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Lifestyle can be defined as the way by which the people carry out their daily activities. It depends on various factors including geographical, political, economic, religious and cultural backgrounds. The lifestyle of an individual includes activities like diet, physical activity, carrying out daily chores, maintenance of personal hygiene, among others. Moreover, drinking, smoking can also be the part of the lifestyle of certain individuals, although such a lifestyle is damaging to the health. Lifestyle is an important factor in maintenance of health of individuals (Farhud 2015).
According to the World Health Organization or WHO, 60% of health related issues in individuals are linked to their lifestyle (Www.who.int 2017). Unhealthy lifestyles give rise to various diseases, chronic medical conditions and can even be the cause of death. Individuals whose lifestyle includes unhealthy habits like smoking, unhealthy eating habits or lack of physical activity can be at risk of developing illnesses like lung cancer, obesity, diabetes, among others. Other lifestyle related medical conditions include cardiovascular diseases, metabolic diseases, hypertension, and musculoskeletal problems, among others. Lung cancer is specifically associated with smoking, which is a part of the lifestyles of a number of individuals around the World (Fortin et al. 2014).
This report describes 4 issues associated with poor lifestyle choices. These issues are cardiovascular disease, lack of physical activity or exercise, smoking and cancer.
In the present World, lifestyle choices made by individuals are one of the important determinants of health related issues. These include malnutrition, poor diet, alcohol consumption, smoking, stress, drug abuse, among others. Moreover, with the advancements in technology, the World is adapting to lifestyles that requires less of physical activities and these in turn affect both the physical and the mental health of individuals. Some of the lifestyle factors that give rise to serious medical consequences among individuals around the World are poor diet choices, lack of physical activity or exercise, substance abuse like smoking, alcohol consumption, drug abuse, among others (Wagner and Brath 2012).
Cardiovascular disease occurs as a result of buildup of fat deposits on the inner lining of the arteries. This build of fat is called atheroma. Cardiovascular diseases are generally associated with the atheroma of the heart and blood vessels. Narrowing of the blood vessels due to deposition of fat can lead to cardiovascular diseases, which comprises chest pain or angina, heart failure or heart attacks, strokes, cardiac arrhythmias and other peripheral arterial diseases. The symptoms of cardiovascular diseases include chest pain, nausea, fatigue, pain in arms, legs, shoulders, back and jaws, dyspnea or shortness of breath, cold sweat and light-headedness (Rader and Hovingh 2014). The risk factors that gives rise to deposition of fat in the inner lining of the arteries and subsequently resulting in the development of cardiovascular diseases includes various lifestyle factors like smoking, obesity, alcohol consumption, lack of physical activities or exercises, too much salt consumption and unhealthy diets. Moreover, hypertension or high blood pressure and high levels of cholesterol also predispose an individual to developing cardiovascular diseases (Liu et al. 2012). Smoking is one of the lifestyle issues that endangers an individual and increases the chances of developing cardiovascular diseases. The tobacco present in the cigarette smoke reaches the blood vessels or arteries from the lungs and in turn damages the arteries (Messner and Bernhard 2014). Lack of exercise or any form of physical activity predisposes an individual to develop obesity and diabetes. Moreover, deposition of fat also occurs in the lining of the blood vessels, thereby giving rise to various forms of cardiovascular diseases. Consumption of unhealthy foods increases the chances of an individual to develop high levels of cholesterol, which is an essential determinant of development of cardiovascular diseases. Consumption of omega 3 fatty acids, fruits and vegetables helps to reduce the buildup of fats in the arterial linings. Moreover, lowering the intake of trans fats and increasing the consumption of cereals and folate helps to reduce the chances of developing cardiovascular diseases. It is necessary to maintain a low ratio of saturated to polyunsaturated fatty acids, which in turn helps to reduce the deposition of fats of subsequent development of cardiovascular diseases. Positive effects of vitamins B6, B12, C and E has been reported in preventing the development of cardiovascular diseases (Wildman 2016). Consumption of high amounts of salt increase the chances of high blood pressure and subsequently heart diseases. Alcohol consumption also plays an important role in the development of cardiovascular diseases (Roerecke and Rehm 2014). According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases are the leading causes of death worldwide and are mainly due to lifestyle factors. The majority of deaths as a result of cardiovascular diseases mainly occur in low and middle income groups or countries due to their inability to get hold of good healthy and nutritious foods and involvement in physical activities. Various prevention strategies are present, which mainly include quitting smoking, leading a healthy lifestyle consisting of consumption of healthy foods and engaging in physical activities. Treatment options for cardiovascular diseases include coronary angioplasty, which is used to remove the plaque that blocks the arteries. Sometimes, the procedure is associated with stenting (Moyer 2012).
