According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 75% of healthcare spending in the United States is on people with chronic conditions. The CDC has identified five key health related behaviors for chronic disease prevention. These five major health related behaviors were not smoking cigarettes, meeting the physical activity recommendations, consuming no alcohol or only moderate amounts, maintaining a normal body mass index (BMI), and sleeping at least 7 hours in a 24 hour period.
According to the results of the study of adults 21 or older, 81.6% were current non-smokers, 63.9% obtained 7 hours or more of sleep per day, 63.1% reported moderate or no alcohol consumption, 50.4% met the physical activity requirements, and 32.5% had a normal BMI.
Looking at these results it looks like as adults we are doing a good job of not using tobacco. We could make some improvements in sleep and reducing alcohol consumption. My work with college students suggests that the alcohol consumption number may be a little high. Many people do not know the definition of moderate alcohol consumption and accept higher levels of consumption as normal behavior. The definition of moderate alcohol consumption is two or fewer drinks per day for males and one or fewer drinks per day for females.
As a country, we need to get more people engaged in regular physical activity. We also need to look at what we are eating. Body Mass Index is affected by physical activity and diet since BMI is a calculation based on height and weight. By increasing physical activity and eating healthier foods we can better maintain a healthy body weight.
As parents, we need to make physical activity a part of our daily routines. We should all be trying to get 30-60 minutes of daily physical activity. Our children should be getting at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity.
We also need to look at what we are eating and feeding our children. Successful behavior change is made by making small changes. From a diet standpoint we can start by reducing the amount of sugar we consume. Start by reducing the amount of soda or other sugary beverages consumed.
Only 6.3 % of adults reported engaging on all five of these major health-related behaviors. Let’s share this information with our children and tell them why these behaviors are important for living a healthy life.
Mike Hanik Family Time Fitness