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|Health and wellness
Health and wellness concerning physically, mentally and emotionally are key ingredients to living well. Your health is your greatest wealth, so
keeping good health is your own responsibility. But ironically along with your strive for advancement in your
civilization, you are adversely effected on all levels by the modern stresses of environment; loud and busy cities with an abundance of pollution.
|Air pollution and You
Almost everyone who lives in a largely populated area suffers from the effects of air pollution. Environmental pollution can cause an immediate reaction in many sensitive individuals, but for some others it may take time for the effects to reveal themselves. Toxic fumes soak into the skin and lurk in your lymphatic system and major organs. Obviously this is not good. Air pollution harms health, damages forests and lakes, and lowers our quality of life. But relief from smog and soot are within reach. We have the right to clean air - and the right tools to get
there. Dirty air threatens health, contributing to problems like asthma, heart and lung disease, and cancer. While everyone exposed to high levels of air pollution suffers some harm, people with asthma are particularly vulnerable to more, and more severe, attacks. Both smog and soot trigger other respiratory problems like bronchitis, and evidence suggests that long-term exposure to ozone smog in early childhood may have lasting effects on lung
function. Ozone (smog) and particulate pollution (soot) are two of the biggest pollution hazards for public health. The main sources of harmful smog and soot are tailpipes and smokestacks - from factories and power plants, diesel-powered trucks, buses, ships, boats, locomotives and tractors. Restoring clean air to areas with unhealthy air would prevent tens of thousands of premature deaths and avoid hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks each year. Ozone, the main component of smog, forms in the lower atmosphere when nitrogen oxides (NOx) and various volatile organic compounds interact in the presence of sunlight, heat and relatively stagnant air. Exposure to ozone can have serious effects on respiratory health. Inflammation and irritation of the respiratory tract can cause shortness of breath, throat irritation, chest pains and coughing, and lead to asthma
attacks. Particulate pollution is a mixture of soot, smoke and tiny particles formed in the atmosphere from sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and ammonia (NH3). Sooty particles are most dangerous when very small as they are easily inhaled and reach deep into the lungs where they can trigger an inflammatory response. Breathing in air heavy with tiny particles can be dangerous even over a short time. Because these particles are so minuscule, they can enter the circulatory system and damage blood vessels. Children are especially vulnerable because their lungs are still developing. Particulate pollution is associated with heart attacks, irregular heartbeat, asthma attacks, reduced lung function and bronchitis. These impacts result in tens of thousands of premature deaths from heart and lung disease annually, as well as hospital admissions, emergency room visits, absences from school or work, and restricted activities related to asthma attacks.
It is an unequivocal assertion that proper nutrition and health are fundamental human rights. What does this mean? What are the primary links between nutrition and health? Nutrition is a cornerstone that affects and defines the health of all people, rich and poor. It paves the way for us to grow, develop, work, play, resist infection and aspire to realization of our fullest potential as individuals and societies. Conversely, malnutrition makes us all more vulnerable to disease and premature death. poverty is a major cause and consequence of ill-health worldwide. Poverty, hunger and malnutrition stalk one another in a vicious circle, compromising health and wreaking havoc on the socioeconomic development of the whole of a nation especially developing countries. Nearly 30% of humanity,
infants, children, adolescents, adults, and older persons bear this triple burden. This is a travesty of justice, an abrogation of the most basic human
rights. a strong human rights approach is needed to bring on board the millions of people left behind in the 20th century’s health revolution. We must ensure that our values and our vision are anchored in human rights law only then can they become reality for all people.
