The Executive Director of Nigerian Heart Foundation (NHF), Dr Kingsley Akinroye has advice Nigerian youths to engage in regular physical activity, which he said is the only means by which the rising cardiovascular deaths could be avoided in the nearest future.
Akinroye, who made the appeal at the recent launch of 2013 Nigerian report card on physical activity for children and youth in Lagos, noted that urbanisation and globalisation have brought about rapid changes in lifestyle, which have had a heavy impact on the health of the population.
According to him, the negative consequences of the changes are decreased physical activity, unhealthy dietary patterns and increased tobacco use, associated with a rise in lifestyle-related diseases i.e. non-communicable diseases (NCDs), noting that NCDs (cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, cancer and chronic lung disease are becoming increasingly significant causes of disability and premature deaths in developing countries like Nigeria.
He noted that, despite the paucity of data on physical activity in the country, the Technical Report Committee of the Nigerian Heart Foundation’s report card focused on physical activity as a major determinant of NCDs in view of the scientific evidence that regular physical activity from childhood and youth have strong positive effects on health throughout life.
Speaking on the importance of the report, Akinroye said the report card initiative, which is modeled after the Canadian report card provided an opportunity for the committee to make use of the latest scientific evidence on physical activity to lay a foundation for placing physical activity in the forefront of public health policies and programmes like other recognised risk factors for NCDs in Nigeria.