Americans are falling further into poor health as they continue to get fatter and develop risk factors for heart disease.
New research suggests that less than 7 percent of U.S. adults are in good cardiometabolic shape and that the trend continues to fall downward.
Cardiometabolic health is an umbrella term that includes blood pressure, blood sugar, blood cholesterol, weight, and the presence of heart disease.
The steepest declines in cardiometabolic health were found in the percentage of Americans with healthy weights and blood glucose levels.
For example, in 1999, 1 in 3 adults maintained a normal weight, compared to 1 in 4 in 2018. Six in 10 were free of prediabetes or diabetes in 1999, compared to fewer than 4 in 10 in 2018.
Americans are also less active and more sedentary, which helps contribute to some of these trends.
The data also looked at other factors that contribute to cardiometabolic health. They noted that the numbers of people with good cardiometabolic health among Hispanic people, Black people, and non-white people declined the most over the study period.
The researchers said that social determinants of health, like food and nutrition security, social and community context, economic stability, and structural racism, put people at increased risk of health issues.
Weight loss is a key factor in improving cardiometabolic health, with the key being to lose weight and keep it off. Yo-yo dieting and weight fluctuations often lead to increased weight gain and poorer health.
So, how can you lose weight and keep it off? By adopting lifestyle strategies and setting sustainable goals.
Losing and keeping weight off involves making activity and smart food choices a part of daily life. One of the keys to that, however, is education and access. Health improvements are far more likely when people can learn about food and how it works in their bodies and have access to quality nutrition.