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Less Than 3 Percent of Americans Live a Healthy Lifestyle

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  • EvgeniZyntxEvgeniZyntx Posts: 24,424Member Member Posts: 24,424Member 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    EDIT: I just noticed the statistic I used was outdated, however the disparity is still remarkable.

    Bingo.

    I saw that so I went to look at the primary authors other research since this paper isn't freely available.
    ANDDD ... Yep. That's a fail.

    They use a very restrictive definition of "normal body fat" 8-20% for males, independent of age and 12-30% for females, also age independent.

    And the authors CV clearly states his research is focused on "physical activity promotion".

    So there might be a tad bias here...
  • htimpairedhtimpaired Posts: 1,405Member Member Posts: 1,405Member Member
    Are they expecting a healthy diet ALL the time? Do they offer room for variation because of a special occasion....or a Saturday out?
  • harrybananasharrybananas Posts: 292Member Member Posts: 292Member Member
    Damn, that's 3% more than I thought. I'm impressed.
  • ndj1979ndj1979 Posts: 29,021Member Member Posts: 29,021Member 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.

    so you surveyed everyone in your area to get that number?
  • EvgeniZyntxEvgeniZyntx Posts: 24,424Member Member Posts: 24,424Member Member
    htimpaired wrote: »
    Are they expecting a healthy diet ALL the time? Do they offer room for variation because of a special occasion....or a Saturday out?

    Saturdays are fine but not the 2 days of recall.
    If you partied on those two days you are a crappy eater.

    Science.
  • kimny72kimny72 Posts: 14,281Member Member Posts: 14,281Member Member
    So I live in a suburb of NYC, and work in sales. The 12 people in my department spend all day sitting at a desk making outbound calls. We run the gamut in ages from 21 - 60 something. Just based on what I can guess from fully clothed people, I would say 5 are overweight, 2 are really slim (possibly underweight?) and the other 5 are a healthy weight. Most of us bring lunch most of the time. There is one smoker (he is one of the probably overweight group). Three of the guys are working a lifting program together after work, and another 4 of us discuss our regular workouts, plus often take walks on our lunch break. So I would conservatively guess that 6 of the twelve (and maybe 7) are "healthy". I feel our group is fairly representative of the whole company.

    Sure I see people out and about who are overweight or smoking, but I see just as many who aren't. Yep, I see folks with carts full of nothing but candy, Hot Pockets, and Sunny D, but I also see plenty of carts full of chicken parts and produce and eggs. There is a gym or fitness center in just about every strip of stores (right next to the deli, the bagel place, and the liquor store, mind you) but they are always full of people. I don't think of New York as a "healthier than average" area, but maybe it is? Obviously this is all me assuming stuff, but I feel like this study kind of did that too.

    I don't know, I just don't think 10% is an accurate number. The litmus tests they are using seem arbitrary to me, and I think I might argue with them on the definition of a "healthy lifestyle".
    edited March 2016
  • senecarrsenecarr Posts: 5,377Member Member Posts: 5,377Member Member
    kimny72 wrote: »
    So I live in a suburb of NYC, and work in sales. The 12 people in my department spend all day sitting at a desk making outbound calls. We run the gamut in ages from 21 - 60 something. Just based on what I can guess from fully clothed people, I would say 5 are overweight, 2 are really slim (possibly underweight?) and the other 5 are a healthy weight. Most of us bring lunch most of the time. There is one smoker (he is one of the probably overweight group). Three of the guys are working a lifting program together after work, and another 4 of us discuss our regular workouts, plus often take walks on our lunch break. So I would conservatively guess that 6 of the twelve (and maybe 7) are "healthy". I feel our group is fairly representative of the whole company.

    Sure I see people out and about who are overweight or smoking, but I see just as many who aren't. Yep, I see folks with carts full of nothing but candy, Hot Pockets, and Sunny D, but I also see plenty of carts full of chicken parts and produce and eggs. There is a gym or fitness center in just about every strip of stores (right next to the deli, the bagel place, and the liquor store, mind you) but they are always full of people. I don't think of New York as a "healthier than average" area, but maybe it is? Obviously this is all me assuming stuff, but I feel like this study kind of did that too.

    I don't know, I just don't think 10% is an accurate number. The litmus tests they are using seem arbitrary to me, and I think I might argue with them on the definition of a "healthy lifestyle".

    NYC and many highly urban areas that rely on foot traffic for transport have lower levels of overweight and obese.
  • rainbowbowrainbowbow Posts: 7,497Member Member Posts: 7,497Member Member
    kimny72 wrote: »
    So I live in a suburb of NYC, and work in sales. The 12 people in my department spend all day sitting at a desk making outbound calls. We run the gamut in ages from 21 - 60 something. Just based on what I can guess from fully clothed people, I would say 5 are overweight, 2 are really slim (possibly underweight?) and the other 5 are a healthy weight. Most of us bring lunch most of the time. There is one smoker (he is one of the probably overweight group). Three of the guys are working a lifting program together after work, and another 4 of us discuss our regular workouts, plus often take walks on our lunch break. So I would conservatively guess that 6 of the twelve (and maybe 7) are "healthy". I feel our group is fairly representative of the whole company.