Malnutrition and Diet-related diseases
Malnutrition means poorly nourished but it is more than a measure of what we eat, or fail to eat. Clinically, malnutrition is characterized by inadequate intake of protein, energy, and micronutrients and by frequent infections or disease. Nutritional status is the result of the complex interaction between the food we eat, our overall state of health, and the environment in which we live,shortly food, health and caring-the three pillars of well-being.Malnutrition kills, maims, cripples and blinds on a massive scale. Malnutrition kills, maims, cripples and blinds on a massive scale worldwide.Malnutrition affects all age groups and populations, especially the poor and vulnerable.Malnutrition plays a major role in half of the 10.4 million annual child deaths in the developing world; it continues to be a cause and consequence of disease and disability in the children who
survive. Malnutrition is not only medical; it is also a social disorder rooted in poverty and
discrimination. Malnutrition has economic ripple effects that can jeopardize development.
Compared with the relatively recent past, we live today in a world of abundance. Improved health and increasing agricultural productivity in the 20 th century have catalyzed unprecedented social and economic transformations. Today there is more than enough food for all but it is only theoretically.The problem is that food is neither produced nor distributed equitably. All too frequently, the poor in fertile developing countries stand by watching with empty hands and empty stomachs while ample harvests and bumper crops are exported for hard cash. Short-term profits for a few, long-term losses for many. So Hunger and malnutrition is a question of maldistribution and inequity not a lack of food. That is why, despite abundance, hunger exists; despite progress, poverty persists.
A swelling global tidal wave of obesity and diet-related diseases threatens to envelop us as globalization changes the nature of the world’s nutrition. Yet another form of malnutrition, development-driven obesity, is emerging among all age and socioeconomic groups, especially in countries caught up in the swiftest societal transition.As a result, diet-related diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke, and cancer previously regarded as rich men’s diseases are now escalating in developing countries, superimposed on precarious health systems already buckling under the double weight of communicable and other non-communicable diseases. Malnutrition is the single most important risk factor for disease. When poverty is added to the picture, it produces a downward spiral that may end in death. Poor people eat and absorb too little nutritious food, making them more disease-prone.Inadequate or inappropriate food leads to stunted development and premature death.Better nutrition is a prime entry point to ending the malnutrition maelstrom. Better health means stronger immune systems which means less illnesses. Healthy people feel stronger, can work better and may have more earning opportunities to gradually lift them out of both poverty and malnutrition. Healthier, more productive societies are a potential out come.
Diseases have diverse causes, which can be classified into two broad groups: infectious and noninfectious. Infectious diseases can spread from one person to another and are caused by microscopic organisms that invade the body. Noninfectious diseases are not communicated from person to person and do not have, or are not known to involve, infectious agents. Some diseases, such as the common cold, are acute, coming on suddenly and lasting for no more than a few weeks. Other diseases, such as arthritis, are chronic, persisting for months or years, or recurring frequently.Every disease has certain characteristic effects on the body. Some of these effects, called symptoms and signs, include fever, inflammation, pain, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, and rashes, and are readily apparent to the patient. These symptoms offer important clues that help physicians and other health care professionals make a diagnosis. Many times, however, the symptoms point to several possible disorders. In those cases, doctors rely on medical tests, such as blood examinations and X rays, to confirm the diagnosis.
The course of a disease-that is, the path it follows from onset to end-can vary tremendously, depending largely on the individual and the treatment he or she receives. For example, otherwise healthy people usually recover quickly from a bout of pneumonia if given proper treatment, whereas pneumonia often proves fatal to people with a weakened immune system and to those who do not receive prompt, effective treatment. Some diseases run a different course depending on the patient’s age. Chicken pox, for instance, is usually mild in childhood but severe in adults. In the United States, only about 5 percent of chicken pox cases occur in people over the age of 20, but these cases account for 50 percent of all deaths from the disease
Scientists, public health officials, and other members of the medical community work diligently to try to prevent disease epidemics. The battle is constant and is fought on many fronts. There have been many victories. Once-devastating diseases such as smallpox and diphtheria have been virtually eradicated, and many other diseases that once conferred automatic death sentences can now be either cured or controlled. At the same time, however, new killers have emerged. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome are among at least 30 diseases that have been identified by scientists since the early 1970s. Other growing challenges, particularly in the affluent societies of industrialized nations, are so-called diseases of choice, such as alcohol abuse, drug abuse, or obesity, that result from addictive behavior, poor eating habits, or insufficient exercise.Complicating matters further are societal changes. Increased international travel accelerates the spread of both new and old diseases: A person infected with an unusual virus on one continent can arrive-with the virus-on another continent in a matter of hours. Ships, planes, and trucks can transport disease-carrying organisms just as easily. In 1985 tires imported into Texas from Asia carried larvae of the Asian tiger mosquito, which is a carrier of dengue fever and other tropical diseases. Within five years, Asian tiger mosquitoes were living in 17 states. Changing dietary habits and the availability in local supermarkets of foods from all parts of the world contribute to an increase in food-borne illnesses. Some researchers worry that growing populations and the resulting crowded living conditions will increase the risk of epidemics.
