Researchers found a small percentage of adults in the United States participated in all five key health-related behaviors for the prevention of chronic disease, according to findings published in Preventing Chronic Disease.
Yong Liu, MD, MS, in the Division of Population Health at the CDC, and colleagues called for collaborative efforts to promote the behaviors and create changes.
“In 1982, the Alameda County (California) Study identified five key lifestyle behaviors for preventing chronic disease as being significantly associated with reduced mortality,” they wrote. “The behaviors were never smoking, getting regular physical activity, drinking fewer than five drinks at one sitting, maintaining a normal body weight, and sleeping 7 [hours] to 8 hours per night.”
Researchers analyzed data from 395,343 participants aged 21 years and older in the 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Their defined behaviors were: sleeping at least 7 hours a day; maintaining a normal BMI; not consuming alcohol or consuming only moderate amounts; currently not smoking; and meeting aerobic physical activity recommendations.
Results showed 32.5% of participants had a normal BMI, 50.4% got regular physical activity, 63.1% reported no or moderate alcohol consumption, 63.9% slept at least 7 hours per day and 81.6% were currently not smoking. In addition, 1.4% of participants reported engaging in none of the behaviors. Investigators found 8.4% of participants engaged in one of the behaviors, 24.3% engaged in two, 35.4% engaged in three, 24.3% engaged in four and 6.3% engaged in all five.
Researchers reported that the lowest prevalence of engagement in either four or five of the health behaviors was in southern states and along the Ohio River, and the highest prevalence was in Pacific and Rocky Mountain states.
Liu and colleagues said more efforts were needed to increase adoption of all five behaviors in a larger proportion of the population.
“Collaborative efforts among public health agencies, health care systems, community coalitions, work sites, early child care and education, and schools can provide opportunities and support policies that promote these five behaviors and create population-wide changes, especially changes in racial/ethnic minority populations and socioeconomically disadvantaged populations. Coordinated, comprehensive approaches in clinical and public health sectors that address multiple behaviors or risk factors may allow more efficient leveraging of resources and increase the impact of interventions.” – by Chelsea Frajerman Pardes
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.