Chronic diseases are the most common and costly of all health problems, but they are also the most preventable. Four common, health-damaging, but modifiable behaviors—tobacco use, insufficient physical activity, poor eating habits, and excessive alcohol use—are responsible for much of the illness, disability, and premature death related to chronic diseases.
Risk Behaviors: The Facts
- More than 43 million (about 1 in 5) U.S. adults smoke.
- 1 in 5 U.S. high school students are current smokers.
- More than one-third of all U.S. adults fail to meet minimum recommendations for aerobic physical activity based on the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
- Only 1 in 3 U.S. high school students participates in daily physical education classes.
- More than 60% of U.S. children and adolescents eat more than the recommended daily amounts of saturated fat.
- Only 24% of U.S. adults and 20% of U.S. high school students eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
- About 1 in 6 Americans aged 18 years and older engage in binge drinking (5 or more drinks for men and 4 or more drinks for women during a single occasion) in the past 30 days.
- Nearly 45% of U.S. high school students report having had at least one drink of alcohol in the past 30 days.