[FoRK] [3%] Only 3% of Americans lead a 'healthy' lifestyle

Luis Villa luis.villa at gmail.com
Wed Jun 8 13:08:03 PDT 2005

Hrm, if 97% of Americans don't lead a healthy lifestyle, and yet < 97%
of Americans are not sick, doesn't that say something about whether or
not the standards for 'healthy lifestyle' actually strongly correlate
with being healthy?


On 6/8/05, Rohit Khare <rohit at commerce.net> wrote:
> Bring on the 97%!!
> Only 3% of Americans Lead A 'Healthy' Lifestyle
> DOW JONES NEWSWIRES - http://online.wsj.com/article_print/
> 0,,SB111446099551416305,00.html
> April 26, 2005; Page D6
> WASHINGTON -- Only 3% of Americans lead a healthy lifestyle that
> includes regular exercise and eating five or more fruits and
> vegetables daily, according to new findings.
> The study, led by a researcher at Michigan State University, measured
> four factors that are considered indicators of a "healthy" lifestyle
> that, if followed, would sharply cut the risk for developing
> cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. It is believed to be the
> first study that has looked broadly at the U.S. population to measure
> certain healthy-lifestyle characteristics. The study is being
> published in the April 25 edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
> Researchers found that 76% of Americans don't smoke and that 40.1%
> maintain a healthy weight. But only 23.3% eat the minimum recommended
> amount of five daily servings of fruits and vegetables and only 22.2%
> exercise for at least 30 minutes, five times a week. Taken together,
> only 3% of Americans hit all four indicators of a healthy lifestyle.
> An additional 13.8% hit three of the four indicators and 34.2% had
> two of the four indictors.
> Mathew J. Reeves, the lead researcher and an epidemiologist at
> Michigan State, said he was "shocked" by the results, which were
> compiled using survey data of more than 150,000 Americans by the
> Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "It's pretty remarkable,"
> he said. "It's really just a basic lifestyle pattern. We aren't
> asking anyone to climb Mount Everest here."
> Dr. Reeves said he would have expected to find that up to 15% of
> Americans were hitting all four healthy lifestyle points, which he
> refers to as the "healthy lifestyle index." He said alcohol
> consumption was left out of the study because there isn't widespread
> agreement in the public-health arena over its health risks and benefits.
> He explained that not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, regular
> exercise and eating lots of fruits and vegetables have been shown in
> multiple studies to reduce risks for diabetes, cardiovascular disease
> and cancer. "We'd have a different country, in terms of health and
> finances," he said, if more Americans lived a healthy lifestyle,
> noting the U.S. spends about $1.5 trillion annually in health-care
> costs.
> The study looked at various demographic groups and found that those
> with higher incomes and a college education did slightly better.
> Overall, 4.2% of women hit the four healthy lifestyle indicators
> while only 1.9% of men did so. Among households with incomes of
> $75,000 or more annually, 5.1% of them led a healthy lifestyle, while
> 5% of college graduates qualified. The study showed that 1.9% of high-
> school graduates reported living a healthy lifestyle compared with
> 3.2% of people who reported some college education.
> According to age, people 35 to 44 years old fared the worst, with
> 2.5% reporting that they hit all four healthy-lifestyle indicators,
> while those ages 65 and older did the best, with 4% saying they led a
> healthy lifestyle.
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