Health Care Management: Think Outside Disease Care, for NCD Prevention across the Lifespan
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Health professionals often limit their goal to treating disease. Healthcare and other organization leaders can expand their mission to improving public health, lead changes and reduce healthcare costs. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease are largely preventable. Examples of low-cost, no-cost or cost-saving ways to prevent NCDs include improving nutritional status, microbiome and physical activity. Individuals, organizations and government agencies can play a key role in prevention of NCDs by actively leading initiatives to promote and enable healthier lifestyles. Total calorie intake as well as several specific foods and nutrients are important for cardiometabolic health. Malnutrition could be in the form of hunger and undernutrition, or excess consumption which could lead to obesity and its related complications. How can we address both simultaneously? Breastmilk, provides good nutrition and immunity to the offspring; it also has a beneficial impact on the microbial profile. How can we facilitate more breastmilk use to meet recommendations and significantly impact the immediate and long-term health of the offspring? Physical inactivity increases risk for multiple NCDs and is a leading risk factor for mortality, causing around 3.2 million deaths globally. Meeting recommendations for exercise, and for reducing or breaking sedentary time by increasing movement throughout the day, have important independent benefits for health. VMove (www.vmovement.org) promotes physical activity anytime and anywhere, without needing special attire or resources, thus breaking barriers to exercise. Let’s move together to improve health in India through research, education, management and outreach.