Modern Western medicine is excellent in handling acute medical crises through biomedical and technological advances combined with some of today’s pharmacological approaches to redress health.
Despite this, there has been an increase of chronic diseases (heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes and obesity), which can be severely detrimental to quality of life and which cut short life expectancy for millions worldwide.
Cardiovascular diseases (mainly heart disease and stroke) are responsible for 30% of all deaths.
Cancer is the primary cause of death worldwide (WHO Report 2013), the second leading cause of death in the US (25% of all deaths; 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women diagnosed during their lifetime (NCI Report 2013).
Chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes are also major causes of mortality.
The contribution of diabetes is underestimated because although people may live for years with diabetes, their deaths are usually recorded as being caused by heart disease or kidney failure.
Obesity can be considered to be epidemic and it is not restricted to industrialized societies.
As of 2000, the number of obese adults has increased to over 300 million.
We only need to look at official reports from institutions such as the WHO, or national health institutions (NHS England, NIS and NCI in USA as well as many others) to appreciate in more detail the seriousness of the advance of obesity.