Adherence to Healthy Lifestyle Habits in US Adults, 1988-2006

Am J Med. 2009 Jun;122(6):528-34. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2008.11.013.

Abstract

Background: Lifestyle choices are associated with cardiovascular disease and mortality. The purpose of this study was to compare adherence to healthy lifestyle habits in adults between 1988 and 2006.

Methods: Analysis of adherence to 5 healthy lifestyle trends (>or=5 fruits and vegetables/day, regular exercise >12 times/month, maintaining healthy weight [body mass index 18.5-29.9 kg/m(2)], moderate alcohol consumption [up to 1 drink/day for women, 2/day for men] and not smoking) in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1988-1994 were compared with results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001-2006 among adults aged 40-74 years.

Results: Over the last 18 years, the percent of adults aged 40-74 years with a body mass index >or=30 kg/m(2) has increased from 28% to 36% (P <.05); physical activity 12 times a month or more has decreased from 53% to 43% (P <.05); smoking rates have not changed (26.9% to 26.1%); eating 5 or more fruits and vegetables a day has decreased from 42% to 26% (P <.05), and moderate alcohol use has increased from 40% to 51% (P <.05). Adherence to all 5 healthy habits has gone from 15% to 8% (P <.05). Although adherence to a healthy lifestyle was lower among minorities, adherence decreased more among non-Hispanic Whites over the period. Individuals with a history of hypertension/diabetes/cardiovascular disease were no more likely to be adherent to a healthy lifestyle than people without these conditions.

Conclusions: Generally, adherence to a healthy lifestyle pattern has decreased during the last 18 years, with decreases documented in 3 of 5 healthy lifestyle habits. These findings have broad implications for the future risk of cardiovascular disease in adults.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Status
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • United States