Lifestyle Diseases : Background
Once a certain level of prosperity sets in, especially if life is lived similar to the way Westerners live it, lifestyle diseases become more common. Lifestyle diseases have taken over from infectious diseases as the major source of morbidity and mortality. They are rising in number due to a shift in disease pattern from infectious to those of chronic and debilitating in nature as a result of the success of immunisation programmes and active effective preventive measures. There is some debate as what is meant exactly by lifestyle diseases. Holistic medicine defines it as those which arise because of the way people choose to live their lives. Social scientists define them as disorders, largely self-inflicted, arising from imprudent personal behaviour, activities, and even over-indulgence.
The growing prevalence of obesity leads to a range of associated disorders including some cancers, heart diseases, stroke, high blood pressure (hypertension) and diabetes. A report from the WHO stated that obesity and a lack of exercise contribute up to a third of the cancers of the colon, kidney, breast and digestive system.
Facts about Lifestyle Diseases and Nutrition
More than 44 million Filipinos are either - obese, hypertensive, dyslipidemic, diabetic, or a smoker. (6th NNHES 2003-2004)
3 truths about chronic lifestyle diseases
- No. 1 cause of deaths and disability in the United States
- Epidemics take decades to become fully established; they have their origins at young ages.
- They can be prevented and controlled.
Causes: unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, use of tobacco ( modifiable) raised blood pressure, raised blood glucose, abnormal blood lipids, overweight/obesity ( intermediate risk factors) age, heredity ( non-modifiable)
The American Dietetic Association ( ADA) urges consumers to look beyond the myths of nutrition and focus on the top 10 nutrition facts. The experts at ADA have identified the following facts:
- Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated. Use Mypyramid.gov to develop a personalized plan for lifelong health. In the Philippines, use the following nutrition tools: FNRI Filipino nutrition guidelines, FNRI Daily Nutritional Guide Pyramid, RENI ( Recommended Energy and Nutrient Intake).
- The best nutrition advice is based on science. Before adopting any changes to your diet, be sure the information is based on scientific fact.
- Get your food and nutrition facts from the expert: a registered dietitian-nutritionist. She is uniquely qualified to translate the science of nutrition into reliable advice you can use everyday.
- Balancing physical activity and a healthful diet is your best recipe for managing weight and promoting overall health and fitness.
- Think nutrient-rich. The majority of your food choices should be packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients. Go for lower calorie food choices. ( Philippine Healtheir You advises lower in sodium, fat, sugar, too)
- Look at the big picture: no single food or meal makes or breaks a healthful diet. Your total diet is the most important focus for healthful eating.
- Prepare, handle and store food properly to keep you and your family safe
from food-borne illness.
- Don’t fall prey to food myths and misinformation that may harm rather than benefit your health.
- Read food labels to get nutrition facts that help you make smart food choices quickly and easily.
- Find the healthy fats when making food choices. By choosing polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats, you can keep your saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol low.
Meanwhile the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 are focused on calorie balance and consumption of nutrient-dense foods and beverages. The key recommendations are as follows:
- Balance calories to manage weight through improved eating and physical activity behaviors.
- Reduce daily sodium intake to less than 2300 mg, saturated fat to less than 10%, cholesterol to less than 300 mg.
- Keep trans fat as low as possible, reduce intake of calories from solid fats and added sugars.
- Increase fruit and vegetable intake.
- Use oils to replace solid fats where possible.
- For women capable of becoming pregnant, choose foods rich in iron and folic acid
- For women who are pregnant and breastfeeding, consume 8 – 12 ounces of seafood per week but do not eat: tilefish, shark, swordfish, and king mackerel ( rich in mercury).
- For ages 50 years and older, consume foods fortified with vitamin B12 such as fortified cereals, or dietary supplements.
- Build a healthy eating pattern that meets nutrient needs over time at an appropriate calorie level.
Consult a registered dietitian in your area if you need help in interpreting nutritional guidelines and more information about lifestyle diseases.
World Health Organization. Preventing Chronic Diseases.
A Vital Investment. 2005
Food and Nutrition Research Institute . www.fnri.com
American Dietetic Association. www.eatright.org
|Consult a registered dietitian in your area if you need help in interpreting nutritional guidelines and more information about lifestyle diseases.|