    Sure I see people out and about who are overweight or smoking, but I see just as many who aren't. Yep, I see folks with carts full of nothing but candy, Hot Pockets, and Sunny D, but I also see plenty of carts full of chicken parts and produce and eggs. There is a gym or fitness center in just about every strip of stores (right next to the deli, the bagel place, and the liquor store, mind you) but they are always full of people. I don't think of New York as a "healthier than average" area, but maybe it is? Obviously this is all me assuming stuff, but I feel like this study kind of did that too.

    I don't know, I just don't think 10% is an accurate number. The litmus tests they are using seem arbitrary to me, and I think I might argue with them on the definition of a "healthy lifestyle".

    if we're going to speak anecdotally here....

    When i was working in (3 seperate) an office environment in houston texas.... I was either the only 1 or 1 of 2 employees within the normal healthy weight range.

    One of the offices had 300+ employees and i was STILL the only *female* of normal weight. I'd say maybe 5-10 guys office wide were not overweight.

    I know houston is one of the fattest if not the fattest cities in the US, i'm just saying...
  • senecarrsenecarr Posts: 5,377Member Member Posts: 5,377Member 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.

    Bingo.

    I saw that so I went to look at the primary authors other research since this paper isn't freely available.
    ANDDD ... Yep. That's a fail.

    They use a very restrictive definition of "normal body fat" 8-20% for males, independent of age and 12-30% for females, also age independent.

    And the authors CV clearly states his research is focused on "physical activity promotion".

    So there might be a tad bias here...

    The data set used is NHANES. The Mayo Clinic researchers didn't collect the data, they just reviewed it.
    20% body fat as a recommendation for a male isn't an obscure level. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, Eighth Edition, 2010 uses the same standard, with slight bumps for 40-59, and 60-79.
    Their male breakdown is
    Age          20-39         40      60-79
    Low%     < 8.0       <11.0      <13.0
    Normal%    8.0-19,9  11.0-21.9   13.0-24.9
    High%   20.9-24.9  22.0-27.9   25.0-29.9
    Very High%  >25.0    >28.0   > 30.0  
    
    edited March 2016
  • kimny72kimny72 Posts: 14,281Member Member Posts: 14,281Member Member
    Hmmm, well, out here in the suburbs you can't really walk anywhere, but I get both of your points. I'm just trying to square away if what I think of as a healthy lifestyle isn't really all that healthy :confused:
  • rpachigorpachigo Posts: 96Member Member Posts: 96Member Member
    Lots of TOFIs and FOFIs in the United States. How depressing...
  • Need2Exerc1seNeed2Exerc1se Posts: 13,589Member Member Posts: 13,589Member Member
    halfninja2 wrote: »
    LINIA wrote: »
    Sometimes i think that because a lot of people are food & fitness aware here on this website, we tend to forget what we see going to a Sporting Event, or going to the Mall etc----just from observing ppl out & about, i'd say it seems the survey is correct.

    Couldn't agree more - not to mention anyone who smokes, no matter how healthy they are otherwise.

    Smoking significantly increases the risk of several diseases so while someone who smokes may be healthy at the moment, they certainly shouldn't be considered as living a healthy lifestyle.
  • Need2Exerc1seNeed2Exerc1se Posts: 13,589Member Member Posts: 13,589Member Member
    senecarr wrote: »
    JaneiR36 wrote: »
    I might be healthy. I see you get points for eating things they like, and none deducted for consuming erm... Other stuff. Other than just smoking, which I don't.

    You get lower scores in the healthy eating rubrick if enough percent of calories come from added sugar, alcohol, or solid fat.
    For the study, they looked for people with the top 40% in the rubrick.

    How do they measure the alcohol calories? Just the alcohol and not whatever comes with it?
  • senecarrsenecarr Posts: 5,377Member Member Posts: 5,377Member Member
    senecarr wrote: »
    JaneiR36 wrote: »
    I might be healthy. I see you get points for eating things they like, and none deducted for consuming erm... Other stuff. Other than just smoking, which I don't.

    You get lower scores in the healthy eating rubrick if enough percent of calories come from added sugar, alcohol, or solid fat.
    For the study, they looked for people with the top 40% in the rubrick.

    How do they measure the alcohol calories? Just the alcohol and not whatever comes with it?

