My Past Academic Writings 6: Do you agree that it is increasingly difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle in your country?

So, I have decided to showcase some of my past, not so well-done academic writings that I have done in my 2 years in Junior College. They are not the best, but these are definitely pieces which I have placed my hard work, sweat and blood into. And I most definitely welcome discussions!

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Singapore is a place where one can expect crowd proceeding to work as early as 6.00 a.m. in the morning. Singapore is a place where the definition of attaining 5 “C”s (Condominiums, Cash, Car, Card and Careers) is the drive for both the young and old. Singapore is a place where youths sometimes struggle to manage their academics. The above are the common daily lifestyle habits and norms of the people in Singapore, each of which depicts a very hectic schedule people have. Given that people in Singapore are engaging in more hectic schedules, it is increasingly difficult to manage the different aspects of health (mental health, emotional health , spiritual health and physical health) and as such harder to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

The increase in the number of fast food outlets in Singapore, brought about by globalisation, has made it more challenging for her people to maintain and manage a healthier lifestyle. Fast food outlets chains, such as MacDonald’s, Wendy’s or KFC, is a commonality among shopping centres, which are often located near offices or housing estates. As such, these fast food outlets provide several incentives to entice people to consume their products. They include convenience, cheap deals and comfort. Together with the constant exposure to advertisements from the print media, the broadcast media and the public transport, people are becoming more aware of the current deals and are succumbing to their temptations to try the new products; fast food is irresistible.  Marketing strategies such as “MacDonald’s spicy cook-off” and their Hello Kitty Promotions causes many locals to consume more fast food. In all, people are over-consuming fast food. A documentary, “Super Size Me” shows a man’s journey to consume MacDonald only diet for a month, it indicates that an over-consumption of fast food leads to an increase in obesity rate. Being obese not only leads to greater risks of coronary heart diseases but also a greater risk in being diabetic and having a higher chance of heart failure. Hence, globalisation has made it, increasingly difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle in Singapore.

However, there are more and more infrastructures constructed in Singapore to encourage people to live a healthy lifestyle. As compared to the past, we see a greater variety of options to exercise, such as the construction of more gymnasiums and more upgraded park facilities. Each of which serves to target different age group; the gymnasiums targeted at the younger groups of people, while the public parks seem to target the senior citizens. Research has been conducted and it shows that the more and more people are signing up for gym memberships. From this, it is evident that more and more people are exercising and hence more aware of the importance and the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. Furthermore, as part of the National Healthy Lifestyle campaign, All Children Exercise Simultaneously (ACES) day was created. On the 31st of August, students from multiple institutions are required to participate actively in a 1-hour workout. As such, all of the above platforms allow the people, both young and old, in Singapore to continuously exercise and lead a healthier lifestyle. Hence, it can be argued that it is not increasingly difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle in Singapore.

In Singapore, people are always in pursuit of materialistic wealth, often at the expense of his or her health. Students are expected to juggle not only their homework and self-revisions but also their tuition work as well as their Co-Curricular Activities (CCA), many burns the midnight oil and sacrifice their sleep to accomplish certain tasks, which may deteriorate their physical and mental health in the long run.  Unlike the past, attaining a secondary school certificate no longer entitle one a stable income job. Students are first expected to attain diplomas followed by their masters and eventually a double degree. With the invention of smart phones, people in the workforce are seemingly expected to work 24/7. Also, technological advancements also allow workers to work at their own home, which is supposedly a place for one to rejuvenate, rest and bond with their family.  It is no wonder that the pressure people face over the years have increased and this is reflected by the Gallup survey, which states Singapore as one of countries attaining the lowest happiness index. The exposure to overwhelming stress is so frequent and vast that it is increasingly difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle in Singapore.

Opponents may also argue that people in Singapore are now more educated and are more aware of the causes of illnesses as well as the means to stay healthy. This is true, especially so when the advancement in technology, allows information to be gathered immediately anytime, anywhere. With the information, people are able to educate themselves on how to be responsible for their own health. Furthermore, media platforms are also avenues for such information to be showcased to our local audiences. This is evident from the short advertisement between two old men, one Chinese and one Indian, who discussed at different scenarios of the importance of health checkups in a humorous manner. As such, there are greater awareness of the importance of seeking medical help early, frequent health checks and early prevention. Therefore, it is not increasingly difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle in Singapore. However, the crucial issue here is whether people, who are facing a very busy and tight schedule, have the time to go for health checks or participate actively in exercises. More often than not, people in Singapore do not have the time and as such they have a higher tendency to prioritise such activities later at the end.  Hence, even with the given information on how one should live a healthy lifestyle, it is up to an individual to put in an effort to carry out these activities or else it they would be futile.

The over-consumption of food unknowingly by people in Singapore is one of the reasons why it is increasingly difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle in Singapore. People in Singapore are getting wealthier over the years and as such they are able to afford a larger variety of goods. In many wealthy societies, there are multiple differing lifestyle concerns. On one hand, people want to consume the best products but also at the same time keep up to trends. There was an instance where organic products, goods that were known to have beneficial health properties, were one of the trendy products that attracted the people’s attention. With higher purchasing power, people can easily afford these products and consume these products, even thought there may be some things that they are unsure of. The consumption of goods unknowingly can lead to a deterioration of one’s health and this can be dangerous. As such, it is increasingly difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle in Singapore.

Leading a healthy lifestyle is important because it can benefit us holistically in many fields. However, it is ultimately up to an individual’s effort to exercise regularly, eat moderately and stay healthy. No one is responsible for anyone’s health other than their own. Only when we can keep our body healthy, then we can live life to the fullest and perform at our best. As the saying by Buddha goes, “To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”

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