Based on health factors such as smoking, diet, exercise, and body fat percentage, a study has concluded that over 97% of Americans are living a lifestyle that is blatantly unhealthy.
That means that if you don’t smoke, eat right, exercise regularly, and maintain a low body fat percentage, you are among the 2.7% of Americans who live healthily. The study, conducted by US National Health and Nutrition Survey, collected data from over 4700 people. The four above-mentioned factors were tested.
The study has been criticized by some who claim it is testing people based upon unrealistic benchmarks. However, study co-author Ellen Smit, who is assistant professor at College of Public Health and Human Sciences in Oregon State University, clarified that she set the benchmark score reasonably low so as not to exclude those people who were healthy, but not Olympic-standard healthy.
Smit’s team took out these benchmarks based upon the most common health advice doctors give to their patients. People who satisfy these four benchmarks significantly reduce their risk of getting diabetes (type 2), cancer, and heart-related diseases.
Over 97% of the US population is at a constant risk of getting cardiovascular-related issues and cancer
The Survey also Revealed…
Of all the people surveyed, 71% said they were non-smokers, 38% claimed they stuck to a healthy diet, only 10% carried a healthy body fat percentage, and 46% satisfied the exercise benchmark. Only 16% fulfilled three of the four criterions, 37% fulfilled two, 34% satisfied only one, and 11% failed to satisfy any health benchmark.
The study also revealed some interesting differences between the lifestyles of men and women. It was found that, compared to men, women were more inclined to eat healthy and stay away from cigarettes. However, they exercised less than is required to maintain good health. The study also found that, as far as diet is concerned, Mexican-Americans ate the healthiest among all other ethnicities in US.
A Point of Concern
Smit was shocked by the results of the study. For a developed country, the health of the population is a key indicator of happiness. Considering the numbers, a lot of work is needed to encourage people to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
How to Live a Lifestyle that is Healthy?
Many people become confused when they are encouraged to adopt a healthy lifestyle. It’s easy. Follow these steps:
– A Healthy, Nutritious Breakfast
Contrary to popular belief, having a healthy breakfast does not help in weight reduction, according to the findings of a recent study. However, consuming sufficient calories does enable a person to make better food choices for the rest of the day, as the body remains in a regulated state.
– Whole Foods
As a fast-food consuming nation, Americans have strayed away from organic, whole grain, and unprocessed foods. The human body considers processed foods to be unnatural and hence cannot digest them properly.
White bread and frozen meats are the biggest culprits, but even farm chicken is unhealthy. The healthiest options are vegan, such as vegetables, fruits, and nuts. But if you must consume meat, then try getting fresh, unprocessed meat from your local butcher.
Switching the elevator with stairs is a smart thing to do, no matter how late you might be for work or how you’re feeling!
– You Must Make Time for Exercise
You don’t have to join a gym. Just a 15-minute jog every day is enough to maintain a healthy body. The important point is that you must exercise every day, regardless of how busy you may be. If that is too inconvenient, then try taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Even that is sufficient exercise.
– Sleep Well
Make sure your sleeping environment is peaceful and quiet, your bed is comfortable to not strain your back, and your stomach is not too full when you lie down to sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep would leave you feeling replenished after you wake up, discouraging you from overeating.
The importance of sleep is often less stressed when talking about health. The most common perception is that a healthy person sleeps for 6-8 hours a day. That is not true. The impact sleep has on your health depends on the quality of sleep you have.
If you keep waking up during the night, for whatever reason, then you will be tired during the day. This results in overeating, as people supplement lack of energy with fatty foods.
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