Tobacco & Alcohol Use
• In all its forms tobacco contains harmful drugs.
• Nicotine is the most addictive of the drugs contained in tobacco.
• Fewer people are starting to smoke.
• Many people quit smoking by late adulthood.
• Death from lung cancer is down by 20% from 1980 - 1995.
Ψ Adults who drink alcohol (wine, beer, spirits) in moderation live longer than those who never drink….reason? - Reduction in coronary heart disease. Alcohol increases "good cholesterol" (high-density lipoprotein) which in turn decreases "bad cholesterol" (low-density lipoprotein).
Ψ Small amounts of alcohol may …
• reduce tension.
• aid digestion.
Ψ Large amounts of alcohol may …
• lead to alcohol abuse/dependence.
• cause cirrhosis of the liver (kills 14,000 middle-aged adults in the US each year).
• stress the heart & stomach & destroy brain cells.
• decrease fertility & increase some forms of cancer (breast cancer).
• cause Korsakoff's syndrome: An organic disorder in which the brain fails to cope with new information, though distant memory is preserved. It is usually due to chronic alcoholism. An ultimate & tragic consequence of years of alcoholic drinking, "wet brain" (Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome) occurs from a thiamine deficiency due to malnutrition. In early stages, the syndrome can be partially reversed through treatment with large doses of thiamine; in late stage cases, there is no effective treatment.
Ψ Deaths due to alcohol each year in the US - 108,000
Ψ Worldwide, alcohol is one of the leading causes of the Global Disease Burden - combines indicators of premature death with indicators of disability worldwide.
Ψ IMPORTANT- just because moderate consumption of alcohol has health benefits…does not mean that it is not a major health risk.
Lack of Exercise
Ψ Adults exercise less as they age. Low exercise rates are blamed on
• lack of commitment.
• lack of support in the immediate social context.
• community’s failure to provide appropriate facilities.
• burns calories.
• decreases appetite.
• increases metabolism.
• reduces serious illness & death.
Ψ Exercise not only improves an adult's physical state, it improves cognitive functioning because of improved blood circulation to the brain, this is thought to be the reason exercise decreases depression & hostility.
Ψ Resistance to Good Nutrition
Ψ Resistance to Good Nutrition comes from
• misinterpreting scientific research.
• the existence of many high fat diet plans.
• heavy drinking & smoking.
Ψ Two proven conclusions from health studies:
• Avoid too much fat
• Get enough Fiber
Ψ Adults should get less than 30% of their calories from fat.
Ψ High fiber diets make some forms of cancer less likely (colon cancer)
Ψ Adults should get more than 30 grams of fiber a day and have at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables.
Ψ Obesity is the leading cause of premature adult death.
Ψ Obesity is a worldwide epidemic, & it will be followed by a worldwide epidemic of diabetes.
Ψ The U.S. is the global leader in obesity & diabetes.
Ψ Obesity is a BMI of 30 or more. Morbid obesity is a BMI of 40 or more.
Ψ Obesity is a risk factor for:
• heart disease
Ψ Reasons for Obesity
• genes - regulate hunger, metabolism, & fat accumulation out of step
with modern civilization.
• parental attitudes & practices - cause children to be taught to overeat.
• environment - modern cultures encourage overeating.
Ψ The damage & death caused by tobacco, alcohol, & obesity make it obvious that prevention is less risky than treatment.
Ψ Much of prevention involves choices people make every day as to diet &
Ψ Of course preventive screening & medical measures are helpful.
Ψ Social measures that protect against harm & help those who suffer from trauma like
requiring seatbelt use are obvious forms of prevention.
Growth & Development|
Robert C. Gates