Nutrition and Health
A clear link exists between nutrition and health. What we include in our diets greatly determines our health status. Researches indicate that most ailments suffered by Americans are associated to their lifestyles and more so to the types of diet they take (Neutral Health Perspective, 2010).
Obesity, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, smoking and drinking are highly prevalent in the American society. Millions of death are caused each year by lifestyle related diseases such as; cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. Most of these diseases are associated to our diets and can easily be prevented.
One of the major diseases in America that is associated with lifestyle is cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease refers to any disease that affects the functioning of the heart and the circulatory system especially those related to fatty materials collecting along the walls of blood vessel (atherosclerosis). The American Heart Association has ranked cardiovascular disease as the number one killer of adult Americans (Betsy, 2010).
Cardiovascular diseases are closely linked to physical inactivity, high cholesterol levels in the blood, obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Smoking is also linked to cardiovascular diseases. Close to 20% of cardiovascular disease cases are caused by tobacco smoking (Official Health Central, 2010).
Eating less cholesterol, saturated fats and Trans have been mentioned as some of the measures that may reduce chances of developing heart disease. Exercising regularly, avoiding harmful habits such as smoking and excessive regularly will also help to reduce risk factors for this disease.
Cancer is another major killer disease in America. This refers to a condition where there is uncontrolled growth of body cells. There many forms of cancer including; breast, lung, skin, prostate and colon cancer among others. The exact causes of this disease in not clear but there are risk factors that are closely associated to this disease. These risk factors are such as; tobacco, radiation, sunlight, certain substances and chemical, poor diet, lack of physical activity and being overweight (Medicine net, 2010).
People who regularly take high fat diet have risk of developing colon, uterus and prostate cancer. Minimal physical activities have also been linked to; breast, uterus, colon and kidney cancer. Intake of excessive alcohol may also cause cancer of the throat, liver and colon while smoking is strongly linked to lung cancer. Avoiding unhealthy diets such as fats and cholesterols and avoiding other risks factors such as smoking, exposure to the sun, other forms of radiations and chemicals will help in the prevention of cancer.
Diabetes is another chronic disease and is one of the most common in America. According to Betsy (2010) more than 23 percent of Americans who are over 60 years have been diagnosed with diabetes while 10 % of the total women population has also been diagnosed. Diabetes mellitus is a health condition that is characterized by abnormal sugar levels in the blood.
This condition is caused by lack of or in adequate production of the hormone insulin, or production of defective insulin or inability of the body cell to utilize the produced insulin which regulates the sugar levels in the blood. Diabetes mellitus affect close to 17 million people in the US (Medicine Net, 2010).
Diabetes mellitus has also been linked to risk factors associated with nutrition. Obesity and high intake of cholesterol has been listed as some of the risk factors for diabetes mellitus. Eating healthy diets that are low of fats and cholesterol is an effective means for preventing diabetes mellitus. Exercises also help to increase glucose, cholesterol and fat metabolism therefore reducing the risk for diabetes.
Osteoporosis is a condition that results in reduction of bone density, reduced strength of the bones and their becoming fragile (Medicine Net, 2010). This condition may result in massive pain, bone fractures and disabilities in people suffer from it. This condition is mainly common in the older people of 55 years and above years. Some of the risk factors associated to osteoporosis include; tobacco smoking, lack of exercise, excessive consumption of alcohol, intake of low calcium diet, poor nutrition, vitamin D deficiency and chronic diseases.
It is easy to observe that there are common risks factors that appear among the four chronic diseases. These are such as high fat and cholesterol diet, less physical activities, excessive consumption of alcohol and smoking. Most of the discussed disease do not come instantaneously but begin to develop from a persons young years and therefore the concept of nutrition circle becomes very important. Observing proper nutrition from the time a mother is pregnant to the old age years is therefore a key requirement for preventing this diseases.
These means that these diseases that have become the largest killer diseases can easily be prevented by avoiding these risks factors. Bone density starts to accumulate during childhood and arrives at its peak at the age of 25 years (Medicine net). Therefore to guarantee you children healthy bones it is appropriate to start feeding them on balanced nutrition at an early age. Cardiovascular and diabetic conditions also begin to develop at an early age but most are detected at very advanced stage when condition has become irreversible.
Betsy 2010. Chronic Conditions and Breast Cancer. Retrieved on February 17, 2011, from http://breastcancer.about.com/lw/Health-Medicine/Drugs-and-treatments/Chronic-Conditions-and-Breast-Cancer.htm
Medicine Net 2010. Cardiovascular, Cancer, Diabetes, Osteoporosis. Retrieved on February 17, 2011, from http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/hp.asp
Neutral Health Perspective 2010. Life Style Disease. Retrieved on February 17, 2011, from http://naturalhealthperspective.com/home/civilization.html
Official Health Central 2010. Cardiovascular Disease. Retrieved February 17, 2011, from http://www.officialhealthcentral.com/Cardiovascular-Diseases.htm
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