Modern Lifestyle Is Dangerous Term Paper

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Lifestyle is Dangerous

There are numerous health dangers associated the modern lifestyle, such as environmental agents, drugs, and sexual promiscuity.

The history of humankind has been a slow progress from a physically demanding but simpler lifestyle to a "hot-wired, high-stakes game of mental challenge and response that is played at breakneck speeds" (Gorman pp). This has become daily life for many in the United States, and it seems to be making them sick (Gorman pp). In fact, experts are only now beginning to understand the effects of modern life is having upon human health (Gorman pp).

Researchers have found that these effects are mediated primarily by a pair of tiny glands that ride upon our kidneys (Gorman pp). The adrenal glands are the body's center for action in response to stimuli "such as fear, anger, surprise, excitement, emotional trauma, infections, physical pain, and even stressful muscle exertion and fasting," and as civilization has evolved into an often emotionally stressful but sedentary service-based work that many individuals now perform, the demands on the adrenals have piled high (Gorman pp). Once mostly an assistant to upper-level management, these glands have now become a central figure in the control of health, and in many individuals, these tiny glands are buckling under the load as they pump twenty-four hours a day (Gorman pp). In fact, elevated levels of the corticosteroids, or hormones, that these glands produce are often present in more than 30 million Americans, including pregnant women, athletes, alcoholics, malnourished individuals, and those with depression and panic disorders (Gorman pp).

For the last twenty years, asthma has been on the increase, and adults are three times more likely to suffer from the illness than in 1981, and children with asthma has doubled during the last decade (Madell pp). Experts believe the increase is a reflection of modern, stress-packed lifestyles in dangerous environments (Madell pp). Things like central heating, soft furnishings, and double glazing, all harbor dust, and thus increase the risk of asthma, and even cleaning may be to blame (Madell pp). According to Dr. John Rees, chairman of the National Asthma Campaign's research committee, people now live in a sanitized society, where children are no longer exposed to many infections, thus the immune system does not develop properly (Madell pp).

Ulcers are considered a sign of the times, basically a medical pay-back for a modern lifestyle of working long hours, eating on the move, smoking and excess drinking (Manley pp). Although middle-aged workaholic men were once the most likely candidates for developing an ulcer, doctors now claim that everyone is at risk (Manley pp). In fact, the number of individuals suffering from ulcers has more than doubled during the last six years (Manley pp). Although a bacteria called Helicobacter Pylori could be the cause, experts believe that a hectic lifestyle, poor diet and an over-indulgence in cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine and aspirin can trigger the problem, thus changes in lifestyle such as cutting out alcohol, giving up smoking, avoiding spicy food and cutting down on stress will also help to decrease an individual's chance of getting an ulcer (Manley pp).

Many criticize modern intellectuals for refusing to take moral stands and for considering this view as a liberating position (Jendrysik pp). Conservative critics believe that failure to take stands on moral issues is cowardice disguised as freedom from oppressive universalism, claiming they surrender judgement on moral questions such as drug abuse, in favor of positions of false freedom, such as support for drug legalization, as well as decades of distorting standards in education (Jendrysik pp). On the general level of policy, some believe that academic intellectuals make solutions to social problems impossible by making the causes too complex, searching for root causes to avoid moral questions (Jendrysik pp). According to critics, they use "intellectualizing" or the removal of issues to the abstract plane of social theory, as an excuse for non-action, and ignore problems such as drug use on campus, in favor of grand efforts to erase "sexism, racism, and ethnocentrism" (Jendrysik pp).

The National AIDS Demonstration Research, NADR, Program of the National Institute on Drug evaluates community-based outreach and prevention efforts targeted to injecting-drug users, IDUs, and their sex partners, and has found that these sex partners…[continue]

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