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America's healthy living habits: How do you compare?

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Making healthful changes in your life is the best thing you can do for both your physical and emotional well-being. In order to understand more about what motivates the people who successfully take action day-by-day to improve their health, we polled 1,072 adults across the country.

To test your nutrition and exercise knowledge, take our Health IQ Quiz, drawn from the 2007 Cooking Light Insight survey. (Take the quiz.external link )

Eating Habits

The survey found that, for the most part, people were well versed in nutrition issues. For example, most knew that fatty acids in fish are good for you, a multivitamin can't take the place of food, LDL is "bad" cholesterol, and some high-fat foods such as avocados are healthful. Still, there were some areas of confusion.

How do you compare?

70 percent of American adults drink lower fat milk instead of whole milk

59 percent eat chicken with the skin removed

54 percent take vitamins

52 percent use lower fat alternatives when cooking

51 percent read nutrition labels on food

Fitness Findings

Nearly half of Americans feel better on the days when they exercise, though just as many admit finding time for fitness is a struggle. Perhaps that's why only 6 percent get 30 minutes of exercise a day -- the amount recommended by the USDA. Why are Americans not getting enough exercise? The survey reveals that lack of knowledge may be a factor. For example, less than half of Americans know that in order to lose one pound, you must burn 3,500 calories more than you eat; and nearly nine in 10 were unaware the USDA recommends 30 minutes of physical activity.

How do you compare?

6 percent of Americans adults get 30 minutes of exercise a day

22 percent exercise three to four times per week

19 percent walk or bike instead of taking transportation

41 percent take the stairs whenever possible

33 percent regularly park their cars farther from their destination to get in extra walking

How to Make Exercise Your Passion

Follow these five easy steps to make exercise a habit. (Five steps to get in the exercise groove.external link )

A Healthy Outlook

Seventy-six percent of people polled recognize that making small, healthy improvements today add up to big benefits later. That attitude extends beyond health, and most Americans have started various activities to better themselves.

How do you compare?

67 percent recognize that making small, healthy improvements today add up to big benefits later

76 percent are satisfied with their mental and emotional well-being

45 percent are satisfied with their body weight

58 percent are satisfied with their stress level

Take the steps for better health

Start with small changes, and feel brighter, lighter, more powerful -- both physically and emotionally. (Start with small changes.external link )

About Insight 2007

This study was conducted for Cooking Light magazine by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media among a national sample of 1,072 adults 18 or older. Results based on the entire sample of 1,072 adults are projectable to the entire adult population in the United States, with a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Try a FREE TRIAL issue of Cooking Light - CLICK HERE!

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In the survey, 76 percent were satisfied with their mental and emotional well-being.


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