In the past, we used to associate chronic illnesses such as obesity and diabetes with the rich and developed ‘Western’ nations.
The health landscape has now changed.
Health experts met in Berlin in mid-October 2010 found that these ‘Western’ disease are making rapid inroads in the developing nations.
The diseases are not confined to the rich nations.
World Health Organisation (WHO) figures found that about 80% of new cases of cancers, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases are now being recorded in poorer parts of the world.
This is the “consequences of importing lifestyles from Western countries”, noted US National Institutes of Health head Francis Collins at Berlin’s Charite Hospital.
According to the WHO, the worst-affected areas are Southeast Asia and the western Pacific.
Take note: Malaysia is part of Southeast Asia.
(Pasquet, Y. 2010. ‘Western’ diseases spreading. SF8, Fit4Life, The Star, 17 October 2010).