Talk:Diseases of affluence

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I think that it should be noted that with the increase of longevity, a larger population tends to manifest diseases typical of an elderly age

Increased Leisure Time[edit]

While many of the other factors noted seem intuitively linked to the increased prevalence of the diseases mentionned, only one of the factors actually has a citation. This doesn't bother me too much, except for the listing of "increased leisure time" as a contributing factor to diseasesof affluence. I fail to see how leisure time intrinsically contributes to diseases of affluence; the necessary implication is that more time spent working would help us avoid these diseases, though I think that the medical difference between spending 8 hours working on a computer and spending 8 hours playing video games is rather small. Some forms of leisure contribute to good health and some to bad health, and the same goes for work. The point doesn't seem to be relevant, at least not superficially. As such, I have removed the point. If there is a citation to go with it, then that would be very interesting to include, and we should definately make note of it. If it is necessary to remove all uncited points in order to be fair, then so be it.GarrickW (talk) 10:22, 21 April 2010 (UTC)


This topic overlaps a lot with Lifestyle diseases. Is this the same concept? Maybe this page should be merged into it. Twelvethirteen (talk) 06:59, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

There's an overlap, but they're not the same thing. Alzheimer's disease, for example, is not considered a lifestyle disease, but it's a disease of affluence (because by nature it's uncommon in places with a shortened life expectancy). DanBishop (talk) 01:04, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Obesity and Poverty[edit]

I think it should also be noted that within the world's most affluent countries such as the United States, the "diseases of affluence," especially obesity, disproportionately affect the poorest members of the society, for example, because packaged products, starches, sugary and salty foods, and fatty meats tend to be cheaper than say fresh produce, because poorer areas are less walkable, the poor have less time to exercise or less access to health clubs, or less energy for a workout after a day standing up (but not getting much exercise) which low wage service jobs typically require, etc. So the title "diseases of affluence," although useful to compare the types of diseases most deadly in rich countries with those found in the third world, is also misleading and maybe offensive, since the people in rich societies who tend to suffer from them are often far from affluent by the standards of these societies.[1]

I don't believe this is the case. The lower the socio-economic level of most societies the more likely someone is to engage in strenuous work and have less labour saving devices. In the pima indian's the woman suffer more from the diseases, but have much harder working lifestyles. It's certainly a contentious point, and so doesn't belong in the article. Andybellenie (talk) 02:11, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
How about gout? Sounds like it would be the original "disease of affluence" if there ever was one. Cranston Lamont (talk) 19:30, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure it is from my studies in this area but we must have a reliable source before we can put it in the article. Andybellenie (talk) 02:11, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

External links[edit]

The following article is no longer available at this location —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:04, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Auto-immune diseases and cleanliness[edit]

Autoimmune diseases are becoming commoner in affluent countries. Life in an affluent country tends, increasingly, to be hygeinic and free from parasites. There is evidence that infestation by parasites reduces the incidence of auutoimmune diseases. [2] [3]. This may be because parasites actively protect themselves by weakening the host's immune response; or because the immune system, with no "real work" to do, goes into overdrive and starts to regard a host tissue as an antigen.

My view is that autoimmune diseases (such as type 1 diabetes, asthma, and food allergies) should therefore be regarded as diseases of affluence, and included in this article. I propose adding a section on them, unless someone explains why I shouldn't. However, I am not medically qualified; I would prefer an editor who is to do the work. Maproom (talk) 20:55, 18 April 2014 (UTC)


See also Hygiene hypothesis. Maproom (talk) 21:06, 18 April 2014 (UTC)