Diet and lifestyle are major factors to influence susceptibility to many diseases. The shift in purchasing power and the coming in of technology has changed our way of living. Less physical activity, more availability of resources and no time to spare, we have become preys to some extremely uncommon diseases called “Lifestyle diseases”.
They are defined as diseases linked with the way people live their life and their inappropriate relationship with their environment. The onset of these lifestyle diseases is insidious, they take years to develop, and once encountered do not lend themselves easily to cure.
Since lifestyle diseases are diseases that are a result of the lifestyle choices that we make, contributing factors are closely related.
Bad diet options
Lack of adequate exercise
Disruption in biological clock
Poor lifestyle choices
Environmental conditions - occupational lifestyle diseases
Some of the common diseases encountered because of occupational lifestyle are:
Chronic liver disease/cirrhosis
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Diabetes & hypertension
Heart disease & stroke
There is corroborative evidence that diet and lifestyle is playing a major role in predisposition to various diseases like cancer. Peoples' diet changed with time with increase in consumption of meat, dairy products, vegetable oils, fruit juice, and alcoholic beverages, and decrease in consumption of starchy staple foods such as bread, potatoes, rice, and maize flour. Diets high in animal products, fat, and sugar resulted in high rates of cancer of the colorectum, breast, prostate, endometrium, and lungs than diet based on one or two starchy staple foods, with low intakes of animal products, fat. These observations suggest that the diet [or lifestyle] of different populations might partly determine their rates of cancer. While our lifestyles have become more convenient, there certainly is nothing classy about lifestyle diseases. We pay a high price for our press-of-a-button lifestyles. Eventually, we may need to take a step back and relearn how to lead physically active lives, and, in turn, disease-free lives.
In the 1970s it was noted that people in many western countries had diets high in animal products, fat, and sugar, and high rates of cancer of the colorectum, breast, prostate, endometrium, and lung; by contrast, individuals in developing countries usually had diet which were based on one or two starchy staple foods, with low intakes of animal products, fat, and sugar, and low rates of these cancers. These observations suggest that the diet [or lifestyle] of different populations might partly determine their rates of cancer.
A healthy lifestyle must be adopted to combat these diseases with a proper balanced diet, physical activity and by giving due respect to biological clock. The good thing about lifestyle diseases is that if we do something about them, it is possible to reverse the condition. Listed below are some things that you can do to prevent lifestyle diseases.
• Eat a healthy diet
• Engage in moderate exercise (30 minutes every day)
• Sit and stand in the right postures
• Avoid foods that are high in fats, salt, sugar and refined products.
We may conclude that early to bed and early to rise with emphasis on moderate physical labor, supported by fresh and easily digestible food should be the motto to lead a healthy, peaceful life with no disease.