Hey, you with the face
Published: Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 18:04
With the demands of work, school, friends and family blending into the fast-paced life of a college student, efforts recommended for postponing death and preventing disease are often ignored. Before one reaches for their second soda, they should consider the facts. Many of the leading causes of death can be averted. The CDC lists diabetes, cancer, and heart disease as particularly preventable chronic diseases.
Not surprisingly, the same lifestyle people are generally encouraged to lead is beneficial in the battle against succumbing to diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, not smoking, and eating a balanced diet are frequently perpetuated messages. They can be heard in PSA’s, during a doctor’s visit, on health shows such as Dr. Oz and even within dialogue amongst peers and family.
While such a lifestyle borders on common sense, the obesity rate keeps increasing, people keep smoking, and neglect their nutritional needs.
Excess weight is a major contributor to the top three preventable chronic diseases. The CDC reported that from 2007-2008, 33.9 percent of adults were considered obese, while 34.4 percent were overweight (not obese). That is 68.3 percent of the adult population living dangerously at risk for life threatening conditions. Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes, is present mostly in the overweight and inactive. A typical college student can use small steps such as participating in sports, taking the stairs, or even going the long way to class to combat weight gain and inactivity.
Abstaining from tobacco use will significantly decrease ones risk of heart disease and cancer. The World Health Organization claims tobacco use to be, “the single greatest avoidable risk factor for cancer worldwide.” WebMD also discourages smoking as it doubles one’s risk for heart attack. As for enjoying a friend’s company in the presence of their smoke, that too is dangerous. According to the World Health Organization, second hand smoke has been proven to cause lung cancer in nonsmoking adults. While some may find PUC’s smoking policy annoying or unfair, it holds up to the recommendations of the WHO, acting as a metaphorical bandage for unfairly given carcinogens.
Convenience seems to play a significant role in one’s food choice. For example, a hungry college student with a paper due in two hours might choose accessibility over sustenance when it comes to nourishment. An apple usually needs to be washed, an orange peeled, a salad tossed but a bag of chips or an energy drink is an immediate boost.
Students are historically busy. Thinking of and taking action against death and disease while still in one’s physical and social prime can be uncomfortable. Such prevention is necessary though, since death and disease shatter comfortable lives and lifestyles built on convenience.