Good nutrition, physical activity, and a healthy body weight are essential parts of a person’s overall health and well-being. Together, these can help decrease a person’s risk of developing serious health conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer. A healthful diet, regular physical activity, and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight also are paramount to managing health conditions so they do not worsen over time.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Most Americans, however, do not eat a healthful diet and are not physically active at levels needed to maintain proper health. Fewer than 1 in 3 adults and an even lower proportion of adolescents eat the recommended amount of vegetables each day. Compounding this is the fact that a majority of adults and adolescents do not get the recommended amount of physical activity.
As a result of these behaviors, the Nation has experienced a dramatic increase in obesity. Today, approximately 1 in 3 adults and 1 in 6 children and adolescents are obese. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, which are among the leading causes of death. In addition to grave health consequences, overweight and obesity significantly increase medical costs and pose a staggering burden on the U.S. medical care delivery system.
Ensuring that all Americans eat a healthful diet, participate in regular physical activity, achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, and discontinue harmful habits (i.e. stop smoking) is critical to improving the health of Americans at every age.