Indian doctors blame unhealthy lifestyle and stress for diabetes and hypertension 2023
On Friday, physicians warned sedentary lifestyle, bad food, and stress are causing a rapid rise in non-communicable diseases (NCD) including hypertension and diabetes in India.
An alarming new study sponsored by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and published in ‘The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology’ found that 31 crore Indians had hypertension and 10 crore have diabetes.
13 crore Indians are pre-diabetic, 21 crore have high cholesterol, 18 crore have poor cholesterol, 25 crore have generalized obesity, and 35 crore have abdominal obesity, according to the report.
In April, Apollo Hospitals found that non-communicable illnesses caused 65 percent of Indian fatalities and 40 percent of hospitalizations.
Rakesh Gupta, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Delhi, told IANS that numerous reasons contribute to the rise.
Rapid urbanization and Westernization have reduced physical exercise. Weight gain, hypertension, and high cholesterol are linked to sedentary lifestyles. “Stress and sleep deprivation can also raise blood pressure and cholesterol,” Gupta added.
He also cited a shift from traditional Indian diets of nutritious grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes to processed and high-calorie items.
The specialist stated some DNA variants and poor living habits increase risk.
“The consumption of unhealthy fats, refined carbohydrates, and excessive salt has increased, leading to weight gain, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol levels,” the expert said.
South Asian Indians are genetically predisposed to hypertension and dyslipidemia. Indians are also more insulin resistant.
Sugar, included in many ultra-processed meals, is connected to overweight and obesity, which affects approximately 40% of the world population, including crores of youngsters.
It’s crucial to understand how sugar consumption causes diabetes. “Sugar, once considered a simple pleasure, can disrupt the delicate balance of our body’s glucose regulation, predisposing individuals to this chronic condition,” Manoj Vithlani, Senior Consultant physician and diabetologist, HCG Hospitals, Ahmedabad, told IANS.
The expert warned that non-sugar sweeteners (NSS), a popular sugar substitute, are likewise dangerous.
NSS is promoted for weight loss and diabetic blood glucose management.
“Higher NSS intake is associated with increased risk of Type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and related mortality, and all-cause mortality,” stated Anurag Aggarwal, Consultant-Internal Medicine, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Faridabad.
It is linked to bladder cancer, obesity, and a higher BMI.
Health experts advised consumers to make educated decisions, eat a balanced diet, and choose healthier options. Walking, running, and cycling regularly and decreasing inactive time are examples.
Limit processed meals, saturated fats, trans fats, and sugary drinks and eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
Doctors advised weight and stress control, frequent health checks, and blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes treatment.