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Fewer Americans following a healthy lifestyle

June 1, 2009

screenhunter_06-jun-01-1737Despite all the public service announcements, the posting of calories at fast food restaurants and your high school gym teacher’s admonishments to get moving, it seems that no one is listening.

By Amy Norton Mon Jun 1, 1:41 pm ET

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – The number of middle-aged and older Americans who eat right, exercise and keep their weight down has declined substantially in the past two decades, a new study finds.

Using data from a large government health survey, researchers found that in 2006, only 26 percent of Americans ages 40 to 74 said they ate five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day — down from 42 percent in 1988.

When it came to exercise, 43 percent said they worked out at least 12 times per month, versus 53 percent in 1988.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the rate of obesity went in the opposite direction, from 28 percent in 1988 to 36 percent in 2006, the researchers report in the June issue of the American Journal of Medicine.

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