NADIA Sadiq : Do you know about the non communicable diseases? No? OK!! Let me tell you.
A non communicable disease is a disease that is not transmissible directly from one person to another. Non communicable diseases includes diabetes, cancers, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, mental disorders and obesity. Non communicable diseases are the leading causes of deaths. Pakistan has the 3rd highest number of people in the world living with diabetes. Projections models based on the Global Burden of Disease 2010 data suggest that there will be about about 3.87 million premature deaths by 2025 from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and chronic respiratory diseases in people aged 30-69 years in Pakistan.
And when we talk about the sugar sweetened beverages, sugar sweet beverages are the drinks with added sugar including cold drinks, carbonated sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, coffee drinks, flavored juice drinks and electrolyte replacements drinks. It’s not compulsory that sugar sweetened beverages are only present in market and hotels, we can also prepare or use in our daily life, like lemon soda, because sugar sweetened includes all those drinks that have added sugar in it and added sugar includes raw sugar, brown sugar, lactose, honey, corn sweetener, fructose, glucose, sucrose, malt syrup, corn syrup and maltose.
Have you notice that why sugar sweetened beverages are directly or indirectly linked to the non communicable diseases and how sugar sweetened beverages increases the ratio of persons that are suffering from non communicable diseases? I’m sure you didn’t notice that. But don’t worry, let me explain this to you. Here we take few examples than you can get it easily. Like sugar sweetened beverages and obesity. Obesity is directly related to sugar sweetened beverages. Sugar sweetened beverages contains high fructose corn syrup that lead to the weight gain if it’s consumption is increased for a long time. High sugar drinks also contributes to prolonged elevated blood sugar and insulin resistance that are linked to the weight gain and obesity.
Sugar sweetened beverages cause cancer? The study concluded that drinking an extra 100ml of sugary drinks a day – about two cans a week, would increase the risk of developing cancer by 18%. “However, this assumes that there is a genuine causal link between sugary drink intake and developing cancer and this still needs further research,” said Dr Graham Wheeler, statistician University College London.
How sugar sweetened beverages related to cardiovascular diseases? Firstly it’s important to know that what types of diseases includes in cardiovascular diseases, it’s includes coronary heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, heart muscle disease, heart valve disease, stroke, and vascular disease There was a strong link between drinking sugar sweetened beverages and increased risk of deaths from cardiovascular diseases. Those who drank two or more servings per day had a 31% higher risk of early death from cardiovascular disease. Drinking 12 ounces of sugar sweetened beverages more than once a day lower the good cholesterol and increase triglycerides, fat in the blood that can lead to heart disease.
A recent study reports 11% pre diabetes and 17% type 2 diabetes prevalence in the population aged >20 years in Pakistan. The disease burden if cardiovascular diseases is also high in Pakistan. Cardiovascular diseases is the number one cause of death in Pakistan and accounted for 29% of the total deaths in 2016. It’s not the end of the cardiovascular diseases, there are many more that are caused by the sugar sweetened beverages. And it’s not only present in adults but also spreading in childrens. Pakistan has the high burden of these health conditions. But unfortunately the sugar sweetened beverages industries are rapidly growing in Pakistan. Cause of death by non communicable diseases : % of total data was reported at 57.800 % in 2016. It is 56.000 % in 2015 and a low record of 45.000 % in 2000. Total data is updated yearly. The data is categorized under Global Database’s Pakistan.
Question arises that how to stop or decrease the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages to reduce the risk of non communicable diseases in Pakistan. Different interventions and strategies are a key component of public health promotion and non communicable diseases prevention by reducing the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages.
- Make an arrangements of campaign at provincial and national level to give knowledge about the harmful effects of sugar sweetened beverages.
- Stop publicity or promotion of sugar sweetened beverages through any type of media.
- Increases the price or taxes on sugar sweetened beverages.
- Limit the availability of sugar sweetened beverages in institutes especially in schools.
- Promotion and better replacement of healthier beverages should be followed.
- Different professionals like food technologists, dietitians and nutritionists should create and new recipes of healthier beverages.
- Give awareness to the people about the benefits of the healthier beverages.
- Limit the access or availability of sugar sweetened beverages in restaurants under the proper check and balance of government.
- In labeling and packaging of sugar sweetened beverages, it’s effects or causes should be mentioned at the top of the product. Front of pack warning signs should be inserted to alert the consumers through regulations.
- Healthier beverages/alternatives should have less prices that makes sure an easy access to every person.
- Law enforcement by government should be followed in different industries of sugar sweetened beverages.
- Healthy lifestyle education programmers should be arranged at district, provincial and national level and also with the help of media.
- Proper regulations should followed to reduce sugar sweetened beverages marketing.
- Government should make a separate committee that creates different strategies and different interventions to tackle with non communicable diseases causes especially sugar sweetened beverages through prevention and health promotions policy, programs and activities.
All these strategies and interventions can reduce consumption of sugar sweetened beverages because most of the above are also included in the best international practices. But it’s only possible when we completely urged to reduce this consumption from our society. In this way we should cooperate to the government. Because Pakistan is a developing country and there is a huge nutrition awareness gap in the population. But remember everything is possible. Taking any type of beverages that promotes diseases think that, is it OK to take this? Does that beneficial for my health? Is it really important that I sacrifice my life for it? Just think about it. Your single step makes the improvement in society. So, don’t think that how you can manage this situation? Just start from yourself and the world will be change.
” DON’T PUT YOUR LIFE IN DANGER FOR SHORT AMUSEMENT.”