Saturday, March 30, 2019

From "Formula of 80" to "Section 80". Invest wisely for a healthy future

India is the midst of an epidemic of lifestyle diseases or noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, obesity, the genesis of which lies in an unhealthy lifestyle.

All the major lifestyle disorders or NCDs share common lifestyle-related risk factors like physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, tobacco and excess alcohol intake, which are modifiable. Hence, patients should be advised a common lifestyle that will prevent all lifestyle disorders and not just one.

I have devised a ‘Formula of 80’, which I teach all my patients to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I have chosen the number 80 as common to all risk factors - as most recommendations are to keep the values below 90 - so that it is easy for patients to remember.

Here is my Formula of 80 to live up to the age of 80.

·         Keep lower BP, LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol levels, resting heart rate, fasting sugar and abdominal girth levels all less than 80.
·         Walk 80 minutes a day, brisk walk 80 min a week with a speed of 80 steps (at least) per minute 
·         Eat less and not more than 80 gm or ml of caloric food each meal. 
·         Observe cereal fast 80 days in a year.
·         Do not smoke or be ready to shell out Rs. 80,000/- for treatment.
·         Do not drink alcohol; if you do, do not consume more than 80 ml per day for men (50% for women) or 80 grams per week. Ten grams of alcohol is present in 30 ml or 1 oz of 80 proof liquor.
·         If you are a heart patient, consider 80 mg aspirin and 80 mg atorvastatin a day.
·         Keep kidney and lung functions more than 80%.
·         Avoid exposure to PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels < 90 mcg/m3.
·         Avoid exposure to >80 dB of noise.
·         Take vitamin D through sunlight 80 days in a year.
·         Do 80 cycles of pranayama (parasympathetic breathing) in a day with a speed of 4 per minute.
·         Spend 80 minutes with yourself every day (relaxation, meditation, helping others etc.).

Health has been defined by the WHO as “not just the absence of disease, but a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being”. 

This means that “the social contexts of health and disease” including socioeconomic status also influence our health.

Stress is one such factor that has an adverse impact on health and well-being. Excessive stress can interfere with your productivity and performance, impact your physical and emotional health and also affect relationships and domestic life.

Financial insecurity can be stressful for the body and the mind.

It physically hurts to be economically insecure, concluded a study published in April 2016 in the journal Psychological Science (Psychol Sci. 2016 Apr;27(4):443-54). Those who reported extremely stressful money or work-related events were at greater risk of metabolic syndrome (Diabetes Care. 2010 Feb;33(2):378-84)

Yet another study published in August 2013 in the journal Social Science & Medicine observed that “high financial debt relative to available assets is associated with higher perceived stress and depression, worse self-reported general health, and higher diastolic blood pressure” (Soc Sci Med. 2013 Aug; 91: 94–100).

People often try to cope with stress by adopting unhealthy behaviors such as overeating or eating unhealthy food, substance or alcohol abuse, tobacco use, social withdrawal; they skip exercise. All these behaviours are linked to lifestyle diseases. Hence, stress is recognized as a risk factor for NCDs.

But, this is not the right way to deal with stress.

Management of stress involves either removing the known situation or changing one’s interpretation or preparing the body in such a way that the stress does not affect mind and the body. Our needs and wants are not synonymous; it’s important to understand the difference between the two.

Section 80 of the Income Tax Act is most commonly used to save income tax legally. By choosing to invest in certain tax-saving options, the tax burden can be reduced.

Here is a summary of various provisions under section 80.

Deduction on
Allowed Limit (maximum) FY 2018-19
Investment in PPF
– Employee’s share of PF contribution
– NSCs
– Life Insurance Premium payment
– Children’s Tuition Fee
– Principal Repayment of home loan
– Investment in Sukanya Samridhi Account
– Sum paid to purchase deferred annuity
– Five year deposit scheme
– Senior Citizens savings scheme
– Subscription to notified securities/notified deposits scheme
– Contribution to notified Pension Fund set up by Mutual Fund or UTI.
– Subscription to Home Loan Account scheme of the National Housing Bank
– Subscription to deposit scheme of a public sector or company engaged in providing housing finance
– Contribution to notified annuity Plan of LIC
– Subscription to equity shares/ debentures of an approved eligible issue
– Subscription to notified bonds of NABARD
Rs. 1,50,000
For amount deposited in annuity plan of LIC or any other insurer for a pension from a fund referred to in Section 10(23AAB)
Employee’s contribution to NPS account (maximum up to Rs 1,50,000)
Employer’s contribution to NPS account
Maximum up to 10% of salary
Additional contribution to NPS
Rs. 50,000
Interest Income from Savings account
Maximum up to 10,000
Exemption of interest from banks, post office, etc. Applicable only to senior citizens

Maximum up to 50,000
For rent paid when HRA is not received from employer
Least of :
– Rent paid minus 10% of total income
– Rs. 5000/- per month
– 25% of total income
Interest on education loan
Interest paid for a period of 8 years
Interest on home loan for first time home owners
Rs 50,000
Rajiv Gandhi Equity Scheme for investments in Equities
Lower of
– 50% of amount invested in equity shares; or
– Rs 25,000
Medical Insurance – Self, spouse, children
Medical Insurance – Parents more than 60 years old or (from FY 2015-16) uninsured parents more than 80 years old
– Rs. 25,000
– Rs. 50,000
Medical treatment for handicapped dependent or payment to specified scheme for maintenance of handicapped dependent
– Disability is 40% or more but less than 80%
– Disability is 80% or more
– Rs. 75,000
– Rs. 1,25,000
Medical Expenditure on Self or Dependent Relative for diseases specified in Rule 11DD
– For less than 60 years old
– For more than 60 years old
– Lower of Rs 40,000 or the amount actually paid
– Lower of Rs 1,00,000 or the amount actually paid
Self-suffering from disability :
– An individual suffering from a physical disability (including blindness) or mental retardation.
– An individual suffering from severe disability
– Rs. 75,000
– Rs. 1,25,000
Contribution by companies to political parties
Amount contributed (not allowed if paid in cash)
Contribution by individuals to political parties
Amount contributed (not allowed if paid in cash)
Deductions on Income by way of Royalty of a Patent
Lower of Rs 3,00,000 or income received

Lifestyle changes should start right in childhood. Similarly, a person should start planning for a secure financial future, the day he or she starts working.

Invest wisely...from Formula of 80 to Section 80 for healthy finances and a healthy you...

Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania   (CMAAO)
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Past National President IMA

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