No one is surprised to see the statistics supporting the claim that healthy lifestyles are on the decline in the United States. Far fewer Americans are engaging in healthy lifestyles than they were even two decades ago. As a country we have abandoned our healthy ways.

According to a study reported in the American Journal of Medicine, only 8% of patients engaged in the basic five healthy behaviors that constitute a healthy lifestyle. That means only 8% of the people in the study maintained a healthy weight, ate fruits and vegetables, drank alcohol in moderation, exercised, and didn’t smoke. That is compared with 15% of the people in 1988.

These findingd come from the healthy lifestyle habits of patients ages 40 to 74 who participates in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The analsis comes from researchers looking at those five healthy lifestyle points: eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, exercising at least 12 times per month, maintaining a healthy body weight, drinking moderately (up to one drink a day for women and two for men), and not smoking.

Over the last two decades the percentage of adults ages 40-74 with a BMI greater than 30 has increased from 28% to 36%. This one point of analysis in the study supports the growing obesity epidemic in America. People are having trouble maintaining a healthy weight because they are not maintaining a healthy lifestyle in other areas.

The study also found that people with hypertension, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease did not participate in living a healthy lifestyle any more than those without those conditions, despite knowledge that the principles of a healthy lifestyle would improve their condition.

Researchers could not confirm the reasons for the decline in healthy lifestyles over the years. They suggested possible reasons like changes in social attitude toward the importance of healthy diet and physical activity. They also pointed to unwillingness to change and low self-assesments for cardiovascular risk (often despite evidence supporting that risk). Another possibility for the decline researchers looked at was the increased reliance on cars instead of walking or biking.

Overall the study showed a bleak picture of American lifestyles. Researchers from the study said that these findings show that future healthcare costs are likely to increase unless there is a change in lifestyle. Middle-aged adults should adopt a healthy lifestyle following the five basic points of being healthy as the main prevention and treatment to health problems like hypertension and diabetes.

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)