World Health Day is on 7 April this year; it marks the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organisation (WHO) back in 1948. Each year focusses on a theme that highlights a priority area of public health concern around the world. The theme this year is hypertension (high blood pressure).
At USANA Australia and New Zealand, we mark World Health Day annually because it’s a great opportunity to remind everyone about the importance that we place on the health and wellbeing of our USANA family. It’s very much in sync with the vision USANA founder, Dr Myron Wentz.
What is hypertension?
Blood pressure is the pressure exerted by circulating blood upon the walls of blood vessels. High blood pressure (hypertension) means a stronger-than-normal pressure of blood vessels and this increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure. If left uncontrolled, hypertension can lead to blindness, irregularities of heartbeat and even heart failure. The risk of developing these complications is higher in the presence of other cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes.
Where the incidence of hypertension is concerned, the statistics are alarming! One in three adults worldwide has hypertension. And it doesn’t just affect adults – it can affect teenagers and even children. As with adults, the biggest contributors to hypertension in children are family history but also lifestyle choices such as poor diet, overweight and obesity.
Tackling the problem of hypertension requires not just education about this serious condition which can be a silent killer (as there are few signs and symptoms of it), but a change amongst all of us especially if there is a family history of hypertension or heart disease. It’s important to enjoy an active and healthy lifestyle.
Here are sone ways to better blood pressure:
• Don’t eat too much salt. Children are especially sensitive to salt and high blood pressure
• Eat a healthy, balanced diet that focusses on fresh vegetables and fruits plus wholegrains and fewer processed foods
• Keep alcohol consumption to within recommended levels
• Be physically active regularly and take some time to relax and un-stress
• Get into and stay within a healthy body weight
• Don’t smoke.
The time is always right!
When it comes to alerting someone you know or love about the importance of their health and their family’s health, the right time is always right now. So, take the time read up on the causes of hypertension and visit your doctor (or get your loved one) to visit their GP for a blood pressure check.
Let’s mark World Health Day by taking the opportunity to ensure that everyone we know makes their health a priority. And in the vision of Dr Wentz, let’s help to make the USANA family the healthiest family on the planet!