Many people are into a healthy lifestyle, wherein they make sure that they are eating healthy foods and getting physically fit. However, a recent study showed that only less than 3 percent of Americans are actually maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Americans are known for their big-sized burgers, wide-baked pizzas and overflowing servings of French fries. No wonder researchers found out that 97.3 percent of Americans are living an unhealthy life.

Some 108 million dieters spent almost $20 billion last 2012, but still the U.S. remains to be a predominantly overweight nation and have the most obese citizens in the world.

In research published by the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, they found out that among the 4,745 American population, there are only 2.7 percent who live a healthy lifestyle, which is defined as engaging in a physical activity for a minimum of 150 minutes per week, having a body fat percentage of not more than 20 percent for men and 30 percent for women and not smoking.

The authors of the study aimed to see the prevalent characteristics of a healthy lifestyle and the association of the healthy lifestyle to cardiovascular diseases.

The participants of the study took part in the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The data gathered from the survey was used to set four parameters of a healthy lifestyle-being physically fit and active, a healthy diet, not smoking, and a control on body fat percentage.

They made use of an accelerometer to measure one's being sufficiently active while the Healthy Eating Index based on a 24-hour recall was used to track eating a healthy diet. For checking if the participant is a non-smoker, they used Serum Cotinine Level. Lastly, they used Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiomentry.

"The behavior standards we were measuring for were pretty reasonable, not super high. We weren't looking for marathon runners," said Ellen Smit, senior author and an associate professor from Oregon State University College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Corvallis.

The study also measured the participants mean arterial pressure, fasting triglycerides, glucose, insulin, hemoglobin, homocysteine, white blood cells, C-reactive protein, total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and insulin resistance.

According to results, an unfortunate 97.3 percent of the 4,745 Americans are living an unhealthy lifestyle.

"This is pretty low, to have so few people maintaining what we would consider a healthy lifestyle," said Smit.

The study was conducted from Aug. 15, 2015 to Jan. 5, 2016.

Photo: Tony Alter | Flickr

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