Australia, like other western countries, is in the midst of an epidemic of preventable lifestyle-related and chronic conditions.
It’s increasingly common for us to take medication to lower blood pressure, cholesterol or blood sugar without addressing the underlying causes of those conditions. And to accept being overweight, inactive, under-slept, stressed-out and generally below par as ‘normal’.
If current trends continue, 3/4 of Australian adults and 1/3 of all children will be overweight or obese by 2020. Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer are on the increase, and with our ageing population, so is dementia.
Unfortunately, our health system is poorly equipped to support people who want to improve their health, despite repeated high level reports calling for greater prevention, early intervention and self-management of healthcare. Instead we see reducing investment in prevention and a system swamped by symptom resolution and disease management.
It’s clear that we need to take charge of our own health, and the health of our families now.