Physical activity is highly essential in order to lead a healthy and problem free life. However, with the advancement of technologies, individuals are slowly moving towards an age of physical inactivity. This in turn results in increased risk of developing heart diseases as well as obesity, diabetes, among others. Regular exercise or some forms of physical activity helps to control weight by maintaining an optimal body mass index. Moreover, it also helps to reduce the levels of fat and cholesterol, which can result in the development of various cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes, among others. Regular physical activity helps to burn the calories, thereby not only helping to reduce weight but also to maintain the body weight (Reiner et al. 2013). Various aerobic exercises, yoga helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and other metabolic syndromes. Physical activity have also been shown to be effective in preventing some types of cancer like colon cancer, breast cancer, endometrial and lung cancer. Moreover, physical activity also helps in strengthening of the bones and joints, thereby enabling individuals to carry out their physical activities in an effective manner. Regular physical activity helps to reduce the chances of developing arthritis, can improve learning and concentration powers and in older adults helps in the prevention of falls (Kohl et al. 2012). However, over exercising can give rise to serious consequences like sudden cardiac events, sudden lowering of glucose levels, among others. Lack of physical activity among children is growing at an alarming rate and this in turn can predispose to children to several forms of chronic medical conditions in the future like obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, among others (Timmons et al. 2012). According to the World Health Organization in 2016, the number of children found to be overweight as a result of physical inactivity and consumption of unhealthy foods was found to be 41 million. In order to improve physical fitness and to reduce childhood obesity, it is necessary to encourage children to participate in 60 minutes of physical activity each day. According to the World Health Organization, physical activity durations that exceeds 60 minutes provides additional health benefits to the children. However, the duration of physical activity for adults is limited to 300 minutes per week. Majority of physical activity needs to be based on aerobic exercises with moderations of vigorous strength training exercises. Moreover, it has been reported that worldwide, 1 in 4 adults are not physically active and more than 80% of children or adolescents are physically inactive. Physical activity as a way of life of individuals can help them to lead a physically fit and healthy life free from various ailments (Www.who.int 2017).
Smoking of cigarettes is responsible for increased rates of morbidity and mortality on a global scale. It is a personal lifestyle choice that affects millions of people worldwide. Smoking is responsible for causing various complications in the human body. Smoking of cigarettes can have both long and short term effects on the human body (Loef and Walach 2012). These include lung cancer, cervical cancer, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, infertility, anxiety, affects the immune system, among others. One of the components of cigarette smoke is nicotine, which is a mind-altering drug. It affects the brain and an individual becomes extremely addicted to nicotine, as it becomes a part of their lifestyle. In the absence of nicotine, individuals feel anxious, irritated and highly depressed as lack of nicotine causes cognitive impairment. Smoking also affects the lungs and makes an individual highly susceptible to infections and also predisposes them to chronic and nonreversible lung conditions. These chronic medical conditions include emphysema, which results in destruction of the air sacks of the lungs, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic bronchitis and lung cancer (Leslie 2013). Children also get affected because of secondary or passive smoking and it predisposes them to developing asthma, pneumonia or bronchitis. Smoking also affects the cardiovascular system as the nicotine present in cigarettes can cause damage to the blood vessels and can also cause tightening of the blood vessels, thereby giving rise to peripheral artery disease. Smoking also gives rise to increased blood pressure, increasing the formation of clots and this in turn predisposes an individual to succumbing to heart attacks or strokes (Messner and Bernhard 2014). Smoking also affects the skin of an individual and increases the risk of developing skin cancer. Smoking also causes hair loss and fungal infection of the nails. Smoking increases the chances of developing pancreatic, throat, mouth, esophagus and larynx cancer (Agudo et al. 2012). Smoking predisposes an individual to develop insulin resistance and as a result the individual has an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Smoking also affects the reproductive systems of both men and women and can give rise to infertility. According to the Center for Disease Control or CDC, cigarette smoking is responsible for premature deaths of half a million individuals and also significantly affects the life of children and adults. Smoking as a lifestyle is a worldwide epidemic, since there are approximately 1.1 billion smokers across the globe. Most of the smokers belong to poor or middle income countries. More than 6 million deaths occur each year as a result of smoking of which passive smoking is responsible for 600,000 deaths. Cigarette smoking is directly related to educational status, which in turn is related to poor socioeconomic status. Thus, cigarette smoking is particularly observed among the poor population rather than among those who have a balanced socioeconomic status. Various interventions can help to enable individuals to quit smoking. These include the use of nicotine replacement therapies, antidepressants, varenicline, by gradually reducing the frequency of smoking or by using cigarettes having lower levels of nicotine. Community interventions can also help to reduce the rates of smoking by creating policies that ensures keeping workplaces smoke free, smoking cessation programs, education about the effects of second hand smoke, increased price of cigarettes and other tobacco products, among others (Kispert and McHowat 2017; Vineis and Wild 2014).
