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Abandoning healthy lifestyles

I feel we know more than ever the importance of a healthy diet and exercise. That may be true, but it doesn’t mean we are actually following healthy lifestyle advice.

I was surprised to find a study that shows more older US adults are abandoning healthy habits than in the 1980’s. Are we all giving up?


Video: What’s A Healthy Lifestyle?

I loved the different perspective on a healthy lifestyle this video has. It made me realize that a healthy lifestyle is not just all about diet and exercise. I only wished the video was longer. Note: Steve thought this may be an advertisement, but I loved the message in it anyway.


The healthy lifestyle study

Researchers compared the healthy lifestyle habits in patients aged 40 to 74 years who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) in 1988 to 1994 and 2001 to 2006.

They studied how many stuck to the following 5 recommendations which are considered to be important to a healthy lifestyle:

  • Eating at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
  • Exercising at least 12 times a month.
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight.
  • Drinking moderately – 1 drink a day for women and 2 for men.
  • Not smoking.

What the researchers found over the last 18 years …

  • Having a BMI greater than 30 has increased from 28% to 36%.
  • Those who exercise 12 times a month or more has dropped from 53% to 43%.
  • Those who eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables a day has dropped from 42% to 26%.
  • Moderate alcohol drinking has increased from 40% to 51%.
  • Only smoking rates had not changes, remaining at about 26%.

Only 8% of the group today took part in all 5 healthy behaviors of maintaining a healthy weight, eating fruit and vegetables, drinking alcohol in moderation, exercising, and not smoking. This compared with 15% of the group in 1980’s. The research by Dr King of the Medical University of South Carolina was published in the American Journal of Medicine.


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About Kellie

Kellie is 37 years old and together with her brother Steve makes up the My Health Software team.

She helps on the websites and gathering news for the programs. Kellie worked in the medical industry prior to having her two children (8 and 6) and has a strong interest in self awareness and management of health conditions.


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