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1.14: Making Smart Health Choices

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    Learning Objectives

    By the end of this chapter you will be able to:

    • Deduce whether health information is valid and reliable.
    • Utilize tools to critically analyze health websites.
    • Compare complementary and western medicine.
    • Explain common challenges associated with Aging.

    What will you do to make sure you are not tricked by health fraud?

    Have you considered being an organ donor?

    How will you plan for retirement?

    What will you do to stay healthy as you age?

    Every year we get one year older chronologically, does this mean we also get one year older biologically? Our biological age is the age of our body and this is not dependent on our chronological age. You can be a 30 year old who is very healthy and has a biological age closer to 20 year old, or you can be a 30 year old who lives an unhealthy lifestyle and has a biological age closer to 40. Our biological age is highly influenced by the lifestyle choices we make.

    In 1900, people lived on average just 47.3 years and by the year 2000, Americans lived an average of 76.8 years. Life expectancy nearly doubled in just 100 years. The leading causes of death in 1900 were highly related to infectious disease. Through numerous public health measures life expectancy has drastically increased and the leading causes of death have transitioned to be more related to a persons lifestyle choices.

    The good news is that Americans are living longer lives, but the bad news is that the increase in our older population brings an increase in chronic diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, and dementia. It is estimated that 80% of older adults have a chronic health condition. With so many older adults having chronic health conditions we know there will continue to be an increased need for caregivers. This creates a potential problem because although our older population is growing, or birth rates are declining which may reduce the amount of people to serve as caretakers.

    This page titled 1.14: Making Smart Health Choices is shared under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Sally Baldwin.