Rise of Health Risks among Adults in India: A Quick Look at NFHS-4 Fact Sheets

Uma Vasudevan, Y. Selvamani


The recently published fact sheets of 15 states/UTs from NFHS-4 survey provide overall estimation of selected health and demographic indicators. Many of the focussed areas of national health programmes have shown improvement, but some emerging trends are calling for immediate attention. In this commentary, we look at rise of health risk factors such as alcohol/tobacco use, obesity and hypertension in recent years. The fact sheets reveal that while alcohol consumption, especially in the southern states, has gone up in the last decade, tobacco consumption has come down. Regarding malnutrition, the country now carries a double burden of the same– still prevailing under nutrition and alarming rise of obesity. Similarly, hypertension is increasing with no rural-urban differentials. These trends suggest policy interventions for health promotion focusing on lifestyle change across sub-groups of population in India.

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