Objectives: Due to growing health disparities, federal and philanthropic agencies have empha-sized reducing health disparities in their preventive health efforts. This study determined the status of disparities in health behaviors in the last 13 years in the United States. Methods:
Data were obtained from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Systems in odd years (2003-2015). Health behaviors were dichotomized to reflect met fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption and physical activity (PA) recommendations, non-cigarette smoking, non-heavy drinking, and non-binge drinking.
Overall and sociodemographic characteristic-specific disparities ratios for each behavior were calculated. Linear trend analyses were calculated to determine disparities change across the years. Results: Overall disparities fluctuated across the years. Linear trend analyses confirmed that
education-specific and income-specific disparities' contribution to overall disparities increased for all behaviors. Sex-specific disparities' contribution decreased for all behaviors except non-cigarette smoking. Age-specific disparities' contribution decreased for all behaviors except non-binge
drinking. Race/ethnicity-specific disparities' contribution to overall disparities increased for FV and non-cigarette smoking, but decreased for the other behaviors. Conclusions: The results suggest health disparities in preventive health behaviors in the last 13 years have not improved. Tailored
interventions, systemic and policy changes, and/or inclusive population efforts should be initiated to reduce disparities in preventive health for the most- divergent groups identified in the results.
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FRUIT AND VEGETABLE CONSUMPTION;
Document Type: Research Article
Eliot Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development, School of Arts and Sciences, Tufts University, Medford, MA, USA
Office of Public Health Studies, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI, USA
Tufts Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA
Publication date: 01 January 2018
More about this publication?
The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.
The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.
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