Focusing efforts in the following three areas, the LIHC are your health partners, using input and evidence to tackle the biggest health issues on Long Island.
Obesity, or the state of weighing more than what is normal for your height, age, and gender, is recognized by the American Medical Association as a disease. Being overweight or obese means you are more at risk for developing a variety of chronic diseases, including high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, depression, and cancer, and to name a few.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a calculation used to determine if the relationship between your weight and your height, age and gender, is a healthy relationship. Used with adults, BMI is concerned with the amount of body fat carried on your frame.
- An adult who has a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight
- An adult who has a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese
- Every adult should aim for a BMI of less than 24.9.
Children can also suffer from obesity and being overweight. In fact, rates of childhood obesity have risen quickly during the past decade. BMI for children between the ages of 2 and 19 years old is determined by standard growth charts used by physicians. The charts plot a child's growth in height and weight relative to children of the same age, showing where an individual child's BMI falls. This is why it is important for every child to have a wellness visit at least once a year.
Obesity Resource Links:
Visit the CDC's Adult BMI Calculator to assist in determining your risk.
Chronic diseases are illnesses or conditions that people have for a long time. These conditions are usually not cured, but maintained and managed with medication and other treatments. Ultimately, the goal is to prevent chronic diseases from occurring in the first place. A healthy lifestyle - eating right and exercising - can help you avoid many chronic diseases. For those who already have a chronic disease, the goal is to prevent the illness or condition from getting worse. Some common chronic diseases include: cardiovascular problems - such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol; diabetes, asthma, depression, cancer, obesity.
Chronic Disease Resource Links:
The New York State Department of Health has lots of tools directly related to chronic diseases and conditions.
Mental Health/Substance Abuse
Mental health concerns a person's emotional well-being and ability to cope with the stressors of everyday life. A person with sound mental health is able to live and work productively.
Substance abuse is the use of drugs - either prescription or non-prescription - in an amount and way that is harmful to the person. Many people who suffer from mental illnesses use drugs without the supervision of doctor, as a way to cope. Left unchecked, many individuals become addicted to these drugs and when the drugs are used in excess, individuals overdose. This leads to serious complications and in some cases, death.
Mental Health Resource Links:
Always focused on improving mental health care, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services can help different groups of people get the assistance they need.
Substance Abuse Resource Links:
Substance abuse covers a lot of different areas, and the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence offers close to home resources for those in need.