Chronic Disease and a New Approach to Healthcare

The World Health Organization reports that “chronic disease, such as…

  • heart disease,
  • stroke,
  • cancer,
  • chronic respiratory diseases,
  • and diabetes,

…are by far the leading cause of mortality in the world, representing 60% of all deaths”.

obese03 Chronic Disease and a New Approach to Healthcare

WHO data also shows that the major risk factors for chronic disease are…

  • an unhealthy diet,
  • physical inactivity,
  • and tobacco use.

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The WHO also claims that if the major risk factors for chronic disease were eliminated…

  • at least 80% of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes would be prevented;
  • and 40% of cancer would be prevented.

However, without action…

  • 17 million people will die prematurely this year from a chronic disease.
  • 17 million people dying from diseases caused by their own lazy lifestyles.
fat nap Chronic Disease and a New Approach to Healthcare


In a recent press release, the Ontario Health Quality Council reported that:

  • Ontario is failing to meet the chronic disease challenge: nearly 8,000 lives could be saved annually and the quality of life improved for many more by better managing chronic disease.
  • 1-in-3 Ontarians suffers from chronic disease. Eighty percent of Ontarians over 65 have at least one chronic disease and 70 percent of these have two or more.
  • Fewer than half (47%) of Ontarians with diabetes have their blood sugar under control and just 28% have their blood pressure under control.

NOTE - This is coming from a country with one of the world’s highest Health Adjusted Life Expectancies.hale developed world Chronic Disease and a New Approach to HealthcareSo what does the Ontario Health Quality Council recommend to help combat chronic diseases and reverse our problem with chronic disease?

  1. Improve patient access to doctors
  2. Improve patient access to medical tests/scans
  3. Implement a province-wide electronic patient/doctor information system
  4. Citizens should strive to live a healthy lifestyle

Not exactly groundbreaking ideas here… More doctors, more money, more tests, more money, more technology, more money, and live a healthy lifestyle.

Or in non-bureaucratic terms – Spend a massive pile of taxpayer dollars expanding the current system and remind Canadians what they already know to be true…

  • smoking is bad for your health,
  • being obese is bad for your health,
  • stress is bad for your health, etc, etc, etc…

Can WE Come Up With a Better Solution?

  • Instead of spending more taxpayer dollars on doctors, MRIs and health promotion commercials, how about we offer taxpayers who live a ‘healthy’ lifestyle a reduction in income taxes?
  • Behavior modification through reward rather than punishment.
  • “Brainwash” us all to crave a healthy lifestyle with a massive advertising campaign…across all media platforms…employing our favourite celebrities.

Of course, this will never happen…unless we also create our own well-financed lobby group to push this agenda to our politicians.

Doug Robb is a personal trainer, a fitness blogger and author, a competitive athlete, a social media nerd and a student of nutrition and exercise science. Since 2008, Doug has brought his real-world experience online via his health & fitness blog, Health Habits.


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  4. Ethan Wiseman

    December 10, 2009 at 9:23 am

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    • healthhabits

      December 10, 2009 at 11:50 am

      I choose not to believe that the above comment is a thinly disguised attempt to acquire another blogger backlink…..sigh

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