Mitigating the Effects of Personal Health Risk Factors

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  • 00:00 Personal Health Risk Factors
  • 00:26 Obesity
  • 1:59 Smoking
  • 3:22 Sedentary Lifestyle
  • 4:46 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
There are several personal health risk factors that can increase your chances of serious health issues. This lesson takes a look at some common risk factors that can be addressed before they become much larger problems.

Personal Health Risk Factors

Can you name a few unhealthy habits right off the top of your head? I bet smoking came to mind. If not, maybe eating too much, or something along those lines, popped into your head. There are plenty of risk factors for an unhealthy lifestyle. We can't cover all of them in one short lesson, but we will focus on three big ones: obesity, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle. We'll go over why they cause problems and how they can be avoided.


Obesity can be defined in many ways. We'll stick to looking at it from this perspective: obesity is a state of abnormally excessive accumulations of body fat. Jack is a young, twenty-five year old man who is obese. Right now he doesn't see what's so bad about being obese, other than the snide remarks he's learned to ignore. He feels just fine. And, while it's really great that Jack ignores the rude comments that are sometimes directed at him, it's not great to be obese. Obesity brings with it a whole host of problems that will hit Jack as he ages. These include heart disease, diabetes mellitus (a condition that causes high blood sugar), high blood pressure, stroke, breathing disorders, cancer, and arthritis (the inflammation of the joints). And in Jack's particular case, because he's a man, he may end up with erectile dysfunction as well. That's just the short list of problems obesity can cause.

The good news is that Jack doesn't have to wait for many of these problems to pop up, he can start taking preventative measures. These, of course, include talking to a doctor and nutritionist about an appropriate diet and exercise plan. In some cases, medication may be necessary to help with weight loss, especially if a medical problem helped cause the weight gain in the first place. In other instances, surgery will help a person lose weight as well.


Jack has his work cut out for him and so does Susie. You see, Susie is a smoker. Everyday she puts her health and the health of people around her on the line by inhaling the carcinogenic smoke. Carcinogenic is a word that means cancer causing. Of course, you know that smoking can cause lung cancer. What Susie doesn't know is that smoking causes a lot more problems than just lung cancer. It can cause other forms of cancer (like that of the throat, kidneys, and bladder) diabetes mellitus, heart disease, infertility, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and many other problems. Not to mention, it causes Susie to smell like a cigarette, and causes her smile to look yellow, and her skin to develop many wrinkles for her age.

Again, just like with Jack, Susie doesn't have to just sit there and take it. She can help prevent many of these problems, even if she's been smoking for a long time. She can use certain prescription medications and nicotine replacement therapy, in the form of a gum or patch, to help stop smoking. But that's not always enough. Susie might look into combining her replacement therapy and other medication with counseling and support groups.

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