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Lifestyle and Diet of Students

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During the Old Stone Age humans used stone to make tools and weapons. Stone tools were used to meet human’s basic needs of food, shelter, clothing, and hunting. Those were tough times for there were no stores to buy food. People had to cooperate in small groups to make clothing and shelter. To hunt for food, early humans made spears out of wood by sharpening its tip, but later they attached sharp stones to the wood to kill their prey easier. Old stone age people were always on the move because they had to follow the herds of animals to get food. Because of their nomadic lifestyle, they had to make temporary houses to move from one place to another. Then farming began 12,000 BC that gave people more food with less work than early hunters, gatherers and fishers. Some people decided to settle down in one spot and farm their own food, rather than traveling around picking wild food. Early farmers did not use many tools to help them farm. They used sticks to poke holes in the ground to plant seeds. They pulled weeds, and they harvested using their bare hands. People started to build dams and dig irrigation canals to get water to places where it did not rain enough to grow crops, thus ending the nomadic lifestyle (CARR,2016). It all changed when restaurants, cars, stores, and technology came in to peoples’ lives. People became fat, overweight and obese. Because of the modern development, people do not need to do much work nowadays which gave them more time to eat and to sleep rather than exercising their body to gather food. The things that are helping us to get a much easier life are the things that are slowly destroying us (Thompson, 2016).

Diet and lifestyle is becoming a widespread problem across the world due to the fact that people, as times flies, tends to prefer things the “fast” way, without taking into consideration the effect their body will gain. Another worldwide phenomena nowadays are the popularity of technology, because of this exercise is forgotten. Thus, making diet and lifestyle a difficult challenge to address in selected countries. Take for instance, America. It is said that more than half of what Americans eat are “ultra-processed” that is how unhealthy an American’s diet is. Their average BMI is just barely under the medical definition of obese. In fact, less than 3 percent of Americans meet the basic qualifications of a “healthy lifestyle”. In the United States, Americans consume 31% more packaged food than fresh food. Americans usually eat donut and a study showed that more than 10 million donuts are consumed every year. In a study in 2015 shows that 13.9% of high school students in America were obese, and 16% were already overweight. Most adults are not sufficiently active to achieve health benefits. The NSCH found obesity for children ages 10-17 ranged from 9.9% to as high as 21.7% in America (Beck, 2016). Asia, unlike America, sticks to a diet plan of balance and moderation and simple principles that everyone should practice to be healthier. In Asia, calories don’t matter. An average person in China eats between 25-40% more calories than an average American. This is because the calories ingested from natural sources will give you a steadier release of energy, satisfy your hunger, and facilitate appropriate elimination of waste compared to cookies, junk foods and sweeteners that spike blood sugars, making the body hungrier, and the digestion of food longer. Asians consume lesser read meat and avoid dairy. Instead they prefer green leafy vegetables that are much better source of calcium for the body because it has less ill effects. Water is their primary beverage, and green tea is their secondary.

Everything else, including coffee, should be occasional. The East also has its downside. Asian traditional dietary patterns are being lost as the food environment becomes more industrialized and urban. More people are eating fast food. The East consumes a lot of white grains and other refined grains, use a lot of animal fat, trans fat, sugary foods and drinks, too much sodium and excessive consumption of preserved foods. Asian diets have white rice as main staple. Sugar is also problem in Asian diets. Too much sugar is present in both beverage and foods. Sugar- sweetened beverages are an unregulated, booming market in Asia. The reason why Western diet is severe compared to the Eastern, although Western Countries are more developed countries compared to the eastern is because Eastern people takes time and effort to prepare their food. They have wide varieties and usually stick to spices etc. (Bussell, 2009) (Hu, Liu & Willett, 2011). Pacific countries are also facing serious health problems; the prime culprit being imported foods. In the 10 countries present in the Pacific, more than 50% of the population is overweight according to World Health Organization. It was said that the people or the islanders left their traditional diet in exchange of foods with high sodium content, and foods with lack of vitamins and minerals.

Less than 20% of the people eats the recommended portions of fruit and vegetables needed by the body. The rest picked the often calorie-rich and nutrient poor imported foods. This shows how widespread this is becoming, even islanders who used to choose green picked imported foods (WHO, 2010). Some TV shows are created to address the issue of poor diet and lifestyle. The Biggest Loser, Extreme Weight Loss and My Diet is Better than Yours are some tv shows that aims on shredding weight in their participants and improve their lifestyle (Dani, 2016). Documentaries like Heavy, Diet Tribe and Super Size Me are also made. Supersize is a 2004 documentary wherein Morgan Spurlock ate nothing but McDonalds for 30 days. It resulted into him getting sick, gaining 25 pounds, high cholesterol and liver issues (Jamieson, 2014). Heavy is another documentary that profiles 22 participants facing life threatening issues due to obesity. This will show the struggles each one of them will face in the 6-month treatment period (aetv.com). Another similar show is Diet Tribe that involves licensed psychotherapist to guide participants through the weight loss process. Those tv series and documentaries shows the awareness and concern of people towards this issue, and their actions to at least lessen the problem. They aim to promote healthy living. The world is already eating healthy foods. But, at the same time they also consume food that is horribly destroying our body. Everyone can think that consumption of healthy food has increased, but it still can’t compete with the skyrocketing demand for junk food. Reports also found out that as a whole, young people eat more poorly than adults, an obvious sign and a warning that the trend of consumption of unhealthy foods and depending on the “fast” foods will only get worse in the future instead of becoming better (Savedge, 2015).

