Essay on Maintaining a Healthy Body

1579 Words Apr 10th, 2012 7 Pages
“MAINTAINING A HEALTHY BODY”

A healthy body goes hand in hand with a person’s healthy lifestyle whose characteristics include someone who does not smoke, has a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18.5 and 25, eats 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day and has daily exercise (9). The World Health Organisation (WHO) classify values outside of the normal parameters as being underweight if the value is below 18.5 while values exceeding 25 are considered to be overweight (14). To put this into context, it is reported by the Northern Ireland (NI) Executive that 450 deaths in NI were caused by obesity in 2010 while Trevedi (2006) estimates that 75% of worldwide deaths from non-contagious diseases will be related to an unhealthy diet by 2020
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However, there are other factors that we cannot control: our genes. One such example is familial hypercholesterolaemia which is a genetic condition that fails to produce the receptor that allows LDL cholesterol to be re-absorbed by the liver. This will lead to a build up of cholesterol in the blood. According to Fitzgerald (2010) half of all men with this condition die of a heart attack before they are 60 (5). If CHD or other diseases are caused by genetic inheritance then the alteration of lifestyle will not necessarily change this fact but may prolong life.

In conclusion, the maintenance of a healthy body is a personal choice, implemented through diet and exercise. Current governmental reviews have recognised the number of individuals in society as being outside the normal parameters of a healthy body, primarily caused by nutrition, that will eventually exert an unnecessary pressure on the NHS in years to come. These include a ‘rapid increase in obesity and of ‘diabetes and other chronic diseases, including cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, bone disease and cancers of various sites’ (2). This leaves government and health officials, whose budgets are constrained, to review future policies. For example, Leary (2011) reported that obese women with a BMI greater

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