Editorial - Where are our health competences?

By Laura Tomassini Switch to German for original article

When it comes to prevention, doctors, researchers and politicians are reaching their limits, as the numbers of obesity, cancer and preventable deaths are rising worldwide. The question that arises: Why are we doing this to ourselves?

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At least once a year I go for a blood test, every year my moles are checked by my dermatologist, my dentist looks in my mouth and comments on my teeth. My boyfriend, on the other hand, has been putting off having his blood values checked for three years; the prescriptions he has been given several times by his GP are lying in a drawer. Validity: expired. He, who eats a plant-based diet for his health, and I, a girl who has suffered from atopic dermatitis for 29 years with food allergies to cow's milk, wheat and a list of 582 other things, who gleefully enjoys her chocolate croissant every week, ignoring the following rash and chronic intestinal inflammation.

It's somehow strange, this different understanding of health management. A non-representative but very revealing survey on social media shows that when it comes to prevention, men generally prioritise sport and a healthy diet, while women tend to focus more on regular health checks, a positive mindset and less stress. The topic of prevention is so wide-ranging that it has inspired an entire series of articles on my part. One aspect that echoes between the lines, but which I have not (yet) explicitly mentioned, are the gender-specific differences when it comes to disease prevention.

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