    "Calories from Solid Fats, Alcoholic beverages, and Added Sugars (SoFAAS)" is the category. Seeing as the term is "alcoholic beverages" I'd interpret it as calories in an alcoholic drink. A dairqui probably screws people's score over a lot.
    The rubrick is at http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/sites/default/files/healthy_eating_index/healthyeatingindex2005factsheet.pdf
    If anyone wants to guestimate their own score.
  • senecarrsenecarr Posts: 5,377Member Member Posts: 5,377Member Member
    halfninja2 wrote: »
    LINIA wrote: »
    Sometimes i think that because a lot of people are food & fitness aware here on this website, we tend to forget what we see going to a Sporting Event, or going to the Mall etc----just from observing ppl out & about, i'd say it seems the survey is correct.

    Couldn't agree more - not to mention anyone who smokes, no matter how healthy they are otherwise.

    Smoking significantly increases the risk of several diseases so while someone who smokes may be healthy at the moment, they certainly shouldn't be considered as living a healthy lifestyle.

    Does it matter what is smoked?
  • EvgeniZyntxEvgeniZyntx Posts: 24,424Member Member Posts: 24,424Member 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.

    Bingo.

    I saw that so I went to look at the primary authors other research since this paper isn't freely available.
    ANDDD ... Yep. That's a fail.

    They use a very restrictive definition of "normal body fat" 8-20% for males, independent of age and 12-30% for females, also age independent.

    And the authors CV clearly states his research is focused on "physical activity promotion".

    So there might be a tad bias here...

    The data set used is NHANES. The Mayo Clinic researchers didn't collect the data, they just reviewed it.
    20% body fat as a recommendation for a male isn't an obscure level. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, Eighth Edition, 2010 uses the same standard, with slight bumps for 40-59, and 60-79.
    Their male breakdown is
    Age          20-39         40      60-79
    Low%     < 8.0       <11.0      <13.0
    Normal%    8.0-19,9  11.0-21.9   13.0-24.9
    High%   20.9-24.9  22.0-27.9   25.0-29.9
    Very High%  >25.0    >28.0   > 30.0  
    

    2% and 5% in body fat is not a "slight bump"
    ACE places "obese" at 25%/32% or above

    So it depends of who you want to listen to.

    But 20%, all ages is no ones standard.
  • HornsbyHornsby Posts: 10,372Member Member Posts: 10,372Member Member
    So under 8% for a guy would disqualify them per the survey?
    edited March 2016
  • senecarrsenecarr Posts: 5,377Member Member Posts: 5,377Member 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.

    Bingo.

    I saw that so I went to look at the primary authors other research since this paper isn't freely available.
    ANDDD ... Yep. That's a fail.

    They use a very restrictive definition of "normal body fat" 8-20% for males, independent of age and 12-30% for females, also age independent.

    And the authors CV clearly states his research is focused on "physical activity promotion".

    So there might be a tad bias here...

    The data set used is NHANES. The Mayo Clinic researchers didn't collect the data, they just reviewed it.
    20% body fat as a recommendation for a male isn't an obscure level. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, Eighth Edition, 2010 uses the same standard, with slight bumps for 40-59, and 60-79.
    Their male breakdown is
    Age          20-39         40      60-79
    Low%     < 8.0       <11.0      <13.0
    Normal%    8.0-19,9  11.0-21.9   13.0-24.9
    High%   20.9-24.9  22.0-27.9   25.0-29.9
    Very High%  >25.0    >28.0   > 30.0  
    

    2% and 5% in body fat is not a "slight bump"
    ACE places "obese" at 25%/32% or above

    So it depends of who you want to listen to.

    But 20%, all ages is no ones standard.

    Yes. ACE says 25% is obese, they don't have a category for overweight. They put 18-24% as average. Now when they classify as average, is that to be descriptive or prescriptive? It is a bit of a problem.
  • Need2Exerc1seNeed2Exerc1se Posts: 13,589Member Member Posts: 13,589Member Member
    senecarr wrote: »
    halfninja2 wrote: »
    LINIA wrote: »
    Sometimes i think that because a lot of people are food & fitness aware here on this website, we tend to forget what we see going to a Sporting Event, or going to the Mall etc----just from observing ppl out & about, i'd say it seems the survey is correct.

    Couldn't agree more - not to mention anyone who smokes, no matter how healthy they are otherwise.

    Smoking significantly increases the risk of several diseases so while someone who smokes may be healthy at the moment, they certainly shouldn't be considered as living a healthy lifestyle.

    Does it matter what is smoked?

    The only thing I know of that has an established risk factor is smoking tobacco. Though I would imagine inhaling any type of smoke is dangerous.
  • senecarrsenecarr Posts: 5,377Member Member Posts: 5,377Member Member
    Hornsby wrote: »
    So under 8% for a guy would disqualify them per the survey?

    I the researchers would have not used them them for doing any of the blood panel correlations for healthy body fat level. I'd imagine the researchers would assume anyone below 8% is suffering from some kind of medical condition.
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