Blog | Thursday, May 30, 2013

QD: News Every Day--Lifestyle goals tough to reach for many Americans

Measures of lifestyle federal goals set for Americans have proven elusive, a snapshot survey found.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated their measures of key health behaviors for alcohol use, cigarette smoking, leisure-time physical activity, body mass index, and sleep using data from the 2008-2010 National Health Interview Survey using data from nearly 77,000 responses. Recent federal initiatives for smoking, physical activities and diet were also assessed through this report, the latest that the government has been compiling.

The report states, "The strength of this approach is that it provides a 'snapshot' of the important subgroups of the U.S. population in terms of general health behavioral characteristics. For example ... it is possible to identify which groups are most likely to drink heavily, smoke cigarettes, fail to meet federal guidelines for physical activity, be overweight or obese, and get less than the recommended number of hours of sleep. Together, these estimates help pinpoint the groups who might benefit most from health education or other interventions."

The CDC reported that:
--About 6 in 10 (64.9%) U.S. adults were current drinkers in 2008-2010; about 1 in 5 adults (20.9%) were lifetime abstainers.
--About one in five adults (20.2%) were current smokers and over one-half of adults (58.6%) had never smoked cigarettes. Less than one-half of current smokers (45.8%) attempted to quit smoking in the past year.
--Nearly one-half (46.1%) of adults met the federal guidelines for aerobic physical activity, about one-quarter (23.0%) of adults met the federal guidelines for muscle-strengthening physical activity, and about one in five adults (19.4%) met both guidelines.
--About 6 in 10 adults (62.1%) were overweight or obese (BMI ≥ 25), with about 4 in 10 (36.1%) adults being of healthy weight (18.5 ≤ BMI < 25).
--About 7 in 10 adults (69.7%) met the Healthy People 2020 objective for sufficient sleep.