MON, AUGUST 28 2017-theG&BJournal-Top healthcare practitioners from different parts of the world, Saturday blazed the trail in Africa’s first international conference on Life Style Medicine in an all day confab that detailed the dos and don’ts of healthy living in an effort to redefine healthcare toward natural, non-toxic remedies.
The conference, kicked off by Dr. (Mrs) Toyin Saraki, wife of the Senate President, was under the auspices of Brookfields Centre for Life Style Medicine. Its scheme was “The Science and Art of Healthy Living; Revolutionizing Health, Redefining Healthcare” and featured experts from Nigeria, Canada / USA and the United Arab Emirates. In her opening address, Dr. Saraki remarked that indeed for a healthier living, Nigerians need to, as much as possible, move away from drugs and concentrate on healthy eating and healthy life styles.
All the presentations at the conference held at the Global Distance Learning Institute, Abuja, gave life-style prescriptions toward a healthy living. Professor Adrian Kennedy, CEO, Arabian Wellness and Lifestyle Management, LLC, United Arab Emirates, among others emphasised Workplace Health Promotion (WHP). The practice which involves corporate joint effort between a firm and its employees to improve and maintain the mental and physical wellbeing of its members is associated with many benefits, that are even quantifiable, he said. These include reduced medicine costs (26%); reduced absenteeism (27%); improved productivity (14%); cost benefit ratio (1:5). Others are improved retention, improved workplace safety and generally enhanced quality of life.
In her own submission, Professor Erica Frank, Canada Research Chair at the University
Of Columbia, USA, espoused the international, evidence-based links between the health choices doctors make and those of their patients (HD=HP), evidencing the reasons physicians are key Lifestyle Medicine targets. She observed that studies have shown that physicians with the healthiest habits are more likely to advise their patients about related preventive habits, and quality lifestyle habits in general.
In her own submission Dr. Ifeoma Monye, Chief Consultant Family Physician, National Hospital, Abuja and Lifestyle Medicine practitioner underscored the role of nutrigenetics in gaining greater understanding of the mechanisms associated with intervariablility among individuals and the need to develop a personalized, bespoke, dietary recommendation for each individual where possible.
Dr. Monye noted that nutrigenetics seeks to identify genetic susceptibility to diseases. She noted that gene-diet interactions can play a major role in the development and prevention against chronic degenerative, non-communicable diseases. She illustrated her account with the Mediterranean dietary pattern which can be used as a complementary tool to better control cardiovascular risk factors within the framework of lifestyle recommendations. This dietary pattern, rich in anti oxidants, refers to dietary forms based on a daily, abundant consumption of olive oil (high in mono-unsaturated fatty acids, low in saturated fatty acids). Other constituents of the diet include: high intake of vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
There is also the frequent and moderate intake of red wine with meals, moderate consumption of sea food, fermented dairy products (cheese and yoghurt}, poultry. Others are low consumption of red meat, meat products and sweets, daily physical activity, proper hydration and social eating habits, she concludes.