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These days, it seems as though every one has some sort of health ailment and does not hesitate to make it public. Ironically enough, even health experts cannot agree on remedies or ways to manage diseases such as heart problems. And the problems men and women face are different and vary by ethnicity.
As the Baby Boomer population ages, health care costs are rising as more and more citizens require medical treatment for their health issues. Those who brave the overwhelming array of products find homeopathic remedies, doctor-prescribed drugs, herb potions, and food cures. Many health issues are preventable, but some life forces, such as stress, cannot be controlled but can be moderated.
Diabetes, heart disease, cancer – the list of health issues goes on and on. The Atkins diet has been credited with “curing” mild forms of diabetes and helping certain people to stop taking heart medications. However, many people overlook one of the main causes of their health issues; the body handles the strain of being overweight in many different ways. The U.S. Surgeon General’s office estimates that over 60 percent of Americans are overweight, resulting in 300,000 obesity-related deaths per year. Smoking causes an estimated 400,000 deaths per year.
While obesity and related health issues have increased across all genders and ethnicities, disparities do exist. In women, overweight and obesity are higher among women of racial and ethnic minorities. In men, Mexican-Americans have a higher prevalence for obesity and overweight than non-Hispanic men, while non-Hispanic white men have a higher prevalence than African American men. Finally, those from low-income families tend to have greater prevalence of overweight-related health issues than those from higher-income families.
While it can be confusing to navigate the vast array of options for treating health issues, experts recommend discussing one’s options and specific health issues and concerns with a doctor. The U.S. Surgeon General’s office also recommends a healthy serving of fruits, vegetables, low-fat meat (such as chicken) and nutritious carbohydrates, such as whole wheat bread. It is recommended to stay away from sugary, sweet foods, or empty carbohydrates.
However, experts do agree on two things when it comes to health issues– timely doctor check-ups, while time consuming and usually without bad news, are absolutely essential. Frequent mammograms and exams for women can usually detect most tumors and cancer in the early stages. And frequent prostate exams for men can do the same. The second point of health issues is that a healthy lifestyle should be maintained.
Also, many health issues can be prevented. Smoking, lack of exercise and a high-fat, high-calorie, high-sugar diet are all the root of many health issues, and can be controlled or eliminated from one’s lifestyle. If parents instill healthy lifestyle habits in their children, the children will be more likely to retain those habits as they mature into adults and will have a higher certainty of avoiding many health issues.
Another cause of health issues is stress. Stress can exacerbate many health conditions, such as heart problems. Learning how to control stress can lower one’s blood pressure, as it can help one to turn to more effective ways of dealing with life rather than the TV and food. Thus, by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and eliminating negative forces, one’s health issues can be contained and even lessened in future generations.