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The Dangers of the American Lifestyle — an article on the Smart Living Network
April 26, 2009 at 2:14 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

The Dangers of the American Lifestyle

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The Declining Health of Americans: The Statistics

It is commonly known that the average American lifestyle is less than healthy, but many individuals do not understand the actual danger involved; it is life threatening.

  • Of the 22 industrialized countries of the world, the United States has the highest statistics for obesity
  • Heart disease (cardiovascular disease) is the number one cause of death in America, causing approximately 700,000 deaths per year
  • Diabetes causes nearly 100,000 American deaths yearly
  • It is estimated that over 2 trillion dollars is expended yearly on health care
  • It is estimated that only 30% of adult Americans participate in physical activity during leisure time
  • Approximately 66% of all adult Americans are overweight or obese
  • Approximately 30% of all adult Americans have hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Approximately 20% of all adult Americans smoke
  • Stroke is the second most common cause for death in America, causing approximately 150,000 deaths

The Dangers of a Sedentary Lifestyle

The fact is that not many individuals actually understand the preventative powers that physical activity has. The typical American lives a sedentary lifestyle, lacking in both nutrition and exercise. There are excessive amounts of information available on the health benefits of regular physical activity, yet the sedentary lifestyle of Americans continues.

The Real Danger of Fast Foods

On any given day, it is estimated that 25% of adult Americans eat at a fast food restaurant. Why, because it is convenient, tasty and cheap. However, fast food contains high amounts of calories and saturated fats, in addition to having low nutritional value. Fast food only serves to contribute to health problems. While these problems are often not immediately recognized, diabetes and obesity in America is at an all time high.

Are you getting enough Nutrients?

According to United States Dietary Guidelines, Americans are not getting sufficient amounts of seven main nutrients in particular. These seven nutrients include:

  • Vitamin A: Vitamin A is essential to the body for a variety of functions, particularly immune function, tissue growth, and vision.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that boosts overall immune system function and prevents cellular damage, in addition to aiding in the formation of cartilage and bone.
  • Vitamin E: Vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant.
  • Calcium: Calcium is necessary for the maintenance of bone health, muscle functioning, heart rhythm, in addition to others.
  • Fiber: Fiber is essential for the regulation of the digestive system and has been linked with the capability of reducing the overall risk for the development of many conditions and diseases.
  • Magnesium: Magnesium has many roles in the body, including bone strengthening, functioning of the muscles, heart, and nerves, and is necessary for the immune system.
  • Potassium: Potassium is critical for the maintenance of healthy blood pressure levels, proper function of muscles and nerves, and maintaining overall fluid balance.

In addition to these nutrients, it is also suspected that the typical American diet is deficient in the presence of many other nutrients, including Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, folic acid, and iron. The dangers of the American lifestyle are becoming more present, with conditions and diseases associated with this unhealthy lifestyle continuously rising over the past thirty years. The Surgeon General has estimated that approximately 85% of diagnosed cases of both cardiovascular disease and diabetes could have been prevented with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Are you living the typical dangerous American lifestyle? If so, choose to do something about it. Take control of your life and your body. This is important, you only get one body; take care of it. Even small and gradual changes can lead to overall improvements in health and decrease the overall risk for the development of life threatening diseases and conditions associated with the American lifestyle.

Sources: http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/features/missing-nutrients-in-your-food

http://www.uen.org/Lessonplan/preview.cgi?LPid=1254

http://www.fa-ir.org/ai/fastfood_hidden.htm

http://www.unitedhealthfoundation.org/ahr2006/2006ahr.pdf

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/healthy.htm

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