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Abstract

Public health initiatives are the result of strategies developed to address current health issues facing a population that are posing a significant concern to the public. This concern is primarily driven by the economics of health care. The objective of this study is to provide a contemporary analysis of how socio-economic and behavioral factors influence subjective health status. By understanding how these factors influence perceived health status, we can develop successful policies and strategies to target those groups who have a gap between their perceived and real health status and significantly lower health care costs. This analysis makes use of the socio-economic and behavioral data from the 2005-2006 NHANES and an extension of the traditional economic model for ordered data. Results indicate that higher education and an individual's perceived diet quality have a significant effect on influencing an individual's health perception. Strategies to improve health status may include incorporating valid health education into the formal education system.

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