Chapter 6: Modern Day Health: Are we making the right choices?

12 comments

‘Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’  – Forrest Gump

And we got the pandemic!

A bitter reminder of the state of our health, lifestyle and the surrounding world.

Over the past two years, Covid-19 has caused immense havoc in our world. We were (still are) threatened by a virus, put into lockdowns, and worse situations mankind has ever seen. While we needed to stay away from people to avoid catching the virus, we had to look into something deeper to survive the virus – our lifestyle, our health choices & our immunity.

We resorted to taking supplements and medications to boost our immunity before a vaccine was made available. But did anyone ever question why? Is it humanly difficulty to have a strong immunity based on what we consume and how we live? Even if we were to eradicate coronavirus from the equation. Even then, are we all healthy?

According to the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) 2013, published in the Lancet, “Just one in 20 people worldwide (4·3%) had no health problems in 2013, with a third of the world’s population (2·3 billion individuals) experiencing more than five ailments.”

“Diabetes, cancer and heart disease, are collectively responsible for over 70% of all deaths worldwide, or 41 million people. This includes 15 million people dying prematurely, aged between 30 and 69.” – Ten threats to global health in 2019, WHO

The above stats are testament that despite the most advanced research available at our disposal to help live and maintain a healthy balanced life, we are still not in the best of our health. Even though we like to preach the statement ‘health is wealth’, we are constantly struggling with the establishment of the notion.

WHO defines health as, “A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

While a physically fit body is an important factor that determines our health state, it is also how we process mentally that determines how healthy we are. Anxiety, depression, panic attacks are some of the most common mental health issues faced by the people today.

According to WHO, “Mental health conditions are increasing worldwide. Mainly because of demographic changes, there has been a 13% rise in mental health conditions and substance use disorders in the last decade (to 2017). Globally, it is estimated that 1 in 7 (14%) 10-19 year-olds experience mental health conditions, yet these remain largely unrecognized and untreated.”

WHO reports also state that, “In 2019, 1 in every 8 people, or 970 million people around the world were living with a mental disorder, with anxiety and depressive disorders the most common. In 2020, the number of people living with anxiety and depressive disorders rose significantly because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Initial estimates show a 26% and 28% increase respectively for anxiety and major depressive disorders in just one year.”

The state of our mental health also determines the state of our physical health because our body’s health mechanisms are interconnected. Thus, it is important to take account of our mental health as well to live a happy, healthy and balanced life. Treating our mental health just as we would treat a physical health problem is paramount to a healthy life.

With the advent of unlimited choices, and the changing lifestyle trends, along with all the extensive information, contradictory news and confusing societal norms has left us feeling nothing but perplexed. It is hard to comprehend and choose between what is considered and believed to be healthy and what is healthy in actuality.

In this fast-moving lifestyle, we are gullible to half measured trends and inadequate research. Instead of understanding their own health needs, people tend to follow new exercises, regimes and diets because it is being followed and recommended by celebrities, influencers, and/or peers. Somewhere in between following new trends, we have stopped to look into our facts, figures and information. What works for someone, may not work for you because everybody’s body is different.

‘Modern Day Health: Are we making the right choices?’ is a series that aims at discovering and uncovering the issues of our modern health, and understanding the cause of our distress while learning to undo and relearning the way to Live a Little More.

Follow me as we discover some important health issues and delve deep into the research available to help us better understand the state of our health. Through the series, we will try to learn about our modern-day diet, lifestyle trends, discovering the cause of growing illnesses in children, how eating a plant-based diet helps you live a healthy life.

This series will cover up topics such as:

  1. Protein: what is adequate and what isn’t?
  2. Understanding the importance of our Gut Health
  3. The relation between food and mental health
  4. The science behind Ayurveda
  5. The truth behind rising obesity in children
  6. Health, immunity, and diet
  7. The impact of smoking, drinking, and taking drugs
  8. Role of Plant-based diet in curing diseases

While these are just examples of a few topics that will be covered through the series, you can drop your suggestions in the comment section and I will try to include them.

How we approach our health is going to be an important factor in establishing ourselves against new illnesses and viruses. While it is easy to get confused and blindsided by all the extensive amount of information, if we start to worship our body as our temple, and feed it with thoughts, food and activities that will help it grow, it may be able to preserve and live a little more healthy life.

References:

  1. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/adolescent-mental-health
  2. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mental-disorders
  3. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150608081753.htm
  4. https://www.who.int/news-room/spotlight/ten-threats-to-global-health-in-2019
  5. https://www.who.int/health-topics/mental-health#tab=tab_1

12 comments on “Chapter 6: Modern Day Health: Are we making the right choices?”

  1. Hi Aakriti,

    You post some interesting thoughts here. I look forward to your series; the Ayurveda post coming up should be neat. I remember when my wife did a 10-day treatment during our trip to Kerala.

    Ryan

    Liked by 1 person

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