Americans safer and healthier, groups say Americans smoking less, eating better and buckling up more.

January 10, 1992|By Cox News Service

WASHINGTON -- America is becoming a safer place to live, according to an alliance of consumer groups.

An annual comprehensive report on health and safety showed deaths are down from car wrecks and home accidents, people are smoking fewer cigarettes and drinking less alcohol, more folks are buckling their seat belts, and more Americans

are trying to eat healthier foods.

"We have demonstrated through our successes that we know how to make the world a safer, healthier place," said Stephen Brobeck, executive director of the Consumer Federation of America. Brobeck is also chairman of the Coalition for Health and Safety, the alliance of consumer, health and insurer groups that yesterday issued the report, "The Nation's Health and Safety: A Status Report 1991."

On the down side, though, the groups said indoor pollution is getting worse, more people are contracting and dying from AIDS, and most Americans still eat foods that are too high in fat and too low in fiber.

The report also warned that too many teen-agers are heavy drinkers. The 10.6 million junior and senior high school students are drinking 1.1 billion cans of beer annually -- an average of more than 100 cans apiece. Nearly one-third of the nation's high school seniors reported in 1990 that they had consumed five or more drinks in one sitting during the past two weeks.

Dealing with health and safety factors, the report also did not include the dangers that Americans face from crime, including rising murder rates in many cities last year.

The activists said the programs that have persuaded Americans to wear seat belts must be applied to lingering safety and health problems.

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