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Was Garfield the cat right?

How to create long term quality health?  Was Garfield right?

Morning all, how is your day going?  I woke up thinking about Garfield the cat. Do you remember him?  His favourite food was lasagna?  Do you remember his favourite quote?  It was diet was “die with a T”.  It got me thinking.  Then I got me fired up.

Why?  Read on.

After reviewing statistics on Australian Health sourced from the AIHW (Australian Institute of Health & Welfare) on chronic diseases (think cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes), I concluded for different reasons that Garfield had in mind, he was on the money.  If you put the word poor in front of diet you get poor diet and Garfield’s quote rings true.  Why?

The AIHW statistics give hard unflinching cold facts on chronic disease which are making us ill.  What is particularly disturbing about some of these statistics is that they indicate that poor health is presenting from a relatively young age.  For example in 1999-2000 1 in 3 people aged over 25years have high blood pressure and half of Australians aged 25 years+ had high total cholesterol.

So what can you do to avoid becoming a statistic?  Are the causes random, does the genetic hand we are dealt or do poor eating and lifestyle habits play a role?

Preventing disease before it starts

All can and do play a role.  Life events can be random and unfortunately they can be cruel and there are some diseases in which genetics can deal a tough hand.  However predisposition to disease does not equate to getting the disease.  You need to create an environment through your diet (think lack of fresh fruit & veg, lots of refined, processed & junk food, too much salt, obesity), lifestyle (think inactivity, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption) or your surroundings to trigger the predisposition, all things you can control.  And eating and lifestyle habits are absolutely within your control.

Don’t be a statistic – Aim for better health

I know statistics can be confronting.  I know if feels so much better to read messages giving softer encouragement such as eat healthier and you will lose weight, fit into a smaller dress size, create glowing skin or for some it is achieve the ultimate ribbed pecks.  I understand that and I understand the desire.

My want for myself, my family and for you is to achieve and maintain long term quality healthy.  Chronic health from poor eating and lifestyle results from what you do day in and day out.  To give yourself the best chance of living a long and healthy life, take charge and invest in your health every day.  By doing so you can influence the quality of your health and wellbeing and hence the quality of your life.

Balance + variety + quality + moderation = Better health

I am passionate about food, I believe food is nutrition. I do not believe in fad diets.  I believe the words balance, variety, quality and moderation are synonymous with a healthy diet.  Adopt these principles together with mindful and healthy living (think being active, taking time out, meditation, no smoking and moderated alcohol consumption) and you will build a foundation to achieve long term quality health.

I have provided some key statistics about Chronic Health from AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) website below.

Wishing you good health.

Enjoy your food

ciao Jan

 

Relationships between selected chronic diseases and determinants (causes)

Chronic conditions

Determinants (causes)

Tobacco smoking

Physical inactivity

Risky alcohol consumption

Poor diet

Obesity

Hypertension

High blood fats

Ischaemic heart disease

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Stroke

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Type 2 diabetes

Y

Y

Y

Y

Kidney disease

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Arthritis

Y (a)

Y (b)

Y (b)

Osteoporosis

Y

Y

Y

Y

Lung cancer

Y

Colorectal cancer

Y

Y

Y

Y

COPD

Y

Asthma

Y

Depression

Y

Y

Y

Oral health

Y

Y

Y

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2002. Chronic diseases and associated risk factors in Australia, 2001. Canberra: AIHW.

(a) Relates to rheumatoid arthritis. (b) Relates to osteoarthritis.

Some key statitics on Diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer

Diabetes

  • 4% of Australians have diabetes. That’s around 999,000 people.
  • This rate was 1.5% in 1989. The rate in 2011–12 was 4.2%.
  • Type 2 diabetes accounts for 87% of all people with diabetes occurring mostly in people aged 50 years and over.
  • Over half of adults with diabetes are overweight or obese, which puts them at greater risk for diabetes.
  • 3 in 5 of people with diabetes also have cardiovascular disease.
  • $1,507 million or 2.3% of all health expenditure was spent on treating diabetes in 2008–09.

Cardiovascular health

  • 3.4 million OR 1 in 6 Australians had cardiovascular disease in 2007–08.
  • 1 in 3 or 46,000 Australian deaths a result of cardiovascular disease in 2009 .
  • 1 in 3 people aged 25 or over had high blood pressure in 1999–2000.
  • 11% or $6 billion of the health spend was spent treating cardiovascular disease in 2004–05.

Cancer

  • 2009 – Risk for Australian males of being diagnosed with cancer before 85th birthday was 1 in 2. The most common diagnoses were prostate (1 in 5 males), bowel (1 in 10), lung (1 in 13), and skin (1 in 14).
  • 2009 – Risk for Australian females of being diagnosed with cancer before their 85th birthday was 1 in 3. The most common diagnoses were breast (1 in 8 females), bowel (1 in 15), lung (1 in 22), and skin (1 in 23).
  • Risk factors for prostate cancer: Obesity and physical inactivity, ageing, family history and genetic susceptibility.
  • Risk factors for bowel cancer: Alcohol consumption, diet, obesity and physical inactivity, family history and genetic susceptibility & medical and iatrogeni.
  • Risk factors for lung cancer: Smoking, infection, occupation, radiation, medical/iatrogenic, pollution
  • Risk factors for Skin Cancer: Sun Exposure
  • DeathsIn 2010, cancer accounted for about 3 of every 10 deaths (30%) registered in Australia.