Lifestyle and Diet

Part 1: Literature summary

Lifestyle and diet play a significant role in the well-being of individuals. Researchers have described an endless list of diseases and health conditions that result from inappropriate habits(Sharma and Majumdar, 2009). Some of the bad habits that have been associated with lifestyle diseases include lack of physical activity, poor body posture, altered biological clock, and poor eating habits. Common lifestyle diseases include type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, stroke, and atherosclerosis. WHO report on lifestyle diseases suggested that India is one of the countries incurring a massive loss as a result of lifestyle diseases. The report further indicates that approximately 60% of deaths worldwide in 2005 occurred as a result of lifestyle diseases(Organization, 2008).

Alzheimer’s syndrome has been associated with dietary and lifestyle. In America, the disease affected an estimated 4.7 million people in 2010. The prevalence of Alzheimer’s is expected, and it may triple if the condition is not mitigated early enough(Hebert et al., 2013). According to a literature review conducted by Barnard and colleagues, (2014), various factors are contributing to the onset of lifestyle diseases including old age, family history, genetic factors and obesity(Barnard et al., 2014). Other dietary and lifestyle factors such as intake of saturated fat intake, intake of vitamin E, and physical exercise. At an international conference held in Washington DC on the subject of Nutrition and Brain, there was demonstration of evidence of the effects of dietary factors, metal exercises physical exercise and sleeps on the development of Alzheimer’s syndrome.During the conference, researchers showed that the factors mentioned above significantly contributed to the development of Alzheimer’s, particularly congenital Alzheimer’s.

Barnard et al., (2014), reviewed some of the essential guidelines that can be used to effectively prevent lifestyle diseases. For instance, the FDA recommends a cut on the intake of saturated fats which are primarily found in meat and dairy products. The saturated fat-rich foods should be replaced by vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and fruits. These combination of vegetables, fruits, and whole grain are rich in vitamins and minerals, and dietary fiber helps to boost the immune system while improving digestion as well as scavenging free radicals. Free radicals are by-products of fat breakdown and can potentially lead to the development of cancer which is a dreadful lifestyle disease.

A study performed among the upper middle socio-economic class (Kuppuswamy, 1981) was performed alongside the lower middle socio-economic class. The study recruited more participants in the higher middle socio-economic class as compared to the lower middle socio-economic class into the study. In the survey, 37.6% of the subjects were able to provide their brief history of substances use such as alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking. The mean BMI of the participants was also investigated and reflected that which was reported by (Prabhakaran et al., 2005); an earlier study on the same population. The study reported that a majority of participants in the study had BMI >25 kg/m2. Moreover, WHO recommendations suggest that a BMI more than or equal to 23 kg/m2 may accelerate the development of lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular diseases(Who, 2004).

Another study performed in a different population provided an exhaustive review of primary health care and access to health education. The survey demonstrated limited access to primary healthcare services as well as health education. Systems for monitoring of chronically ill patients were weak, leaving the lifestyle diseases patients unfollowed and majority were lost to treatment(Al Hamid et al., 2017). The survey revealed some the factors aggravating the lifestyle diseases among low-income citizens. Lack of proper community health education has significantly contributed to the ballooning numbers of Lifestyle disease prevalence in the USA. People, particularly rural dwellers lack essential information regarding the risk factors predisposing them to the development of lifestyle diseases(Al Ghasib, 2017). Conducting health education through PHCCs can empower community members and help educate designated community based- health care workers who will in turn help to implement the healthy living programs in rural communities.To deal with the problem of lifestyle diseases, it is essential to promote health education to ensure that majority of the people are empowered with the knowledge on how to maintain a physically fit body and improve their dietary intake. Patients lifestyle and diet can be significantly enhanced through the creation of awareness about the side the importance of a healthy diet and physical exercise(Midhet and Sharaf, 2011).

Various indicators must be monitored to keep a close check on one’s health.These include body weight, blood pressure, blood glucose, and blood cholesterol levels.Normal ranges have been established for these indicators to help individuals monitor their health as they try to live a healthy and fit life. Body weight is an important indicator used to check on the body mass index (BMI). BMI is an indicator of obesity. A BMI of less than 25kg/m2is recommended.

On the other hand, a blood pressure range of 120/80-140/90is recommended.Thus patients need to check and maintain their weight between this range to remain healthy. The average blood glucose range is 3.9 to 5.4mmol/ml.

Part 2: Evidence-based analysis

Nikki’s health status is still stable and shows minimum signs of lifestyle disorders. She leads an active lifestyle being fully employed and as evidenced by her regular weekly visits to the gym. Regular exercises are essential to Nikki as they help her to burn more calories during the workout preventing the build-up of fats in her body. Thus, it is unlikely that she can develop obesity. Another evidence of healthy living is her body mass index (BMI) which stands at 25.04kg/m2. With a body weight of 69kg and height of 166cm, Nikki maintains a healthy BMI further evidencing her health and active life. Her blood pressure of 110/80 mmHg falls within the normal range of 120/80 to 140/90mmHg. In relation to lifestyle diseases such as diabetes Nikki’s parameters for monitoring, diabetes indicates that she is free from diabetes. Starting from blood sugar level to her weight, the parameters fall within the normal range. Her blood sugar is 4.9mmol/l yet the normal range is 3.9 to 5.4mmol/l(Willett et al., 1995).

Nikki’s blood total cholesterol is 5.7mmol/L which can be considered to be high. It is advised that one keeps their cholesterol level as low as possible as there is no absolute level deemed to be recommended levels which are a significant risk factor for Nikki which could culminate into severe cardiovascular diseases. Coupled with her genetic predisposition to the development of colon cancer, Nikki’s cholesterol levels should be checked regularly. It is evident that Nikki’s father died from colon cancer and this bears a significant health implication to Nikki who could be vulnerable to colon cancer as a result of the genetic relationship between her and her father(Willett et al., 1995).

There are various health promotion interventions that Nikki can implement to reduce the risk of developing lifestyle diseases as well as achieve a general improvement of her health. For instance, it is evidenced that due to her mother’s dietary preference for meat and potato, Nikki has been taking a lot of meat recently. This habit leads to the build-up of more unsaturated fats in her body which is eventually converted to cholesterol increasing her risk of developing cardiovascular diseases(Willett et al., 1995). Thus Nikki should consider reducing her intake of meat and add more fruits, vegetables and whole grains to her diet. Nikki is said to be adding on some weight due to her current diet which is based on more meat and less vegetables.As part of health promotion interventions, Nikki should reduce the intake of processed food such as the chocolate bars, sandwiches, and cheese.

Nikki’s dietary practices have not been optimized to ensure good health and prevention of lifestyle diseases. For instance, she consumes a lot of meat as a result of her mother’s dietary preference. As she is tied to her mother who is rigid on her diet, Nikki tends to conform to her mother’s preferences at the expense of her health and well-being. To improve her diet, it is essential first to invite a nutritionist to educate her mother on the importance of achieving a well-balanced diet; low in meat and high in vegetables, whole grains, and fruits. Considering Nikki’s age, (50 years) it is imperative that she tries to maintain an appropriate diet for both herself and her mother.


The optimal diet for Nikki



Cup of tea with wholemeal bread

Glass of water

Morning tea

Cup of tea with milk










Chicken with potatoes and vegetables





Barnard, N. D. et al. (2014) ‘Dietary and lifestyle guidelines for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease,’ Neurobiology of aging. Elsevier, 35, pp. S74–S78.

Al Ghasib, F. A. (2017) ‘Diabetes Awareness among non-diabetic Saudi population in Al-Riyadh City, Saudi Arabia’, EC Microbiology, 11, pp. 59–67.

Al Hamid, A. M. et al. (2017) ‘Factors contributing to medicine-related problems in adult patients with diabetes and/or cardiovascular diseases in Saudi Arabia: a qualitative study,’ BMJ open. British Medical Journal Publishing Group, 7(11), p. e017664.

Hebert, L. E. et al. (2013) ‘Alzheimer disease in the United States (2010–2050) estimated using the 2010 census’, Neurology. AAN Enterprises, 80(19), pp. 1778–1783.

Kuppuswamy, B. (1981) ‘Manual of socioeconomic status (urban),’ Delhi: Manasayan, 8.

Midhet, F. M. and Sharaf, F. K. (2011) ‘Impact of health education on lifestyles in central Saudi Arabia.’, Saudi medical journal, 32(1), pp. 71–76.

Organization, W. H. (2008) ‘Preventing noncommunicable diseases in the workplace through diet and physical activity: WHO/World Economic Forum report of a joint event.’ Geneva: World Health Organization.

Prabhakaran, D. et al. (2005) ‘Cardiovascular risk factor prevalence among men in a large industry of northern India’, National Medical Journal of India. Citeseer, 18(2), p. 59.

Sharma, M. and Majumdar, P. K. (2009) ‘Occupational lifestyle diseases: An emerging issue,’ Indian journal of occupational and environmental medicine. Medknow Publications, 13(3), pp. 109–112. doi: 10.4103/0019-5278.58912.

Who, E. C. (2004) ‘Appropriate body-mass index for Asian populations and its implications for policy and intervention strategies.’, Lancet (London, England), 363(9403), p. 157.

Willett, W. C. et al. (1995) ‘Weight, weight change, and coronary heart disease in women: risk within the’normal’weight range,’ Jama. American Medical Association, 273(6), pp. 461–465.

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