Healthy lifestyle has very few takers in USMay 27th, 2009 - 2:23 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, May 27 (IANS) Only eight out of 100 people in the US are lured by the well-known benefits of a healthy lifestyle that includes physical activity, a diet high in fruits and vegetables, moderate alcohol and not smoking.
The number of people actually adhering to all five healthy habits has decreased from 15 percent to a measly eight percent. Lifestyle choices are associated with the risk of cardiovascular disease as well as diabetes.
Investigators from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSO), Charleston, compared the results of two large-scale studies of US population in 1988-1994 and in 2001-2006.
In the intervening 18 years, the percentage of adults aged 40-74 years with a body mass index greater than 30 has increased from 28 percent to 36 percent; physical activity 12 times a month or more has decreased from 53 percent to 43 percent.
Smoking rates have not changed (26.9 percent to 26.1 percent); eating five or more fruits and vegetables a day has decreased from 42 percent to 26 percent; and moderate alcohol use has increased from 40 percent to 51 percent.
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) is a national survey of non-institutionalised persons in US conducted regularly by the National Centre for Health Statistics.
The researchers used data from a sub-sample of the NHANES surveys of 1988-1994 and 2001-2006, adults aged 40-74 years, because this age span is the primary time for initial diagnosis of cardiovascular risk factors and disease, said a MUSO release.
The study also concluded that people with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high BP or high cholesterol, or risk factors for those conditions, were no more likely to adhere to a healthy lifestyle pattern than people without such risk factors.
These findings are slated for publication in the June issue of The American Journal of Medicine.
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