Bad health habits are costing us our lives.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has turned his attention to a new deadly killer that is causing the death of 36 million people world wide every year. The diseases: cancer, diabetes, heart and lung disease. These account for two thirds of the deaths in the world and nine out of ten in the United States.
Many of these deaths are preventable and caused by bad habits like smoking, eating and exercise or the lack of. In the past the U.N has targeted AIDS, tuberculosis, new flu bugs. Worldwide, stroke and heart related diseases account for nearly half of all noninfectious diseases. Over 17 million died in 2008. Cancer is second with 7.6 million deaths followed by respiratory diseases such as emphysema with 4.2 million deaths. Diabetes causes 1.3 million to die.
The causes: unhealthy diets, tobacco use, alcohol abuse, lack of physical activity. These are all things that we can do something about. In some countries heart disease is almost non-existent.
Resources exist everywhere to help you improve your diet. Here are a few tips from the Mayo Clinic:
- Limit unhealthy fats and cholesterol
- Choose low-fat protein sources
- Eat more vegetables and fruits
- Select whole grains
- Reduce the sodium in your food
- Control your portion size
- Plan ahead: Create daily menus
- Allow yourself an occasional treat
Here is a complete listing from the Mayo.