The Philippines ranks 10th in the world with the biggest number of children with stunted growth. Stunted growth is caused by undernutrition which slows down the physical and mental growth which makes the children prone to disease and death and reduces productivity among adults (Laput, 2016). Consuming a healthy diet throughout the lifecourse helps prevent malnutrition in all its forms as well as a range of noncommunicable diseases and conditions. But the increased production of processed food, rapid urbanization and changing lifestyles have led to a shift in dietary patterns. People are now consuming more foods high in energy, fats, salt/sodium, and many do not eat enough fruit, vegetables and dietary fibre such as whole grains (WHO, 2015). Childhood malnutrition remains a problem in Bukidnon. According tho the FNRI survey, it showed that the percentage of the overweight and obese children increased this 2013. Physical inactivity is the major factor in the prevalence of obesity in the Philippines. Also, it cited that Filipinos consume less and less vegetables every year. Because of this, the Department of Health and the Department of Education have been promoting the backyard gardening among people, through this vegetable planting, they could have their own supply of vegetable and can be a cause of their income (Rodriguez, 2015).

Obesity and overweight has grown in the last couple of decades because of junk foods and fast food restaurants across the world. Obesity worsens as it also affecting children at very young ages making them at more risk with diseases related to obesity such as hypertension, cardiac arrest and even psychological depression. Child obesity in the Philippines is not just a nutritional problem but it is also a cultural issue. Most of the children now a days spend their time in playing computer games or any internet access or gaming consoles seated instead of playing sports outside that could help burn the fats in their body. Parents are also busy in their work that they would prefer to let their children be as lazy as they are. The primary suspect for obesity is eating unhealthy food like junk foods, instant meals, instant noodles, fast foods, soft drinks. These food is fortified with artificial flavors, preservatives and many more that can harm the health of the child (2013). Due to these problem of obesity in the children or teenagers, anti obesity pills are being sold in markets, this pills are essential drugs which promise to reduce or control weight but some says that it has a dangerous side effects. It is banned by the Food and Drug Administration due to its harmful ingredients. There are also drinks that are being sold to reduce the weight of people (2015).

The youth today experience a lot of problems regarding diet and lifestyle. The influence of peers is a big problem for the youth since it affects both food choices and lifestyle related choices. Another problem is overweight and obesity especially because of people’s fast paced life they usually eat fast food, processed food, or and greasy food. They don’t have time to wait. The modern technology today also contributes to gaining weight since a lot of things can be done while using various techy gadgets which results to less physical activity Take for instance the case of office workers who work sitting down in front of the computer almost all day. If these problems aren’t addressed, long-term effects include increased risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Depending on the age of young people and how overweight they are, the best ways to manage overweight and obesity are through maintaining weight as growth continues or through gradual weight loss. Changing eating patterns in a sensible way and increasing physical activity are the best ways to do this. Research shows that drastic dieting isn’t usually successful and any weight a young person loses is usually put back on (Raising Children Network, with the Center for Adolescent Health,2013). Youths who take Drugs and Alcohol Youths, put themselves at risks for many problems.

Drugs and alcohol negatively affect the health, personality, and lifestyle. For example, they face problems with the law, at school, with their parents, and peers. In the USA, drug abuse is a major problem affecting millions of teenagers, along with their parents and families. It is an imperative that parents, schools, media, and the likes educate the young children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, and how drugs affect their bodies. If they are taught properly, then they will be able to make an educated choice. Depression is one of the worst problems that some teenagers suffer from and it can lead to more problems in the future. Depression may arise from poor self-esteem and body image problems. Depression symptoms in teenagers may be exhibited in various ways. Changes in sleep patterns, eating habits, declined interest in normal and healthy activities, dropping grades in school and college, and preferred isolation are all signs of depression. Another problem related to Diet and Lifestyle is undernutrition. Undernutrition can have lasting effect on a student’s cognitive development and school performance. Undernutrition also results into being more prone to infections, sickness and diseases. Those who experience this tend to have trouble concentrating. Diseases like iron deficiency is one of the common product of an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. This is normally caused by inadequate intake of foods rich in iron and vitamin C. Diet is also a known risk factor for the development of the three leading cause of death namely Coronary Heart Disease, cancer and stroke. Other health problems that occurs and is associated after a long run of unhealthy diet and lifestyle are diabetes, high blood pressure, overweight and osteoporosis (yurtopic.com,2014).

