National Nutritionists Can Reduce the Burden of Disease and Reduce the Cost of Treatment
Dr. Robabeh Sheikholeslam, Public Health and Epidemiology Nutrition Specialist at the International Congress of Nutrition in Mashhad, highlighted the importance of paying attention to preventive nutrition in order to reduce the burden of diseases.
Dr. Sheikholeslam pointed to the disability-adjusted life year (DALYS) index and said: “It is a kind of health distance indicator that calculates years of life lost (YLL) due to premature death or loss of life as a result of disability (YLD) calculates the disability-adjusted life year (DALYS).
She noted: “Studying the burden of diseases is an important tool for the development of policy-making on health (health-care) and biomedical research, and academics and professionals, as an important part of health and research providers, have taken their research into health problems resulted from reviewing of the burden of illnesses.
This nutritionist points out that the lack of breastfeeding in the child leads to diarrhea, a higher incidence of upper respiratory tract infection - the onset of asthma - persistent whizzing (cough, shortness of breath, and whizzing symptoms of asthma and diabetes mellitus (IDDM).
Dr. Sheikholeslam said the lack of maternal breastfeeding would lead to breast cancer and ovarian cancer in the mother. Lack of a correct manner in breastfeeding can lead to diarrhea in the child and the appearance of malnutrition symptoms. Lack of use or shortage of breast milk, increases YLL (years of life lost), YLD (years lived with disability) and DALYs (disability-adjusted life year).
She expressed concern over the shortage of zinc in some of the southern regions of the country which has a negative impact on children’s future and added: “With malnutrition and lack of zinc, the growth of outstanding artists, prominent painters, prominent physicians and ... can not be expected in these areas.”
Dr. Sheykholeslam noted: “It is worth mentioning that only iodine deficiency in a community can lead to reduce of up to 13 in children's IQ scores. This figure is about 9 points for iron deficiency and about 8 points for lack of breastfeeding.”
This nutritionist added: "If we want to develop a healthy and capable generation for the future with a high intellectual potential who are able to create the technical knowledge of the country, there should be clear determination to accurately identify and analyze the nutritional problems, to review the global experience for choosing intervention methods in the country and their implementation.”
“In our country, nutrition as the main cause of the five risk factors for the burden of diseases, including overweight and obesity, high blood pressure, inappropriate physical activity, high cholesterol, and drug abuse, account for 68% of the estimated risk factors, which is about 11%.”
Dr. Sheykholeslam noted that low consumption of fruit and vegetables is one of the risk factors of non-obstructive diseases in 88% of the population aged 15-65 years. In other words, 90% of men and 86% of women in this age group do not consume enough and recommended vegetables and fruits.
The same study showed that about 33% of the population aged 15-65 years old had high cholesterol (equivalent to 200 mg/dL), and high blood pressure was reported in about 17% of the population aged 15-65.”
This nutritionist said: “There is strong evidence of high levels of hypertension due to consuming salt. High blood pressure has led to 7.6 million premature deaths and 92 million cases of impotence and illness caused by the disease in the world.”
She referred to a number of studies on meta-analyzes and said: "Reducing daily intake of salt in the range of 5-6 grams reduces stroke by 24 percent and an 18 percent reduction in coronary artery disease, reducing about 2.5 million deaths."
Dr. Sheikholeslam added: “According to estimates, $32 billion in savings will be spent on reducing salt consumption in the United States and less than a million cases of stroke will be reduced. In the United Kingdom, with a 25% reduction in salt consumption in food products, consumption has dropped to 7,000 tones and saved around 15 million pounds.
He considered one of the neglected components in the disease prevention system to be people’s nutrition and their access to healthy and adequate food, and said: “Planning to solve nutritional problems with different climate conditions is the most cost effective solution to reduce the burden of disease and empower the community.”
Pointing out that national nutritionists can reduce the burden of illness and the cost of treatment with national determination, she noted: “Creating a comprehensive and legal framework for implementing community nutrition improvement programs in the country's healthcare networks and creating an appropriate platform for the solution and immediate steps are needed to reduce nutritional problems and reduce the high costs of illness caused by malnutrition in the country.”