The world has come a long way in the last 100 years not just in terms of economic advancements and blurring geographies for trade, but also in the field of science, specifically medicine and although medicine has evolved extensively over time, and has eradicated most of the diseases that where prevalent in the 19th century, the 21st century has been plagued with fresh set of diseases, known as lifestyle diseases. The decisions you make today can have an enormous impact on your future and most especially your health. The lifestyles you choose to lead can cause certain diseases to occur. This paper examines what lifestyle diseases are, the various types of lifestyle diseases and some of their causes, uses the psychosocial theory of social epidemiology to explain how lifestyle diseases are caused and gives specific steps that can be taken to prevent these diseases. .
Key words: Lifestyle, Lifestyle Diseases, Health, Civilization, Habits, Epidemiology, Psychosocial and Stress.
In the 1900, the top three causes of death worldwide were Influenza/ pneumonia, Tuberculosis, and Diarrhea/ enteritis. These accounted for 60% of all deaths. Communicable diseases such as Malaria, Measles, Whooping cough, Syphilis and Hepatitis B were also noted as significant causes. In 1900 heart disease was ranked number four and cancer number eight as far as being the cause of death. However since the 1940's, the majority of deaths have resulted from Heart disease, cancer and other lifestyle diseases. It was first argued that lifestyle diseases have their onset later in an individual's life and need a longer lifespan in order to become the cause of death. However what was regarded as age related disease in the early 21st century such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity is no longer the case, these diseases are now affecting younger members of the population in the western world (Martin 2011).