Physical inactivity & Harmful use of alcohol in South East Asian Region (SEAR) Countries

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Physical inactivity leads to obesity and overweight, which is one of the risk factors in NCDs.

Among member countries, nearly 5% of NCD deaths (nearly 800 000 deaths in the Region per year) are caused by physical inactivity.

Physical inactivity prevalence varied from 3% to 41% among males and from 6.6% to 64% among females in the region. Bhutan was in the highest position with 41% in males and 64% in females followed by Maldives with 37% and 42%, respectively.

Among 8 member countries physical activity was higher among females than males, except Indonesia.

Percentage of adults with insufficient physical activity*, South-East Asia Region,2008

Harmful use of alcohol

Percentage of adults consuming alcohol*, by sex, South-East Asia Region, 2007–2010

Alcohol is a psychoactive and potentially dependence-producing substance. Regular and excess intake of alcohol leads to serious effects on physical and mental health.

In SEAR countries 0.35 million deaths occurred due to alcohol abuse whereas globally the count is 2.5million each year.

In 8 member countries, men are consuming more alcohol than women. STEPS’s (STEPwise approach to Surveillance) survey report confirmed this gender differentiation. The prevalence of alcohol consumption varied from 2% to 44% among males and from 0.1% to 26% among females. The highest prevalence among males was in DPR Korea (44%), followed by Nepal (40%) and Bhutan (35%). The highest prevalence among females was in Bhutan (26%), followed by Nepal (17%).

In Sri Lanka, low-income group people spent more than 40% of their income on alcohol and smoking.

Source: WHO-2011 report
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