Diabetes outbreak in Pakistan
This year in Pakistan on world diabetes day, an alarming statistics of prevalence of diabetes has shocked health care professionals and people with diabetes.
There was a time when onset of diabetes was common in middle age group but now it’s brought down to 20 years above age group in 2017 National Diabetes Survey.
26% of Pakistani population is suffering with diabetes while other 14.4% is prone to have diabetes anytime if they would not follow the recommendations of primary prevention of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is directly interlinked with obesity and unfortunately the prevalence of obesity is also 76% which means that Every Third Pakistani is Obese! Though this one factor of obesity is self-sufficient to have diabetes but one may not deny the unmodifiable hereditary factor.
Two factors that are mentioned in above risk assessment test are age and hereditary factor that are unmodifiable while waist circumference that is a major factor is modifiable that can delay the early onset of diabetes by proper weight management & lifestyle modification. Delayed diagnosis of diabetes & its poor mismanagement leads to non-communicable diseases like chronic cardiovascular diseases, kidney failure, blindness, stroke, foot amputation and eventually it increases the rate of mortality.
In Pakistan, Every SECOND Person is Hypertensive (52%). These alarming figures can be reduced if we as a nation adapts healthy eating habits, modify our life styles, decreases the elements of “artificial” stress from our lives by stop watching the hostile destructive media which has nothing to do with the culture or religion of the people instead spend leisure hours in physical activities that are close to nature.
If researchers conduct a comparative study on dining out practice/ online food delivery with 20 years back dining out approach of people and its frequency then we may know that how adversely we associated pleasure with unhealthy eating habits.
This unhealthy eating habits and sedentary life style tends to increase the cholesterol level up to 93% of Pakistani population. It’s easy to connect the dots that why in last two decades the rate of cardiovascular diseases has risen in our society. Attractive advertisements and meal deals have further deteriorate the mindset of common people.
A country whose 60% of population is comprising of youth as per 2017 census, needs to declare NATIONAL HEALTH EMERGENCY to improve these eye opening statistics of diabetes, obesity, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. We as a nation need to change the approach of our unhealthy convenient eating habits and unhealthy lifestyles.
Some important pointers we as a nation need to adopt to save our future generation from collective suicide:
Fatty food, fried items, tetra pack artificial milk, sugar containing beverages and carbonated drinks, processed foods, bakery items, confectionaries and sweets need to be cut down from our daily lives.
Start taking adequate amount of fresh vegetable salad with meals, couple of fresh fruits instead of desserts, two to three servings of fresh milk, healthy snacks instead of fast foods, nuts, and nourishing home meals instead of frequent online food delivery or dining out.
Breast feeding must be obligatory for all nursing mothers to prevent the onset of diabetes in youth.
Increase physical activity in home, extra attention on sports and physical activities in school and “controlled “menu of school canteens and cafeterias is highly advocated.
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