Being the second most populous country in the world, India has the highest youth population in the world, with almost 66% of the population being under the age of 35 
. Despite having such a large young population, there has been a trend of an increase in the number of health problems in India. This is more evident with the number of young people falling sick or developing ailments early on in life.
If you have health insurance
, the policy will cover the cost of treatment for your ailment. However, what is causing this sudden rise in health problems? What are the precautions you can take? Here is more information about it.
Health problems in India
There are many leading diseases in India. India has one of the highest numbers of patients in the world suffering from critical illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease to name a few. In recent years, people who are in their early and mid-30s have become more susceptible to developing lifelong ailments. Here are the various factors that contribute to this:
Change in work culture
People working at desk jobs are at a higher risk of developing chronic diseases and other body problems. Lack of movement, sitting in one place for longer periods, working late, and lack of sleep, all contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle attributed to sedentary work culture. This is more evident in companies that offer work-from-home to their employees.
Unhealthy eating habits
There has been a rise in the number of people consuming junk food regularly. This has been a major contributor towards diabetes, getting overweight, and obesity among Indians. Also, people have developed irregular eating habits, which have a long-term effect on their health. People who consume meat regularly are more susceptible to developing cancer and heart disease.
Lack of fitness
One of the reasons behind the increase in the number of people suffering from obesity and heart disease is lack of fitness. Visible signs include people getting tired easily after walking short distances, being unable to climb stairs, or running out of breath after doing small tasks.
Increased consumption of tobacco and alcohol
There has been an increase in the number of people who consume tobacco and alcohol regularly, especially among youth. Factors such as workload and stress are attributed to it. Regular consumption of tobacco and alcohol increases the risk of lung and brain cancer, liver cirrhosis, and bowel cancer among other health problems.
Rise in pollution
Due to the growing number of factories and vehicles in addition to the increase in construction activity, there has been a rapid rise in air and water pollution. The pollution caused due to factories, vehicles, and the burning of garbage and forests has contributed greatly towards the rise in the number of cases of respiratory diseases such as asthma and bronchitis. Untreated and polluted water also causes severe stomach ailments along with calcium deficiency.
Lack of awareness
In semi-urban and rural parts of India, there is a lack of awareness towards the early diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Illiteracy is one of the major culprits for this.
Not enough supplies
Families that belong to the low-income category or are below the poverty line mostly rely on government schemes for food and healthcare services. However, outside cities, the amount of food and medical supplies reaching rural areas is less. This leads to an increase in malnutrition, especially among children.
Lack of medical facilities
In addition to the lack of medical supplies, rural areas also face a lack of medical facilities. Dilapidated hospitals, non-functional equipment, and a lack of doctors and medical staff are major factors. This deprives the common citizen of basic healthcare facilities.
What can be done?
While building new and improving existing infrastructure along with ensuring a proper chain of supply is the responsibility of the government, the following changes can be implemented:
Change in habits
Even if you are working from home, it is imperative for you to implement better habits. Eating on time, reducing the consumption of meat, taking breaks, and moving around are some of the small steps you can take to ensure some improvement in your lifestyle.
You do not necessarily have to join a gym to stay fit. Walking or jogging for half an hour makes a lot of difference in your fitness. You can also practise cycling. If you are someone who likes to exercise at home, you can take up yoga and breathing exercises.
Cut down on the vices
While it is never easy to go cold turkey when it comes to tobacco and alcohol, you can start by taking small steps. Nicotine patches and gum help in reducing your dependency on tobacco. Meanwhile, you can get professional help to reduce your alcohol consumption.
Perform full body check-up
You must get a full body check-up annually. This helps in detecting any ailments at an early stage. Also, you need not worry about the cost of such check-ups as most health insurance plans cover the cost. Read the policy document carefully to know more about this.
Purchase critical illness insurance
If you want better monetary assistance in the event of being diagnosed with critical illnesses such as cancer or diabetes, you should buy critical illness insurance. You get a lump-sum pay-out in this policy which sufficiently helps you cover the cost of treatment without any hassles. *
*Standard T&C apply
While it might take some time to tackle the growing number of health problems in India, you can always ensure the financial safety of yourself and your loved ones with medical insurance. You can use the health insurance premium calculator
to see how much your policy would cost.
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