A good Sunday to one and all!
By now we should have all realized the importance of our health. Covid has brought out one of the most eye-opening pandemics in recent history. Only a handful of countries have been spared from massive casualties, and most if not all, have had their economies affected one way or another.
This recent time focuses all our attention on things that matter most, including our health. For far too long, we’ve gone about our days not thinking about our health until we actually got sick. Most of our healthcare is concerned about treatment, not prevention. Some of us know how to take care of our health, but we often do not do it.
The United States Centers for Disease Control states that co-morbidities of Covid include: cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, immunocompromised states, obesity, serious heart conditions, sickle cell disease and diabetes mellitus. Of this list, obesity, heart conditions and diabetes mellitus are deemed as lifestyle diseases. Lifestyle diseases are defined as diseases or conditions that are linked with the way people live. These diseases are not communicable and are commonly caused by lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating, alcohol, drugs and smoking.
Even before Covid-19, lifestyle disease was already prevalent in the country, accounting for 300,000 deaths and costing the economy more than P700 billion each year. A third of people 15 years old and above in the Philippines smoke; over 50 percent of men and women aged 20 and above are binge drinkers (six drinks and above in one sitting); more than 20 percent of our population has high blood pressure, and only half of the population does meaningful physical activity. The proportion of adults who are overweight or obese has doubled in the last 20 years, and obesity in teens is rising.
Ninety percent of Filpino adults do not meet the recommended intake of fruits and vegetables each day. Currently 30 percent of children suffer stunting, a condition that increases their risk for obesity, diabetes and heart disease later on in life.
Lifestyle disease prevention is somewhat simple: Eat healthy. Exercise more. Sleep the recommended time. Eat fruits and vegetables. Children and teenagers need opportunities for physical activity outside of Physical Education.
If we do not seriously address lifestyle diseases in our country, with or without Covid-19, our nation’s health and economy will further suffer. What can you do today to make your health better?