From 1997 to 1998, the American Medical Association (AMA), Chicago, and its subcontractor, the Gallup Organization, designed, implemented and disseminated two national telephone surveys on the public's health habits, one of young adults and the other of adults conducted by Gallup.
The Gallup surveys were designed to fill gaps in information from existing sources of health data (such as the National Health Interview Survey, the National Nursing Home Survey, and the National Youth Risk Behavior) for the national health index.
The AMA also developed an initial design for an index of health indicators However, delays in receiving federal data, internal reorganization, and downsizing prevented the AMA from completing the index. AMA staff realized also that the Healthy People 2010 health index, then in development, would make the AMA's unnecessary.
Gallup completed the health surveys, which found that the public appears to be responsive to the need for physical check-ups and various screening tests, but they remain overweight, stressed, and caught up in bad habits. Specifically, the survey found the following: