Sunday, August 2, 2009

Life style and life expentancy for Indians

I visited a Hindu temple in my city yesterday. One of the striking thing you note when you visit Indian temple or Indian market in USA is elderly women and men in their 60s walking crippled or with the support of a stick or relative. This is in striking contrast where average American population at this age group seem to be very healthy and active. They go for swimming and gym regularly and care for their own health at much greater extent then average Indians do. Even average American children seem to be more active and aware in sports as compared to Indian population who pushes for academic excellence at the expense of sports and play activities for children. Many of my Indian friends agree with these observations.

While digging in the internet, I found a data chart of average life expectancy of different countries. Life expectancy is a measure of quality of life for people in that country. You can see that India is doing very poorly on the data sheet and is at 145th place amongst the countries. No, don't tell me that because of great Indian family system we don't need to think about our own health. This is crap. We have huge poor population who don't have excess to healthy food and good health care, so the average low life expectancy. I don't know what is the life expectancy of Indian middle class, but my guess is that it is also not very high as compared to average Indian population. The major reason of low life expectancy is life style (combination of fatty and oily food with low intake of fruits and vegetable combined with low level of exercise) as well as lack of quality health care in India. I don't know the data, but looking at the amount of Indians who need support at the temple, I was wondering if there is a big difference in data of middle class Indians in India and average Indian population abroad? Which is the dominant factor to affect longevity, life style or quality health care system? Maybe I need more research to reach any conclusion, but one thing is sure, we have a long way to go...

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