In the 21st century, people are competing for a lifestyle that is more luxurious and comfortable. With progress and prosperity, diseases are also rising, and more chronic diseases are seen today. Does improving modern lifestyle will help in the prevention of chronic diseases?
Everyone wants the work to be done more quickly. This desire tends our body to a resting stage, but we also know that “Resting in Vain, Gives Rust in Bane.” Our body has organs that require daily workouts and exercises, but we are evolving with the modern lifestyle, simultaneously, growing distant with nature.
Coronary artery disease (CAD), diabetes, ischemic stroke, and some specific cancers were common only in high-income countries. Recently, they are now becoming the dominant source of morbidity and mortality worldwide. And the leading cause is none other than “Modern Lifestyle” and “Lifestyle Changes.”
Different Ways For The Prevention Of Chronic Diseases
Reducing modifiable dietary and lifestyle risk factors would help to prevent most cases of CAD, stroke, diabetes, etc. These findings are profoundly significant because they indicate that these diseases are not inevitable consequences of modern society. Low rates of these diseases can be achieved without consuming drugs or expensive medical facilities.
1. Maintain A Healthy Weight
Obesity is increasing worldwide. Obesity (BMI of 30 or greater) and overweight (BMI of 25 to 30) is more prevalent, resulting in the elevated risks of many diseases. For example, overweight people experience a two to threefold elevation in the CAD risks and hypertension and a tenfold increase in type-2 diabetes compared with lean individuals (BMI less than 23). Overweight and obese people experience elevated mortality from the colon and breast (postmenopausal) cancer, kidney, etc.
Desirable weight for most people must be within the BMI range of 18.5 to 25.0, and preferably less than 23. Some scales are also drawn for the measurement of fat, such as by measuring waist circumference, which reflects abdominal fat. A waist circumference of approximately 102 centimeters for men and 88 centimeters for women is the criteria for the upper limit of the healthy range in the United States.
Add Protein To Your Diet
Your body burns calories when it metabolizes the protein you eat. Therefore, a high-protein diet can boost metabolism by up to 80-100 calories per day. This diet can also make you feel fuller and reduce your appetite. Some studies show that people eat over 400 fewer calories per day on a high-protein diet. Include some protein-rich recipes in your diet.
Eat Whole, Single-Ingredient Food
The best thing you can do to become healthy is to base your diet on the whole, single-ingredient foods. They help to eliminate the vast majority of added sugar, added fat, and processed food.
Drinking 0.5 liters of water may help to increase the calories you burn by 24-30% for an hour afterward. Drinking water before meals also leads to reduced calorie intake, especially for middle-aged and older people.
Count Calories Once In A While
Be aware of what you’re eating; it is helpful when you are trying to lose weight. There are many ways to achieve this that include counting calories, keeping a food diary, or taking pictures of what you eat. Use an app or another electronic tool to keep a track.
Use Smaller Plates
Studies posit that using smaller plates helps you to intake less food; it changes how you see portion sizes. People fill their plates the same, regardless of plate size. So they end up putting more food on larger plates than smaller ones. Using smaller ones reduces the amount of food you eat while giving you the perception of having eaten more.
2. Maintain Daily Physical Activity
The contemporary lifestyle in developed nations has marked the reduction in the people’s opportunities to spend energy, moving from place to place, in the work environment, or at home. There is also a decrease in physical activities due to urbanization and the availability of motorized transportation to replace walking. But, regular physical activity is a crucial element in weight control and to prevent obesity.
For a healthy weight, regular physical activity and yoga help to reduce the risk of CAD, strokes, type 2 diabetes, colon and breast cancer, osteoporotic fractures, osteoarthritis, depression, and erectile dysfunction. Essential health benefits have even been associated with walking for half an hour per day. More significant reductions in risk are seen with longer durations of physical activity and more intense activity.
3. Limit Watching Television
The number of hours of television watched per day is associated with increased obesity rates among children and adults with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes and gallstones. This association is likely attributable to reduced physical activity and increased consumption of foods and beverages high in calories, typically those promoted on television. Decreases in watching the television reduce weight and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a maximum of two hours of television watching per day.
4. Practicing Yoga
Yoga is an Indian art form, a type of exercise or way of breathing. If medicines have failed you, yoga might not disappoint you. It boasts an impressive plethora of physical benefits suitable for all groups. It can be used as a complementary therapy in combination with conventional treatments for various diseases.
Yoga is the best lifestyle choice. It has potential in the prevention of chronic diseases, management, and rehabilitation of prevalent lifestyle disorders. Yogic lifestyle, yogic diet, yogic attitudes, and various yogic practices help humans to strengthen themselves and develop positive health, enabling them to withstand stress better. This yogic “health insurance” is achieved by normalizing the perception of stress, optimizing the reaction to it, and by releasing the pent-up tension effectively through various yogic practices.
Interventions aimed at changing lifestyle and diet factors, including educating individuals, changing the environment, modifying the food supply, undertaking community interventions, implementing economic policies, etc.
1. Educational Intervention
School food services should provide healthy meals; they directly affect health. School-based physical education remains a significant source of physical activity for young people. In China, 72 percent of children aged 6 to 18 engage in moderate to vigorous physical activities for an average of 90 to 100 minutes per week. These programs should be a high priority because they have likely contributed to the historically low rates of obesity in such countries.
2. Interventions by Health Care Providers
Controlled intervention trials for terminating smoking and physical activity have shown that physician counseling can help modify behavior. Dietary counseling studies by physicians indicate that brief messages about nutrition can influence behavior and is related to the intervention’s intensity. Identifying overweight or obese patients, or who are gaining weight but aren’t overweight yet, is an initial step to prevent treating overweight.
Recommended Priority Interventions
The main aim is to develop comprehensive national and local plans to take advantage of every opportunity, encouraging and promoting healthy eating and living. These plans would involve health care providers, worksites, schools, media, all levels of food production, processing, and preparation; and governments. Specific interventions will depend on local physical and cultural conditions and should be based on careful analysis of existing dietary and activity patterns and their determinants.
The Following Interventions Can Be Considered
1. Physical Activities
- Develop transportation policies and a physical environment to promote walking and riding bicycles. This intervention includes constructing sidewalks and protected bicycle paths and lanes that are attractive, safe, well-lighted, and functional concerning destinations.
- Adopt policies that promote livable, walker-friendly communities that include parks and are centered on access to public transportation.
- Encourage the use of public transportations and discourage over-dependence on private automobiles.
- Promote the use of stairs. Building codes can require the inclusion of accessible and attractive stairways.
2. Healthy Diets
- Require clear labeling of energy content for all packaged foods, including fast food.
- Use tax policies to encourage the consumption of healthier foods. For example, high-sugar sodas could be fully taxed and not subsidized in the same way as more nutritious foods.
- Emphasize the production and consumption of healthy food products in agriculture support and extension programs.
- Implement folic acid fortification if folic acid intake is low.
- Set standards that restrict the promotion of foods high in sugar, refined starch, and saturated and trans fats to children on television and elsewhere.
- Set national standards for the amount of sodium in processed foods.
3. National Campaigns
- Invest in developing appropriate health messages related to diet, physical activity, and weight control.
- Cooperate with government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and professional organizations with consistent messages about health used on televisions, radios, health care settings, schools, worksites, etc.
- Use the best social-marketing techniques available, with messages continuously evaluated for effectiveness.
- Develop a sustainable surveillance system that monitors weight and height, physical activity, and vital dietary variables.