The food that you eat have a huge effect on your health. Everyone knows this for a fact, yet there are still a high incidence of diet-related diseases all over the world. The United Kingdom is not spared from the medical statistics with more people being diagnosed of ailments like heart disease and cancers that are closely attributed to bad eating habits. Diet-related diseases are slowly getting higher in the list of major concerns for health services in the United Kingdom.
In the United Kingdom, one of the diseases that is being considered as a major concern is obesity.
Obesity is a term used to describe somebody who is very overweight and has a high amount of body fat. Getting the body mass index is one of the ways to measure how overweight one is. The body mass index is computed by dividing your weight in kilograms divided by your height in metres squared.
Another method to measure obesity is by measuring one’s waistline. If one measures 94cm or more in men and 80cm or more in women, then they will likely develop obesity-related health problems. Being obese can increase the potential of contracting life-threatening diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, colon cancer and stroke. Aside from this, it can also cause depression, due to the limitations caused being overweight.
Another major concern in the UK is the fact that eating disorders are not only affecting adults lately, but children as well. Children as young as 5 years old have been found to be suffering some form of eating disorder. Boys as young as 13 years old, and girls at 15 years old, are being admitted to hospitals due to eating disorders. This may have come about due to several factors such as an increase in social pressure, bullying at school, and competitiveness, maybe in applying for a job or maybe in holding onto a particular job. Many of those who suffer from eating disorders are celebrities or models, who need to conform to what their status requires them to be. Those in high society who need to maintain a certain look are part of the statistics too, together with models who are required to maintain a certain weight. These people commonly suffer from eating disorders like bulimia or anorexia.
A person who has anorexia will impose erratic food restrictions on himself and practice inappropriate eating habits or rituals. This is motivated by an obsession to have thin figure and the irrational fear
that they will gain substantial weight when they eat. This often involves a distorted self-perception of how the body looks. It is not unlikely that a thin anorexic person would still think of himself as overweight or fat. Even feelings of hunger are ignored for fear of gaining more weight. Celebrities like Karen Carpenter figured in the news for being anorexic. Her death was even attributed to this eating disorder.
Bulimia nervosa, on the other hand, is characterized by a cycle of binge eating and then purging. People who are bulimic stuff themselves with large amounts of food and then induce vomiting afterwards to rid himself of the food that he ate. Other ways of purging include taking laxatives, diuretics, and stimulants and exercising excessively. A bulimic person exposes himself to the risks of having dangerously low potassium levels. The deterioration of his health due to the nutritional deficiency could also lead to severe depression and possible suicide. It can occur 9 times more in women than in men. People suffering from bulimia nervosa often have impulsive behavior, risky sexual behavior, alcohol dependency, and substance abuse tendencies.
Taking a Stand Against Diet-related diseases
Health experts have come up with several ideas of how to reduce these diet-related diseases. This resource (http://www.patient.co.uk/health/eat-more-fruit-and-vegetables) shows how people can include more fruits and vegetables in their diet, lessening the chances of getting obese. Fruits and vegetables contain plenty of vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy, they are low in fat so you can consume more without fear of gaining weight in the process. They are very low in calories too, making them perfect for those with specific caloric requirements.
Private institutions (see http://www.ifr.ac.uk/media/newsreleases/071003centreprevmedlaunch.html) are finding ways to prevent obesity as well. This is a facility that does research on ways to prevent the onslaught of many diseases, one of which is how to fight obesity.
Below is a chart that appears on http://www.ifr.ac.uk/media/newsreleases/071003centreprevmedlaunch.html. It shows how much the government is spending on research and development on efforts to prevent or cure diet-related diseases.
The £20 billion cost of diet-related disease:
|Coronary heart disease||6.3 billion||Dept of Health Annual Report, 2007, figures for 2005-2006)|
|Cancers and tumours||4.4 billion||Department of Health Annual Report, 2007|
|Obesity||1 billion||Minister of State (Public Health), Department of Health|
|Stroke||2.8 billion||National Audit Office|
|Osteoporosis||1.7 billion||National Osteoporosis Society|
http://www.patient.co.uk/health/obesity-and-overweight-in-adults, points out concerns as to why people get obese and how this diet-related disease affects one’s overall health. There is also information about how it can be prevented, how obesity can be eradicated from the society, and more healthy ways of losing weight rather than resorting to anorexic or bulimic behavior.
Although some people think that they can cure their obesity by having surgeries or taking in pills and other medications, a change in lifestyle and improving diet and food intake is still the recommended course of action. This is healthier and is less likely to result in even more complications.
Diet-related diseases can be prevented. This is true not only in UK but in the rest of the world. The answers are all in making the choice to live a healthy lifestyle, eat healthy food, and do the necessary exercises. While the government is exerting effort to do research and implement awareness campaigns, it is still up to the people themselves to do something about their condition. You have to take control of how you live your life. Remember that it is not only you that is affected when you fall seriously ill. You become a burden to your family and to the government especially when you have very little resources to spend on treatments for your diet-related diseases. It is up to you to do your part in keeping yourself healthy and productive now and for the years to come. After all, the benefits of being healthy are all yours to enjoy.