Fitness, Wellness

A grim new study reveals that only 2.7 percent of Americans qualify as “healthy.”


You go to the gym. You lay off the two-for-one margs at happy hour. You eat kale. You’re healthy, right?

Probably not, according to a recent study from the Mayo Clinic. Shockingly, the researchers found that only 2.7 percent of Americans qualify as “healthy.” Say whaaa?

To come up with this crazy stat, the researchers looked at a nationally representative sample of 5,000 men and women. The group was assessed based on whether or not they smoked, ate enough fruits, veggies, and whole grains, got at least 150 minutes of exercise every week, and had less than 30 percent body fat for men and 20 percent for women.

Apparently, when held to those standards, only 2.7 percent of us make the cut. And those who were not deemed healthy were at an increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer.

It’s worth noting, though, that when the body fat criterion was removed, the number of “healthy” Americans jumped to 13 percent—lending fuel to the debate over whether BMI is really a good indicator of health. Another piece of good news: The majority of study participants (71 percent to be exact) identified themselves as non-smokers. Interestingly, women were more likely to be non-smokers and eat a healthy diet than men—but less likely to exercise enough.

Still, with the vast number of fitness Instagram profiles clogging up our feeds, we’re pretty surprised by the low number. Here’s to using this as incentive to join the three percent!

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