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Why India is seeing a rising trend of diseases

IANS Apr 10, 2024

Increased stress in life and a sedentary lifestyle combined with a spike in consumption of junk food, smoking tobacco, and alcohol is behind the surging cases of diseases in India, said experts here on 9 April.

About one in three Indians is pre-diabetic, two in three are pre-hypertensive, and one in 10 suffers from depression, reveals a recent Health of Nation Report by Apollo Hospitals.

The prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and mental health disorders has surged to critical levels, raising alarm for the nation's health.

“Amongst the 1.4 billion population of India, the biggest health issues are related to a major jump in fatty liver diseases, obesity, diabetes, coronary artery diseases in the youth, and a plethora of malignancies of many organs affecting every section of society. This changing trend is more obvious as one encounters heart attacks and paralytic attacks in younger generations with alarming regularity,” said Dr Anil Arora.

“A combination of stressful life and sedentary lifestyle has catapulted us to newer illnesses which were not a reality in this younger lot, till recently,” he explained.

Infectious disease expert Dr Ishwar Gilada said the “altered lifestyle” followed by the young generations is making them more prone to the diseases. Our youth is going berserk on junk food, smoking, tobacco, alcohol, and inviting diseases", he said.

He also blamed the work-from-home culture that was introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to some extent with few companies.

“We need to stop it because people, who are working from home, do not do any exercise, or walk. That will cause a problem,” said Dr Gilada, Secretary General People's Health Organisation-India. He advised people to make health their own “responsibility”.

“Our health should be our responsibility. Everybody has to be responsible for their health. One always can't depend on the government and organisations to take care of health. One must stop tobacco habits, quit smoking, reduce or stop alcohol consumption, and follow a healthy lifestyle with proper diet, and exercises,” Dr Gilada added.

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