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Wellness Center

Health - By Choice

Health - by choice. Now that's an interesting thought!

Many of us think of health as something that happens to us rather than something over which we have any control. The fact is that many of the world’s deadliest diseases are largely preventable - diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, childhood asthma, and obesity. These and other chronic conditions now account for 70 percent of all deaths in the United States. Yet these diseases must have causes.

What are the "causes of the causes"? If we look at the actual causes of death, we see that these are lifestyle and behavioral factors - things over which we do have some control - things like smoking, eating a poor diet, and lack of exercise, all of which contribute to the leading causes of death including heart disease, cancer, and stroke.

 

Leading Causes Actual Causes

Although you can't do anything about your genetic makeup, gender, race, or age, the evidence indicates that adopting healthy behaviors such as eating nutritious foods, being physically active, and avoiding tobacco can help lower your risk of suffering the devastating effects of the leading causes of death.

Leading Health Indicators

As part of the Healthy People 2010 project, 10 important health issues in the US have been identified as Leading Health Indicators. These indicators are intended to help you understand the changes you can make to improve your own health as well as the health of your family and community. You will notice that these indicators are tied closely to actual causes of death:

Be a Healthier Person: Make Healthy Choices!

The following links will help you make better choices about preventive care and a healthy lifestyle. Take every opportunity to improve your health!

By making healthy choices across your lifetime, you can improve the quality and length of your life.

Health - make it your choice!

For more information:

Go to the Wellness Center health topic, where you can:

This article is a NetWellness exclusive.

Last Reviewed: Apr 03, 2007

Phyllis L Pirie, PhD Phyllis L Pirie, PhD
Professor of Health Behaviors & Health Promotion
College of Public Health
The Ohio State University