Emerging Societies - Coexistence of Childhood Malnutrition and Obesity
63rd Nestlé Nutrition Institute Workshop, Pediatric Program, New Delhi, March-April 2008Editor(s): Kalhan S.C. (Cleveland, Ohio)
Prentice A.M. (London)
Yajnik C.S. (Pune)
Preventing the Projected Epidemic of Non-Communicable Diseases in Emerging Nations
Imperative of Preventive Measures Addressing the Life-CycleYajnik C.S.
Diabetes Unit, KEM Hospital, Pune, India
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The epidemiological characteristics of chronic non-communicable diseases (NCD) are fast changing. The prevalence has risen to unprecedented levels, and the young and the underprivileged are increasingly affected. The classic view of the etiology of NCD consists of a genetic susceptibility which is precipitated by aging and modern lifestyle. In a virtual absence of any methods to tackle genetic susceptibility, the preventive approach has so far been focused on the control of lifestyle factors in those at high risk (old, and those with positive family history and elevated risk factors). Such an approach might help high risk individuals, but is unlikely to curtail the burgeoning epidemic of obesity and diabetes. Recent research has suggested that susceptibility to NCD originates in early life through non-genetic mechanisms (fetal programming). Tackling these may offer an exciting opportunity to control the NCD epidemic by influencing the susceptibility in a more durable manner than only controlling the lifestyle factors in adult life. The imperative is to address the life cycle rather than concentrate on the end stages.
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