The Wellness Home. A Global Solution
In not much more than a generation, we have transitioned from a world in which infectious diseases were the greatest health challenge to one in which multiple chronic illnesses are the biggest global health threat Over 70% of deaths are attributed to chronic diseases. Although the U.S. leads the world in chronic diseases and pharmaceutical consumption this is a global problem.
According to the World Health Organization, chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. Disease rates from these conditions are accelerating globally and advancing across every region and pervading all socioeconomic classes. Currently, 33% of adults worldwide suffer from two or more chronic conditions also known as Multiple Chronic Conditions (MCC).
The Americas have the world’s highest prevalence of overweight and obesity, which is a leading risk factor for chronic conditions, especially diabetes. This overweight and obesity epidemic is largely due to an increasing trend toward unhealthy diets consisting of highly processed foods high in fat and sugar, and few fruits and vegetables.
The four major chronic diseases, cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes, and chronic respiratory disease will account for approximately 81 percent of deaths in Latin America and the Caribbean by 2030 according to the Population Reference Bureau on Latin America.
The World Economic Forum on Health and Healthcare recently announced that the long-term goal of healthcare should be focused on prevention. I suggest that this should be the immediate goal and a revolution to self care and its principles are undeniably needed right now.
Chronic diseases and conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and arthritis are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that as high as 80% of our world’s biggest killers can be prevented. I concur and am of the belief that just a few simple self care principles can lead to a vibrant heathy life.
As self care advocates and part of our International Wellness Community it is our goal to empower people everywhere to be Healthy by Choice. In this context, we talk about four causative factors for chronic disease and solutions that we all can implement to be Healthy by Choice.
According to a recent study 75% of Americans suffer from chronic dehydration. Meaning most of us are not giving our body the right level of water it requires daily. It’s not just in the United States, this is a problem seen at varying degrees in Australia (80%) France (75%) and Germany (50%), and the UK (80%).
Dehydration has been called the Mother of all Epidemics and the first step we all need to take in addressing chronic disease. Failure to drink enough water can lead to fatigue, headaches, joint pain, weight gain, diabetes, ulcers, cardiovascular and kidney disease.
Water is not just a beverage choice? It is an essential nutrient.
We can live for months even decades without many other nutrients, but only a few days without water! Drink half our body weight in ounces of water per day, or 3.3% your body weight in kilograms in liter per day.
Many of us walk around every day sleep deprived. One reason is that many of us consider sleep as an unproductive endeavor, when it is our most productive physiological activity. This too is a global problem that can lead to many chronic diseases. The average amount of hours slept per night in the U.S. is 6.5 hours.
Here are the average hours of sleep in other countries:
Mexico 7.1 hours
Canada 7.1 hours
Germany 7 hours
UK 6.8 ours
Japan 6.4 hours
Source: National Sleep Foundation
Although 7 hours of sleep sounds good, it is a chronic recipe for sleep deficiency and related poor health issues.
Most sleep experts agree that we need 8 to 9 hours of sleep a night for good health.
What is the recycle rate of a human being? In other words, how long can we last without sleep before we start to see declines in brain function or impairments within our bodies? It seems to be about 16 hours. Once we get past 16 hours, research shows that’s when we see mental and physiological deterioration in the body. Take look at Dr. Matthew Walker’s informative five minute video, “Why We Sleep”.
A recent study in The Lancet (April 2016) reported for the first time in human history obese people outnumber underweight people. These statistics were gathered from 200 countries and nearly 20 million people for over 20 years. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States is the most obese nation in the world, just ahead of Mexico. Their report states 2/3rd’s of U.S. adults are overweight or obese (69 percent) and one out of three are obese (36 percent) and 1/3rd of children are overweight. If trends continue unabated, by 2030, estimates predict that roughly half of all American men and women will be obese.
One of the main problems is excess sugar consumption. To put this into context, the average daily consumption of sugar by Americans in 1822 was 9 grams a day. It is currently 153 grams a day per individual. This is nearly a 17-fold increase in less than 200 years. We change very slowly biologically, yet we have drastically altered what we are eating and the amount of sugar we are consuming.
Americans aren’t alone in their addiction to sugar.
Top SUGAR LOVING Nations in the World
Sugar is highly addictive. The best way to break this addiction is to read labels and monitor your daily sugar consumption. Read food labels and avoid those with added sugars. Also note that sugar content is expressed in grams per serving and that four grams of sugar is equal to about one teaspoon of sugar. Limit consumption to 25 grams (6 teaspoons) a day for women and 36 grams (or 9 teaspoons) a day for men.
Eating protein is an easy way to curb sugar cravings. High-protein foods digest more slowly, keeping you feeling full for longer. Protein doesn't make your blood sugar spike the way refined carbs and sugars do. Pick proteins like lean chicken, eggs, nuts, or beans. Protein shakes are ideal for breaking the sugar addiction and can also provide essential and beneficial nutrients.
I think we would all agree the world is a toxic place. There are over 85,000 chemicals in the marketplace, and we come in contact with them in one way or another every day. There is no such thing as a pristine environment. Toxins are in the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. Decades of research and countless studies have contributed to our understanding that we carry a burden of toxic chemicals in our body’s, our Body Burden. Environmental toxin have been linked to many chronic diseases, including ADD/ADHD, autism, autoimmune diseases, cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases just to name a few.
Many countries have been pro-active in limiting the use and development of environmentally toxic chemicals. Here in the U.S. that is not the case. Many times, we feel powerless to combat this onslaught, but there are things we can do. We as individuals can make choices to help our bodies eliminate them and choices to avoid accumulating more. As Dr. Andrew Weil advises, “The best way to detoxify is to stop putting toxic things into the body and depend upon its own mechanisms.”
We can filter our drinking and bathing water. Filter our air in our homes and offices. Sleep on non-toxic bedding. Consume foods and supplements that help detoxify and cleanse our bodies.
The Solution- The Nikken Wellness Home
This is the concept and functionality of the Nikken Wellness Home. Whether we live in New York, London, Paris, Bogota, or Mexico City, as Nikken consultants and self care advocates we can be of service to people anywhere to Be Healthy by Choice. A Nikken Wellness Home is designed to address many concerns, including environmental toxins, contagions, dehydration, poor sleep quality, weight matters and nutrition. In a practical sense, the Wellness Home creates an environment that enables us to make healthier choices every day.
We invite you to join our International Wellness Community and our mission to make Every Home a Wellness Home.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead