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Health of Americans a Mixed Bag: CDC Report
Date:6/19/2012

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- There were both good and bad trends in the overall health of Americans in 2011, a new government report shows.

For example, Americans are exercising more, smoking less and getting vaccinated against pneumonia. And the Affordable Care Act means fewer people are going without health care, according to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, Americans are more obese than ever and diabetes is hitting older people hard.

The CDC's National Center for Health Statistics released the early findings of their 2011 National Health Interview Survey on Tuesday.

"Overall, this report, based on data not as yet fully adjusted but nonetheless valid, demonstrates both significant improvements in the nation's health and health habits, and areas that still require serious attention," said Dr. Pascal James Imperato, dean and Distinguished Service Professor in the School of Public Health at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York City.

"Among the latter is the obesity epidemic, which over time will predispose increasingly larger numbers of people to both type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease," he said.

The decline in smoking rates among adults is very good news and is the result of a combination of extensive public health education efforts, a decline in social acceptance of smoking, restrictions on where people can smoke and the increased costs of smoking, Imperato noted.

"Aerobic exercising has been widely embraced by many younger people, which is an excellent development as it addresses not only the health needs to be active, build muscle tone and bone density, and promote cardiac fitness, but also the prevention of overweight and obesity," he said.

However, this gain is offset by those who do not exercise and who adhere to unhealthy diets, leading to obesity, Imperato added. "This results
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