Questions for Tainya C. Clarke, Ph.D., M.P.H., Health Statistician and Lead Author on the “Selected Estimates Based on Data from the January-June 2017 National Health Interview Survey.”
Q: What are some of the findings that you would highlight in this early release report?
TC: More than half (52.9%) of U.S. adults aged 18 and over met the 2008 federal physical activity guidelines for aerobic activity (based on leisure-time activity). This indicates that more adults are engaged in leisure-time physi
cal activity compared with 2015 when they were below the 50% mark (49.0%).
Q: What do the findings in this report tell us about the health of the country overall?
TC: During January–June2017, two in three Americans (66.2%) said they had excellent or very good health. Although, the percentage of persons who had excellent or very good health decreased, from 68.5% in 1997 to 65.9% in2006. Since 2006, the percentage of persons who had excellent or very good health has remained stable.
Q: Are there any trends in this report that Americans should be concerned about?
TC: The prevalence of obesity among U.S. adults 20 years and older increased from 19.4% in 1997 to 31.5% in January–June 2017. Also of note, during this time period, the prevalence of adults who had ever been diagnosed with diabetes has almost doubled (5.1% to 9.8%).
Q: Why did you decide to the look at these 15 key health indicators?
TC: These 15 indicators were chosen over 15 years ago as the most important for the National Health Interview Survey to monitor on a quarterly basis. Other health indicators are monitored in different National Center for Health statistics reports or by other agencies.