Background: Single item questions about self ratings of overall health status are widely used in both military and civilian surveys. Limited information is available to date that examines what relationships exist between self-rated health, health status and health related behaviors among relatively young, healthy individuals. Methods: The current study uses the population of active duty United States Air Force recruits (N = 31,108). Participants completed surveys that asked about health behaviors and health states and were rated their health on a continuum from poor to excellent. Results: Ratings of health were consistently lower for those who used tobacco (F = 241.7, p < .001), reported binge drinking (F = 69.0, p < .001), reported drinking and driving (F = 19.4, p < .001), reported taking health risks (F = 109.4, p < .001), were depressed (F = 256.1, p < .001) and were overweight (F = 39.5, p < .001). Conclusion: Given the consistent relationship between self-rated overall health and factors important to military health and fitness, self-rated health appears to be a valid measure of health status among young military troops.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health