According to the reports put forth by Cancer Research UK, 45% of men and 40% of women can prevent or reduce their risks of developing cancer by leading a healthy lifestyle. Various lifestyle choices have been found to be responsible for the development of cancer among individuals. These lifestyle choices that predisposes individuals to developing cancer includes smoking of cigarettes, lack of physical activity, obesity, poor unhealthy diets and alcohol consumption. Environmental factors in combination with lifestyle choices attributes to the increased number of cancer cases worldwide. 70% of the cancer deaths worldwide can be attributed to lifestyle choices of individuals. These lifestyle choice related cancer deaths are mainly predominant in low and middle-income groups of countries (Katzke, Kaaks and Kühn 2015). In the countries with poorer moderate socioeconomic status, the predominant types of cancer are cancers of the lung, oesophagus and liver. Smoking is the most prevalent cause of cancer worldwide. Smoking is responsible for 21% of cancer deaths worldwide. Poor diet consisting of negligible consumption of fruits and vegetables are also responsible for 5% of the worldwide cancer deaths. Consumption of alcohol is another major cause of cancer related deaths worldwide. It is responsible for contributing to 5% of the worldwide cancer related deaths. Lack of physical activity and subsequent development of obesity predisposes an individual to the development of cancer and it is one of the leading causes of cancer mortality in Central Asia and in Europe. According to the reports of the World cancer research fund, nutrition, food and physical inactivity are some of the risk factors that contribute to the high incidences of cancer worldwide. Increase in body fat predisposes an individual to several forms of cancer like the breast, colorectal, kidney, gall bladder, oesophageal cancers, among others. Physical activity also plays an important role in preventing the occurrence of various types of cancer like the colon, breast or endometrial cancers. Physical activity is therefore highly necessary in the lifestyle of individuals in order to prevent the development of cancers. Diet also plays an important role in preventing cancer development (Clague and Bernstein 2012). Consumption of fiber rich foods and foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants help to prevent cancer development. It is also necessary to eat foods having lower fat and starch contents. Consumption of red meat and any forms of processed meats have also been linked to the development of cancer, particularly colorectal cancer. Alcohol consumption can also be linked to the development of cancer. These include cancers of the pharynx, mouth, esophagus, larynx, colorectum, breast, among others. Consumption of salty and salt preserved foods also increases the risk of developing stomach cancer. It is necessary to consume less than 6gms of salt per day. Moreover, mouldy cereals contain aflatoxins, which are the possible causes of liver cancer. 61% of the adult population in the United Kingdom is overweight. Moreover, approximately 4 in 100 cancer cases in the United Kingdom is linked to alcohol consumption (Www.cancerresearchuk.org 2017; Www.alcoholconcern.org.uk, 2017)). It is necessary to reduce the frequency of drinking to less than 14 units per week and have alcohol free days. In order to prevent cancer it is necessary to carry out smoking prevention programs and development of public health policies, educational programs highlighting the effects of a poor diet, smoking and alcohol consumption, lack of physical activity, among others. These prevention strategies have the power to reduce the rates of cancer related deaths in a worldwide scale (Moodie et al. 2013).
Lifestyle choices can affect the health of individuals either in a positive or in a negative way. This depends on the ability of the individuals to make healthy lifestyle choices. Poor lifestyle choices are the primary causes of morbidity and mortality in the modern World. It is also the cause of childhood obesity and increased child mortality rates. However, lifestyle related issues have been found to be prevalent among individuals belonging to countries with poor socioeconomic status. Some of the poor lifestyle choices include smoking or alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, consumption of unhealthy foods and drinks, among others. These lifestyle choices are the predominant causes of some of the chronic medical conditions like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes, among others. Thus, it can be concluded that poor lifestyle choices are responsible for most of the illness related deaths worldwide.
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