Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Most Americans Don't Eat Smart and Exercise: CDC

Ask Glen:

Q. Do most Americans eat right?

A. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Only one in seven Americans exercises enough and eats enough fruits and vegetables, and men are worse than women, federal health officials said on Monday. "These results underscore the need to promote diets high in fruits and vegetables and regular physical activity among all populations in the United States and among racial and ethnic minority communities in particular," U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers said in a report.

The CDC tracked the percentage of Americans who eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily and engage in moderately intense exercise for at least 30 minutes five days per week or vigorous exercise for at least 20 minutes three days per week as recommended by the government.

Overall, 14.6 percent of Americans met both the dietary and exercise benchmarks, including 12.4 percent of men and 16.6 percent of women.

The findings come at a time of rising obesity in the United States and concern among public health experts about sedentary lifestyles and diets loaded with fat and sweets.

The report found that 12.6 percent of white men and 17.4 percent of white women reached both benchmarks, compared to 11.2 percent of black men and 12.6 percent of black women and 11.7 percent of Latino men and 14.8 percent of Latino women.

Among all groups, American Indian and Alaska Native men (17.5 percent) and women (19.6 percent) did the best. "The population right now really needs to take responsibility for their own health," Mary Kay Solera, head of the CDC's National Fruit and Vegetable Program and one of the report's authors, said in a telephone interview.


"People know that they need to be eating more fruits and vegetables and they know they need to be doing more physical activity. But we're not doing it," Solera added.

Unlike other reports tracking such issues, this one examines those behaviors in tandem for a more complete view. It did not assess whether things are getting better or worse.

"Poor diet and lack of physical activity cause chronic disease," Solera said. "As our good habits decrease and you've got a lot of bad habits, then chronic disease is going to increase, health care costs will increase. There are consequences to what we're doing."

The CDC noted that being overweight or obese increases one's risk of heart disease, some cancers, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and other ailments.

The report was based on self-reported data from a 2006 telephone survey of 356,112 Americans. The survey asked respondents to report their level of exercise and their diet with questions such as, "How often do you eat potatoes, not including French fries, fried potatoes or potato chips?"

The report said some of the racial differences in exercise levels detected might be due to a lack of exercise facilities in lower-income, nonwhite communities.

Moderately intense exercise was defined as brisk walking, bicycling, vacuuming, gardening or anything else that causes small increases in breathing or heart rate. Vigorous exercise was defined as running, aerobics, heavy yard work or other things that cause large increases in breathing or heart rate.

Wishing You Great Health,

Glen Edward Mitchell

Got a question? Ask Glen

1 comment:

J-Mal said...

This is a great blog! Very informative! I am on a mission to lose 20 pounds in 2 months... is it possible? I am on a low carb, low-cal diet and I train off of my Yoga Program. I am also starting strength trainingt... surfing through your topics I realize that I suffer from visceral fat! :( Is this harder to lose than flabby fat? Also, as far as cardio - to burn fat do perform low-intensity cardio for a long period of time or do interval training? Everyhbody seems to have different opinions, whcih tells me no one really knows....

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Lawrenceville, Georgia, United States
Is the Founder of Fitness Builders 4 Life,the WorkOut GEM,G350,G180, G90, Eat 4 Life, Clean, Lean & Mean & Ask Glen. The mission of the Fitness Builders is to provide the community with health education and to empower people to change unhealthy lifestyles thereby increasing life expectancy. By educating the community on healthier lifestyle practices it is the intent of Fitness Builders to reduce the ravages of obesity, heart disease, cancer and other lifestyle or self inflicted diseases. Glen is also a AMA Certified Nutrition Specialist and a ACE, ACSM, NASM Certified Personal Trainer has 30+ years in Sports, Exercise Science and Nutritional Food Management, Learning and Mentoring Men and Women on a more Mental & Physical Healthy Life Style consisting of a low fat, low salt, Low carbohydrate, high protein, organic nutrition which also includes moderate exercise and mental awareness. Stay Informed, Live long and be Mentally and Physically Healthy! Any questions? Ask Glen!

Any Questions? Ask Glen!