Young and unhealthy: More falling prey to chronic diseases

KUALA LUMPUR, Mon. The trend is frightening. More and more young people are falling prey to chronic diseases. Studies show that more than five million young Malaysians could become victims of diabetes, hypertension, heart ailments and stroke next year. And if the young do not change their lifestyles, eating habits and quit smoking, by 2020 the figure will rise to 10 million.

The study indicates that some 2.3 million smokers, 420,200 obese people, 1.5 million overweight people, 8.4 million who are physically inactive, 410,650 who have impaired glucose tolerance and 2.1 million who consume alcohol are at risk of chronic diseases. One study conducted between the year 2000 and 2003 by the Health Ministry, for instance, showed young men below 29 being hospitalised with ischemic heart disease (IHD) and stroke.

The situation is bad enough without this trend: Every day, about 110 Malaysians suffer a stroke, the country’s third killer after cancer and heart attack. More than 40,000 new cases are reported annually. The need to come to grips with this trend is the reason why the Health Ministry is targeting those above 18 years in its planned National Health and Morbidity Study 2006. (The Star Online)

I think the current lifestyle is full of alternatives and variety, which causes our system to work much harder, to adapt, defend and defeat all kinds of foreign substance we gayfully introduce to our body. It's not only drugs or alcohol or nightlife, its the things we eat, the work place and the environment, like pollution. So, live healthy and eat healthy might sound passe and boring but when you're down half a lung, immune system shuting down and cancer abound.....suddenly that advice seems like a very good guide. I'd say live in moderation and eat in moderation, to strike a balance and resist those seductive and sinful temptations.