Health: Did You Know?

Com o contributo da professora Carla Valinho, seguem artigos interessantes que deves ler.


Health issues affect every human being in the world. Your everyday actions and decisions you make affect your health. The air you breathe, the food you eat, the job you do , the water you drink, and the area of the world in which you live all impacts your health and risk for disease. Environmental factors indirectly impact the health of people, including droughts, flooding, and natural disasters because they can spread disease or impede people from receiving proper medical care.

The health of humans around the globe is of utmost importance, and taking care of health issues can alleviate much of the world’s problems through simple measures. Much disease is spread through unsanitary conditions, consuming dirty water, not eating nutritious foods, and not exercising. People can take simple steps to create a healthier lifestyle by eating a nutritious diet, washing their hands often, avoiding alcohol and tobacco, and getting regular exercise. Access to resources and information can help bring awareness and preventive strategies to help combat disease. It is important to take all necessary steps to maintain a healthy lifestyle to prevent disease.

Communities around the globe tackle health issues in a variety of ways. Herbal remedies and traditional medicine are common practices within Africa and Asia. These traditional methods offer holistic treatments to disease and infection by tackling mental and external factors to bring the natural balance back to the human system.

Balance is the key to sustainable health. Too much sugar, salts, stress, and bacteria can negatively impact your health. Neglecting to visit the doctor or getting an inadequate amount of sleep can also put your health at risk. Quite often, bad habits are the main causes of health problems later in life. However, making small changes in habits and educating yourself about keeping healthy are sure ways in which you can lower your risk of disease and infection. Although it is inevitable that humans will get sick a few times in their lives, our fate often rests in our own hands. Keeping healthy and bringing awareness about disease is the only way in which we can combat disease and help others do the same.

25 Basic Facts:

  1. Approximately 10 million children die each year. All of them are under five years old.
  2. The leading causes of death in the world are cardiovascular diseases which include heart attacks and stroke.
  3. More than 80% of heart attacks and strokes can be prevented by eating healthy, exercising daily, and avoiding tobacco.
  4. The leading cause of adult death in Africa is HIV/AIDS.
  5. The increase in the number of older people in the world contributes to the increase of cancer and heart diseases.
  6. Tobacco is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the world.
  7. Smoking causes about 80% of lung cancers in the world.
  8. 15% of women’s deaths is caused by complications related to pregnancy.
  9. More than 120 million people in the world are affected by depression.
  10. Hearing loss, vision problems, and mental disorders are the leading causes for disabilities.
  11. Over 3,500 people die in road crashes a day.
  12. 30% of children under the age of five worldwide die due to malnutrition.
  13. Approximately 20 million children worldwide are severely malnourished.
  14. There are more than 1 billion overweight adults in the world.
  15. Worldwide, at least 300 million adults are clinically obese.
  16. Diabetes is named the cause of approximately 3 million deaths a year worldwide.
  17. Approximately 60% of people with HIV/AIDS live in Africa.
  18. Malaria is the cause of 500,000 deaths per year.
  19. Polio is almost completely eradicated in Africa.
  20. In 2005, 1.8 million people in the world died from diarrheal diseases alone.
  21. Four out of five people in African and Asian countries use traditional medicine for primary health care.
  22. Herbal treatments are among the most common forms of traditional medicine.
  23. 80% of people with cholera can recover successfully through treatment by oral rehydration salts.
  24. Nearly 90% epileptic people live in developing regions.
  25. The influenza vaccine can prevent 70% to 90% of influenza-specific illness for healthy adults.

(Fact Sources:;



Weekend-only exercise enough to live longer   (12th January, 2017)

There is good news for those who only have time to exercise at the weekend – the so-called ‘weekend warriors’. Cramming your recommended weekly exercise into several weekend sessions is sufficient to help you live longer. Researchers from Loughborough University and the University of Sydney found that there were few differences in health benefits from working out daily or only at the weekends as long as people burnt enough calories. The researchers discovered that weekend warriors lowered their risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases by 41 per cent and from cancer by 18 per cent, compared with those who did no exercise. Those who exercised regularly reduced their risks by 41% and 21%.

The researchers’ article is published in the journal ‘JAMA Internal Medicine’. Their findings are based on a survey of around 64,000 adults aged over 40. The researchers recommended people engage in a total of at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity once or twice a week. They said: “The present study suggests that less frequent bouts of activity, which might be more easily fit into a busy lifestyle, offer considerable health benefits.” They added: “A particularly encouraging finding was that a physical activity frequency as low as one or two sessions per week was associated with lower mortality risks.”


Size zero models have dangerous eating disorders   (7th February, 2017)

Many models have to get down to a very unhealthy weight to keep their modelling agency happy. A new study says agencies pressure models to be a size zero. If the model is not skinny enough, the agency will not give her jobs. The study is in the ‘International Journal of Eating Disorders’. It is the largest ever report to look at eating disorders among professional models and why they have to lose so much weight to get work. Lead researcher Dr Rachel Roberts said it was the first study to investigate the link between unhealthy eating and pressure from modelling agencies. She said: “We now have…solid, scientific proof that eating disorders are a serious health problem in the modelling industry.”

Researchers questioned 85 professional female models over the age of 18. They discovered that 81% of them were underweight. Many of the models led a very unhealthy lifestyle to stay underweight so they could get work from their agencies. They skipped meals, stopped eating for days, used diet pills and made themselves throw up. Over half the models said their agency told them they would not get jobs unless they lost more weight. It is not against the law for agencies to do this. Eating disorders can lead to serious health problems, such as infertility, heart damage, weak bones, organ failure and even death. In addition, teenagers want bodies like the size-zero models, which leads to public health issues.


Scientists find way to mass produce blood   (27th March, 2017)

Scientists from Bristol University in the UK say they have found a way to mass produce blood that would be suitable for patients who need it in hospitals. For a number of years, they have been able to produce red blood cells in a laboratory. However, the process to do that was very slow and they could not produce a lot of blood. The new technique means scientists can make an “unlimited supply” of blood. Researcher Dr Jan Frayne said: “Previous approaches to producing red blood cells have relied on various sources of stem cells which can only presently produce very limited quantities.” She added: “We have demonstrated a feasible way to sustainably manufacture red cells for clinical use.”

Professor David Anstee, another of the researchers, told the BBC that his team has found a way to mass produce blood, but they now need the technology to actually do this on a large scale. He said: “There is a bioengineering challenge. To produce that much [blood] is quite a challenge….The next phase of our work is to look at methods of [producing more].” He told reporters that to begin with, they would produce only rare types of blood, as these can be difficult to find with traditional blood donation sources. He said: “The first therapeutic use of a cultured red cell product is likely to be for patients with rare blood groups, because suitable conventional red blood cell donations can be difficult to source.”


Carla Valinho