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Less Than 3 Percent of Americans Live a Healthy Lifestyle

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  • Need2Exerc1seNeed2Exerc1se Posts: 13,589Member Member Posts: 13,589Member Member
    senecarr wrote: »
    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.

    Oh, thanks!
  • HornsbyHornsby Posts: 10,372Member Member Posts: 10,372Member Member
    senecarr wrote: »
    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.

    The condition known as "General Badassery".
    edited March 2016
  • MelodyandBarbellsMelodyandBarbells Posts: 7,637Member Member Posts: 7,637Member 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.

    Medicinal marijuana?
  • stealthqstealthq Posts: 4,307Member Member Posts: 4,307Member Member
    JaneiR36 wrote: »
    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.

    Medicinal marijuana?

    Currently classified as an unknown.

    Per the Lung Cancer organization website, insufficient study has been done because of the illegal status of marijuana and because so many that smoke marijuana also smoke tobacco (confounding factor) makes it difficult to put together a proper study.

    They mention that several of the carcinogens present in cigarettes are also found in joints, that joints are typically smoked closer to the end where the highest concentrations of those compounds are found, and that marijuana smoke is typically inhaled more deeply. On the other hand, marijuana is also typically smoked much less frequently than tobacco, so any effect may be less pronounced except in heavy marijuana smokers or very long-term smokers.
  • Christine_72Christine_72 Posts: 16,074Member Member Posts: 16,074Member Member
    I know 'do you smoke pot' is on the questioner when you are going to be put under for surgery. The doctor said it affects your lungs the same way cigarettes do..
  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Posts: 7,169Member Member Posts: 7,169Member Member
    senecarr wrote: »
    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.

    So they created a grading system that guaranteed 60% of respondents would fail one of the criteria.
  • ForecasterJasonForecasterJason Posts: 2,582Member Member Posts: 2,582Member Member
    ndj1979 wrote: »
    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?
    That was more of a guess. I didn't say that's what the actual stat is.

  • senecarrsenecarr Posts: 5,377Member Member Posts: 5,377Member Member
    senecarr wrote: »
    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.

    So they created a grading system that guaranteed 60% of respondents would fail one of the criteria.

    Body fat was a far more brutal criteria based on percentages. Only about 10% met it.
  • EvgeniZyntxEvgeniZyntx Posts: 24,424Member Member Posts: 24,424Member Member
    senecarr wrote: »
    senecarr wrote: »
    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.

    So they created a grading system that guaranteed 60% of respondents would fail one of the criteria.

    Body fat was a far more brutal criteria based on percentages. Only about 10% met it.

    Given that NHANES data gives normal BMI above 30%, this suggest that this study would place 2/3rd of healthy weight people as "skinny fat"?

    It suggests that the classifications being used don't actually make sense.
  • stevencloserstevencloser Posts: 8,917Member Member Posts: 8,917Member Member
    senecarr wrote: »
    senecarr wrote: »
    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.

    So they created a grading system that guaranteed 60% of respondents would fail one of the criteria.

    Body fat was a far more brutal criteria based on percentages. Only about 10% met it.

    Given that NHANES data gives normal BMI above 30%, this suggest that this study would place 2/3rd of healthy weight people as "skinny fat"?

    It suggests that the classifications being used don't actually make sense.

    Agreed. It seems unrealistic that so many people at normal BMI would have over 20% bf.
  • senecarrsenecarr Posts: 5,377Member Member Posts: 5,377Member Member
    senecarr wrote: »
    senecarr wrote: »
    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.

    So they created a grading system that guaranteed 60% of respondents would fail one of the criteria.

    Body fat was a far more brutal criteria based on percentages. Only about 10% met it.

    Given that NHANES data gives normal BMI above 30%, this suggest that this study would place 2/3rd of healthy weight people as "skinny fat"?

    It suggests that the classifications being used don't actually make sense.

    I did find NHANES report for earlier years (I'd assume the world has become higher body fat percentage) - this study seemed to use 2003-2006 data, while my link is a report for 1999-2004.
    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_11/sr11_250.pdf
    Even then, yes, 19.5% is the bottom 10th percentile for body fat for males, age 20 and older.
    I'm afraid I'll have to affirm bias. The data is making question my views of normal and even my self assessment.
  • ForecasterJasonForecasterJason Posts: 2,582Member Member Posts: 2,582Member Member
    senecarr wrote: »
    senecarr wrote: »
    senecarr wrote: »
    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.

    So they created a grading system that guaranteed 60% of respondents would fail one of the criteria.

    Body fat was a far more brutal criteria based on percentages. Only about 10% met it.

    Given that NHANES data gives normal BMI above 30%, this suggest that this study would place 2/3rd of healthy weight people as "skinny fat"?

    It suggests that the classifications being used don't actually make sense.

