DALY – Counting Lost Years
The first impression the word DALY may give is likely to be that of a name belonging to a beautiful maiden. Sadly though, DALY is an acronym that stands for Disability-Adjusted Life Years. If you are wondering what that means, think of a person, a friend or relative you know who has lost his/her life prematurely due to a heart attack or cancer. Think of the number of years he or she could have lived had the disease been detected early and cured. Think of another person, friend or relative, who is suffering from a disability caused by a stroke, a heart attack, or diabetes. Calculate the number of healthy years the person could have lived had the disease not set in at all. To phrase it in a few words, DALY is an internationally recognized method of quantifying the burden of disease from death or disability.
You can think of one DALY as one lost year of “healthy” life. The total of all DALYs across the entire human population, or the burden of disease, can be conceived as a measurement of the gap that exists between the current health status and an ideal health situation where every person lives to an advanced age free of disease and disability.
Prevention = Addition
The World Health Organisation estimates that 45% of DALYs in low and middle income countries like India are caused by non-communicable diseases like cancer , heart disease, respiratory disease or diabetes. Globally, the DALYs for ishchaemic heart disease , cerebrovascular disease and diabetes are 6.26 crore, 4.66 crore and 1.97 crore respectively. Non-communicable diseases account for nearly half of the global burden of diseases. Estimates suggest that 45% of the adult disease burden in low and middle countries is attributable to NCDs.
To reiterate the cause of prevention, a significant number of deaths and disabilities can be averted by controlling the major risk factors that include high blood pressure and blood cholesterol, tobacco use , alcohol consumption and obesity. In terms of additional incentives for preventive screening, the government has provided that in the form of tax relief on income for spending on preventive healthcare up to Rs. 5000. Speaking of addition, good health not only adds years to life, it adds life to years too!
Undoing the Damage – 7 Day Diet Plan
We can either work proactively from within outwards by changing our attitudes and perceptions, or we can react positively to the crisis by changing habits. GM diet is one such corrective programme that helps one lose weight and regain shape. The plan essentially is to modify one’s diet for a week. This not only requires a strong will but determination and persistence as well to last through the regimen by restraining oneself from being greedy and gluttonous.
Day 1 consists in preparing the system for the upcoming programme. The only consumable food items are fruits with the exception of banana as it is high in carbohydrates and potassium. Apart from that drinking 10-12 glasses of water is also important as it prevents dehydration and weakness caused from a sudden change of diet.
Day 2 begins with a serve of complex carbohydrates coupled with a dose of oil. This means one should have baked potato with a pat of butter if needed for breakfast. Only vegetables should be consumed for the rest of the day. Again lots of water to keep the body hydrated.
Day 3 will consist of fruits and vegetables only. There is no limit to the amount but no potatoes and no bananas either. Potato is eliminated because carbohydrate is consumed through fruits. The system, by this time is ready to burn fat. The trick over here is to restrain oneself from the cravings.
Day 4 includes bananas, milk and soup. One can have as many as 8 bananas for potassium and sodium apart from 3 glasses of milk. There will be a definite loss of desire for sweets and the day will go surprisingly easy.
Day 5 is feast day! One will have to eat meat and tomatoes. As much as half a kilo of meat may be consumed with six whole tomatoes. The water intake will also have to be increased to cleanse the system of the uric acid that is produced. Vegetarians and vegans will have to eat brown rice instead of meat.
Day 6 will have a repetition of meat and vegetables. One is allowed to have as much as one wants. Brown rice and vegetables for vegetarians again.
Day 7 is a return to vegetarian diet. One is allowed to have brown rice, fruit juices and vegetables.
During the entire regimen alcohol is forbidden. It would help if tobacco is off the table as well. By the end of day seven one will feel much lighter and his/her look will have a visible glow, because of the detoxification. Also the body would have lost at least 2 – 3 kilograms. However, losing weight and regaining shape may only be a starting point towards regaining lost wisdom, beauty and harmony of life. If the attitudes and perceptions remain same, it is very likely that one will fall back to old habits and old ways, defeating the very purpose of he entire exercise.