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April 28, 1993

Survey Suggests Rise in Health Habit Complacency

JAMA. 1993;269(16):2061-2062. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500160023006

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THERE are signs that some Americans may be slipping in their healthy habits.

Although there appears to be a 20-year trend toward a healthier life-style including reduced smoking, more exercise, and dietary changes, there are some indications to the contrary now from a new survey by Louis Harris and Associates, Washington, DC.

For 10 years, Harris has surveyed American health habits annually. The latest survey, done in December and released last month, consists of telephone interviews with 1251 randomly selected adults across the United States.

Over the years, many of the questions and survey procedures have remained the same, Haris says, so that the answers can be compared. The new survey, which cost $75000, was sponsored by Baxter International Inc, Deerfield, Ill.

William Friedewald, MD, formerly chief, Disease Prevention Office, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md, and now with Metropolitan Life Insurance Co, New York, NY, notes that the Harris