    I did find NHANES report for earlier years (I'd assume the world has become higher body fat percentage) - this study seemed to use 2003-2006 data, while my link is a report for 1999-2004.
    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_11/sr11_250.pdf
    Even then, yes, 19.5% is the bottom 10th percentile for body fat for males, age 20 and older.
    I'm afraid I'll have to affirm bias. The data is making question my views of normal and even my self assessment.
    Wow. I agree that is an eye-opener.

  • halfninja2halfninja2 Posts: 35Member Member Posts: 35Member Member
    rainbowbow wrote: »
    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...

    Same where I live, Little Rock, AR area. Have to drive practically anywhere, not much within walking distance. Very few people I see on a daily basis at a healthy weight.
  • GaleHawkinsGaleHawkins Posts: 7,633Member Member Posts: 7,633Member Member
    That research data is staggering and as stated the numbers most likely are still going up. While I am still 10-15% over an ideal weight many consider me to be thin. When one is in a family where the adults are 100% over an ideal weight it is hard to see obesity as an abnormal state even if you are just a kid.
  • ShodanPrimeShodanPrime Posts: 226Member Member Posts: 226Member 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.

    Is there a way to like a post?
  • queenliz99queenliz99 Posts: 15,358Member Member Posts: 15,358Member 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.

    Is there a way to like a post?

    How about tag her. @tomteboda
  • robininflrobininfl Posts: 1,144Member Member Posts: 1,144Member Member
    senecarr wrote: »
    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.

    If they took the top 40% of people from the survey and said "that's a good diet", that means that it isn't defined at all, right? If all of the people were eating well (by whatever the definition of eating well is), 60% will still be knocked out of the running for "healthy", and if none of them were eating well, the top 40% will still get through. But what if all of the participants hit between, say, 75-78 out of 100 criteria for healthy eating?

    If you define healthy life as being in the top 3%, then there will only ever be 3% of people in that group.


  • senecarrsenecarr Posts: 5,377Member Member Posts: 5,377Member Member
    robininfl wrote: »
    senecarr wrote: »
    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.

    If they took the top 40% of people from the survey and said "that's a good diet", that means that it isn't defined at all, right? If all of the people were eating well (by whatever the definition of eating well is), 60% will still be knocked out of the running for "healthy", and if none of them were eating well, the top 40% will still get through. But what if all of the participants hit between, say, 75-78 out of 100 criteria for healthy eating?

    If you define healthy life as being in the top 3%, then there will only ever be 3% of people in that group.


    The biggest discriminator wasn't the diet though. It was the criteria they used for body fat percentage. 9.5% of men and 10.6% of women met it - they looked for individuals to be under 20% for men and under 30% for women.

    It seems like the 3% is more the media spin on it. The point of the actual study was how the 4 different criteria impacted several different health markers from taking blood samples - things like HDL, LDL, triglycerides, c-reactive protein levels, etc. The 3% just indicated how many people had all 4 health criteria they were looking at.
  • robininflrobininfl Posts: 1,144Member Member Posts: 1,144Member Member
    senecarr wrote: »
    robininfl wrote: »
    senecarr wrote: »
    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.

    If they took the top 40% of people from the survey and said "that's a good diet", that means that it isn't defined at all, right? If all of the people were eating well (by whatever the definition of eating well is), 60% will still be knocked out of the running for "healthy", and if none of them were eating well, the top 40% will still get through. But what if all of the participants hit between, say, 75-78 out of 100 criteria for healthy eating?

    If you define healthy life as being in the top 3%, then there will only ever be 3% of people in that group.


    The biggest discriminator wasn't the diet though. It was the criteria they used for body fat percentage. 9.5% of men and 10.6% of women met it - they looked for individuals to be under 20% for men and under 30% for women.

    It seems like the 3% is more the media spin on it. The point of the actual study was how the 4 different criteria impacted several different health markers from taking blood samples - things like HDL, LDL, triglycerides, c-reactive protein levels, etc. The 3% just indicated how many people had all 4 health criteria they were looking at.



    So really they were just looking at the relationship between things like diet and fats floating around in the blood? That makes sense. I do think it's quite possible that a large majority of people in the U.S. are overfat even if they aren't very overweight, and that too much body fat could impact health. That, at least, is an absolute measure and they can compare bodyfat to the HDL/LDL, etc. That would provide data about what a healthy level of fat is.

  • ReaderGirl3ReaderGirl3 Posts: 868Member Member Posts: 868Member Member
    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.

    So true! I was shocked when we took the kids roller skating a few days ago-almost every adult there (and a large amount of the kids) were either overweight or very overweight (several were in the obese category).

    Thinking about the people I know in real life-I can think of 3 that would maybe meet all the requirements. Heck, I don't and I'm in excellent health.
    edited March 2016
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