Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Diseases of affluence
Diseases of affluence are those diseases which are thought to be a result of increasing wealth in a society. They are thought to include diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, allergies, autoimmune diseases, asthma, alcoholism, depression and possibly a range of other psychiatric illnesses.
Communicable v non-communicable diseases
Some of these illnesses are inter-related, for example obesity is thought to be a partial cause of many other illnesses. They are characterised as being non-communicable diseases , whereas the diseases of poverty tend to be largely communicable either through infection, poor public or environmental health provision, or poor hygiene.
The trend is for these diseases to become more prevalent as starvation and diseases of poverty decline, and as longevity increases. Policy makers are sometimes criticised on sociological grounds for failing to deal with the fact that development could be seen as self-defeating if it means exchanging one set of diseases for another.
Possible causes of the diseases of affluence
Factors associated with the increase of these illnesses appear to be, paradoxically, things which many people would regard as improvements in their lives. They include:
- Increased use of the car
- Less strenuous physical exercise
- More high fat and high sugar foods in the diet
- More foods which are processed, cooked, and commercially provided (rather than seasonal, fresh foods prepared locally at time of eating)
- Reduced exposure to infectious agents throughout life
- Increased leisure time
- Prolonged periods of inactivity
- Greater use of alcohol and tobacco
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details