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Most Americans Ignore The Healthy Life

Despite all the warnings people are hearing from health experts and the government -- particularly with the last week's release of the newest Food Pyramid by the U.S. Department of Agriculture -- just 3 percent of some 154,000 Americans polled managed to follow a healthy lifestyle, according to a new study by researchers at Michigan State University.

That may sound very odd, considering 76 percent of the patients surveyed were nonsmokers. But the numbers in other major health categories -- that also contribute greatly to optimal health -- really plummet from there:

  • About 40 percent maintained a healthy body mass index of 25 or less.
  • Slightly more than 23 percent ate at least five fruits and vegetables a day.
  • Only 22.2 percent exercised at least five times a week.

One of the lead researchers of the study said it best: Don't smoke, don't be overweight, exercise regularly and eat right: It's exactly what your grandmother has been telling you for 50 years.

And his overriding concerns, the bleak quality of health in this country -- sadly propped up by conventional medicine's keen ability to keep people alive in spite of their poor habits -- and the unimaginable costs in terms of dollars -- particularly from the epidemic of obesity -- certainly mirror my own.

If you're wondering whether diet is more important than exercise, or vice-versa, I urge to read a recent article I posted that shows how both contribute equally to optimize your health.

Archives of Internal Medicine, Vol. 165, No. 8, April 25, 2005: 854-857

MSNBC April 26, 2005

Forbes.com April 25, 2005

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