According to Dr Devi Shetty of Narayana Hrudayalaya, incidence of heart diseases is higher among urbanities compared to the rural populace because of change in dietary pattern, lack of physical exercise and stressful lifestyle. On the occasion of World Health Day April 07,2010 , experts explores some lifestyle diseases which are a growing with rapid urbanization.
Dr Jyothi Prasad, chief nutritionist, Manipal Hospital, says: “Urbanization has affected health of all age groups. Consumption of traditional food with less fat/salt and rich in nutrition has decreased and dependence on packed junk food is on rise. Because of this, there is rise in lifestyle diseases like hypertension, obesity, etc. Nutrition should be consumed in totality. A single apple will not improve health; wholesome balance diet is advisable,”
“People in the city are twice prone to heart disease compared to those in rural areas. Lack of awareness among youth about harmful effects of tobacco, alcohol and drugs is increasing the incidence of heart diseases in urban areas,” Dr Shetty said. Dr Thomas Chandy, orthopaedic surgeon, Hosmat, says: “There are more road accidents and broken bone injuries in cities. Compared to rural areas, urbanities suffer more from problems like arthritis and backache due to their sedentary lifestyle and obesity.”
Based on this year’s WHO theme ‘Impact of Urbanization on Health’, the rapid increase in urban population worldwide is among the important global health issues of the 21st century. The health outcomes are determined by many issues like water and sanitation, quality of air, living and working conditions, access to services and resources, communicable diseases and unplanned urbanization. With increase in pollution, respiratory diseases like asthma are predominant in cities like Bangalore. Children in urban areas suffer from second-hand smoking. The Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) has highlighted second-hand smoking as a serious hazard to the health of schoolchildren.