How healthy are you? No, really. Your health goes beyond having the sniffles, an upset stomach, or a strained muscle. What's the state of your overall health and well being? Well, if you're anything like most Americans, it's not great—and it's getting worse as more people are being diagnosed with diseases like diabetes and asthma, are exercising less, and are gaining more weight.

Health Progress

But first, here's the good news.

Cancer: According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), fewer people are dying of cancer, and, better yet, fewer people are being diagnosed with the disease. In fact, the ACS reports that this is the first time in 10 years that the number of people diagnosed with cancer has actually gone down. The group attributes this decline to a reduction in common cancers like breast cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, and lung cancer.

Smoking: Which leads us to another positive: Fewer people are lighting up. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of smokers has fallen to 19.8 percent in 2007, from 23.5 percent in 1996.

Vaccines: Children are also more likely to get the vaccines they need. The United Health Foundation, in its America's Health Rankings report, noted a 45 percent increase since 1996 in the number of children between 19 months and 3 years old who got the vaccines they need.

Health Hindrances

Despite these gains, however, experts believe that improvements to Americans' health overall have stalled. For example, a child born in the United States today can expect to live until age 69, putting the life expectancy of 27 other countries ahead of the U.S. and tying with Portugal and Slovenia. It also means that Americans live six years less, on average, than their Japanese peers, who have the longest life spans at 75 years.

Obesity: One of the indicators of declining heath is the fact that more and more people are obese. The percentage of obese people in the U.S. has doubled from 11.6 percent to more than 26 percent. Obesity is thought to put a person at greater risk of developing other diseases.

Diabetes: And, in fact, the rate of diabetes has increased from 4.4 percent of the population in 1995 to more than 7 percent. Excess weight is a risk factor for developing diabetes.

Cholesterol and Blood Pressure: Heart disease is another condition that is more common among people who are overweight. And CDC statistics show that more adults had high cholesterol in 2007 (37.6 percent) than in 1995 (28.1 percent). Similarly, the percentage of people who have high blood pressure increased from 22.2 percent to 27.8 percent in that same amount of time, according to the CDC.

Overall Health: Finally, one of the most disturbing downward trends is that more people are reporting declines in their overall health. The America's Health Rankings report shows that since 2000, Americans have had more poor physical health days per month (up to 3.6 days from 3.2). On a similar note, the number of people who consider themselves to be in "excellent" health has declined, as more say they are in "poor" health overall, according to the CDC.