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Few Engage in Five Behaviors for Preventing Chronic Disease

Only 6.3% of U.S. adults report engaging in all five behaviors; geographic variation seen in clustering

MONDAY, June 6, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Few U.S. adults engage in all five health-related behaviors recommended for chronic disease prevention, according to a study published online May 26 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Preventing Chronic Disease.

Yong Liu, M.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues estimated clustering of five health-related behaviors for chronic disease prevention in each state. Data from the 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System for 395,343 respondents (aged 21 years or older) were used to assess clustering of never smoking, getting regular physical activity, consuming no alcohol or only moderate amounts, maintaining a normal body mass index (BMI), and obtaining daily sufficient sleep.

The researchers found that 81.6 percent of U.S. adults were current nonsmokers; 63.9 percent obtained seven hours or more sleep/day; 63.1 percent reported moderate or no alcohol consumption; 50.4 percent met recommendations for physical activity; and 32.5 percent had a normal BMI. Overall, 1.4, 8.4, 24.3, 35.4, 24.3, and 6.3 percent of respondents engaged in none, one, two, three, four, and five of these behaviors, respectively. The prevalence of engaging in four or five behaviors was highest in the Pacific and Rocky Mountain states, while prevalence was lowest in the southern states and along the Ohio River.

“Collaborative efforts in health care systems, communities, work sites, and schools can promote all five behaviors and produce population-wide changes, especially among the socioeconomically disadvantaged,” the authors write.

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