Globalization and its effects on health and well-being, a phenomenon that will not go away

Globalization and its effects on health and well-being, a phenomenon that will not go away

Globalization is a complex phenomenon that has various cultural, political, economic, social and environmental aspects. This phenomenon has crossed the borders of countries and has become a national or international process. Where and when this phenomenon originated is historically debatable. In recent decades, due to scientific advances, especially in the field of science and information technology, this phenomenon has gained tremendous speed, so that this era has been called the era of modern globalization. Today, the complex effects of this phenomenon are evident in all aspects of our lives, including this phenomenon in the field of health in Iran and the world has been associated with positive and negative effects. One of the negative effects of this phenomenon in the world and in Iran is health problems such as the increase in non-communicable diseases including obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer. Tobacco and alcohol consumption should also be included in this category. According to the World Health Organization, the number of deaths due to smoking will reach 10 million in the next two decades. More than 70% of these deaths are due to lung cancer, liver disease, lung disease, heart disease and diabetes. In our country, the effects of these problems have gradually shown themselves. The study of Golestan cohort in Iran has shown that smoking, especially hookah, is increasing among young people, especially girls and young women. The study also found that smoking was associated with an increased risk of premature death. By 2020, non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity will make up two-thirds of all world diseases, according to the World Health Organization. At present, this rate is 40%. This increase is due to an unhealthy diet (high in sugar and fat), inactivity and smoking.

Communication Revolution

One of the factors that has contributed to the phenomenon of globalization in our time is the information technology revolution. The Internet, cyberspace and satellites have made access to information very easy. Taking advantage of these changes, the food and tobacco industries have done extensive marketing worldwide. Although free access to information is a good thing in itself, the Internet and cyberspace are also full of misinformation. Improper eating habits, consumption of ready-made or so-called fast food, machine life, inactivity, smoking and alcohol consumption are some of the effects of this phenomenon in the world. Large cohort studies in Iran show that 10 million Iranians have high blood pressure; This means that half of people over the age of 50 have these diseases. 500,000 people in Iran suffer from heart attacks and strokes every year, and 150,000 of them die due to this. On the other hand, the age of heart attacks and strokes is 10 years lower than the global average. Sedentary lifestyle is very common among Iranians, so it has been shown that Iranians are one of the most sedentary people in the world. A quarter of people in a large cohort study in Iran showed some degree of kidney failure. The rate of cancers in Iran has doubled in the last 25 years. Drug use is very high in Iran. Obesity is also on the rise in men and women.

changing life style

The phenomenon of globalization has directly and indirectly contributed to these health problems in Iran. One of the effects of the phenomenon of globalization and its connections is the spread of certain lifestyles in the world community as well as in Iran, such as unhealthy diet, inactivity, smoking, alcohol and drugs. These behaviors have also had a great impact on health and hygiene in Iran. Many of the chronic diseases that our society suffers from today are due to the inappropriate lifestyles mentioned above; For example, high-salt, high-fat, high-fat diets have been linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes or obesity. Smoking, alcohol and drugs are linked to many cancers, such as lung and gastrointestinal cancers. Inactivity and unhealthy diet are the main causes of diseases such as obesity, fatty liver and diabetes. Necessary training can help change this lifestyle. Another manifestation of globalization is its impact on the expansion of international trade. The food trade has also contributed to the spread of poor food patterns in the country; Like the high consumption of carbonated beverage brands in our country.

Positive aspects

Globalization has not only had negative effects on health and has also had positive effects. Today, access to information has made health services a commodity that patients and other members of the community have access to, even in remote areas. Medical discoveries and updates are immediately available to individuals. Today, due to the relationship of researchers with each other, medical and scientific discoveries are made more rapidly. An outstanding example of this was the international collaboration of researchers, which helped to rapidly diagnose the prevalence of severe acute respiratory symptoms (SARS) or Ebola. It has also helped international organizations work together to tackle health problems; Act like cancer and smoking. Globalization is a phenomenon that will not go away. This phenomenon is like a double-edged sword. It is up to us to use its positive aspects. By using this phenomenon itself, we can also fight its negative aspects. Using the tools of globalization can help us provide accurate education and information to our compatriots and improve the quality of health services.

Dr. Reza Saidi – Transplant Surgeon


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