Rising Health Concerns: Youth and Non-Communicable Diseases in Pakistan

Maria Abbas

University of the Punjab Lahore. [email protected].

In recent times, a worrying trend has emerged in Pakistan: more young people are being affected by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes and heart disease. These illnesses, which were once mostly seen in older adults, are now striking the youth. Let’s delve into why this is happening, what lifestyle factors are contributing, and how we can protect ourselves.

Why is this happening?
NCDs are often linked to habits like poor eating, lack of exercise, smoking, and excessive stress. Sadly, these habits have become common among young Pakistanis. As technology advances, we’ve become more sedentary – spending too much time on screens and not enough time moving.

Unhealthy Eating Habits;
The foods we choose greatly impact our health. Many young people are consuming sugary snacks, fast foods, and sugary drinks. These items taste good, but they’re not good for our bodies. They can lead to weight gain and high blood sugar levels, which increase the risk of diseases like diabetes.

Sedentary Lifestyle;
Our bodies are meant to move. But with smartphones, video games, and streaming services, many of us are spending hours sitting down. This lack of physical activity can contribute to obesity and heart problems.

Preventive Measures;
The good news is that we can take steps to protect ourselves from these diseases:

Healthy Eating;
Choose whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and nuts. Limit sugary and processed foods.

Stay Active;
Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week. This could be walking, cycling, dancing, or playing a sport you enjoy.

Avoid Smoking;
If you smoke, try to quit. Smoking is a major risk factor for many NCDs.

Manage Stress;
Find healthy ways to cope with stress, such as meditation, deep breathing, or spending time with loved ones.

Regular Check-ups;
Even if you feel fine, it’s important to have regular health check-ups. This helps catch any issues early on.

Limit Screen Time;
Make sure you’re not spending too much time sitting in front of screens. Balance screen time with physical activity.

It’s concerning that non-communicable diseases are affecting younger people in Pakistan. But by making simple lifestyle changes, we can significantly lower our risk. Let’s choose a healthier path for ourselves – one that will lead to a happier and more active future. Remember, small changes today can make a big difference tomorrow.

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