Preventing Chronic Diseases: The Importance of Sustainable Behaviour Change for Public Health

group of women doing yoga

Public health is declining due to the increase in chronic lifestyle-related diseases. These diseases can be prevented and even reversed. However, this requires a sustainable behaviour change to be successful. 

Psychology, behaviour and social context are also taken into account in order to develop the best tools and interventions for the individual. 

Many people, although they have already heard about “healthy lifestyles,” nevertheless are still unclear why but especially how to start changing their lifestyle habits. Following a healthy lifestyle has been irrefutably proven to have great health benefits in terms of primary prevention, i.e., before the onset, or secondary prevention, i.e., when the disease has already occurred, of many chronic-degenerative diseases. In particular, there is strong scientific evidence that a healthy lifestyle has beneficial effects on the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular diseases, such as myocardial infarction, high blood pressure, angina and heart failure; diseases such as diabetes and the metabolic syndrome; and cancer, particularly breast and colon cancer.

The situation becomes more complicated and delicate than when it comes to us young people. 

Convincing a teenager that drinking alcohol, or smoking, or Keating improperly will jeopardize his or her health in the future is no easy feat; young people live in the present, and the concept of prevention can be difficult to get across, but there are role models and figures to whom the teenager turns with confidence who can influence a teen’s choices. 

Reflecting on the topic and documenting myself, I think and reflect a lot about the fact that we young people are more interested and close to an unhealthy lifestyle: just think of a very high percentage of junk food consumption, smoking and alcohol. 

Certainly, all signs that go against a healthy and balanced lifestyle. 

And these conditions, especially when they start in childhood, create the conditions for a “pandemic” of chronic diseases or “lifestyle diseases.”

I wonder why this happens, as if being closer to an “unhealthy” lifestyle is more “fashionable” 

I think at this point that at the base of it all there is a lack of information, a lack of knowing fully what are the risks involved 

On the other hand, I wonder how to do it? How can I in the first place bring about this change? 

I think it’s critical to have role models to help us young people enact this change promote physical activities, Sport, healthy eating and Mental Health weel- being.  

I also think that understanding the essence of a healthy lifestyle is not just about being exercised, but is a broader and more complex concept really means learning to listen to one’s body and mind by going beyond stereotypes and social conventions. 

In my opinion all the topics the project talks about are closely related to each other in that without one thing you will hardly achieve the others.

So eating well leads to loving your physique and consequently keeping it fit by training, at the same time your mind will benefit because it will be healthy and well-trained.

All of course must be well coordinated with the ‘environment and nature around us.

Gabriele Macrina

Jump Team

More Articles

Immerse ourselves in nature

Nowadays getting in touch with nature is increasingly difficult because of the hectic life we are used to having in the city. By now, we

Share this article