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Table 1 Guidelines and data on preventive health behaviors associated with non-communicable diseases (NCDS)

From: Non-communicable diseases and preventive health behaviors: a comparison of Hispanics nationally and those living along the US-Mexico border

Behavior Guidelines and Facts
Smoke-free Living The Surgeon General’s report indicates that there is no acceptable level of exposure to cigarette smoke. Cigarette use is the most preventable source of disability, disease, and death in the US [36].
Approximately 4 of 5 American adults are current non-smokers. However, about 43 million American adults currently smoke [4], and an estimated 443,000 people die prematurely each year from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke [40].
Approximately 84 % of US Hispanic adults report not smoking, compared to 78 % of non-Hispanic whites [41].
Physical Activity The US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recommends that adults complete 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week [42].
Physical activity has numerous health benefits, particularly related to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight which reduces risks for NCDs [43].
Based on the DHHS 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, less than two-third of all adults meet physical activity recommendations [42].
Hispanics nationally are less likely to be physically active than their non-Hispanic White counterparts [29, 3133].
Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Men aged between 31–50 years should consume approximately 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables per day [19].
Women aged between 31–50 years should consume approximately 1 ½ cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables per day [20].
Following nutritional guidelines is associated with maintaining a healthy weight and reduces the risk for cardiovascular diseases, some cancers, and diabetes [4].
Despite over 20 years of promotion of fruit and vegetable consumption, in 2009 only 23.5 % of US adults consumed the daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables [14].
Hispanics report higher levels of fruit consumption (37.2 %) than white non-Hispanics (31.1 %) but lower levels of vegetable consumption (19.7 % vs. 27.7 %) [44].
Multiple environmental and sociocultural factors appear to contribute to this disparity, including acculturation and the food environment of Hispanic communities [45, 46], with poor access to healthy foods and grocery stores but high access to fast food options [47].
Avoid Heavy Alcohol Use US Dietary Guidelines recommend that alcohol be consumed only in moderation, a maximum of two drinks for men and one drink for women per day [48].
One alcoholic drink is equal to 12 oz of beer, 5 oz of wine, or 1.5 oz of distilled spirits [49]. Moderate or excessive consumption of alcohol is associated with acute myocardial infarction [50], cancers of the mouth, esophagus, liver, colon, and breast [51], hypertension, alcoholic cardiomyopathy, and cerebrovascular events [52]. It is the nation’s third-leading lifestyle related cause of death [53].
Hispanics report lower rates of heavy drinking (6.1 %) than Native Americans (12.1 %) or whites (8.3 %), but Hispanic males report the highest levels of daily heavy drinking (40 %) of all groups (Native Americans 29.34 %, whites 30.74 %) [54].