HomeHealth'Poor diets responsible for more deaths than other behavioural risk factors'

‘Poor diets responsible for more deaths than other behavioural risk factors’

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Yusuff Moshood

The International Pharmaceutical Federation says, more than any other behavioral risk factors, poor diets are responsible for more deaths.

The organisation also urged the healthcare workforce to get more involved in efforts to prevent diseases through improved diet and better physical activity across populations

According to the FIP, all healthcare workers should be involved in counselling and educating the populace on the need to reduce sedentary lifestyles and stop health complications related to unhealthy weight.

The FIP made the call in a document it released on Friday titled: “Nutrition and weight management services: A toolkit for pharmacists,” made available to PUNCH HealthWise.

“Poor diets are responsible for more deaths than any other behavioural risk factor, including tobacco smoking, and up to five million deaths per year could be prevented if populations were more physically active.

“Pharmacists, while primarily trained to promote health through pharmacological means, are ideally positioned to help people to improve their nutrition and manage their weight because their easy, frequent accessibility means they can be on hand to help people maintain lifestyle changes, which is something people often find most difficult,” said the FIP lead for practice development and transformation, Mr. Gonçalo Sousa Pinto.

To support pharmacists in providing nutrition and weight management services, the new FIP toolkit explains the impacts of nutrition in a range of non-communicable and communicable diseases, describes supplementation with micronutrients and weight management strategies (including pharmacological) and presents pharmacist interventions such as education and health coaching.

“Pharmacists have an opportunity to make an even greater impact on the health of their communities by involving nutrition and weight management as a vital component of their approach to patient care.

“This toolkit aims to provide support and guidance for pharmacists to be proactive in having conversations on diet and weight with their patients, and we encourage more of the profession to adopt these services,” the document said.

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