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Chronic Disease and Lifestyle: Why Psychology Matters by Seamus power


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People in so-called developed contemporary societies have the opportunity to take advantage of unprecedented technological advances. However, as our life expectancy continues to rise, the quality of people’s lives is becoming an area of increased focus. It is becoming very evident that modern lifestyle choices are putting people at risk of being impacted by a number of common chronic diseases including diabetes (type II), various cardiovascular diseases, stroke and Coronary Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and even some cancers (prostrate, ovarian, skin). This cost burden associated with increased incidence of such diseases is forecasted to put an unsustainable strain on future health care services in Ireland and many other countries. There are a number of key lifestyle behaviours that, if changed, have the potential to dramatically reduce a person’s likelihood of being impacted by one of these or other chronic diseases. The proposed talk will outline the importance of diet (improved nutritional knowledge and food labelling awareness), exercise (tackling sedentary lifestyle) and stress management as being key components that could be prioritized for lifestyle behaviour change. The talk will suggest how psychology plays a role in facilitating such change.

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Chronic Disease and Lifestyle: Why Psychology Matters by Seamus power

  1. 1. Seamus Power Psychology Matters Waterford IT 12 May 2018 Chronic Disease & Lifestyle: Why Psychology Matters
  2. 2. How are you feeling today? Grand? Fine? Wonderful? Not so bad? Great?
  3. 3. But, how are you REALLY feeling today? People may open up a bit more, but generally and understandably usually not prepared to share too much detail Have a touch of the flu Had one or two few too many last night There’s a chest thing going around at the moment
  4. 4. Is our Modern Lifestyle, on balance, helping us live a longer, happier and more fulfilled life? When you think about modern lifestyle what do you think? Lack of exercise/sedentary Lifestyle Fast pace of life Stress Convenience foods Food Quality Overweight Obesity Diabetes Cardiovascular disease Stroke Some Cancers (Prostrate, Ovarian) A Chronic Disease (CD) is one lasting 3 months or more. Chronic diseases generally cannot be prevented by vaccines or cured by medication, nor do they just disappear. CDs are often referred to as non-communicable diseases or illnesses. COPD
  5. 5. We are living longer, but… We tend be less active, more stressed and eat very poor quality foods (WHO, 2011) Life Expectancy at birth by Gender, Ireland and EU-28, 2015 expectancy/ ~ 1 million people in Ireland today suffer from Diabetes, Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or Cardiovascular disease (Diabetes Ireland, 2018)
  6. 6. Chronic Disease impacts upon Quality of LIfe… At 65 years of age a staggering 64.8% of people are impacted by and managing at least 2 chronic conditions (TILDA, The Irish Longitudinal Study on Aging, 2011) Healthy Life Years and Life Expectancy at age 65 by Gender, Ireland and EU-28, 2015 CD Contri- bution CD contri- bution Action in earlier life years will help increase chances of additional Healthy Life Years later 21 12 18 11 9 Years 7 Years
  7. 7. Modern Lifestyle Change – How can psychology help? The Triple A of Change – Awareness, Action, Adherence Lack of exercise Fast pace of life Stress Convenience foods Food Quality Overweight Obesity Commitment to making a number of small permanent Lifestyle changes • Regular exercise (150 mins/week) • Dietary awareness: Sugar/Salt Food Content • Fruit/Veg intake (5 a day) • Fish/meat intake • Mind de-clutter Action • Food Labelling education
  8. 8. Scoring 0-3 – Urgent need to consider making changes to aspects of your lifestyle Very Brief Lifestyle Assessment…How would you do???  I sleep 7 or 8 hours per night  I eat breakfast almost every day  I rarely eat between meals  I drink alcohol rarely or moderately (<= 11 units/week for females, <= 17 for men))  I never smoke cigarettes  I am at or near my appropriate weight (BMI between 20 and 24)  I regularly get vigorous physical activity (at least 20 minute vigorous walk 4 days/week)  I am active in my work and don’t sit for extended periods of time without exercise 8 Healthy Lifestyle habits 4-6 – You should consider making a number of specific changes to your lifestyle 7-8 – Encourage you to sustain this type of lifestyle
  9. 9. The last word of wisdom from Hippocrates (~450BC)… If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health
  10. 10. Thank You Q&A
  11. 11. Backup
  12. 12. Obesity Trends in EU – Ireland’s rapid acceleration
  13. 13. Self-Report Health Status – Ireland’s self-deception??
  14. 14. Disease Prevention – lack of investment
  15. 15. v.6.0