Objectives: This study assessed current levels of sunbathing and sunscreen use in the United States.
Methods: From a general-population telephone survey of aquatic activities among adults in 3042 US households, we examined responses by the 2459 Whites.
Results: Most adults (59%) reported sunbathing during the past year, and 25% reported frequent sunbathing. Of the subsample who reported sunbathing during the month before the interview, 47% routinely used sunscreen. Of these individuals, almost half did not use sunscreens with a solar protection factor of 15 or higher.
Conclusions: About a quarter of US White adults report frequent sunbathing, and only about a quarter of sunbathers use sunscreens at recommended levels. These results should help focus future sun protection educational efforts.