Awareness of chronic diseases in the rapidly developing community of Chon Buri, Thailand.
PURPOSE Assess changes in chronic disease-related health behaviors and risk factors from 1990 to 2000, by race/ethnicity, age, and gender. DESIGN Stratified cross-sectional design. SETTING United States. SUBJECTS 16,948 black, 11,956 Hispanic, and 158,707 white women and men, ages 18 to 74. MEASURES Cigarette smoking, obesity, sedentary behavior, low vegetable or fruit intake. From the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. RESULTS Young women and men, ages 18 to 24, had poor health profiles and experienced adverse changes from 1990 to 2000. After the variables were adjusted for education and income, these young people had the highest prevalence of smoking (34%-36% current smokers among white women and men), the largest increases in smoking (10%-12% increase among white women and men; 9% increase among Hispanic women), and large increases in obesity (4%-9% increase, all gender and racial/ethnic groups). Young women and men from each racial/ethnic group also had high levels of sedentary behavior (approximately 20%-30%) and low vegetable or fruit intake (approximately 35%-50%). In contrast, older Hispanic women and men and older black men, ages 65 to 74, showed some of the most positive changes. They had the largest decreases in smoking (Hispanic women), largest decreases in sedentary behavior (Hispanic women and black men), and largest increases in vegetable or fruit intake (Hispanic women and men, and black men). CONCLUSION The poor and worsening health profile of young women and men is a particular concern, as they will soon enter the ages of high chronic disease burden.