Almost 50% of the COVID 19 deaths in India are of people below the age of 60, which is very different (lower) from deaths in the developed world. So what’s going on? Also, why on earth would a food, water, and air safety website write about this?
The devil is in the details. While 50% of the dead are less than 60 years old, 78% of the total number of people who died had co-morbidities like diabetes, hypertension, liver, kidney, or lung disease.
The conclusion is a nasty one. Urban Indians who are between 35 and 60 years old have more co-morbidities than their developed-world counterparts. It appears that our young adults are sicker.
Why is that so? And why is that related to the safety of food, water, and air?
There are two big reasons why –
The first is that we are the diabetes (and hypertension) capital of the world. Our people get pre-diabetes, abdominal obesity, and hypertension at a lower age. The reason is the starchy, carbohydrate fuelled diets in most Indian homes. These diets are also deficient in protein and poor in micronutrient diversity. This leads to not only diabetes and hypertension, but also liver disease and other problems.
The second is that we have the most polluted air amongst countries anywhere in the world. Air pollution alone kills a million people every year in India, and sickens many millions more. These unfortunate people suffer from lung problems and problems, and several other co-morbidities.
It appears that food safety and air safety are playing an important role, even in this COVID 19 crisis.