fruit, veggies you eat each month and how many hours a week you jog and exercise, you can blow through it pretty quickly. Then at the end the survey tells you your risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as a breakdown of your BMI, diet and the rest of your lifestyle. The good news; If you want to improve your score, the inputs are all things you can control.
As this article notes, eating bacon is a surefire way to get an online scolding from the test, and while you may want to contest how truly bad that could be (Paleo fans), this is engineered more for those of us in our 40s and 50s. You can find more than “skip the bacon” at the end including some practical advice on how to healthy up your heart.
The heart health calculator was developed by analyzing data from a 24 year study of over 90,000 men and women.