The Ugly Truth…
Our nation can be regarded as a successfully developing country. With the improvements to our socio-economic status, we subsequently enjoy a much higher degree of affluence. Although this directly
correlates with a higher standard of living, it also coincides with a similarly elevated degree of diseases that are linked to chronic lifestyle diseases.
The sad truth is that Malaysians, especially our younger generation, are becoming less healthy by the day. Our over-indulgence in unhealthy lifestyles, including poor eating habits and increasingly sedentary
lifestyles, mean that our little ones are physically less robust compared to earlier generations.
This unhealthy lifestyle is leading to a rise in childhood obesity which in turn increases a child’s risk of getting Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension) and high cholesterol. The list goes on to include cancer, chronic kidney disease, heart attacks, chronic respiratory diseases, strokes, osteoporosis, gall bladder disease, and many other serious diseases and health conditions.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), these diseases are termed “Non-Communicable Diseases” or NCDs. These NCDs are also referred to as diet-related chronic diseases or chronic lifestyle diseases.
Contrary to what many people may believe, NCDs are no longer limited to adults or the elderly. The actual risk of developing such diseases starts when one is young, and continues well into their adulthood and old age. In addition, this risk is further accelerated and increased when one adopts habits such as unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles during their childhood or even the abuse of alcohol and cigarettes during their adolescence.
As these unhealthy habits progress into adulthood, the severity of the chronic diseases can be observed with alarming clarity. The next section will explore more on the facts and figures of these NCDs, particularly childhood obesity, as this is the most easily observable symptom of an unhealthy diet and lifestyle in young children and adults alike.
Did you know…?
- 60% of all deaths are caused by diet-related chronic diseases
- 25% of these deaths are premature and could have been prevented
- In Malaysia, 60-70% of those who visit clinics suffer from a form of NCD
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