The overall health in America is being slept away as rates for obesity, heavy drinking, smoking, and inactivity remain high, according to a new government report.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new report yesterday, which found that Americans are continuing to make poor lifestyle decisions that will lead them to developing heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses, according to HealthDay News.

After examining survey answers from nearly 77,000 random interviews conducted between 2008 and 2010, the CDC found that of the six out of 10 adults who drink, there's been an increase in episodic heavy drinking of five or more drinks in one day. They found that 20 percent of adults smoke, and less than half of them have attempted to quit in the past year, and also that only one in five adults meet the federal guidelines for aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening exercise. One in three are completely inactive when it comes to aerobic exercise during leisure time.

Meanwhile, 70 percent of adults are getting the amount of sleep recommended by the government.

"Changes have not been enormous," Charlotte Schoenborn, a health stastician at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, told HealthDay. "It's been a very, very slow process of changing awareness of personal choices for healthier ways of life. All of the health-related federal agencies, and a lot of non-federal groups, are putting a lot of resources to make people aware of the effect they can have on their own health. This report is just designed to say where we are."

Although the report is in line with previous trends, young adults had promising results for what lifestyles trends in the future could look like. Those aged 18 to 24 years old were the only age group to show a reduction in smoking, from 23.5 percent to about 21 percent.

"I think we're in a situation now where we're at a crossroads," Rich Hamburg, deputy director of Trust for America's Health, said. "We have two paths to go. We're hopeful that if we continue to invest in community-based prevention, if we promote healthy eating and active living, these rates will begin to decrease."

Ultimately the goal is to lower health risks.

"If we can lower obesity trends by a small amount, say five percent in each state, we could save millions of Americans from health problems and save billions of dollars in health spending," Hamburg said.

But how exactly does someone change their lifestyle into a healthier one? PopSugar says it's about changing habits, not about falling into the dieting trap. Here are four tips:

1. Be creative in the kitchen.

Instead of eating the same healthy meals over and over again, PopSugar suggests looking up new recipes for healthy foods. They're all over the internet.

2. Don't use ultimatums.

Rather than crash dieting — it's very difficult to give up on all your favorite foods cold turkey — think of your new diet as something sustainable. Eat healthy, then give yourself a cheat day.

3. Eat enough calories.

Eat foods that are high in fiber. They will fill you up for longer while also being healthier for you. Foods with empty calories will only keep you hungry.

4. Use tricks to calm your cravings.

Don't eat out as often, replace foods with less sugary or salty options, and if all else fails, speak to your doctor. It's hard to fight the urge to eat fatty, serotonin-inducing foods. But with a little will power, it's definitely possible.


Schoenborn C, Adams P, Peregoy J. Health Behaviors of Adults:United States, 2008-2010. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital and Health Statistics. May 2013. Accessed May 22, 2013.