Tobacco consumption and the exposure to secondhand smoke cause diseases and deaths that can be avoided.
Unhealthy eating habits favor the appearance of diseases that worsen the quality of life.
Sedentary lifestyles affect a large part of the world's population and increase the chances of getting diseases.
Problematic alcohol consumption is one of the main risk factors for noncommunicable diseases.
The tobacco epidemic is one of the main threats to public health worldwide because it causes devastating health, social, economic and environmental consequences.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 7 million people die from this epidemic every year, of which more than 6 million are direct consumers and around 890,000 are non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke. Argentina has one of the highest prevalence of tobacco consumption in the region: 1 in 4 adults smoke, based on the results of the last National Survey of Risk Factors (2013) of the National Ministry of Health. In addition, 36% of the population is exposed to secondhand smoke and the age of onset is between 12 and 13 years. In our country more than 44,000 people die every year because of this epidemic.
Only the action of governments, through the promotion of public health policies, will make it possible to counteract the devastating effects that tobacco consumption and exposure to second-hand smoke have on public health.
Unhealthy eating habits are one of the main risk factors for non-communicable diseases. To promote better eating habits, the role of the government in the promotion of comprehensive health policies that facilitate access and availability of healthy foods for the entire population is fundamental.
According to the National Survey of Risk Factors 2013 of the National Ministry of Health, 58% of the adult population of our country is overweight, 34.1% has high blood pressure and the daily average of fruits or vegetables servings consumed is 1.9 per person (the recommendation is 5 servings a day). In turn, excess weight in children and adolescents is increasing in recent years and mainly affects the most vulnerable sectors.
The design and implementation of measures that seek to reduce the consumption of critical nutrients (salt, sugar and saturated fats) and promote the adoption of healthier eating habits is a decisive step to advance in the protection of the health of our population.
The regular practice of physical activity guarantees a better quality of life, prevents diseases and protects health in all age groups. However, the increase in sedentary lifestyles affects a large part of the world's population.
Around 1.9 million people die annually worldwide due to diseases associated with lack of physical activity. In Argentina, the 55% of the population is sedentary, according to the last National Survey of Risk Factors (2013) of the National Ministry of Health. In adolescents from 13 to 15 years old, on the other hand, less than 20% perform the suggested physical activity for their age.
The increase of sedentary lifestyles requires the action of governments and a social, multidisciplinary approach adapted to local characteristics.
Problematic alcohol consumption is one of the main preventable risk factors for non-communicable diseases. In turn, it is associated with deaths and disability due to traffic accidents, intentional and unintentional injuries, interpersonal violence, infectious diseases, psychiatric illnesses and cognitive damage.
According to the Pan American Health Organization, alcohol consumption caused more than 300,000 deaths in the region in 2012. For its part, it is estimated that in Argentina more than 8,000 people die each year from diseases linked to problematic consumption of alcohol.
To reduce diseases and damages associated with alcohol consumption, the international community advises governments to move forward with measures that increase the prices of alcoholic beverages and that completely prohibit advertising, promotion and sponsorship of these products; among other actions.