Most common 'moderate' activity in US? Preparing a meal

September 15, 2010

Only a tiny fraction of Americans heed the advice to take part in moderate or vigorous activity to keep weight down and stay healthy, and when they do, they're likely to do something a little self-defeating: prepare food.

Those are two key findings of a study published Wednesday in the .

For the study, researchers from Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana analyzed data collected between 2003 and 2008 from nearly 80,000 respondents for a nationwide survey in which Americans were asked what activities they did in the preceding 24 hours.

Only 5.07 percent of Americans reported doing any vigorous-intensity activity like running, while at the other end of the scale, more than 95 percent said they had engaged in the highly of eating and drinking.

The next most common activity was another sedentary one -- or a movie, which eight in 10 Americans did.

The "most frequently reported moderate activities were food and drink preparation (25.7 percent), followed by lawn, garden, and houseplant care (10.6 percent)," the study said.

Lead author of the study Catrine Tudor-Locke said knowing what kind of activities Americans do "can inform intervention strategies aimed at improving energy balance," or the balance of calories consumed by eating and drinking compared to calories burned through .

A separate study published last month in the same medical journal found that Americans' overall lifespans and the years they live in good health have been slashed as the percentage of obese adults has shot up.

In 16 years, the obesity rate in the United States soared by 90 percent, from 14 percent in 1993 to 27 percent two years ago, that study found.

It also found a strong correlation between modifiable , such as a lack of physical activity, and the rising burden of obesity.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Expert: Be concerned about how apps collect, share health data

October 20, 2017
As of 2016 there were more than 165,000 health and wellness apps available though the Apple App Store alone. According to Rice University medical media expert Kirsten Ostherr, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates ...

Three million Americans carry loaded handguns daily, study finds

October 19, 2017
An estimated 3 million adult American handgun owners carry a firearm loaded and on their person on a daily basis, and 9 million do so on a monthly basis, new research indicates. The vast majority cited protection as their ...

More teens than ever aren't getting enough sleep

October 19, 2017
If you're a young person who can't seem to get enough sleep, you're not alone: A new study led by San Diego State University Professor of Psychology Jean Twenge finds that adolescents today are sleeping fewer hours per night ...

Across Asia, liver cancer is linked to herbal remedies: study

October 18, 2017
Researchers have uncovered widespread evidence of a link between traditional Chinese herbal remedies and liver cancer across Asia, a study said Wednesday.

Eating better throughout adult years improves physical fitness in old age, suggests study

October 18, 2017
People who have a healthier diet throughout their adult lives are more likely to be stronger and fitter in older age than those who don't, according to a new study led by the University of Southampton.

Global calcium consumption appears low, especially in Asia

October 18, 2017
Daily calcium intake among adults appears to vary quite widely around the world in distinct regional patterns, according to a new systematic review of research data ahead of World Osteoporosis Day on Friday, Oct. 20.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

BillFox
not rated yet Sep 16, 2010
It is articles like this that completely displace my belief that science is objective. It is completely and totally evident to me that the quantitative "evidence" is not qualitative in any means. Where are the numerical links in this? How do you link this up? Is it not reasonable to believe that preparing food is more healthy than most alternatives? I make my food three times a day, I eat when I am hungry, and when I make my food it's healthier than any fast food or restaraunt...

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.