I have this cool couple that both came to see me as patients. They had lots of health issues. Good news is, that in the last several years, with getting their hormones balanced, their diets improved, and being encouraged and actually joining and using their gym, their lives have been turned around like someone flipped the ON light switch.
So I asked, “Why hadn’t you done any of this before?”
They looked at me like I asked them why they hadn’t they ever-tried Chinese food. Well, they said they just hadn’t heard about any of it.
Folks. I am sorry. But I don’t get it. How are we not getting all these “wellness memos”?
But apparently, even with all the great blitz of health information out in cyber space, we are not getting it, or translating it, into our lives.
A new study out of two great places—Oregon State University and the University of Mississippi—proves that MOST of us are not living healthfully.
They started by saying that there are 4 health behaviors that docs have been recommending to folks all around the world for years.
4 must-do good health steps:
A good diet (based on eating at least 40% of what the US government says, like more veggies and fruits, less sugary drinks, add some fish, yada)
Moderate exercise (about 20 minutes 4 to 5 times a week)
Health percent of body fat (not obese)
Not smoking (clear-cut)
This study was large. It looked at 4,745 people. And exactly how they lived, not just self-reports.
Out of all these people, only 2.7% of them achieved all 4 points. Yeech!
This shows that very few Americans are living healthfully.
Living these 4 points helps lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and even depression.
This study was looking at healthy habits. Its goals were not asking folks to be marathon runners.
Measurements of activity were done with an accelerometer, a device people wore to determine their actual level of movement.
Body fat was measured with sophisticated X-ray absorptiometry, not just a crude measurement based on weight and height.
The lifestyle characteristics were then compared to blood work.
The healthiest blood work, (blood lipids like good and bad cholesterol and sugar), was found to correlate the most with how much body fat you carried around. The more body fat you have, the lousier your blood work.
Most folks had too much body fat.
Most ladies (especially after middle-age) don’t move enough.
Few eat healthfully.
From a public health perspective, these results are NOT encouraging.
Less than 3 % of all adults had ALL 4 healthy lifestyle characteristics.
How do you live?
Healthy it up folks. Now!
Paul D. Loprinzi, Adam Branscum, June Hanks, Ellen Smit. Healthy Lifestyle Characteristics and Their Joint Association With Cardiovascular Disease Biomarkers in US Adults. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 2016; DOI: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2016.01.009