There are 400 million adults worldwide who are obese and 1.6 billion who are overweight. Children are getting fatter too. Worldwide, 155 million children are overweight, including 30-45 million obese children.
Many developing countries face the challenges of under nutrition while confronting obesity at the same time.
A diet high in saturated fats and trans fats leads to abnormal blood lipids.
Eating a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables promotes heart health. Low fruit and vegetable intake accounts for about 20% of cardiovascular disease worldwide.
Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. A diet high in sodium increases the risk of developing hypertension. It has been estimated that a universal reduction in dietary intake of sodium by about 1g of sodium a day, about 3g of salt, would lead to a 50% reduction in the number of people needing treatment for hypertension.
The risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) increases in linear fashion with the number of cigarettes smoked each day leading to a twofold risk of death among smokers compared to nonsmokers.
Physical inactivity increases the risk of developing heart disease 1.5 times1 and doubles the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Inactivity alone may have contributed as much as €55.76 billion to US medical costs in the year 2000.2 In the UK that figure was €1.56 billion in 2002.In Canada the equivalent figure for 2001 was €3.63 billion.
Worldwide nearly one quarter of all teenage smokers smoked their first cigarette before they were 10 years old. If children take up smoking and do not stop then half of them will die from a smoking-related disease.
Rheumatics fever, a disease of poverty where the worst affected areas with some 500,000 children affected are the Pacific island nationsand sub-Saharan Africa. Worldwide, about 8 million children are affected by rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease.
About 13 million people are affected by Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis), found only in Latin America. Chagas disease leads to unexpected death in 37.5% of patients, 58% develop heart failure and die.
Source: Word Heart Federation
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on September 28, 2008. Filed under Featured, Health.
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