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Less Than 3 Percent of Americans Live a Healthy Lifestyle

GaleHawkinsGaleHawkins Member Posts: 7,834 Member Member Posts: 7,834 Member
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  • cmriversidecmriverside Member Posts: 30,013 Member Member Posts: 30,013 Member
    That's odd, because only one of those would be able to be checked out by anyone other than the reporting person. You'd think just human nature would have caused a higher percentage. Heck, I could lie about my healthy diet, smoking and amount of exercise. The only one of those four factors that a doctor could legit observe would be the BMI, and even that wasn't the parameter. The parameter was "keeping body fat under control." How do they even measure that?

    I call BS.
    edited March 2016
  • selina884selina884 Member Posts: 826 Member Member Posts: 826 Member
    I wouldn't be surprised
  • seska422seska422 Member, Premium Posts: 3,206 Member Member, Premium Posts: 3,206 Member
    It depends upon the criteria that are used. When you set the bar high, few can meet it.

    We suddenly had more overweight and obese people when the weight thresholds for those were lowered. People who were at a healthy weight suddenly weren't.
  • rileysownerrileysowner Member Posts: 7,864 Member Member Posts: 7,864 Member
    That's odd, because only one of those would be able to be checked out by anyone other than the reporting person. You'd think just human nature would have caused a higher percentage. Heck, I could lie about my healthy diet, smoking and amount of exercise. The only one of those four factors that a doctor could legit observe would be the BMI, and even that wasn't the parameter. The parameter was "keeping body fat under control." how do they even measure that?

    I call BS.

    Yup. BS
  • senecarrsenecarr Member Posts: 5,377 Member Member Posts: 5,377 Member
    A healthy diet for the survey is based on this rubric:
    http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/sites/default/files/healthy_eating_index/healthyeatingindex2005factsheet.pdf
    Getting 50% or more of calories from solid fats, i.e., meats and saturated fats, is worth 0 points.
    No grains is 0 points.
    No fruit is worth 0 points.
    Saturated fats above 15% of calories is worth 0 points.
    edited March 2016
  • tomtebodatomteboda Member Posts: 2,176 Member Member Posts: 2,176 Member
    "10 percent had a normal body fat percentage"

    Ok so since 39.3% of American men and 45.9% of American women meet the BMI guidelines for "normal weight" according to the CDC, this study is claiming that most of them are still at *abnormal* body fat percentages? First, this makes me question what "normal body fat percentage" even means if only 10% meet it. Second, how'd they define it to make nearly all so-called-normal-weight people have too much body fat?

    Looks to me that they defined their parameters to reach the conclusion they wanted.

    EDIT: I just noticed the statistic I used was outdated, however the disparity is still remarkable.
    edited March 2016
  • ForecasterJasonForecasterJason Member Posts: 2,582 Member Member Posts: 2,582 Member
    I can believe some of that, especially the stat that 10% had a healthy body fat percentage. What I think is important to keep in mind is that there are people with a (technically) healthy BMI but still have too much body fat. I don't think it's too unrealistic that (at least in my area), 9 out of 10 random people have too much body fat.
  • PackerjohnPackerjohn Member Posts: 4,859 Member Member Posts: 4,859 Member
    Probably about right.
  • senecarrsenecarr Member Posts: 5,377 Member Member Posts: 5,377 Member
    tomteboda wrote: »
    "10 percent had a normal body fat percentage"

    Ok so since 39.3% of American men and 45.9% of American women meet the BMI guidelines for "normal weight" according to the CDC, this study is claiming that most of them are still at *abnormal* body fat percentages? First, this makes me question what "normal body fat percentage" even means if only 10% meet it. Second, how'd they define it to make nearly all so-called-normal-weight people have too much body fat?

    Looks to me that they defined their parameters to reach the conclusion they wanted.

    EDIT: I just noticed the statistic I used was outdated, however the disparity is still remarkable.

    http://m.livescience.com/216-study-3-percent-americans-live-healthy-lifestyle.html

    Says 40% are healthy weight. I think US News had something wrong.
  • senecarrsenecarr Member Posts: 5,377 Member Member Posts: 5,377 Member
    senecarr wrote: »
    tomteboda wrote: »
    "10 percent had a normal body fat percentage"

    Ok so since 39.3% of American men and 45.9% of American women meet the BMI guidelines for "normal weight" according to the CDC, this study is claiming that most of them are still at *abnormal* body fat percentages? First, this makes me question what "normal body fat percentage" even means if only 10% meet it. Second, how'd they define it to make nearly all so-called-normal-weight people have too much body fat?

    Looks to me that they defined their parameters to reach the conclusion they wanted.

    EDIT: I just noticed the statistic I used was outdated, however the disparity is still remarkable.

    http://m.livescience.com/216-study-3-percent-americans-live-healthy-lifestyle.html

    Says 40% are healthy weight. I think US News had something wrong.

    http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(16)00043-4/abstract

    Actual Mayo Clinic report does say 10%. They define 5-20% as acceptable for men. I've seen others use 25% as the upper threshold based on acceptable BMI range.
    Wow, that's not good.
  • feisty_bucketfeisty_bucket Member Posts: 1,032 Member Member Posts: 1,032 Member
    seska422 wrote: »
    It depends upon the criteria that are used. When you set the bar high, few can meet it.

    We suddenly had more overweight and obese people when the weight thresholds for those were lowered. People who were at a healthy weight suddenly weren't.

    Here's the bar:
    "The researchers assessed how many people followed four general "principles of healthy living" -- a good diet, moderate exercise, not smoking and keeping body fat under control."

