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Chronic diseases – such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes – are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems in the U.S. Eating a healthy diet, being physically active, and maintaining a healthy body weight are all important steps to prevent chronic disease.
According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, consuming at least 2 1/2 cups of vegetables and fruits per day is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke. Some vegetables and fruits may be protective against certain types of cancer. In addition, regular bouts of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity can help to control body weight and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.
Overweight and obese individuals are at increased risk for many chronic health conditions. Even modest weight loss, such as 5-10 % of total body weight, is likely to produce health benefits.
Findings from the 2011 Chronic Disease in Nebraska report indicate that:
- Fewer than 1 in 4 Nebraska adults consume more than 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
- Nearly 1 in 3 Nebraska adults do not meet the recommended guidelines for physical activity.
- Nearly 2 in 3 Nebraska adults are overweight or obese.
- About 1 in 4 Nebraska adults have been diagnosed with high blood pressure.
- In 2009, acute myocardial infarctions accounted for almost 2,700 hospitalizations among Nebraska residents, while strokes accounted for another 3,400 hospitalizations.
- Nearly 1 in 10 Nebraska adults has been diagnosed with diabetes.
- Among Nebraska adults, diabetes is about seven times more likely among those who are obese compared to those of normal weight.
Click here to view the full report.