Looks like health initiatives broadcasting the virtues of cleaner living are falling on deaf ears. A study in the April issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, using data gleaned from 26,194 National Health and Examination Survey participants over a 12-year period, found that a mere 4.4%–6.3% of U.S. adults adhered to five key recommended healthful behaviors: diet, regular exercise, maintaining a normal body mass index, and avoiding cigarette smoking and excessive alcohol intake.

The data also showed that about 45%–48% of people engaged in two or fewer of the behaviors, meaning that not nearly enough individuals are trading in fast food for whole food. All this contributes to higher than necessary chronic disease rates and ballooning healthcare costs.

How many of your clients engage in most of these recommended health behaviors? What steps can health officials take to get more people to follow these healthy lifestyle habits? What do you think are the biggest hurdles people face when trying to stick to healthy habits like exercising more and eating more veggies? Send your answers to Sandy Todd Webster at [email protected]