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Am J Prev Med. 1989 May-Jun;5(3):150-6.

Behavioral risk factors in an Amish community.

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Division of Chronic Disease Control and Community Intervention, U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia 30333.


A representative sample of 400 Amish adults residing in Holmes County, Ohio, was interviewed about certain health risk characteristics and behaviors, using the Behavioral Risk Factor Survey (BRFS). For purposes of comparison, a representative sample of 773 non-Amish adults responded to the same survey by telephone interviews. In general, the Amish report lower rates of alcohol and tobacco consumption than their non-Amish counterparts. The Amish are less likely to salt their food and are more likely to take vitamin supplements, but do not differ from non-Amish in the consumption of "health foods." Amish men and women are less likely to be trying to lose weight than their non-Amish counterparts. Further, the Amish are less likely to engage in leisure-time physical activity or in exercise associated with attempts to lose weight or deal with hypertension. Amish women are less likely to use seat belts than non-Amish women, whereas men in both groups appear rather similar. Although some differences could be influenced by response biases, many are supported by less systematic observations of Old Order Amish societies. The patterns of health behavior reflect characteristics of Amish culture and may be responsible for certain favorable mortality rates among the Amish population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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