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  • Gudisa Tola
Gudisa Tola
Addis Ababa University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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The threat of noncommunicable diseases has been recognized globally and the World Health Organization has set a target to reduce the overall mortality (from the 2013 baseline) from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases by 25% by 2025. Several factors influence the occurrence of noncommunicable diseases including diet and lifestyle. As we presented the magnitude of noncommunicable diseases in our previous issues, the focus for this note is to discuss briefly about physical inactivity which is the major risk factor for non-communicable diseases. About 9% of all deaths globally are attributed to physical inactivity. Behavioral risk factors, such as tobacco use, physical inactivity, the harmful use of alcohol, and unhealthy diets all increase the risk of dying from noncommunicable diseases. The dietary habits of populations (including young adults) in low-to-middle income countries similarly have rapidly shifted to less-healthy diets (consisting of processed foods, away-from-home food intake, and increased use of edible oils and sugar-sweetened beverages) in line with the global nutrition transition. The presence of the metabolic syndrome increases the risk of developing noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, and cancer. Non-communicable diseases impact on women’s health and development across the lifecycle, causing morbidity and mortality, and compromising their socio-cultural status in communities.