Less than 3 percent of Americans live a healthy lifestyleStaff writer ▼ | March 29, 2016
Researchers say that 97.3 percent of American adults get a failing grade on healthy lifestyle habits.
Healthy living Very disappointing results
"The behavior standards we were measuring for were pretty reasonable, not super high. We weren't looking for marathon runners," said study senior author Ellen Smit, an associate professor at the OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences, in Corvallis.
In fact, the standards used in the study are typical of lifestyle advice given by doctors to their patients, Smit's team said. People who adhere to those four behaviors can help reduce their risk of many health problems, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Unfortunately, less than 3 percent of the adults in the study achieved all four of the healthy living measures, the researchers found.
Overall, 71 percent of the adults surveyed did not smoke, 38 percent ate a healthy diet, 10 percent had a normal body fat percentage and 46 percent got sufficient amounts of physical activity.
Sixteen percent had three of the healthy lifestyle behaviors, 37 percent had two, 34 percent had one and 11 percent had none.
Among the other findings: women were more likely than men to not smoke and to eat a healthy diet, but they were less likely to have adequate physical activity levels. And when it came to race and ethnicity, Mexican-Americans were more likely to eat a healthy diet than blacks or whites.
The study was conducted by researchers at Oregon State University, the University of Mississippi and the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. ■