Document Type : Original Article


1 Public Health Unit, Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago

2 Professor, Department of Community Medicine, School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India


Now, lifestyle diseases are quite common globally. The risk factors of lifestyle diseases such
as sedentary habits, lack of physical exercise, and lack of fiber result in the development of
noncommunicable diseases. However, when the point of discussion slightly shifted toward toilet
habits, it is always seems to be a secret affair. In fact, the discussion of defecation‑related matter
openly is considered a taboo. This is not uncommon even in medical fraternity. In fact, during the early
1980s, some researches on the association between the diarrhea prevalence, open‑air defecation,
and latrine use rate were documented. However, nobody acknowledges it socially desirable, now,
to discuss defecation‑related issues. The public health experts completely ignored the discussion
of ill‑effects of the use of pedestal latrine on human health. It is evident from scientific studies over
a period, that many of the abdominal disorders of the human due change in his toilet habits from a
squatting‑to‑sitting posture using a pedestal latrine. That disease correlation was ignored at that time.
The increase in disease burden is due to nonmaintaining the ergonomic design during the construction
of this kind of toilets. Squatting posture for the defecation is the most appropriate way, as in this case,
abdominal muscles work actively and complete evacuation takes place. To conclude, the time has
come to reacquaint people with their natural habits and put this unfortunate experiment to an end.


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