The Increased Spread of Non-Communicable Diseases– A Question on Lifestyle

In the past few decades, the Indian economy has witnessed massive development and progress in the field of economic growth and specifically in the field of education and healthcare. The Kerala model growth is one such remarkable project that is worth mentioning in this regard. The Kerala economy holds the first position in terms of literacy rate and health standards. Fortunately, the state continues to sustain this progress and achievement. As a result of the joint efforts made by the government, both state as well as local governments along with the health department, Kerala has slashed the spread of almost all infectious diseases like cholera, malaria and typhoid and the situation has been brought under control. In the case of polio and leprosy, the state has almost secured a hundred percentage efficiency and control.

However, attention must be given to the increased spread of non-infectious diseases. In a recent health survey conducted by the health department of Kerala, it was found that there has been an increase in the cases of non-infectious diseases despite the declining rate in the spread of infectious diseases. Kerala is not the only state in such a situation, the whole of India is witnessing a huge increase in non-infectious diseases. Many of the diseases which were once more evident in developed economies are getting its hold on India as well as in the whole world. Hence, it is high time to have a check on the lifestyle pattern and issues to have a better understanding of this concern.

Lifestyle diseases refer to the diseases that are caused by the changing lifestyle. Such diseases are often the result of a drastic change in lifestyle like activities and dietary plans. The major reasons for lifestyle diseases are untimely and unhealthy eating habits, increased consumption of alcohol and smoking, lack of proper diet and physical activity, and emotional and physical tensions. One of the primary reasons for the increased spread of lifestyle diseases like heart diseases, diabetes and cancer is the changing food consumption pattern. Food habits, especially in the urban areas, have seen a shift from coarse and nutritional food to more of fast and processed food. In addition to this,  the nature of work that people are involved in also has an impact. Earlier, people were employed in tasks involving very high physical exertions and rigour. The food habits of people were timely as well as healthy. The present generation indulges in more of office work namely desktop work where people mostly sit and work. Consumption of high-fat content and fast food coupled with less physical work leads to various disease like obesity, cholesterol, cancer etc.

Stress is another important factor leading to several heart problems. The present-day working condition of target-achieving and overworking has huge health implications like negative impact on hormone functioning and release, accumulation of bad cholesterol, besides several others. Another important factor that affects human health indirectly is the increased consumption of antibiotics and other allopathic medicines. The increased consumption of medicines even for minute problems has a very chronic impact on health leading to chronic kidney illness and in extreme cases kidney failures.

When we look at this scenario, we realize that it is high time that we keep a check on our lifestyle habits and pattern. Healthy food habits and diets have now started  to become both convenient and tasty.  It is us, as  individuals, who tend to forget the alarming rate of non-infectious diseases and their chronic impacts. Though infectious diseases spread rapidly and have severe impacts, the health sector has grown well enough to accommodate the diseases in terms of vaccination as well as pharmaceutical elements. But lifestyle diseases have no specific cure or treatment than a well-balanced diet and a healthy life pattern. Hence, it is imperative to develop a comprehensive and sustainable plan to have a better healthy life.

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