Week 5 discussion forum 1

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2012), seven out of ten deaths are due to chronic diseases. The top chronic diseases in the United States are heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and arthritis. Unhealthy lifestyle habits are largely the cause of today’s chronic diseases and treating these diseases is costing the United States billions of health care dollars each year. Four modifiable lifestyle factors have been identified as having the strongest impact on our health and wellness status. These factors include lack of physical activity, unhealthy diet, cigarette smoking, and alcohol abuse (CDC, 2016).

Choose one of the above modifiable lifestyle factors.

  • Analyze how the selected lifestyle factor can negatively affect the health and wellness of individuals
  • Explain how the lifestyle factor can lead to one chronic disease and provide statistical data to demonstrate the link between the two.
  • Create three specific strategies to reduce the impact of this lifestyle factor on an individual. For example, do not simply state exercise; instead, clearly explain specific parameters for exercise that would reduce an individual’s risk.

Use two scholarly sources to support your research and findings. The Scholarly, Peer Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources table offers additional guidance on appropriate source types. If you have questions about whether a specific source is appropriate for this assignment, please contact your instructor. Your instructor has the final say about the appropriateness of a specific source for a particular assignment.

All sources must be referenced and cited according to APA guidelines as outlined in the Writing Center. Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length.

Guided Response: Respond to at least two classmates by Day 7. Each peer reply should contain 100 words at a minimum.



Matthew Gaunt

Oct 4, 2021 at 3:16 PM

The selected lifestyle factor that I chose is unhealthy diet. An unhealthy diet can negatively affect the health and wellness of individuals due to the lack of the nutrients the body gets to absorb. Unhealthy eating habits can affect our nutrient intakes of energy, protein, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, fiber, vitamins, and minerals (Wu et al., 2019). Poor nutrition can contribute to stress, tiredness, and our capacity to work. The nutrients from the food we consume gives our cells the ability to perform their necessary functions.

Over time, eating unhealthily can contribute to the risk of developing illnesses and diseases. Some examples include obesity, tooth decay, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and cancer (Adefegha, 2018). Sodium intake plays a major role in affecting heart rate and blood pressure. Consuming salty foods causes the body to retain water to dilute the blood volume. This causes more blood to circulate throughout the body and causes the heart to work harder. The recommended sodium intake by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is 180 – 500 mg of sodium a day (Turck et al., 2019).

Unfortunately, Americans on average consume over 3,400 mg of sodium a day (Turck et al., 2019). Most of these are pre-prepared and processed foods. A diet that is high in saturated and trans fats will elevate your bad cholesterol and could lead to the hardening of arteries and plaque forming on the inner linings of blood vessels which will further narrow them. The narrowed openings mean that as the heart receives the blood it must work harder to maintain blood flow to pump blood through the narrowed channels. For every 10% increase in consumption of ultra-processed foods was associated with a 12% higher risk for cancer in general and an 11% increased risk for breast cancer (Rios-Leyvraz et al., 2020).

Three specific strategies to reduce the impact of an unhealthy diet on an individual is to have a good variety of healthy foods from the five food groups each day (Burkhardt et al., 2020). Also check your portions so you do not overeat. Only occasionally eat sugary, fatty or salty food in small amounts. Plan your meals ahead and shop for healthy ingredients. Eat less saturated and trans fats by reading the labels on products before purchasing.


Adefegha, S. A. (2018). Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals as Dietary Intervention in Chronic Diseases; Novel Perspectives for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. Journal of Dietary Supplements, 15(6), 977–1009. https://doi-org.proxy-library.ashford.edu/10.1080/…

Burkhardt, B. S. C., Matthews, T. L., & Brace, A. M. (2020). Exploring the Relationship Between Farmers’ Markets, Food Assistance Programs, Food Deserts and Diet-Related Diseases in Texas Census Tracts in 2017. Texas Public Health Journal, 72(4), 28–32.

Rios-Leyvraz, M., Bovet, P., & Chiolero, A. (2020). Estimating the effect of a reduction of sodium intake in childhood on cardiovascular diseases later in life. Journal of Human Hypertension, 34(4), 335. https://doi-org.proxy-library.ashford.edu/10.1038/…

Turck, D., Castenmiller, J., de Henauw, S., Hirsch-Ernst, K.-I., Kearney, J., Knutsen, H. K., Maciuk, A., Mangelsdorf, I., McArdle, H. J., Pelaez, C., Pentieva, K., Siani, A., Thies, F., Tsabouri, S., Vinceti, M., Aggett, P., Fairweather-Tait, S., Martin, A., Przyrembel, H., & Ciccolallo, L. (2019). Dietary reference values for sodium. EFSA Journal, 17(9), 1–191.

Wu, X. Y., Zhuang, L. H., Li, W., Guo, H. W., Zhang, J. H., Zhao, Y. K., Hu, J. W., Gao, Q. Q., Luo, S., Ohinmaa, A., & Veugelers, P. J. (2019). The influence of diet quality and dietary behavior on health-related quality of life in the general population of children and adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Quality of Life Research: An International Journal of Quality of Life Aspects of Treatment, Care & Rehabilitation, 28(8), 1989–2015. https://doi-org.proxy-library.ashford.edu/10.1007/…

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