Very few Americans have basic healthy habits, study finds

A national study published this week found that less than 3 percent of Americans managed to follow four basic habits associated with a healthy life: eating well, exercising, avoiding smoking and keeping body fat under control (Source: “The number of Americans who have basic healthy habits is shockingly low.” Vox, March 22, 2016) In many areas, their levels of basic nutritional necessities like Omega 3 fatty acids are simply non existent. (ref)

According to the study, which was published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, just 2.7 percent of Americans manage all four habits. The research, led by Paul Loprinzi of the University of Mississippi, used data about the lifestyles of nearly 5,000 US adults from the 2003 to 2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s biggest national health survey.

Only about 38 percent of Americans surveyed had a healthy diet, just 10 percent had a normal body fat level, and fewer than half (47 percent) were sufficiently active. On the upside: 70 percent of adults reported themselves as nonsmokers. But overall, fewer than 3 percent of Americans managed all four healthy lifestyle behaviors. Eleven percent had none.