Health Literacy

Why Living in the Modern World Is Unhealthier Than Ever Before

Modern World Is Unhealthier Than Ever Before

In every direction you turn nowadays, there’s a cautionary tale about something posing a significant threat to your health. In the past, you might have taken these health warnings with a grain of salt (not too much though, as it’s apparently quite unhealthy).

However, we must now pay attention to everyday habits that may be harming us in ways we haven’t realized. Here are some common ones:

Blue Light

We all depend heavily on our computers and/or smartphones in our daily routines. You use your phone during your commute to work, spend your entire day staring at your computer screen, then read the news on your phone on your way home. Afterwards, you catch up on all the social media you missed before turning out the lights.

But were you aware that constantly looking at your screen is seriously affecting the quality of your sleep? The blue light emitted by your phone suppresses your body’s ability to produce melatonin, the sleep hormone. So, if you spend a significant amount of time on your phone, especially a couple of hours before bedtime, you may be getting the quantity of sleep you need, but the quality is significantly diminished!

To counteract this, consider applying a blue light filter on your phone or using a free program like F.Lux on your computer.

Secondhand Smoke

The hazards of passive smoking have been emphasized for quite some time, so this isn’t new information. However, recent studies have shed further light on the impacts of secondhand smoke on children.

Even exposing a child to secondhand smoke at four months of age doubles their risk of developing issues like tooth decay later in life. Children exposed to smoke have reduced levels of sialic acid, which leads to plaque formation.


Being lactose or gluten intolerant has almost become a trend! While only a small percentage of the population are actually coeliac or have a genuine dairy allergy, the effects of a gluten-free diet or reducing dairy intake are being experienced by a wider audience.

Those who have benefitted from eliminating wheat or gluten have reported feeling more energetic, experiencing heightened focus, and generally improving their day-to-day lives. This is because gluten affects the immune system and the blood-brain barrier. So, if you frequently suffer from headaches or find yourself tired most of the time, try eliminating gluten-containing products from your diet for four weeks and then reintroduce them to see if you notice any difference.

Processed Foods

In our fast-paced modern lives, it’s easy to turn to processed foods for convenience. From microwaveable meals to sugary snacks, they’ve become a staple in many households. However, it’s crucial to understand the toll they can take on our health.

These foods are often loaded with artificial additives, excess sodium, and hidden sugars, all of which can lead to a range of health issues, from obesity to heart disease. Moreover, the lack of essential nutrients in processed foods can leave us feeling lethargic and less able to tackle our daily tasks with vigor. Over time, a diet heavily reliant on processed foods can contribute to chronic health conditions.

To make a positive change, consider incorporating more whole, unprocessed foods into your diet. This shift can lead to improved energy levels, better overall health, and a reduced risk of long-term health problems.


In our quest for convenience and efficiency, we often overlook the subtle yet significant impacts our daily habits can have on our well-being. From screen time to secondhand smoke, and even our dietary choices, each element plays a role in shaping our health.

By recognizing these potential pitfalls and making mindful adjustments, we can pave the way for a healthier, more vibrant future. It’s a journey worth embarking on, as the benefits extend far beyond the present moment, setting the stage for a fulfilling and prosperous life ahead.

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Dr. Jade Marie Tomaszewski is a pathologist-in-training at McGill University, where she also did her degree in MSc Pathology. She obtained her medical degree (MD) from the University of the Philippines, after completing a BSc in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. In her (little) spare time, she enjoys spending time with family, curling up with a book and a large mug of tea, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. You can follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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