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Seven Alarming Health Facts about Americans

Update Date: Sep 11, 2014 02:49 PM EDT
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1. Majority of Adults and Children do not Meet Physically-fit Guidelines

In order to be stay physically healthy, adults have to partake in at least two and a half hours of moderate to intense aerobic activity or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous activity per week. These requirements have to be combined with at least two days of muscle-training exercises that cover all muscle groups. Even though these guidelines are doable, less than 50 percent of all Americans meet them.

In high school students, only about three out of 10 get more than an hour of physical activity each day.

2. Spending on Fast Food Items is High

From 1972 to 2014, the amount of money Americans spent on fast food increased from three billion to $110 billion per year. Roughly a-third of all Americans get nearly half of their daily caloric intake from fast foods and around a quarter of Americans visit a fast food joint every day.

3. Obesity Rates are High

Americans have some of the highest obesity rates when compared to the rates in other developed nations. In 2012, each state had an obesity rate that was higher than 20 percent. Today, around 35 percent of American adults are classified as obese and nearly 17 percent of American children are as well.

4. Diabetes Incidence Continues to Rise

Type 2 diabetes, which is a chronic health condition, can lead to many other illnesses, such as kidney failure, limb amputations, heart disease and stroke. In 2010, around 79 million people over the age of 20 had prediabetes and about 215,000 people younger than 20 had diabetes. Now, an estimated 21 million people are diagnosed with diabetes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

5. Heart Disease is the Leading Cause of Death

In America, around 600,000 people die from heart disease every year. One out of every four deaths is due to heart disease, making it the leading cause of death in men and women. Every year, there are about 715,000 cases of heart attack. Common causes of heart disease include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and obesity.

6. High Cholesterol Remains Untreated

High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease. People with high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as "bad" cholesterol, are recommended to change their diets and take cholesterol-lowering medications. However, even though one in six Americans have high cholesterol, less than 50 percent of them end up getting treatment.

7. Hypertension affects A-Third of all Americans

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is another contributor to heart disease. Roughly one in three Americans has hypertension. However, only about one in five know they have it, with about 50 percent of them maintaining their condition effectively.

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