Unhealthy living pushing Indians to ‘silent killers’
Express News Service
NEW DELHI: With nearly one-third adults physically inactive, over 32 % consuming tobacco and nearly 16 % taking alcohol, a majority of Indians are at a significant risk of developing lifestyle diseases, according to a nation-wide survey. Over 98% people surveyed did not consume the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables every day, said the first comprehensive nationwide survey by the ICMR and nearly 18 government institutions to assess the risk factors for non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
The average consumption was 2 servings per day, much less than the WHO recommendations. For the first time, the survey estimated dietary intake of salt intake of population at a national level via spot urine samples. Indian adults consume about 8 gm salt per day, it said. Higher than the recommended salt intake of 5 mg per day is considered a major risk factor for hypertension.
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The survey, conducted during 2017–18, was based on a sample size of about 12,000 households in rural and urban parts, is based on responses from adults aged 18-69. The findings would contribute to plan future state-based surveys and also frame policies for prevention and control of NCDs, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer, which have emerged as the biggest killers.
NCDs accounted to 65% of total deaths in 2019 and, over a period of 25 years — since 1990 — the burden of diseases has transitioned from communicable to NCD cases. The total disability adjusted life years from NCDs was 30.5% in 1990 which increased in 2016 to 55.4%. Men consumed more salt than women and always or often added extra salt right before eating food. Also, a larger proportion of men (69.7%) than women (58.4%) thought lowering salt consumption is important and took steps to reduce salt intake.
More than half the percentage of urban adults (51.7%) and women (52.4%) was physically inactive compared to rural adults (36.1%) and men (30.9%). It also showed that the proportion of adults who are overweight was 26.1%, and this was comparable to the projection estimates of 12.9% in 2005 to 27.8% by 2030. Also, the results on the prevalence of raised blood pressure (28.5%) and raised blood glucose (9.3%) were comparable to the results from population-based studies.
Excess salt For the first time, the survey estimated dietary intake of salt intake of population at a national level. Indians consume about 8 gm salt per day. A higher intake than 5 mg per day is considered a major risk factor for hypertension