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To Your Health

Here's a Novel Idea Part III

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12/01/2009 - Hello again! This month we can fInish our series concerning an article I reviewed called "The Preventable Causes of Death in the United States: Comparative Risk Assessment of Dietary, Lifestyle, and Metabolic Risk Factors" (PloS Medicine, April 2009). Please refer to the previous two months (www.ourtowncasper.com) for the background. In the conclusion the authors noted smoking and high blood pressure, both of which have effective interventions (emphasis mine), as being responsible for the largest number of deaths in the US in 2005. Other dietary, lifestyle, and metabolic risk factors for chronic diseases also cause a substantial number of deaths in the US.

Listen to this quote by the authors: "The results of our analysis of dietary, lifestyle, and metabolic risk factors show that targeting a handful of risk factors has large potential to reduce mortality in the US, substantially more than the currently estimated 18,000 deaths averted annually by providing universal health insurance" (more on this later).

So, in summary, what are some of the factors we can change?

Don't Smoke -- This may seem simple, yet some individuals will get on their high horse regarding second hand smoke. But this is not about the ones who don't, it's for the ones who do. I have seen the damage this habit does to the body. More importantly, does the person understand that he/she may down the road be lugging oxygen around, or that his/her social highlight of the day may be spending his/her days at the cardiologist's or oncologist's office.

Exercise Vigorously for One Hour Every Day -- This is probably the one I need to improve upon myself. I am lucky if I get three times a week. If you are house bound and cannot walk or ride a stationary bike, you may be able to sit on a chair and do exercise. Contact a health professional to create a program for you. Remember 62,000 deaths would be prevented by one hour of vigorous exercise (per person/per day).

Do Not Consume Trans Fatty Acids -- This is pounded into us from every health source so I won't comment further.

Do Not Add Salt to Your Food and Do Not Consume High Salt Foods -- 4% of deaths in adults in 2005 were attributed to salt. Watch those cooking shows, some of them add way too much in my opinion, just like sugar.

Take Omega-3's Every Day -- These are important for your brain, cardiovascular system, and they are anti-inflammatory. It is probably one of the most important daily supplement you should be taking.

Do Not Drink Much Alcohol, Never More Than One/Day for Women and Two/Day for Men -- I imagine this probably means approximately 8 oz. from what I gather in reading. But if you can't count you shouldn't drink.

Watch Your Weight -- I wrote awhile back about an article that had been published regarding correlation of fat to inflammation. Obesity shortens life expectancy, plus could result in multiple problems.

Again you cannot legislate greed and common sense. So until next time take care of the your body, it's the only one you get. See Ya!

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