No smoking, less oil, less salt and more excercise
frisking came as a surprise to the employees of a company in Nagpur. It was not a security check. Cigarettes, gutka and tobacco packets of the employees were confiscated. It was not a blanket ban but the restrictions were as good as a ban. Unhealthy food was taken off the menu following tobacco.
who estimated 17.5 million global deaths related to cardiovascular diseases in 2005 of which 7.6 million were caused by heart attacks. For India, 2.6 million deaths have been predicted due to heart attacks by 2020. An excess of salt and oil in one's everyday food, along with habits like tobacco consumption can easily increase the risk of such diseases. Hence an intervention in one's lifestyle seemed essential.
As a first step towards designing a public health strategy at workplaces, a team of doctors led by D Prabhakaran, cardiologist with Centre for Chronic Disease Control, New Delhi, conducted a survey in 2001 at 10 industrial sites ranging from heavy electrical industries to tea gardens. The team identified the possible risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. Based on the doctors' suggestions, six of the 10 sites agreed to introduce certain changes at their workplaces which were monitored over a period of five years starting from 2003. The Nagpur-based company was one of them with the other sites located in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, Lucknow and Dibrugarh.
The food served in the canteen was the first to be regulated. Since this was a change at the policy level, the trade union was consulted. "The workers would have revolted if we tried to tinker with their food. The trade union had to explain the utility of these interventions first," K R Thankappan of Thiruvananthapuram's Sri Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology said. A member of the team, he conducted the study at the Travancore Titanium Product Limited in Thiruvananthapuram.
|Intervention sites saw a decrease in risk factors. The voluntary site saw an increase in all the factors|
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