Human lifestyle and non-communicable diseases

 It is important for GCSE Biology students to be able to describe the relationship between health and disease and describe different types of diseses, this includes communicable and non-communicable diseases. Students also need to be able to describe the interaction between different types of disease. Students should know that many non-communicable diseases are caused by the interaction of a number of factors and that this is particularly true of lifestyle factors in relation to cardiovascular diseases. Students need to be able to explain the effect of lifestyle factors, including exercise, diet , alcohol and smoking on the incidence of non-communicable diseases at local , national and global levels. They should also be able to evaluate some different treatments for cardiovascular diseases.

This is a familiar topic for students and often students use inaccurate and unscientific terminology. In delivery this topic it is important to ensure that accurate scientific terminology is always used, so always correct students for using terms such as "bad food" Ensure that students are able to give detailed explanations about areas such as balanced diet.  Similarly references to "drinking" as being a lifestyle factor that can cause disease is not accurate scientific terminology, ensure students refer to alcohol and that they can explain the potential effect on body systems. For this topic it is important that students understand the underlying physiology in terms lifestyle factors and not just list possible harmful factors

A misconception often seen within this topic area is in relation to the notion of "fitness" with students often noting that the fitter a person is the higher their heart rate. Also students don't always appreciate that having one particular disease or condition can be the result of or lead to other conditions. For example the fact that blindness can result from high blood pressure, which can be as a result of diabetes.

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