Study shows less than 3% of Americans have healthy lifestyle
The lifestyle of more than 97 percent of Americans cannot be considered “healthy” according to a new study that examined people’s diets, exercise, body fat, as well as whether they smoked. Researchers also found trends based on age, gender, and ethnicity.
“This is pretty low, to have so few people maintaining what we would consider a healthy lifestyle,” Ellen Smit, an Oregon State associate professor of public health and human sciences and co-author, said in a statement. “This is sort of mind boggling. There’s clearly a lot of room for improvement.”
The study, published in Mayo Clinical Proceedings, verified the extent of people’s exercise habits and physical characteristics using technology rather than survey questionnaires. An accelerometer similar to a fitness watch was used to calculate movement, and blood samples determined whether a person smoked or not. Body fat wasn’t measured by height and weight, but instead with advanced dual-energy X-rays. If a person was in the top 40 percent of the population in terms of eating USDA-recommended food, they were considered to have a healthy diet.