Lifestyle diseases are illnesses associated with the way an individual or a group lives, including cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, chronic liver disease, smoking-related diseases and obesity. There are a number of considerable factors that can lead to those sicknesses. For instance, external causes involve poverty, work pressure, unhealthy diets and unbalanced life, while internal factors refer to unawareness and misconception of those illnesses. Consequently, those sicknesses have significant long-term effects on individuals’ lives, which may shorten their life expectancy. Furthermore, lifestyle diseases have been regarded as one of the primary causes of mortality in the world. Globally, 60 per cent of the death toll is due to sicknesses associated with unhealthy ways of life, which can translate to nearly 36 million deaths (AllAfrica Global Media, 2011). In addition, by the year 2015, those illnesses will become a considerable financial burden around the world (Sabu et al., 2009: 1-14). This essay will focus on causes and effects of lifestyle diseases in the world.
The first section will analyse the causes of lifestyle sicknesses in the developed world. These causes can be divided into three parts, which are unbalanced diets, lack of regular exercise and insufficient sleep. Those who are in developed countries sometimes do not pay much attention to their diet and the consumption of alcohol which could lead to several diseases, such as obesity and hypertension. For example, fruit and vegetables contain a great many of nutritions, such as vitamins, minerals and fibers, and many other things that do good to health. Eating more fruit and vegetables can make the risk of certain cancer or cardiovascular diseases (CVD) lower. However, in the United States, the consumption of fruit and vegetables decreased from 3.43 times per day in 1994 to 3.24 times per day in 2005. It seems to show that the importance of diet is not stressed adequately (Blanck et al., 2008). Likewise, alcoholism can also cause lifestyle illnesses. It has been proved that total mortality goes up rapidly when a person consumes three or more bottles of wine each day (Pearson, 1996). It can be seen that unhealthy diet could lead to poor condition of body.
Because of the fast living pace in the developed countries, lack of regular physical exercise has been a common phenomenon among citizens. This can lead to coronary heart disease. According to research done among San Francisco longshoremen, those who did lower levels of vigorous work took significantly twice higher risk of coronary heart disease death rate than those did not. It also has been found that civil servants who were not addicted to active exercise in their spare time were more likely to have clinical coronary heart disease than those who preferred to vigorous activity in Britain (Siscovick, Laporte and Newman, 1985). Moreover, lack of exercise can lead to obesity. Another research has shown that the population of obesity was 32.2% among adult men and almost 35.5% among adult women from 2007 to 2008 in the United States (Flegal et al., 2010). However, at present American citizens are paying more attention to the benefits of regular physical activity, such as walking. Some even walk or ride to work instead of taking a bus or driving (Pakenham, 2004).
Even though individuals’ attitude to exercise has changed, there is still another factor that influences their health. In the developed world, insufficient sleep can be more serious than that in developing countries. It can attribute to many severe sicknesses, such as myocardial infarction, which is a kind of fatal heart diseases. In Japan, there was a case-control study. The study was based on the effect of inadequate sleep among men with and without myocardial infarction. The case group comprised 250 men who were diagnosed with myocardial infarction, while the control...