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women distort their own body image, reveals new study

Men, have you ever wondered why women keep on asking the question, “Do I look fat?” every time they gaze in the mirror.  It’s because they distort their own image, as revealed by researchers from the University College London.

Researchers revealed that women's brains ‘massively distort’ their own body image, creating a shorter figure which can be two-thirds wider and a third shorter, than in real life.

The study included researchers asking volunteers to place their left hand under a board and guess the positions of the knuckles and fingertips. Participants estimated their hands to be two-thirds wider and a third shorter than actual measurements showed they were!

Based on this finding, Matthew Longo, lead researcher stated that "Our results show dramatic distortions of the hand shape, which were highly consistent across participants. The hand appears to be represented as wider than it actually is and the fingers as shorter than they actually are -- a finding that might also apply to other parts of the body."  

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malaria is on the rise in India

‘3- fold rise in malaria this month’ scream headlines in a leading city publication. With Mumbai reeling under the

Mumbai has recorded a total of 13,818 cases since July 1, it is reason enough to worry if one were to compare these figures to the 4830 cases reported last June. With 1.5 million cases of Malaria being reported in 2009, the current decade has witnessed the revival of a disease that was thought to be eradicated in the early 60s!

With the entire country facing the wrath of Malaria, it is best If were to protect ourselves from it. Following are a few tips to help protect yourself from Malaria.

  • Wearing Protective Clothing

Although it may sound simple, the wearing of clothes that cover your otherwise exposed skin can go a long way to prevent being bitten by the malaria carrying mosquito. Wear protective clothes such as long pant and long sleeved shirts.

Although the malaria mosquito, the anopheles mosquito, is mostly found in tropical and sub-tropical areas, you can still wear covering clothes – just make sure to take along thin, light colored, light-weight clothes when planning your wardrobe for your time in a malaria-risk area.

Thick socks should also be worn to protect the ankles, since it is normally an exposed area.

  • Using Proprietary Insect Repellent

Since the best way to prevent malaria infection is to stop being bitten by the anopheles mosquito which carries the plasmodium parasite, the use of insect repellent is a useful tool to keep these pesky things at bay. Apply an insect repellent to exposed skin which contains the ingredient di-ethyl toluamide (DEET). Various types of DEET containing insect repellents are available and ones containing concentrations of up to 50% DEET are effective and the results last for about four hours.

  • Sleeping Under a Mosquito Net

Not only will mosquito nets keep these flying irritations at bay, but will also help you in letting you sleep undisturbed. You can prevent being bitten by a mosquito while having a nap, by sleeping under a bed net. These fine gauge nets keep the mosquitoes away from you while sleeping and if hung correctly are most effective. Some nets that you can purchase are already treated with an insecticide, or a proprietary insecticide can be bought and applied separately.

Although it may be cumbersome to get under a mosquito net the first time it really is an excellent way to protect yourself. Care must be taken not to snag the netting as even small holes will allow the mosquitoes to enter the protected area.

  • Fixing Your House/Room to be Mosquito “Un-Friendly”

Although the term “room management” may not be the correct phrase to use, planning your bedroom or any other in the house to be “mosquito un-friendly” is an excellent way to protect yourself against malaria (plasmodium) infection. There are also other methods to help reduce the risk of malaria infection. A room fitted with mosquito mesh screens on the windows and doors are very successful in keeping mosquitoes at bay when the doors and windows are kept open for fresh air.

Courtesy : healthmad.com

sitting for long periods of time can increase your death risk!

20th century has seen many such inventions that have been aimed at making our lives easier. But while doing so, these inventions have also made us considerably lazy! And this laziness has spilled over to our professional and personal lives, where physical activity has taken a back seat in favor of sitting.

While, we all thought that there was nothing wrong with sitting, scientific reports have now pegged prolonged sitting on a daily basis to be extremely harmful to our body. In fact a new study has found that, the more time people spent sitting down, the greater was their risk of death. Researchers from the American Cancer Society, who conducted the study have pointed out that irrespective of the amount of physical exercise that a person gets, the amount of time spent sitting will result in an increase in the death risk.

