A review was conducted on the status of health promotion and education in the United States, with particular attention given to the efforts made in health care settings. Health risk reduction must address the components that contribute to health influencing behavior, which included but was not limited to environmental, cultural and socioeconomic considerations. Studies have revealed that such behaviors as diet and use of tobacco and alcohol correlate to a high degree with the incidence of such conditions as cardiovascular disease and obesity. Alteration of health influencing behaviors has been found to occur most often among those with higher education and in nonminority groups. Community and school based health promotion efforts have been seen as potentially effective methods of influencing beneficial changes in health influencing behaviors. Health promotion and education programs in the workplace represented a fast growing area, and have been found to be particularly effective in injury prevention, stress management, exercise, substance abuse counseling and smoking control.