“The message we can bring to the world is one of optimism. Effective treatments are there. Prevention and early detection can drastically reduce the burden.” And hence the social and human suffering. In the words of Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director General of WHO.
This topic can be hard to understand so I will explain it in simple language that a 7yr old can understand and also in “sciency” language for the “experts” in the room.
Before reading below, understand 3 concepts to pre-frame what you will come to understand.
- We have more experts than in any other point of history, but more problems
- We know what to do, but are not doing it.
- We are busy, tired, in survival mode and as a result asleep and wilfully ignorant to change.
- THE BIG 3 are……..
1) OBESITY & COMORBIDITIES (FAT OR PHAT)
- Worldwide obesity has nearly doubled since 1980.
- In 2008, more than 1.4 billion adults, 20 and older, were overweight. Of these over 200 million men and nearly 300 million women were obese.
- 35% of adults aged 20 and over were overweight in 2008, and 11% were obese.
- 65% of the world’s population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight.
- 42 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2013.
- Obesity is preventable.
SIMPLE: Eating Fake food “frankenfood” is making us fat with dangly bits where there shouldn’t be any. Fake food is clogging up our pipes, causing blockages and stopping our body from functioning properly. Combined with this we have no energy from nutrient deficient fake foods. As a result exercise and movement becomes a daily chore. Sitting and sedentary behaviours are now the new smoking and lack of movement is driving this epidemic further. But lets get clear, it starts with nutrition and food.
SCIENCY: Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health.
“Overweight and obesity are leading risks for global deaths. Around 3.4 million adults die each year as a result of being overweight or obese. In addition, 44% of the diabetes burden, 23% of the ischaemic heart disease burden and between 7% and 41% of certain cancer burdens are attributable to overweight and obesity”
So diabetes, all forms of heart disease and even cancer are associated with being overweight!
SOLUTION: Do no harm, cut out the fake foods, eat an plant based diet from locally sourced and seasonal farmers. An 80/20 rule for plant to animal based eating is a simple guide. Use food to have energy from within and then sustain a physically active lifestyle doing something you love doing.
2) DEPRESSION (Unhappy)
- Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, more than 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression.
- Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the global burden of disease.
- More women are affected by depression than men.
- At its worst, depression can lead to suicide.
- There are effective treatments for depression.
SIMPLE: A lot of people are feeling down in the dumps all the time, unhappy and withdrawn.
A disorder of the mind (thoughts, beliefs, actions, habits, behaviours) will cause people to self destruct and take their own life. If this is not a wake up call to the world, then i’m not sure what is. People are wilfully “choosing” not to live any more. As an organism, our environment and circumstance are perceived to be so “harsh” and unsustainable for it to exist. There is no thought or vision of a brighter future. As a result the organism (us) is choosing (yes its a cognitive choice) to cease to exist. From an evolutionary stand point, what type of world have we created where this is happening?
SCIENCEY: Feelings of severe despondency and dejection.
“In most cases, a complex interaction between biological, psychological and social factors contributes to the emergence of mental health and neurological problems. Strong links have been made between mental health problems with a biological base, such as depression, and adverse social conditions such as unemployment, limited education, discrimination on the basis of sex, human rights violations and poverty”
The key point here is that our ENVIRONMENT is making us feel this way. Our work environment, our social environment and the people we spend the most time with. Other factors such as food and the gut-brain axis play a massive role, our immune system; bugs, viruses and bacterias are proven to effect our brain function.
SOLUTION: Change your environment, surround yourself with people who build you up and support you. Self Develop and learn to do something you love doing. Give back and help others and watch the love flow in. Learn to love yourself and develop self worth.
3) CANCER, THE BIG “C” (Unexplained Growths)
SIMPLE: Things start growing in your body where that shouldn’t, this makes you feel terrible all the time. The cause is attributed to “toxins – chemical, bugs, bacterias, viruses, radiation” making their way into your body and effecting the way the body functions. We unknowingly and unconsciously are putting things in our body in small doses that accumulate over time and result in the end result being the BIG C. The “organic and sustainable” social movement is there for a reason. People may not see the link yet.
Cancer does not discriminate. It affects everyone – the young and old, the rich and poor, men, women and children – and represents a tremendous burden on patients, families and societies. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world, particularly in developing countries.
Yet, many of these deaths can be avoided. Over 30% of cancer can be prevented by healthy life style or by immunisation against cancer causing infections ( HBV, HPV). Others can be detected early, treated and cured. Even with late stage cancer, the suffering of patients can be relieved with good palliative care.
SCIENCY: Endocrine disrupting cells, impair gene replication causing uncontrolled cell growth. Growths can be cured and even prevented. In an impaired immune system, cancer can perpetuate itself easily often resulting in death. Look at the causes and ask why do we use radiotherapy and chemotherapy as a first line approach.
Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 8.2 million deaths in 2012 (1). The most common causes of cancer death are cancers of.
- lung (1.59 million deaths)
- liver (745 000 deaths)
- stomach (723 000 deaths)
- colorectal (694 000 deaths)
- breast (521 000 deaths)
- oesophageal cancer (400 000 deaths) (1).
Cancer arises from one single cell. The transformation from a normal cell into a tumour cell is a multistage process, typically a progression from a pre-cancerous lesion to malignant tumours. These changes are the result of the interaction between a person’s genetic factors and three categories of external agents, including:
- physical carcinogens, such as ultraviolet and ionizing radiation;
- chemical carcinogens, such as asbestos, components of tobacco smoke, aflatoxin (a food contaminant) and arsenic (a drinking water contaminant); and
- biological carcinogens, such as infections from certain viruses, bacteria or parasites.
SOLUTION: Keep the bad stuff out and pump up your immune system to fight of any bug or viruses that are around us every day. Do this with routine and consistency. Learn to detoxify your body, or move to a clean environment with less “toxins”.
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Top 10 WHO leading causes of death: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs310/en/