The study found that Men who sat for more than 6 hours a day were 18 percent more likely to die than those who sat fewer than 3 hours per day. Similarly for women, who reported sitting for more than 6 hours a day, the death risk increased by 37% as opposed to those who sat for less than 3 hours a day!

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household cleaners can double the risk of breast cancer

Be warned women! For your efforts to keep you house sparkling clean, might just double your chances of developing breast cancer. According to a research conducted on 1500 women by breast cancer researchers from the American Silent Spring Institute, it was found that regular exposure to a combination of various household products doubled the risk of breast cancer!

The study, which is the first of its kind, found that women who reported the highest combined cleaning product use had a doubled risk of breast cancer compared to those with the lowest reported use. The study also found that air fresheners and products which controlled mould were responsible for increasing the risk of breast cancer.

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healthy makeover for Major Food Cos.

With Major Food Corporations being blamed for causing obesity, hypertension and cardiac problems by health activists and nutritionists, a majority of them are going in for a Healthy make-over. Leading the pack is the fast food giant McDonald’s which has plans of soon introducing its global ‘balanced active lifestyles’ in India, with the emphasis being on eating right and staying active. Similarly KFC is hoping that its association with cricket will help to advertise it’s ‘promote healthy lifestyles’ mantra.

Not to be left behind is the World’s largest foods company Nestle’s, advertising for its Milkybar white chocolate brand which shows Indian mothers urging their kids to ‘go out and play’. Even beverage giant Pepsi is planning a removal of sugary drinks from schools across India, in their effort to spruce up their image as a beverage company that do not encourage unhealthy drinks ….. while these efforts are applaudable, the truth remains that they have come owing to the recent backlash and the introduction of the new food law under the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) which is putting in place a series of mandatory guidelines for companies against promoting ‘unhealthy’ food habits.

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male menopause exists but affects only 3% of males

Everyone’s heard about Female Menopause, but did you know that Male Menopause exists too! Yes its true, a study has found that some men experience a decrease in their hormone levels when they hit middle age, which in turn leads to menopause like symptoms such as a low libido and fatigue.

A major difference that was observed between female menopause and male menopause was that it affected only 3% of males as opposed to the majority of women who are afflicted as they approach their 40-50s. However scientists also warned that with testosterone levels dropping 1% every year for men, from the age of 30, not every male experiencing a low libido or fatigue was a victim of male menopause!

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TV ads are promoting junk food consumptions amongst Indian Kids which is leading to Obesity

With obesity levels on the rise amongst children in India, a new study conducted by a Television channel (What’s On India) has found that the Idiot Box is a major contributor to kids becoming obese these days! The study found that most processed foods products were heavily advertising themselves on all children’s channels, leading to an upsurge in the demand for such products which contributed largely to the child’s obesity.

Another study conducted by the Diabetes Foundation of Indian found that the ads of processed food products, which were primarily targeted towards children, were responsible for boosting the demand of a product by up to 54%, which in turn explains the rising levels of obesity and early onset of diabetes amongst young Indians. The study found that Prime Time i.e. from 4-6 pm on popular children’s channels such as Hungama, Nickelodeon, Disney and Pogo saw a flurry of such ads. To quote a figure, the month of April alone accounted for a total of 44,887 processed food ads on these channels!

Nutritionist Hira Mahajan agrees with the study stating that children, who are being bombarded day in and day out with such ads, are bound to demand junk foods constantly, which can lead to lethargy diabetes and obesity….to read more click here

Swine flu stages a comeback in india with 345 cases reported in 7 days

With 345 cases being reported in the short span of 7 days, between 21st and 27th June, it has become clear that the arrival of monsoons has not only heralded the rains but also Swine Flu, in India! And with the virus spreading in areas, previously left untouched, this resurgence has become a matter of concern for the Indian Government.

A meeting called by the Indian government to discuss the country's preparedness to deal with a Swine Flu epidemic, the meeting headed by the cabinet minister saw them arrive to a conclusion that Swine Flu was to replace the seasonal influenza strain to become the dominant virus causing fever, cough and cold!

Dr. V.M. Katoch, ICMR director-general, who was part of the meeting, stated that there were bound to be more cases of Swine Flu in the near future, as it was spreading to areas where it had previously not shown of any signs of being active. For example, the state of Kerala which had reported very few cases of Swine Flu the first time round, now accounts for 266 cases out of the 345 cases!

