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Over 90% of American adults might want to consider forgoing the summertime barbecues. But unfortunately, according to a recent study, fewer than 7% of the adult people of the country are in excellent cardiometabolic health.

According to Tufts University researchers, this measurement incorporates five important aspects of health. They include blood pressure, blood cholesterol, blood sugar, adiposity (being either obese or overweight), and the absence or presence of cardiovascular disease.

Blood sugar and weight are getting out of hand.

The findings, which were based on data from almost 55,000 individuals over the age of 20, show that only 6.8% of adults in 2018 experienced a healthy lifestyle in all five main categories. The investigation also discovered that American health had rapidly deteriorated over the previous 20 years.

In 1999 around a third of adults had healthy adiposity levels, implying they were not obese or overweight. However, by 2018, the number had dropped to one in every four Americans. Also, three in five individuals simultaneously were prediabetes and free of diabetes. 

These figures are alarming. Less than 1 in 15 persons in the US, one of the world’s richest countries, have excellent cardiometabolic health, which is extremely concerning. As a result, there is a need for an overhaul of the healthcare system and food systems. 

Do social inequities contribute to the issue?

Researchers also discovered large health disparities between American adults of various ages, genders, different ethnicities, and educational levels. In particular, the study discovered that Americans with little education had a 50% lower likelihood of having optimal cardiometabolic health.

The study’s authors note that while non-Hispanic White Americans’ rates of achieving better cardiometabolic health increased somewhat between 1999 and 2018, those rates for Mexican Americans, other Hispanics, non-Hispanic Blacks, and individuals of other races declined.

Den of the Friedman School and senior author Dariush Mozaffarian said, “This is really problematic. Social determinants of health such as food and nutrition security, social and community context, economic stability, and structural racism put individuals of different education levels, races, and ethnicities at an increased risk of health issues.”