Several weeks ago, Brian Williams reported on NBC Nightly News that 45% of Americans suffer from one of potentially three major life threatening conditions; high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. In addition, he also reported that recent studies show that living an unhealthy lifestyle can cost you 12 years of life.
What they don’t report is that once you have one of the three conditions you highly increase your risk for developing the remaining two conditions. A report by The Center for Science in the Public Interest in 2008 reported that 210,560,000 Americans suffered from diseases related to diet and lifestyle. That is over 63% of the US population.
The description defining an unhealthy lifestyle according to Brian Williams is, drinking too much, a lack of exercise, smoking and poor diet. This description reflects the lifestyle of most Americans. This has to change.
Studies reported in 2008 stated that only 11% of Americans consumed the recommendation of 3 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruits per day. Remember that the 5 a day campaign is the minimum recommendation of vegetable and fruit intake by the National Institutes of Health for preventing some diseases. This means that 89% of the American population is at further risk for obesity, cancers, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and stroke.
Sadly many people don’t care. In my practice as a Nutritionist, I have clients tell me that they would prefer to die younger allowing them to eat and live they way they wish. They will take their medication to manage their disease and forego any lifestyle changes. Do you know of any medication that does not have some negative consequences? Why not make a few simple lifestyle changes?
What they do not realize, until it is too late, is their life may be cut short and the quality of their life in most cases is significantly diminished. For example diabetics are at risk for nerve damage which causes neuropathy leading to amputations, or their vision is damaged leading to blindness or the heart or kidneys begin to fail or the arterial damage caused by the excess blood sugar causes atherosclerosis leading to cardiovascular and heart disease and even stroke. Diabetes can be a very slow and agonizing death.
So please eat your vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds. Get more active and exercise your body. Limit your consumption of alcohol to no more than 2 drinks a day for men and 1 for women and please quit smoking.
Your body will love you for it and reward you with less illness, a higher quality of life and possibly an extra 12 years! I don’t want to watch life from the sidelines I want to play and enjoy everything life has to offer. How about you?
Wally Bishop I.N.H.C., C.N.C., C.I.C.P.
Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
The contents of this blog are not and should not be considered medical advice. This blog is for informational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.