Analysis of two large-scale studies has shown that Americans today are following less healthy lifestyles than two decades ago - despite an increasing number of public health campaigns.

The Medical University of South Carolina compared the studies, covering the period between 1988 to 2006, and found several indications that lifestyles were becoming less healthy in five key areas.

The study will appear in the American Journal of Medicine later in the month. BBC News reported these findings:

*The percentage of adults aged 40 to 74 with a BMI of 30+ rose from 28% to 36%.

*The number of people exercising three or more times per week fell from 53% to 43%.

*Smoking levels remained about the same.

*Moderate drinking increased slightly.

*The number of people getting five portions of fruit and veg per day fell by nearly 40%.

And, the total number of people hitting all five healthy habits dropped from 15% to 8%.

The study's lead author, Dana King wrote:

(This) demonstrates that the amount of emphasis by the current health system on prevention and healthy lifestyles may be insufficient.

With so many public health campaigns (such as calorie counts on restaurant menus and new exercise guidelines), does America need to do more?

Perhaps without these health campaigns, we'd have seen an even greater increase in unhealthy lifestyles over the past two decades - a scary thought.

Clearly much work still needs to be done. What would you do to remedy the situation?

A full text version of the research article is available upon request via.