Chandigarh, Nov 18: Almost one-third of the total diabetics in urban India are below the age of 40, causing alarm among medical experts regarding the health prospects of the ''young India.'' The young people must shun the growing tendency to be a ''couch potato'' and discard the idiot box and computer screens as their playmates, stressed Dr Vinay Verma, senior physician with Alchemist Hospital, Panchkula, at a seminar held here yesterday on World Diabetes Day to stress the gravity of the disease.
He cautioned youngsters that lack of excercise, junk food and obesity at young age formed the base for a ''unhealthy'' way of life, and combined with sedentary job, increased intake of alcohol, high blood pressure and increased cholesterol levels of an adult urban life-style, people were bound to fall prey to this and other 'life-style borne'' diseases, he warned.
He urged students to take part in outdoor activities to improve lifestyle and habits to curtail the chances of inviting diabetic problem, informing that ''an alarming 12 per cent of population of Indian metros is diabetics while 14 per cent more are in pre diabetic stage.
At least 30 per cent were less than 40 years of age while even people in their 30s were increasingly coming to physicians especially ones with family history,'' he said.
Every fifth patient visiting a consulting physician is a diabetic while 20 per cent of world's over all 3.3 crore afflicted patients were Indians, he said. Across the developed world diabetes was the second most important cause of death after cardiovascular diseases. While in India, which has the dubious distinction of being the ''diabetes capital'' of the world, it is fifth major cause of death after a number of epidemics, Dr Verma said.
While answering to a query during the lecture, Dr Verma said lifestyle modification through increased physical activity or work outs in form of at least 150 minutes per week, regular brisk walks, cutting down on simple carbohydrates like sugar and less calorie diet intake are some ways to stay away from diabetes.
Avoiding alcohol and smoking along with stress relieving exercises like body and head massage, laughter exercises and meditation are some effective methods to not let diabetes take over one's life, Dr Verma recommended.
Use of anti-oxidant supplements and good quality phytonutrients loaded with natural multivitamin and minerals on a daily basis as risk cutters.
Pharmacological intervention, cautioned Dr Verma, should be based on expert advice and prescription only.
The Day was also marked in Punjab University, Patiala in collaboration with Fortis Hospital, Mohali with special lecture by renowned endocrinologist Dr K P Singh, who warned that people with diabetes were at more risk for heart diseases.
Lipid profile and waist circumference are the early recognisable risk factors for diabetes, he said.