Food & Micronutrients & Exercise
Micronutrients are needed miniscule amounts, these substances are the magic wands that enable the body to produce enzymes, hormones and other substances essential for proper growth and development. As tiny as the amounts are, the consequences of their absence are severe. Iodine, vitamin A and iron are most important in global public health terms; their lack represents a major threat to the health and development of populations the world over, particularly to preschool children and pregnant women in low-income countries.
The Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta provide the majority of the energy a person needs each day. These foods are high in complex carbohydrates, which are the body's favorite fuel. After carbohydrates are digested, energy in the form of glucose is circulated in the blood. The liver and muscles also store glucose for later use during physical activity.This food group also provides other important nutrients such as vitamin B-complex (folate), which helps to form DNA/RNA and red blood cells and aids the body in using proteins. Whole grains add necessary bulk to the digestive tract to aid in elimination of wastes. Vegetables provide many of the vitamins and minerals for good health.Vegetables also provide fiber to aid in elimination of body wastes. Fruits are especially good sources of important vitamins like A and C. This food group also adds minerals such as potassium and fiber for proper elimination of wastes from the body.Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese are an important source of vitamin A, vitamin D, calcium, and protein. Vitamin A is important for healthy eyes, skin, and hair. Vitamin D helps to absorb calcium and use it for healthy bones and teeth, along with muscle and nerve functions. Protein in the body is made from the building blocks called amino acids. Protein's main functions are to repair and maintain body tissues, produce hemoglobin to carry oxygen to the cells, and produce antibodies and enzymes. Some of the amino acids in protein are produced by the body; others must be obtained in the diet. Excess protein is converted to fat in the body and stored. Meat, Poultry, Fish, Beans, Eggs, and Nuts provide Protein and vitamin B-complex, which helps to form DNA/RNA and red blood cells and aids the body in using proteins. And iron helps build strong bones and teeth and support muscle and nerve functions.Fats and oils are essential nutrients to maintain body function but should be used sparingly. Fats help the body absorb vitamins A, D, E, K, and beta-carotene. They help slow sugar's release into the bloodstream and are important for the formation of cell membranes. Sugars, which are simple carbohydrates, are easy to digest and are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream where they provide quick energy. Sugars provide some nutritive value, but they should be eaten sparingly because they are often consumed as excess calories and lead to weight gain.
Body consists of Water, Fat and Muscles. Exercise is the key factor for staying healthy. The question here is not whether a person should workout daily or not, but should exercise appropriately as required by body. Exercise strengthens the heart, lungs, bones along with toning the muscles, increasing cardiovascular capacity and vitality. It also increases physical reserves. An individual cannot expect himself to be fit and healthy overnight. It definitely requires time, effort and endurance.The reasons why we must workout are Weight control, Feeling good, Increasing energy, Muscle toning, Cardiovascular conditioning.A regular exercise regime leads to everlasting good health in the long run. This in turn does not guarantee a long life but definitely assures better quality of life each day.