Poor Nutrition, Lack of Physical Activity = Obesity and Other Serious Health Problems
Good nutrition, physical activity, and a healthy body weight are essential parts of a person’s overall health and well-being. Together, these can help decrease a person’s risk of developing serious health conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer. A healthful diet, regular physical activity, and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight also are paramount to managing health conditions so they do not worsen over time.
Most Americans, however, do not eat a healthful diet and are not physically active at levels needed to maintain proper health. Fewer than 1 in 3 adults and an even lower proportion of adolescents eat the recommended amount of vegetables each day.1 Compounding this is the fact that a majority of adults (81.6%) and adolescents (81.8%) do not get the recommended amount of physical activity.2
As a result of these behaviors, the Nation has experienced a dramatic increase in obesity. Today, approximately 1 in 3 adults (34.0%) and 1 in 6 children and adolescents (16.2%) are obese. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, which are among the leading causes of death. In addition to grave health consequences, overweight and obesity significantly increase medical costs and pose a staggering burden on the U.S. medical care delivery system.
Ensuring that all Americans eat a healthful diet, participate in regular physical activity, and achieve and maintain a healthy body weight is critical to improving the health of Americans at every age.