Now-a-days, it can be seen that some men and women around us have enormous body sizes in comparison to other fellow humans, whose body sizes appear visibly normal, with their weights and heights being proportionate to one another. Due to the availability of fast food restaurants near schools, shopping centers and office complexes, it becomes hard to resist gulping another fat rich meal, and a glass of high calorie soft drink, even though one may had a regular meal, may be just an hour ago.
The craving created by the tempting advertisements by the celebrities is so strong that the victims get enticed to add on weight, day-after-day. The consequences of ingesting a high calorie food that is more than that recommended by a balanced diet, cast their gloom when the victim becomes overweight, and then, obese. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, overweight and obesity are the conditions of a body that warn an individual about the excess amount of fat, which gets abnormally accumulated in the body.
CDC claims that the amount of fat is calculated by “Body Mass Index,” abbreviated as BMI, which is measured by the height and weight of an individual. Based on their findings, CDC has classified the health of adult an individual into four categories: “underweight,” if the BMI is less than 18. 5, “healthy weight,” if the BMI is between 18. 5 to 24. 9, “overweight,” if the BMI is between 25 to 29. 9, and “obese,” if the BMI is more than 30. These ranges do not apply to teens or children.
Thus, we can calculate our state of health by feeding the values of weight and height in the formula for the BMI. Now an interesting question arises: “Is obesity a disease? ” Since obesity causes inactivity due to the surplus amount of fat on the individual, and also causes several other diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes as well as diseases of the heart, it is a deadly disease that must be checked in its early stage of development. Awareness, intake of balanced diet and keeping a regular physical activity are the best solutions for preventing obesity.
Cancer One of the most dreadful diseases that appear in the headlines of newspapers, internet, radio, and the TV is cancer. It does not spare even the famous actors, actresses, or the great American Presidents who are admired by fellow citizens. Ronald Reagan and Franklin Roosevelt are included in the victims’ list. National Cancer Institute reported that 565,650 people had died of cancer in the United States in 2008, and 1,437,180 new cases of cancer were also detected.
According to National Cancer Institute, cancer refers to those diseases, in which, there is abnormal and proliferous growth of cells that invade other tissues, and may also spread to other parts of body through blood and lymph systems. It is well known that even plants and animals develop cancer. Hence, it becomes important to understand its origin, prevention and cure. National Cancer Institute reports that when mutations occur due to changes in the DNA, normal cells do not die, but continue to grow along with new cells.
This causes development of a tumor, which can be benign or malignant. The malignant tumor that spreads to other parts of the body is cancerous. The same institute mentions that there are more than 100 kinds of cancer; their nomenclature is done after the name of the organ in which the cancerous cells invade. For instance, when cancer originates in the breast, it is called breast cancer; when it starts in colon, it is called colon cancer; when it infests in the lungs, it is called lung cancer, and so on. We have heard about lung cancer, which occurs due to intake of tobacco.
The best prevention method could be quitting the intake of tobacco products, and preventing ones’ exposure to an environment that is filled with tobacco smoke, since it is possible that a passive smoker may get cancer, while the smoker may not show any symptom for cancer. National Cancer Institute suggests CT scan and biopsy for prognosis and diagnosis, while chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery for treatment. Flu Sometime in life, we suffer from cold with running nose, or irritation in the throat with cough, which may last for only a few days.
However, these symptoms can become severe along with other bodily discomforts. In that case, the family doctor may have diagnosed the illness as flu. According to a report of Medical News Today (2004), flu is defined as a contagious respiratory disease that spreads through sneezing and coughing from an infected patient. The word flu is synonymous with influenza, and it is a viral disease. Further, the report highlights its symptoms that include a high temperature, shivering, headache, fatigue, and with possibilities of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Regarding its prevention and spread, the report suggests staying at home, avoiding contact with other fellows, drinking liquids, and consultation with a doctor. The report also highlights a few alarming statistics from accredited organizations: 36000 people die annually from flu in the USA (source: Center for Diseases Control and Prevention), while nearly 500,000 people die annually across the world (source: World Health Organization). However, it should not be worrisome because the disease can be prevented, if vaccines are taken annually upon consultation with the family doctor.
According to Kids Health, a non-profit organization, babies and kids below the age of five years need the flu vaccination, since they are more vulnerable to the flu virus. It also recommends that the doctors as well as the nurses, who attend the flu patients, should take the flu vaccination. There is particular kind of flu called bird flu, which had also become a cause of concern among the health professionals, and to the people worldwide in the recent past. Unlike the usual flu which infects the humans, bird flu exists within the bird population. However, it can spread to humans through infected poultry products.
Though its spread to humans has now been checked, the World Health Organization has recommended precautionary measures to all nations. Indeed! Prevention is better than cure. Good Health with Good Nutrition It is a well known fact that when a person eats a balanced diet having proportionate amounts of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and fiber, then mind and body also remain healthy. Besides, it is also important to maintain regular eating habits. For example, when we consume junk food at irregular intervals, and in between our regular meals, then we develop flatulence and obesity.
Rice and potatoes contain carbohydrates that yield energy to the body; butter and cakes contain fats that store excess energy in the body; lentils, dairy products and peas contain proteins that help in growth and repair of body tissues; yogurt, broccoli, orange and spinach contain vitamins that are required by the body in small quantities for performing specific functions; yogurt, milk, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables and bananas contain minerals that are essential for maintaining healthy bones, teeth and muscles; fruits; vegetables and whole grains contain fiber that help in the peristaltic movements of the digestive tract, allowing the food to travel easily without clogging up. The amount of these essential nutrients required by a person depends on age, gender and kind of work performed.
Based on the findings of United States Department of Agriculture, Los Angeles Times (2009) reported that active females from 19-30 years of age, need 2400 calories per day, while active males in the same age group need 3000 calories per day. However, as the age of active females increases from 31 to 50 years, they require lesser calories, only 2200 calories per day. But the number of calories required by the active males remains the same at 3000 calories per day, even though their age increases from 31 to 50 years. The requirement of calories per day is 2000 for sedentary females in the age group of 19-30, while for 31-50, it reduces to 1800. The same trend applies to sedentary males: 19-30 age group requires 2400 calories per day, while 31-50 age group requires 2200 calories per day. Hence, it can be concluded that a balanced diet is important for everybody’s healthy growth.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Definition Overweight and Obesity.
Retrieved March 29, 2009, from http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity/defining.htm
Kids Health. (n.d.). The flu. Retrieved from http://kidshealth.org/kid/ill_injure/sick/flu.html
National Cancer Institute. (n.d.). What is Cancer? Retrieved from
Nordqvist, C. (2004, October 18). What is Flu? What is Influenza? What are the symptoms of
Flu? Medical News Today. Retrieved March 29, 2009, from
Roan, S. (2009, February 2). Counting calories by age group. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from
World Health Organization. (n.d.). Aviation influenza frequently asked questions. Retrieved
March 29, 2009, from
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