As everyone struggles to survive each day, their diet and lifestyle greatly affects their mood, performance and productivity throughout the whole day. This topic is becoming a widespread problem around the world. Looking into this research’s international and local overview the main problem of the people is that they prefer “ultra-processed” food and at the same time lack exercise. The overview also tackles that western countries have a more severe problem with diet and lifestyle compared in the eastern countries that maintains traditional and balance diet and lifestyle. It is also said that the Philippines ranks 10th in the world of stunted growth and obesity problem. Increased production of processed food, rapid urbanization and changing lifestyle are one of the many variables of dietary and lifestyle problems. Physical inactivity caused by internet access or gaming consoles is also a prominent problem faced by the modern generation. Childhood malnutrition is caused by incapability to support the children, poor lifestyle, poverty and limited knowledge in cooking and in proper distribution of the nutrients needed. Diseases and health-related problems also are a product of a bad lifestyle and diet. For example, kidney stone, diabetes, cardio vascular problems and other health problems are considered one of the products of an unhealthy living. Knowing these facts and researches, this study aims to help increase student’s awareness when it comes to their diet and lifestyle. This study covers the Grade 9 to 12 students of St. Peter the Apostle. This is conducted to help the students be aware of their dietary lifestyle, for not only will this help them in the present, but it will be very useful in the long run. This study aims to provide knowledge and idea to Gr 9 – 12 students the effects of what they are doing with regards on their health. This research also aims to help the students find possible ways to avoid obesity and undernourishment. A study of ways to better the students’ lifestyle. This study is intended to provide further awareness and concern with regards of a healthy living and suggest ways and actions needed to be done to improve the students’ diet and lifestyle, thus improving their academic and physical performance.

A lot of studies showed the effect of lifestyle and diet in the health of the respondents, so is the effect to the academic performance. For instance, a 2013 study shows that changing lifestyle, and diet for the better may result in longer telemores, a hormone that affects aging. This study was conducted by scientists from UC San Francisco (UCSF) and the Preventive Medicine Research Institute. They investigated the effect of diet and lifestyle choices on health and diseases. Their findings indicate that not only genes and heredity cause early aging, but also how they live. Their findings also showed that telemores also played a part in age related diseases and sickness like cancer, stroke, vascular dementia, cardiovascular disease, obesity, osteoporosis and diabetes. Their pilot study suggested the change in diet, exercise, stress management and social support can result into longer telomeres. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published a Dietary Guidelines for American last 2010 for a healthy diet to avoid diseases and sickness caused by diet. Their healthy diet should include a balance calorie with physical activity to manage weight; consume more foods with nutrients like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free and low fat dairy products, and seafood and; consume fewer foods with sodium, saturated fats, trans fat, cholesterol, added sugar and refined grains. The UCSF also suggested moderate aerobic exercise like walking 30 minutes a day for 6 days a week is a must.

They also mentioned the use of yoga based stretching and meditation 60 minutes daily for stress management. Lastly, they proposed the increased in social support for counseling, training and motivation (Fernandez,2013) & (Stoppler & Shiel, 2015). A study conducted in Germany last 2012-2013 showed that lifestyle plays a big role in mental health and performance. Their studies also state that an active physical life lessens psychological distress and gives an additive effect on mental health (Velten et al., 2014). Another study conducted in California last 2011was all about comparing those who are persistently unfit to the one persistently fit. Their result showed that overall physical fitness is a better predictor of academic achievement compared to the ones being persistently unfit or obese as measured by their BMI (London & Castrechini, 2011). A study regarding the relationship of nutrition, physical activity, and fitness with academic performance was also did in 2011 from Fargo Public School in Dakota, United States. This was conducted to find the relationship of the aforementioned factors. Their conclusion was that consumption of a healthy breakfast and fitness were associated with higher measures of academic program scores (Edwards, Mauch, & Winkelman, 2011). Another study in 2014 for Norwegian adolescent students showed the same result when it comes the effects of meal patterns with academic performance (Stea & Torstveit, 2014). Behavioral risk factors are also important correlates of diet and lifestyle. A 2011-2013 Australian study showed how daily encouraging and motivational text reminders resulted into more improvement and consistency in their lifestyle change (Chow, et al., 2015) & (American Heart Association, 2015). The mentioned studies and solutions highlighted the importance of a person’s diet and lifestyle to its performance not only in the present but also in the future, their health and condition in life. They are a lot of risk factors and temptations, but they are also a lot of possible ways to solve this current phenomenon that exist worldwide.

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