Exposure to tobacco, alcohol, unhealthy diet cause non communicable diseases

60 percent of all deaths in India are due to non-communicable diseases, according to WHO

GN Bureau | July 22, 2016


#alcohol   #tobacco   #Non communicable diseases   #unhealthy diet  

The four main non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes and cancers – are caused primarily by exposure to tobacco, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diet, and too little exercise, says Toshiko Kaneda and Reshma Naik, authors of a new report by the Population Reference Bureau.

The report titled ‘Addressing Non Communicable Disease Risk Factors Among Young People: Asia’s Window of Opportunity to Curb a Growing Epidemic’ says that these behaviours often begin in adolescence or young adulthood and set the stage for NCDs later in life.
 
This policy report comes just after World Health Organization (WHO) released a report emphasising the problems of NCDs.  According to WHO, Indians have a 26 percent chance of dying prematurely between the ages of 30 and 70 due to the four major NCDs. NCDs account for 60 percent of all deaths in India.
 
The WHO report highlights the need to intensify national action to meet the global targets governments have agreed to protect people from heart disease, cancers, diabetes, and lung diseases. Globally, these four NCDs represent the largest cause of death in people aged less than 70 years, posing a major threat to sustainable development. 
 
Some of the key suggestions in the Population Reference Bureau report are:
 
  • Strengthening regulations of the food industry like setting maximum salt, sugar or saturated fat content in food products and food labelling and taxes on soda.   
  • The food processing industry accounts for about 50-60 percent of the sugar, salt and fats consumed, making it challenging to encourage healthy diets among young people. 
  • Seven of every 10 boys and girls in the 13-15 year age group in India get too little exercise, meaning less than 60 minutes per day.  More than one in five of them are overweight or obese, placing them at a high risk of developing NCDs.
  • Among 13- to 15-year-old secondary school students in India, 19 percent of boys and 8 percent of girls have used a tobacco product in the past month. Most of this consumption is of non-commercially produced cigarettes—tobacco products like bidi, an inexpensive hand-rolled cigarette made of unprocessed tobacco wrapped in leaves.
 

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