Monday, June 16, 2014

Risk Factors for NCDs

While NCDs are every one’s concern, there is great deal of ignorance or deliberate ignorance. Now a days it is common to see one or more patients suffering from one or the other NCD in every family. Our parents, uncles or aunts may have diabetes, high blood pressure or any other one. Cancer and stroke cases are also commonplace.

It is alright a young person may be free from any of those nasty diseases. But if you look back at your lifestyle you may find your weight is on higher side, you seldom exercise, take high intake of sugar, salt and so on. In other words you are living a healthy lifestyle. Can you sit back and say you do not have any of NCDs! No, a big no!

If lifestyle is not what it ought not to be, then it is a danger sign. You are at the doorstep of NCDs striking you any time in the future. It is just a matter of time. Any of the risk factors surrounding you are precipitating, causing or exaggerating the chances of NCDs striking you.

Alcohol is one factor, tobacco is the second, sugar is the third, fast foods and salts are the other factors, beside many more. When all these factors combine effects are disastrous.

How often do we consume fruits is important. For a person (aged 18+ years) consuming less than five total servings (400 grams) of fruit and vegetables per day is a risk indicator.

Physical activity is essential for healthy life. Insufficient physical activity (defined as less than 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity activity daily for an adolescent and less than 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week for +18  are indicators leading towards NCDs.

Intense marketing of packaged food and fast food by companies making unhealthy food items attracts children. Parents need to be educated about value of healthy food for their children’s growth and harmful effect of waste fast foods on their children’s health.

Here comes the role of government in regulating fast foods which are not only harmful but these are exorbitantly costly as well in terms of the value of money charged for those foods. Branded pizzas, soft drinks and potato chips are examples of unhealthy food of low or no food value as well in terms of value for money paid.

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