A-Z of Health Y – Years removed from life

A bit tenuous yes but you try coming up with a health condition relating to nutrition that starts with  Y!

If you have been with me throughout my A-Z of health posts you will have noticed the common theme – nutrition is incredibly influential to our health yet is largely abused, misunderstood and neglected until something goes wrong.

By the time something goes wrong, it’s likely something else might be going wrong too because diseases and health conditions come with co-morbidities and one of the most common factors that has come up throughout the A-Z posts is obesity. As a stand-alone condition obesity has its’ own issues but generally it has some friends it likes to hang out with;

Obesity is a chronic progressive disease resulting from multiple environmental and genetic factors

World Health Organisation

Obesity reduces life expectancy by an average of 3 to 10 years, depending on how severe it is.

It’s estimated that obesity and being overweight contribute to at least 1 in every 13 deaths in Europe.


Now let’s look at what it generally brings with it (by no means a complete list): –

  • Coronary Heart Disease
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Increased risk of cancer

I refer you back to the posts throughout the A-Z of health, specifically –

H – Heart Disease

Of the 420 people who die each day in the UK from CVD more than 110 will be younger than 75


T – Type 2 Diabetes

The life expectancy of someone with Type 2 diabetes is likely to be reduced, as a result of the condition, by up to 10 years.

Diabetes in the UK 2010: Key Statistics on Diabetes

C- Cancer

Does obesity cause cancer?”

“Yes.  overweight and obesity is the second biggest preventable cause of cancer in the UK- more than 1 in 20 cancer cases are caused by excess weight”

Cancer Research UK

So why do I go on (and on I know) about what seems to be such a simple message? Because people don’t want to hear it and they are scared to take action.  The evidence however, is all around us. Food can harm but it can also heal.

Throughout these A-Z of Health posts I have touched on the impact of stress and immune function (see L – Long Term Stress and Z – Zonked out!).  Proper nutrition supports our immune function and should be our first line of defence.

I have also touched on epigenetics and how what we do today can and does impact on the next generation (and the one after that) – see I – Infertility.

One of my main aims is to raise awareness of early years nutrition and how crucial food is in the formative years for children – this generation of children are facing a ticking time-bomb of future health issues, I have covered some in these A-Z posts; Type 2 Diabetes, Dementia, decreased life expectancy to name a few.

I have never under estimated the power of nutrition and I aim to show you what it can do for you (good and bad).  If nothing else resonates with you in these posts then I hope this one will: –

It is expected and accepted amongst many scientists and health professionals that this generation will not live as long as the one before it due to lifestyle choices and the associated diseases.

I have said it before, being in denial will not make the issues go away.  I have seen through my many years as a nutritional therapist how food does change lives and improve health and no, I do not simply put you on a diet!

About the author of this blog

Louise Mercieca is a multi award-winning author on children’s nutrition with her book ‘How Food Shapes Your Child’ winning the Parenting award in Janey Lee Grace’s Platinum awards.  Louise is the host of Early Years TV Food Channel – a channel dedicated to children’s health and nutrition.

Louise regularly appears on the radio to raise health awareness

Louise has also won a SBS or Small Business Sunday award from Theo Paphitis and was recently crowned as Queen of Child Nutrition in the #Queenof Twitter awards.

Louise has worked as a Nutritional Therapist for 8 years supporting hundreds of clients and does take on a limited number of personal coaching clients each month – contact Louise to discuss this. Louise has also created an accessible and affordable webinar schedule covering many topics discussed in this A-Z post series.

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