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Public Health Rep. 1986 Nov-Dec; 101(6): 571–580.
PMCID: PMC1477675

Health habits of U.S. adults, 1985: the "Alameda 7" revisited.


Seven health habits, commonly referred to as the "Alameda 7," were shown to be associated with physical health status and mortality in a pioneer longitudinal study initiated in 1965 in Alameda County, CA. These habits are having never smoked, drinking less than five drinks at one sitting, sleeping 7-8 hours a night, exercising, maintaining desirable weight for height, avoiding snacks, and eating breakfast regularly. The Alameda study focused attention on the importance of everyday practices for the maintenance of good health and, ultimately, for longer life. This report presents selected findings on the prevalence of the seven Alameda practices (defined slightly differently in some cases) among the general U.S. population aged 18 years and older, by sex, according to age, education, income, and race. In general, men are more likely than women to smoke, drink, and exercise. Younger people are more likely than older people to skip breakfast, snack, and drink, and younger women are more likely than older women to smoke. Education, income, and racial differences were found for most health practices. Of all subgroups discussed, blacks, particularly black women, are the most likely to have lifestyles that would be considered unhealthy using the Alameda criteria. Overall, the data reported suggest that although large numbers of U.S. adults have healthy habits, many do not, particularly persons in socially and economically disadvantaged groups.

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Selected References

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