Increase in Lifestyle Diseases in Kenya
It is estimated that every Kenyan has lost a family member or close friend to lifestyle diseases, this is according to a survey released on the 3rd October 2016 by Broadway Bakery.Lifestyle diseases are linked to the way of life of people, what they eat and lack of exercise, which range from diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, heart and kidney disease among others.
The World Health Organization reports that 30 per cent of Kenyans are now suffering from premature deaths due to physical inactivity and unhealthy diets. According to the survey in the last 10 years lifestyle diseases have killed more than 100,000 Kenyans aged between 30 and 70 years each year.
Health experts have indicated that these forms of diseases are on the rise since a lot of Kenyans do not have a culture to do regular checkups, while others could end up being misdiagnosed. In the past cancer was seen as a disease for the rich, however over the years it is slowly affecting poorer citizens. The increase can be attributed to poor lifestyle choices. Tobacco and alcohol use has been identified as the main risk factor for the increased as well.
“Our #BeSugarSmart drive is aimed at creating awareness across all generations on the prevalence of these diseases and that excessive sugar consumption and physical inactivity are ways of achieving an early death sentence. In addition, we aim to encourage food manufactures to produce healthy foods. Leading by example, we have been, and continue to, manufacture healthy bread that is low in sugar and rich in nutrients” said Mr Bimal Shah managing director at Broadway Bakery.
More than half of the adult Kenyan population have never had their blood pressure tested, yet one in four people has high blood pressure. Diabetes on the other hand its testing is even more neglected, despite the capacity of the disease to cause kidney failure, heart disease, amputations and comas. Only one in ten adults has ever been tested for diabetes. “The lack of testing is, of itself, a killer,” said Mr Bimal Shah. Broadway Bakery is hoping to create more awareness by organizing a round of activities for World Diabetes Day on 14th November 2016.
To prevent these cases of lifestyle diseases health experts advocate for people to get screened so as to know their health status, eat healthy, engage in physical exercise as well as avoiding intake of alcohol and smoking.