Special Correspondent

‘They take years to develop and cannot be easily cured’

People from China, India, Pakistan and Indonesia are prone to such diseases

Functional foods with specific ingredients may help to some extent

VISAKHAPATNAM: “Lifestyle diseases are insidious, they take years to develop and cannot be easily cured even with allopathic medicines,” said Defence Food Research Laboratory Director A.S. Bawa, at a seminar held at GITAM University here on Saturday.

The Department of Microbiology and Food Science and Technology of GITAM University conducted the seminar on ‘lifestyle disease management – role of food science and nutrition’.

More than 270 million people were susceptible of falling victim to diseases linked to unhealthy lifestyle and most of these people were from China, India, Pakistan and Indonesia, Dr. Bawa said.

Watch list

Diseases like Alzheimer’s, arteriosclerosis, asthma, cancer, chronic liver disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Type II diabetes, heart diseases, metabolic syndrome, nephritis, osteoporosis, acne, stroke, depression and obesity are lifestyle diseases.

Functional foods, incorporating specific food ingredients, could help sharpen memory, raise stress threshold, stimulate the immune system and improve mental ability to solve problems, Dr. Bawa said.

Former Dean of Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University Vijaya Khader said that the number of diabetics in India would reach 80 millions by 2030 from 30.7 millions in 2000, making it the diabetes capital of the world.

Hyderabad, with 16.6 per cent, leads the incidence rate in the country followed by Chennai, Kolkota, Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi.

Vital role

Prevalence of diabetes was observed with advancing age, in the higher socio economic group individuals and in those with low physical activity, she said. Food science and nutrition would play a vital role in the management of lifestyle diseases, Dr. Vijaya said.

Principal of GITAM Institute of Science N. Laxmana Das presided. Convener of the seminar R. Gyana Prasuna briefed about the seminar. The speakers discussed diet counselling for lifestyle diseases, performance enhancing foods, and other topics.