Healthy Life

Are we all destined to get lifestyle diseases?

Are we all destined to get lifestyle diseases

What you need to know about your genetic risk factors and healthy-ish habits, according to a doctor.

Listen to Healthy-ish, available to download at Apple iTunes here or wherever you go for your podcasts.

Real talk – and sorry for the downer – but, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), lifestyle diseases are the world’s biggest killer. Not Zika virus or some undiscovered animal flu.

We’re talking heart disease, strokes, diabetes, cancer – all those chronic diseases you never want to tap you on the shoulder and say hi.

But do your MeatFree Mondays, green smoothies and 3 x weekly HIIT workouts, mean you’re in the clear?

That’s the question on the latest episode of our podcast Healthy-ish, now available for download, and we were surprised to hear what Dr Andrew Rochford had to say.

“If you are obese or overweight there is a very high chance that you have lifestyle diseases like pre-diabetes. So it’s pretty obvious, go get tested, figure out if you’ve got it, let’s change your diet, get you moving, let’s stop this before it becomes diabetes,” he tells co-hosts Maz Compton and Melissa Shedden.

“The tricky thing is for people who are ‘skinny fat’, or metabolically obese. In a line up, you wouldn’t pick them as the person with diabetes. What we’re starting to see now is how we process food, and this pre-diabetic metabolic syndrome, isn’t always determined by the amount of fat you carry. We need to be tested.”

In other words, don’t believe a slim build automatically means you’re healthy.

If you’re sedentary, if you don’t exercise, if you have a rubbish diet, and are generally unfit, but your outside appearance doesn’t point to any of those things – that doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods,” he warns.

Dr Rochford, who got into medicine after experiencing his father, a type 1 diabetic, have a hypoglycaemic seizure in the middle of the night when he was 10-years-old, uses diabetes as an example – and it’s a compelling one, since 280 Australians develop the disease everyday, according to Diabetes Australia.

“It falls under the category of a silent killer. Diabetes or even pre-diabetes is one with no overt signs, which is why you can’t tell until you get tested – unless you taste your own urine because it gets very sweet.”

Understandably, that comment raised a squeal from Maz Compton, “there’s the quote, doctor recommends….”

For more on the signs and symptoms of Australia’s most common lifestyle diseases, and to hear the science behind plant-based diets as a treatment plan for lifestyle diseases from dietitian Lyndi Cohen, listen to Healthy-ish episode 10, brought to you by myBody+Soul and Priceline Pharmacy. Download now at Apple iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

Until October 25, Priceline Pharmacy stores are offering free diabetes consultations. Their trained Diabetes advisors will evaluate your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and provide tips to reduce your risk. Visit for more information.