Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Is America 90% Healthy?

It’s time to hold up a mirror and take a long, hard look. Are you a healthy eater? Really?

A recent survey conducted by Consumer Reports found that while 90% of Americans report healthy eating habits, fewer than 30% of adults get even two servings of vegetables per day despite the current recommendation of 5 or more daily servings. Almost 50% drink one sugared beverage every day and additionally, only about half of Americans fess up to being overweight when, in fact, 60% fall into that category. With this data in mind, it comes as no surprise that the United States is full of ever-ballooning citizens. It appears that most individuals turn a blind eye to their unhealthy habits.

The question remains however; are Americans under reporting weight and over reporting vegetable intake to battle the social stigma associated with each unhealthy condition, or are we truly kidding ourselves? Some studies have suggested that obese women think they look great the way they are, and don’t realize they are truly at-risk individuals. The Consumer Report survey suffers from the element of response bias, so it's unclear what factors are at play here.

Some other interesting findings from the survey:

* Americans are, at the very least, trying to make better choices. 59% said they were either "careful" or "strict" about their food intake.

* 60% of Americans now choose whole grains rather than refined carbs “most of the time”.

* 53% of Americans say they limit sweets and sugar.

This is all good news, but regrettably:

* 43% of those surveyed said they drank at least one sugared drink per day.

* Only 22% weigh themselves regularly and 15% keep track of calories.

* 22% of respondents did not eat breakfast the morning of the survey.

So, just how healthy are your habits? It might be time to reevaluate.

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