Perception of health

Published in El Pais, 3 November 2021.

We all know that health is important, but do we perceive it that way? Or do we act as if it is the most precious investment? As precious as education? Or as precious as enjoying life?

Among the most important causes of mortality there are many that could be avoided with actions on a personal and social level. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2020 ischemic heart diseases, cardiac arrests, obstructive lung diseases, respiratory infections, diarrhea, and diabetes mellitus accounted for 55% of deaths in the world. The causes for these diseases mentioned are several, but the most common are tobacco use, overweight, high bad cholesterol,  diabetes, high blood pressure,  and sedentary lifestyle. Causes that go beyond genetics.

Others causes that accounted for 7% of the global deaths in 2020 according to the WHO are, not including COVID-19, Malaria, malnutrition, homicide, and others such as influenza, drugs-alcohol, social conflicts, fires, heat waves or cold. The causes can be found in the rising temperatures that could be caused by the disappearance of forests and fauna. This important aspect seems so insignificant, especially when a nation is growing (population, urban, industrial, etc.). However, we cannot forget that air quality, water supply (for humans, animals and crops) are essential for the continuity of development and life. It has been shown that people can reduce their stress level when walking through a forest and this in turn, also motivates the appreciation of nature, which motivates towards a healthy diet and consequently can improve the state of health and also the productivity of people.

In recent years, social movements have also been formed in favor of a greener world, a healthy diet based on the reduction of pressure on consumption and also movements for a responsible organization in production. Hopefully these movements can gradually raise awareness among more people towards this goal that could also benefit the perception and actions to take care of our health. The present is very important but also our future. And the future is a consequence of the actions of the past and the present.

About Kathya Cordova-Pozo 196 Articles
PhD. in Economics and International politics. Works in health and economics research.

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