We all lose to NCDs

Dewan Chand,Suva | Sunday, January 14, 2018
According to media reports, the Minister for Health and Medical Services, Rosy Akbar, has called upon all Fijians to make good lifestyle choices in view of the escalating NCD crisis in Fiji.

Dr Isimeli Tukana, the person responsible for disseminating NCD-related information has also echoed similar sentiments.

This is particularly noteworthy in view of the WHO (World Health Organization) Report on NCDs in Fiji. Fiji is ranked as second highest in NCD cases among the Pacific Island countries.

Government spends millions battling this scourge.

Diabetes has been branded as sedentary lifestyle disease.

Modern man in search of pleasure and happiness has made many bad choices.

Luxury lifestyle means a soft sweatless life style. Economic prosperity has enabled people to enjoy luxury never ever thought possible before.

Air conditioned houses, cars, buses and workplaces, eating processed food high in salt, sugar and chemical laced preservatives, sweetened drinks, alcohol consumption, smoking and very basically leading a so-called sedentary lifestyle.

Foods high in calories soon lead to obesity and health complications start.

Children and the youth of this country are the biggest victims of the high powered and captivating advertisements which continuously bombard our ears on TV screens, radio stations, newspapers, magazines and myriads of bill boards around the country.

Sporting organisations are also guilty of brain-washing children when major sports events are named after well-known brands.

Several voices have been raised but no one seems to take heed. Is there an organisation in this country scrutinising the advertisements?

All kinds of misleading and health damaging information goes out through these ads and children take this as cool!

They have seen even father Christmas drinking Coke so it must be good.

Alcohol advertisements say drink responsibly. Wow, tell me who drinks responsibly? Alcoholism is a serious problem in our society.

Despite stringent laws cigarette smoking is a serious problem in our country, sniffing glue and petrol is a serious problem among the youth.

In my view there is a serious challenge at hand for the Health Ministry.

Their attempt to educate the public is simply not working.

Their well-intentioned messages are falling on deaf ears.

Parents who should be setting good examples for their children are bad examples or do not have the time to talk to children.

Children fall victim to peer pressures and so the vicious cycle continues and Government keeps spending millions to treat patients but the number of lower limb amputations continue to increase.

So there is more suffering and more loss in productivity. I am baffled!

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