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Health Statistics of US Adult Population Including Alcohol Consumption and Obesity Rates

Stats on the Health of the Union

The National Center For Health Statistics, a branch of the Centers For Disease Control, released its latest batch of numbers on the behavior of American adults, and in my opinion, the numbers don't paint a pretty picture. After surveying over 79,000 Americans age 18 or older, the center compiled some interesting stats on the state of our healthy and not-so-healthy habits.

  • Six out of 10 adults drink alcohol, while nearly 25 percent responded that they were lifetime abstainers. Men are more likely to list themselves as current drinkers than women.
  • Around 20 percent of US adults answered that they smoke, and 42 percent of them tried to quit unsuccessfully in the past year. Under 20 percent of the current smokers average 17 cigarettes a day.
  • Only around 30 percent of adults responded that they exercise regularly, but close to 60 percent say they engage in at least some physical activity during their leisure time.
  • Forty percent of adults maintain a healthy weight, but 60 percent are considered overweight or obese.

The information for this report was gathered between 2005 and 2007. Do any of the numbers surprise you?

Join The Conversation
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I'm a little surprised at how many people are teetotalers as well. I guess the Mormon and Seventh-Day Adventist groups would be teetotalers, but I know that in our community, most adults drink moderately-heavily. Older people probably don't drink as much as younger people, too. I'm a little sad that only 30% of people regularly exercise. I can't imagine not working's just part of my daily routine.
rbaech rbaech 7 years
I find one point in this very misleading. This isn't even really CBS' fault, either - it has to do with the way these statistics are sampled. CBS' article claims that 60% of American adults are overweight or obese, while 40% are of a healthy weight. Underweight Americans, and those suffering from eating disorders, are classed as "Healthy Weight" for these numbers. That's incredibly disturbing. The BMI ranges used, as I understand it, were (0 - 24.9) as healthy, (25 - 29.9) as overweight, and (30.0+) as obese. This obscures the fact that the actual normal, aka "healthy" BMI range is (18.5 - 24.9). Anorexia can be as serious a condition as obesity can be.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
No, I'm not surprised. As I'm getting older, I've noticed I've become an increasingly rare breed, a woman who's been fitness exercising and eating well for over 20 years, and continuing. Recently, I ran into an old high school friend, and I was shocked. She looked much, much older than me (we are the same age, graduated the same class). If I didn't know better, I would have thought she was an older woman.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
I think the only one that I find vaguely surprising is that 25% of adults don't drink at all. Other than that, the statistics are a bit depressing, but not really at that shocking.
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