What’s the sum of your daily choices?

My eyes have been opened and they are wide.

I’ve worked at Quealth for about 18 months. I am 40 (loving it by the way) and perceive myself as lucky, privileged, reasonably smart and well educated but the penny still never dropped for me until I started at Quealth.

'The sum of my daily choices equates to my life expectancy and my quality of life'.

The majority of people's daily choices will lead to a lifestyle disease. As defined by Collins English Dictionary (I always trust an English Dictionary) a lifestyle disease is:

'... a disease that potentially can be prevented by changes in diet, environment, and lifestyle, such as heart disease.'

And whilst I can be rightly accused of being ignorant or just a bit slow (cue comments from family, friends and colleagues), I feel deeply concerned that for the many millions who haven’t had it as lucky as me, who don’t work for Quealth and those who have had to face much bigger battles than I’ve had to. When will the penny drop? If we want to avoid the diagnosis of a devastating lifestyle disease, we have to become more active, stop smoking, stop abusing alcohol, protect ourselves better from the sun and eat fresh, wholesome, unrefined food - at least most of the time…

150,000 Australians died in the last year from the biggest 5 lifestyle diseases - diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, dementia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - and 80,000 of these deaths could have been prevented.

80,000 people that could have been alive today.

The magnified grief from 80,000 deaths is just overwhelming to imagine.

Today, my three year old son proudly informed me that chocolate is a 'sometimes food’ and he eats his healthy choices first from his lunch box. There is hope but it’s going to take a huge collective push.

Universally, we have an immense challenge on our hands to slow this epidemic of lifestyle disease and reduce our collective pain and suffering. It’s a challenge I’m up for anyway.

Jenny Henderson

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