“How many sexual partners have you had?”
“Do you take illegal drugs?”
“How often do you exercise?”
“When was your last bowel movement?”
When you’re already in a chilly doctor’s office in nothing but your socks and a paper gown you are desperately trying to keep closed in the back, you might feel a bit vulnerable.
But you’re going to be honest with your doctor, right?
Netquote.com surveyed 2,058 people to see just what we tend to hold back from our health care professionals and found out that 60 percent of those surveyed tell at least one lie while saying “ahh.”
Our doctors have seen and heard it all and need to know our medical histories and lifestyle. Lying could hinder us from getting the best care possible. So, why do we knock 10 pounds off our weight, never cop to eating that pot brownie and fib, saying we get our fitness on at least twice a week?
The most common reason for lying is fear of being judged. More than 19 percent of women lie to avoid looking at judgmental eyes while feeling that cold stethoscope. About 14 percent of men said they lie for the same reasons, but 2.6 percent said their health is none of the doctor’s business.
More than 60 percent of study respondents said they tell the truth when it comes to extracurricular activities of the mind-altering kind. The number of Honest Abes increases with age, the study authors noted with interest, with 61.2 percent of millennials always narcing on themselves to the doctor and those 65 years or older always telling the truth about their drug use 90.5 percent of the time.
The same trend occurs for smoking, with 76 percent of 18 to 24 year olds fessing up to their smoking habits compared to 95 percent of people ages 65 and older.
And the drug people lie about the most? Marijuana.
Lying about to your doctor about drug use is a detriment to your health. Over-the-counter herbal supplements can interfere with prescription drugs just as much as cocaine or opioids.
“Lying about the drugs you’ve taken could cost you your life,” the study authors warn.
DIET AND EXERCISE
We all exercise… if you count walking to the door to pay the pizza delivery person. But do we want our doctors to know that?
Chocolate cake tastes way better than a face plant on a treadmill, and men are more likely to be up front with their doctors about their eating and exercise habits. Only a quarter of the women surveyed said they’ve told their physician the whole story.
And those who prefer a runner’s high to the endorphins released by a piece of dark chocolate? Or that person that actually does enjoy kale? You guessed it — those are the people most likely to tell the truth.
Of course, those who actually practice healthy habits are the least likely to lie about them.
For the full study, click here.