Read the interviews with four students in London about their health and their attitudes to it. What do you think of their points of view? Do you agree or disagree with them?
1) I don’t smoke, and I never will; I’m sure of that. I’m not paranoid about drink. I have a glass of wine now and then, but I’m not very keen on it. I’ve never been actually drunk. I get bad headaches sometimes, if I’m very tired or stressed. Then I take paracetamol and have a rest, and that normally does the trick (helps).
Kate Nolan, 15
2) I smoke about twenty a day. I know it’s bad for me but I tried to give up a couple of times and it just failed miserably. I find that I don’t really have the will-power.
I play football, American football and volleyball. I find I have more energy since I’ve been playing. But it’s not always good for your health – at the moment I’ve got two cracked ribs from playing American football!
I broke all the bones in my left arm. I had three operations and a year of physiotherapy. My arm will never be the same again. But I’m right-handed, so it doesn’t really have an effect on studies and things like that.
AIDS scares me a lot. I’ve known two people who have died of it. They thought they’d be OK. They didn’t realise the risk, and just ended up dying. It’s really quite emotional time, realising someone is going to die, just because they weren’t careful.
Ciaran Mitchell, 18
3) I started smoking but I managed to give up after about one year. It’s all a matter of will-power. You can do absolutely anything if you want to. That’s what I believe. I can’t understand drug addicts; they are wasting their lives, and they could stop so easily if they really wanted to. It’s the same thing with diet. If you know certain foods are bad for you, or make you fat, just don’t eat them.
Traditional Chinese medicine can help with psychological things as well as physical problems. Some people have stopped smoking after being treated with acupuncture.
Rita Leung, 19
4) I get colds quite often. Mainly, I just carry on as normal with a cold. But if it gets too bad, I go to the doctor, and see what he gives me – cough medicine and antibiotics, mainly.
I don’t smoke, but I do drink – occasionally. The main health problem I worry about is AIDS.
Mayssa Daye, 17
Do you have any bad habits affecting your health?
Are you the healthy-eating, clean-living, sporty type?
Or are you destroying yourself with cigarettes, alcohol and junk food?
Do you carry on with life through headaches, colds or flu?
Or are you a hypochondriac who goes straight to the doctor if you’re feeling a bit tired?
Whatever your type, we all love hearing about other people’s illnesses and accidents.
Comment on the proverb:
“Good health is above wealth” (=health is more important than wealth)