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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 415-416  

Diseases of longevity: Scope of balanced diet and physical activity

Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication15-May-2015

Correspondence Address:
Shrivastava Saurabh RamBihariLal
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, 3rd Floor, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0975-2870.157115

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How to cite this article:
RamBihariLal SS, Saurabh SP, Jegadeesh R. Diseases of longevity: Scope of balanced diet and physical activity. Med J DY Patil Univ 2015;8:415-6

How to cite this URL:
RamBihariLal SS, Saurabh SP, Jegadeesh R. Diseases of longevity: Scope of balanced diet and physical activity. Med J DY Patil Univ [serial online] 2015 [cited 2023 Sep 30];8:415-6. Available from:


Globally, an enormous rise in the incidence of diseases of longevity (also known as lifestyle disorders) has been observed, especially in developing countries. [1] The World Health Organization has revealed that of the reported 57 million deaths in 2008 worldwide, 36 million had been attributed to noncommunicable diseases. [1] In fact, excessive intake of energy-dense junk foods and unhealthy dietary practices have been cited as the major potential risk factors which have accounted for the emergence of lifestyle disorders geographically. [2],[3]

A balanced diet is the one which consists of a diversified group of foods in such proportions that the daily demand for energy and nutrients is adequately met for sustaining optimal health, and general well-being, apart from providing extra nutrients for combating short period of food scarcity. [3],[4] In a hospital-based study conducted among obese adolescents to explore the consequences of an in-patient treatment program based on regular exercise and balanced diet it was concluded that mere ingestion of a balanced diet resulted in significant alterations in the body composition and even improved the insulin sensitivity of the study participants. {5} Furthermore, consumption of a balanced diet has shown significant benefit/improvement in fitness levels of adolescent girls, weight control among children with  Prader-Willi syndrome More Details, and outcome of tuberculosis. {6},{7},{8}

Despite the availability of reliable evidence indicating the contribution of a healthy diet and an active lifestyle on the risk of noncommunicable diseases (viz. heart disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes mellitus, cancer, and obesity) nothing significant have been achieved off late in terms of reducing the incidence or the complications. [2] Findings of studies conducted with an objective to assess the level of understanding about "eating a balanced diet" it was observed that the interpretations regarding consumption of a balanced diet were widely heterogeneous among study participants. {9},{10}

To address the dietary needs of variable sections of society, there is a crucial need to formulate and implement a cost-effective strategy. [2],{11} The proposed strategy has to be comprehensible to such an extent that it should facilitate and safeguard the health of the masses by creating an enabling environment for ensuring sustainable actions at individual, family, community, national and international levels that, when implemented simultaneously, will lead to a marked reduction in incidence of morbidity and mortality accounted by unhealthy dietary practices. {11} Additional measures such as advocating continuous political support; ensuring involvement of different stakeholders; conducting awareness campaigns for the members of community to enhance their understanding about the need of consumption of balanced diet; enforcing strategies to facilitate community participation; and conducting training sessions for outreach/paramedical workers to increase their knowledge about the role of balanced diet in maintaining optimal state of health; can be implemented for delaying the onset of lifestyle disorders. {5},{11}

To conclude, consumption of a balanced diet and moderate type of physical activity are the crucial components in sustaining good health and in avoiding diseases of longevity.

  References Top

World Health Organization. NCD mortality and morbidity; 2013. Available from: . [Last accessed on 2014 July 22].  Back to cited text no. 1
Herder R, Demmig-Adams B. The power of a balanced diet and lifestyle in preventing cardiovascular disease. Nutr Clin Care 2004;7:46-55.  Back to cited text no. 2
Price S. Understanding the importance to health of a balanced diet. Nurs Times 2005;101:30-1.  Back to cited text no. 3
Neithercott T. The balanced diet: What it means and why it′s so important. Diabetes Forecast 2011;64:36-45, 57.  Back to cited text no. 4


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