Selected Estimates Based on Data from the January-June 2017 National Health Interview Survey

Tainya C. Clarke, Ph.D., M.P.H., Health Statistician

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.

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