WATERLOO (KWWL) - Health experts don't like what they see in a new study on the lifestyle habits of middle age and older Americans.
The June edition of the American Journal of Medicine as the results of a study that finds more adults are actually doing less to live healthy.
From driving or riding, rather than walking or biking, to eating and weighing more, to smoking and drinking too much, American adults have gotten worse at unhealthy habits. Fewer than one in 10 people are doing all the healthy lifestyle habits.
Dr. Dana King at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston co-wrote an article for the American Journal of Medicine after leading the research on the habits of Americans 40 to 74 years old.
"Those people are the ones most susceptible in middle age to begin to suffer from diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, things that are preventable by a healthy lifestyle," said Dr. King.
That means eating right, exercising more, weighing and drinking less into middle age and beyond.
"It's never too late to adopt healthy habits. People who are in their 40's and 50's and even 60's should stop or despair or say 'it's too late to make a change," said Dr. King.
Research can't say why unhealthy habits have actually gotten worse since a similar study two decades ago, even though more people are relying on better medicine.
Doctors say no pill can match the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. They do say until there's a turnaround, premature death and/or disability will continue their trend upward.
Experts say they were surprised to learn people with a serious health problem, such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes were no more likely to lead a healthy lifestyle than those without those conditions.
Online Producer: Maria Magner