However there is no need to fear yet, as Swine Flu is completely treatable....

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Cigarettes and Alcohol consumption promote absenteeism!” – Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).

Smoking and Alcohol lead to a 20 % absenteeism from work, every week!

With news that can spell doom for the corridor smokers, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India has found that smoking and alcohol consumption within corporate employees results in a 20% rate of absenteeism every week!

The study further stated that 29% of the corporate employees indulged in smoking and another 5% of them smoked and drank too, this despite being health conscious. Plus, with corporate employees indulging in such vices and falling sick due to them, this unhealthy choice of a lifestyle has been resulting in 20% absenteeism per week, which in turn has been leading to  losses of 70,000-80,000 million annually!  

The study further found that employees were literally losing sleep over high stress levels and the rise in demanding schedules that have now become a part and parcel of the corporate world. With 24% employees sleeping less than 6 hours a day, productivity levels have taken a hit ….. to read more click here

knowing early symptoms of alzheimers goes a long way in helping early detection

Alzheimer's is a progressive disease that affects the elderly. Often confused with senility, it serves to cripple the individual’s memory and disrupts their daily life.

With Alzheimer accounting for the death of 1 in 4 Indians above the age of 80, lack of awareness about the disease is a major cause of worry. With symptoms of Alzheimer being quite similar to that of old age such as memory loss, change in mood and personality, time and place confusion etc, it goes mostly unnoticed!

Since there is no cure for Alzheimer's, early detection goes a long way in saving a lot of trouble for the patient and helps him lead a trouble free and healthy old age. Plus having  knowledge about the early symptoms of the disease helps in its early detection. Following is a list of symptoms of Alzheimer's that should not be ignored,

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life

One of the most common signs of Alzheimer's is memory loss, especially forgetting recently learned information. Others include forgetting important dates or events; asking for the same information over and over; relying on memory aides (e.g., reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things they used to handle on their own.

What's a typical age-related change? Sometimes forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later. 

  • Challenges in planning or solving problem

Some people may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. They may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. They may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do things than they did before.

What's a typical age-related change? Making occasional errors when balancing a checkbook.

  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure

People with Alzheimer's often find it hard to complete daily tasks. Sometimes, people may have trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work or remembering the rules of a favorite game.

What's a typical age-related change? Occasionally needing help to use the settings on a microwave or to record a television show.

  • Confusion with time or place

People with Alzheimer's can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. They may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there.

What's a typical age-related change? Getting confused about the day of the week but figuring it out later.

  • Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships

For some people, having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer's. They may have difficulty reading, judging distance and determining color or contrast. In terms of perception, they may pass a mirror and think someone else is in the room. They may not realize they are the person in the mirror.

What's a typical age-related change? Vision changes related to cataracts.

  • New problems with words in speaking or writing

People with Alzheimer's may have trouble following or joining a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or they may repeat themselves. They may struggle with vocabulary, have problems finding the right word or call things by the wrong name (e.g., calling a "watch" a "hand-clock").

What's a typical age-related change? Sometimes having trouble finding the right word.

  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps

A person with Alzheimer's disease may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. Sometimes, they may accuse others of stealing. This may occur more frequently over time.

What's a typical age-related change? Misplacing things from time to time, such as a pair of glasses or the remote control.

  • Decreased or poor judgment

People with Alzheimer's may experience changes in judgment or decision-making. For example, they may use poor judgment when dealing with money, giving large amounts to telemarketers. They may pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean.

What's a typical age-related change? Making a bad decision once in a while.

  • Withdrawal from work or social activities

A person with Alzheimer's may start to remove themselves from hobbies, social activities, work projects or sports. They may have trouble keeping up with a favorite sports team or remembering how to complete a favorite hobby. They may also avoid being social because of the changes they have experienced.

What's a typical age-related change? Sometimes feeling weary of work, family and social obligations.

  • Changes in mood and personality

The mood and personalities of people with Alzheimer's can change. They can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious. They may be easily upset at home, at work, with friends or in places where they are out of their comfort zone.

Courtesy: Alzheimer's Association, Boloji.com


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