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November 2, 2019

‘Healthy lifestyle can ward off diseases’


November 2, 2019

LAHORE:We have to change our lifestyle if we want to keep diseases away from us. A huge number of people die from NCD (non-communicable diseases) which are cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases.

There was a consensus on this among doctors at the First PNDS International Conference on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) at Pakistan Nutrition and Dietetic Society that was kicked off on Friday at a local hotel.

Dr Romaina Iqbal, Dr Khawar Kazmi, Dr Abdul Basit, Dr Javaid Ahmed Khan, Dr Salma Badruddin, Prof Ghazala Pervez Zaman and Fayza Khan talked about the connection of lifestyle with non-communicable diseases.

Dr Khawar, head of department of preventive cardiology, National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, said two thirds of NCD deaths were due to cardiovascular diseases. “It has huge economic impact. The magnitude of the problem is not understood by the government and the people. At this time it is not a national priority,” he said.

“We need to reach out to the uninitiated – those who don’t have a problem but are at risk. We need to change our attitude. We ask our children about studies; do we ever ask them whether they had their one hour daily exercise? The whole society is going down.

We are turning cities into jungles of vehicles. Noise matters. Those living in quieter places have better chances of health,” he said and underlined the need for government to create a better environment.

Professor Abdul Basit, regional chief, IDF-MENA, director, BIDE, Professor of Medicine, Baqai Medical University, said PT exercise should be made mandatory in schools. “One hour exercise daily is important. Diabetes has been on the rise for 30 years and 26 per cent people are diabetic, 21 pc have pre-diabetes in Pakistan,” he said. He told the people on how to quickly check if they were diabetic.

Dr Basit said, “We need healthy recipes to be developed by health industry – healthy biryani, healthy burger. For that the government needs to give incentives to the food industry. In the UK they changed the breakfast of the country. There are cornflakes, wheat flakes, bran flakes, oatmeal — so many cereals now. It took 40 years but it has not been without the help of government.

Dr Javaid Ahmed Khan, pulmonologist, said 50pc deaths in Pakistan were due to use of tobacco as 200,000 people die of tobacco consumption in the country. Tobacco is not good for any country’s economy but government is addicted to tobacco money. Karachi consumes the most cannabis after New York. Cigarette is cheapest in Pakistan. Nobody in the west can smoke in public transport but here we all do, he said.

Dr Fayza, nutritionist, said people got alarmed when their creatanine level increased. Nutritionist Dr Romaina Iqbal said the effect of lifestyle started from the very beginning. Dr Romaina said, “Baker’s hypothesis says children born underweight are most at risk of NCD. Underweight and obese mothers both pass on the risk to baby. NCD is something that one sector alone can’t address. It calls for many-pronged concerted efforts from the government, media and medical practitioners.”

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