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Subject: Life, Nutrition
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Essay
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Lifestyle disease which may also be referred to as Non-Communicable Disease, has in recent times become an issue of grave concern for governments both globally and regionally. The World Health Organization (WHO) Secretary-General, during a General Assembly Summit (first ever summit on deadly chronic illnesses) in 2011 deemed in a statement “…the spread of non-communicable diseases as a socio-economic and development challenge of epidemic proportions…” . In another report from WHO, Dr. Ala Alwan, the organization’s Director-General for non-communicable diseases further states, “lifestyle diseases are responsible for 63 percent of global deaths based on WHO’s estimates for 2008.” Here in the Caribbean Governments have begun taking steps to arrest the problem of lifestyle disease through an initial Heads of Government meeting of Caricom held in September 2007 to “start a campaign to galvanise the Region against the scourge of such disorders as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, heart attack and some kinds of cancer.” So what is meant by the term lifestyle disease? Lifestyle disease has been defined as being a disease that is associated with the way an individual or group of people live their lives and can be caused by such factors as poor diet and nutrition, lack of exercise and chronic stress. Poor diet and nutrition is a major cause of lifestyle disease in both adults and children. Individuals in these modern times live a “fast-paced lifestyle” and have become “wrapped up in raking in the moolah” and take very little time to nourish their bodies properly.
Many persons now eat out more often than before, consuming a lot of ‘fast food’ and ‘junk food’ with high salt content and saturated fat. Individuals are also consuming more meat and eating less fruits and vegetables and getting less fibre in their diets. Many persons also because of their busyness skip meals causing many to overeat and others due to their circumstances may under eat therefore not getting proper or enough nutrients into their bodies. The drinks being consumed also contribute to poor nutrition. The sodas individuals drink especially children have high sugar content which is not healthy. The habitual consumption of alcoholic drinks can also affect one’s health in a negative way. What one eats is important to one’s health and the practice of poor nutrition and diet can have negative long term effects on one’s health such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Another major contributor to lifestyle disease is lack of exercise. According to WHO, “physical inactivity causes 2 million deaths a year worldwide”.