Millennium Post

Don’t make heart the lonely hunter

That Urban India has an unhealthy heart is no new news. But what is alarming is the lack of improvement in this index. A new survey has found that 72 per cent urban Indians are vulnerable to cardiovascular disease at some stage of their life, sooner than later. If the age bracket is narrowed to 40-44, then the rate goes up to 80 per cent, which is indeed alarming. The doctors have given the usual reasons but one can wonder that given the high density of health stories in the media and television, general increase in awareness and readily available and reliable data across the Internet has not made urban India healthier than before. There are a proliferation of health magazines on the stands, television programmes every day and health related stories every hour. Yet, we eat more and most of it rubbish, we exercise little and we show less and less awareness about healthy living. This irony is too palpable to ignore.

The problem with Indian diet is that it is sugar rich and high on carbohydrate, though ironically more than half of India eats vegetarian. The survey shows that most Indians have little vegetable, eat cholesterol aggravating food and do little exercise. Non-vegetarians can blame their genes for not eating many fruits, but what exactly is the alibi of those who eat only vegetarian? Also, exercise is a low priority in most Indian households. The survey has revealed in some cities people consider 20 minutes of exercise in an entire week as enough deterrent to their sedentary lifestyle. Experts however make a case for at least 20 minutes every day. That makes it about 150 minutes a week. That’s the minimum time  one can give towards preserving one’s good habits.

Another reason of this growing health ignorance is run of the mill consumerism that we in India have readily succumbed to. We have taken to fast foods, beverages and a bevy of goodies available across the length and breadth of the country. Not that Indian fast foods or snacks were much better but fast foods that are readily available are a trigger for cholesterol and bad heart.

Experts are not advising righteous abstinence from everyday enjoyment. What they are advising is caution and a bit of self control.  Staying away from fast foods, a daily ration of fruits and a walk everyday will dramatically improve the country’s heart. And we would do good to listen to them. Because economic growth and prosperity or whatever we are hoping the future will bring us, will be wasted upon a nation that has to tend to its sad heart daily.
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