So I have some good news and some bad news…
With health care non-reform front and cent(rist) as it is, it seems like we could all stand to modify our habits along with our public policies.
Let’s start with the glass is half-empty (of cigarette smoke)… Americans have seen the truth and embraced it. We appear less likely to smoke cigarettes now than any other year since Harris Interactive began measuring our healthy behaviors, according to a recent Harris Poll. Today, only 17% of Americans say they smoke cigarettes – the same as in 2008 – but less than any other year on Harris’ record since 1983. Now, to be accurate, all the publicity about the harmful impact of nicotine has either been overlooked or disregarded by adults who chew tobacco and smoke cigars who still use in the same proportion as they did 5 years ago… perhaps a promotional hole in our anti-smoking campaign? And still 17% of Americans (nearly 1 in 5) admit to smoking cigarettes…
So let’s move on to the glass is half full (of sugary soda), it turns out that as a country, we are becoming more and more overweight (not to mention obese).
- In 1983, only (?) 58% of Americans ages 25+ were overweight with 15% who were obese. Today, 78% are overweight and 34% are obese. In other words, obesity has more than doubled (!) in the past 25 years.
- In fact, almost every year, the figures for obesity have either plateaued or increased. There have only been *3* years out of the past 25 in which the figures have fallen by more than one percentage point. So, bring it on, Jamie Oliver...We need you!
How have your health habits changed in the past decade? Are you (am I) one to talk?