    It's really low.
    You'd think just human nature would have caused a higher percentage.

    Yes, people will typically lie when surveyed to make themselves look good/feel good.
    edited March 2016
  • seska422seska422 Member, Premium Posts: 3,206 Member Member, Premium Posts: 3,206 Member
    seska422 wrote: »
    It depends upon the criteria that are used. When you set the bar high, few can meet it.

    We suddenly had more overweight and obese people when the weight thresholds for those were lowered. People who were at a healthy weight suddenly weren't.

    Here's the bar:
    "The researchers assessed how many people followed four general "principles of healthy living" -- a good diet, moderate exercise, not smoking and keeping body fat under control."

    It's really low.
    It's not really low. From the article:
    Overall, 71 percent of the adults surveyed did not smoke, 38 percent ate a healthy diet, 10 percent had a normal body fat percentage and 46 percent got sufficient amounts of physical activity.
    They have a nebulous "normal body fat percentage" which is different from normal BMI (they don't want skinny fat people) so only those 10 percent even have a shot at hitting all 4 parameters. Healthy diet and sufficient exercise are open to variable definitions. Only smoking has a yes/no answer.
    edited March 2016
  • feisty_bucketfeisty_bucket Member Posts: 1,032 Member Member Posts: 1,032 Member
    seska422 wrote: »
    It's not really low. They have a nebulous "normal fat body percentage" which is different from normal BMI (they don't want skinny fat people) so only those 10 percent even have a shot at hitting all 4 parameters
    senecarr wrote: »
    Actual Mayo Clinic report does say 10%. They define 5-20% as acceptable for men.

    Well, here we're getting subjective then, with what we consider the bar to be. 20% on a male is hardly fitness-model territory. Any fitness-conscious guy who's trained for at least a year would probably be in that range. And yes, I'm very dismayed by this survey, assuming it's not full of wild errors or something.
  • ninerbuffninerbuff Member, Greeter Posts: 42,910 Member Member, Greeter Posts: 42,910 Member
    Also, it's a SURVEY. How accurate is it? People give out inaccurate information on surveys all the time. Like eating "healthy". How is that defined? What if they eat fruits, vegetables but eat too low of calories? Also other parameters that have a direct impact on the 4 aren't mentioned. Stress, sleep and genetics.
    I wouldn't put much credence in it.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
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    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

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  • senecarrsenecarr Member Posts: 5,377 Member Member Posts: 5,377 Member
    seska422 wrote: »
    It's not really low. They have a nebulous "normal fat body percentage" which is different from normal BMI (they don't want skinny fat people) so only those 10 percent even have a shot at hitting all 4 parameters
    senecarr wrote: »
    Actual Mayo Clinic report does say 10%. They define 5-20% as acceptable for men.

    Well, here we're getting subjective then, with what we consider the bar to be. 20% on a male is hardly fitness-model territory. Any fitness-conscious guy who's trained for at least a year would probably be in that range. And yes, I'm very dismayed by this survey, assuming it's not full of wild errors or something.

    I've usually seen 25% bandied about as an upper threshold.
    I find it interesting that it looks like I'd pass this survey (not sure what the dietary cut off is, and I don't dairy much), but if they were using BMI instead of body fat, I'd probably fail for still being in the overweight category.
  • senecarrsenecarr Member Posts: 5,377 Member Member Posts: 5,377 Member
    That's odd, because only one of those would be able to be checked out by anyone other than the reporting person. You'd think just human nature would have caused a higher percentage. Heck, I could lie about my healthy diet, smoking and amount of exercise. The only one of those four factors that a doctor could legit observe would be the BMI, and even that wasn't the parameter. The parameter was "keeping body fat under control." How do they even measure that?

    I call BS.

    Not true. Smoking status was checked via blood tests.
    Activity level was based on a tracking accelerometer to be worn at all times except water activities.
    That leaves diet. They used a scoring rubric based on 24 hour dietary recall, so lying about it to game the system would need a certain level of knowledge for one to put down their diet in such a way that beats the system. Plus, lie in aggregate gets washed out - their criteria was people in the top 40% of the ratings for this, so if everyone lied, no one person moved up in the percentages.
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Member Posts: 30,886 Member Member Posts: 30,886 Member

    I imagine you are based on normal recommendations.
  • kristen6350kristen6350 Member Posts: 1,094 Member Member Posts: 1,094 Member
    What is a healthy life style? Is there a clear "definition"? I don't think there is. So the study is bunk.
  • senecarrsenecarr Member Posts: 5,377 Member Member Posts: 5,377 Member
    What is a healthy life style? Is there a clear "definition"? I don't think there is. So the study is bunk.

    The point of the study wasn't actually simply to come up with a percentage of Americans that meet a healthy life style. It also involved a blood panel for several markers and see how strongly the various healthy habits correlate with the various blood panel numbers. Not surprising, the more of the 4 factors the person met, the better their markers in terms of standard expected ranges.
  • halfninja2halfninja2 Member Posts: 35 Member Member Posts: 35 Member
    97% seems high but in my own personal circle it isn't too far off (just talking about adults). I know about 4 people that exercise regularly (including myself), make an effort to eat a healthy diet, don't smoke, and have a good proportion of body fat. That's it. Everyone else I know (work and family/friends) either smokes and/or is overweight. Any trip I take to the grocery store or the mall, it is actually hard to spot adults that aren't overweight. So if you only have to violate one of the four items in the study, I can believe the 97% fail rate.
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