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Sunday, February 28, 2021

39% Himachalis obese, nearly 12% diabetic, finds ICMR study

The survey covered nearly 4,000 people in the state and was conducted from September 2019 to March 2020.

By: Express News Service | Shimla |
February 3, 2021 2:07:59 am
Himachal is the fourth worst-hit state in terms of abdominial obesity, with 55 per cent people here having a larger than normal waist circumference. Around 31 per cent people in the state suffer from hypertension, the study found. (Representational)

Around 77 per cent people in Himachal Pradesh suffer from dyslipidemia, 11.5 per cent are diabetic, and 39 per cent suffer from obesity, according to the nationwide Indian Concil of Medical Research-India Diabetes (ICMR-INDIAB) study whose results for the state were declared Tuesday. Dyslipidemia refers to abnormal levels of one or more kinds of lipids in the blood, leading to increased risk of heart diseases.

The survey covered nearly 4,000 people in the state and was conducted from September 2019 to March 2020.

“Himachal ranks seventh in the country in terms of prevalence of type 2 diabetes, and has a higher prevalence than the national average as well as its neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttarakhand. The prevalence is same among males and females, but is higher in urban areas as compared to rural areas. Around half of those suffering from diabetes have not been diagnosed with the disease and are unaware about the problem. Moreover, around 18 per cent people here are prediabetic, which means they have a 50 per cent chance of developing diabetes in the next ten years,” said Dr JK Mokta, the principal investigator of the study, in a press conference.

He said that Himachal is the fourth worst-hit state in terms of abdominial obesity, with 55 per cent people here having a larger than normal waist circumference. Around 31 per cent people in the state suffer from hypertension, the study found.

The fifth national family health survey released in December had come out with similar results for the state, shattering the popular belief that residents of the hill state are healthier on account of more physical activity in the mountainous terrain.

Mokta said that 61 per cent of the respondents, in fact, were found to be physically inactive, and only five per cent were highly active. “Unhealthy food habits and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle seem to be responsible for all these disorders. The average cereal consumption in Himachal is 78 per cent wheat and 21 per cent rice. But people are largely consuming refined carbohydrates and not whole grains. The milling process removes the dietary fibre and nutrients from the whole grain. They are also snacking on unhealthy foods in between meals, such as samosas, without indulging in additional physical activity. Legumes, complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables are not adequately present in our diets. Our ancestors also fed on carbohydrate-rich diets but indulged in extensive physical work which is missing now on account of motor vehicles, machines and sedentary jobs,” he said.

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