Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) represent the leading cause of death worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) kill 41 million people each year, equivalent to 71% of all deaths globally. Each year, more than 15 million people die from a NCD between the ages of 30 and 69 years. 85% of these premature deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries and more than 77% of all NCD deaths are found in low and middle-income countries. Keeping in mind this growing rate of NCDs, ASSOCHAM recently released India’s largest primary healthcare survey report on the rising burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the country as part of their 'Illness to Wellness’ campaign. The report titled “Non-Communicable Diseases in India” has covered 2,33,672 people and 673 public health offices across 21 states. It concluded that an imbalanced diet is among the top three causes for the high rate of NCDs in India.
The study has found that people were increasingly consuming diets low in legumes, milk, Omega-3 fatty acids, vegetables, fruits, calcium and were opting for foods rich in sugar and trans-fats. The most common NCDs due to consumption of unhealthy diet included hypertension, digestive diseases and diabetes. The prevalence of NCDs in India was found to be 116 per 1000 population. ASSOCHAM also organised an Illness to Wellness webinar on ''Healthy Diet for Healthy Tomorrow''.
Dr. Zubeda Tumbi (PhD Nutrition), Founder, HealthWatch Nutrition and senior clinical nutritionist stated that, “In today's times, optimum nutrition is truly medicinal.” She added that switching to functional foods for therapy to protect, reverse, or remove an ongoing condition can assist to relieve mental, economic, and financial stress.
Anil Rajput, Chairperson, ASSOCHAM CSR Council shared issues related to their diet, weight and physical activity are the biggest public health challenges that everyone is facing in current times. Even though the policymakers are taking significant steps to inculcate a healthy food culture through interventions such as ‘The Eat Right Movement’, ‘Task Force on Balanced and Healthy Diets’, ‘Poshan Abhiyan’, sustained action from all stakeholders will be critical to identify strategies for promotion of wholesome and healthful diet across all sections of the society.