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obese kid unhealthy eating

Most teens are resorting to this very option. With increasing intake of junk food and horribly unhealthy diets, the number of obese kids between the ages 14-18 has increased three fold. And now they are resorting to the option of bariatric surgery.

Bariatric surgery or weight-loss surgery is a procedure wherein the size of the stomach is reduced — often by removing up to 90 per cent of the organ. The surgery reduces the quantity of food the individual can consume.Thereby helping them lose weight. Dr. H Chandalia, eminent Diabetologist, says “This surgery is very effective but there are restrictions like you can only drink a very small amount of water at a time which may cause discomfort. In a way these surgeries are just one way to impose the lifestyle changes which the patient could otherwise not inculcate”.

Where the average size of a teenager’s stomach is about the size of a football, post surgery it becomes the size of an egg. The after effects result in immediate rapid weight loss and the individual almost never has a full meal again.

Not a Standard Procedure

There are certain situations where the child’s health is at stake, like with high BP or type 2 Diabetes, where this surgery is the only option out. But it is being clubbed with a well balanced diet structure and psychotherapy; post the operation, to help the kids deal with their condition.

But it is not a permanent solution for losing weight as without a balanced diet and proper nutrition the person can gain weight again. For teenagers who are not dangerously over weight, and have no other complications, they should resort to safer and natural methods of weight loss. Most doctors are not even sure of the consequences of changing an adolescents’ digestive system like this. Many turn down all or almost all teenagers as they do not consider this option as viable for children, especially those that come at a very young age of 12 and 13. They suggest rigorous weight loss programs instead.

While this option may become increasingly popular, especially among those who can afford it, it seems most popular among those with horrible lifestyles and high junk food intake. So instead of waiting until it comes to the point of surgery, cut down on the unhealthy food and increase your activity levels!




Losing weight was never that easy. From dieticians to nutritionists to gym trainers, they all tell you the same thing. Eat less and exercise more, keep a watch on how many calories you intake and how many you manage to shed.

But what if you had a real time monitor over how much you were consuming and how much you were shedding? One that was in your mobile and you can use throughout the day - when you eat, when you exercise. The application can even recommend a good regime!


Weight loss applications that can be downloaded in phones like blackberry, I phone and other such phones are simple, mostly free and not to mention fun and effective, according to many users.

The process is simple; immediately after you have a meal you enter what you have eaten into the application. It instantly gives you a count of the number of calories that you have taken in.

Similarly you enter the kind of exercise that you have done and for how long and it tells you how many calories you must have burned! Sounds interesting doesn’t it?

But of course a doctor’s consultation is required for check on the app as a machine cannot be relied upon a 100%.

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

Rujuta Diwekar’s Lose your weight, Don’t lose your mind!

During one of my monthly book buying binges at Crossword around 4 months ago, I came across this book called “Don’t lose your mind, LOSE YOUR WEIGHT” by author Rujuta Diwekar who is well known for being Dietician & Nutritionist for “the-size-zero­-Kareena-Kapoor”. Due to some books remaining unread, it took a little while for this book’s turn to come for a read. Around 2 months back, I took it for reading. I was totally blown over by the simplicity & easy manner in which this book is written. The best part is that the book does not bore you (diet is a boring subject & holding reader’s attention consistently is tough task, I feel) & keeps flowing like an interesting storybook.

First chapter talks about the various diet fads, the myths about so-called weight-loss programs and fattening foods. Author rather makes a bold statement that “There is really nothing like ‘safe food’ or ‘fattening food’. Everything that you eat judiciously, at the right time and in the right quantity is good for you”. She then gets you to the basics of How to eat. Now, that’s something we don’t think we need to learn. But then the simple rules that Rujuta tells you change your perspective towards eating. (How do you know you are eating fast… While you are chewing food in mouth, if you keep food ready in your hands or on your spoon means you are eating fast & then that will result in overeating.) Here she rightly says that when it comes to food, think nutrients & not calories.

She then takes you to rethinking about what to eat. Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats, Vitamins, Minerals, supplements & water…… She explains all these important aspects of food in language that’s not technical at all. This helps reader understand them better and use the information in his/her day-to-day food intake. (This is one big important feature of this book, as it’s not technical at all, you can take the advice there & then and start implementing it immediately). Here too she helps you understand things like whether you are drinking enough water or not…If your urine is always crystal clear (& not light yellow, dark yellow or reddish), you are drinking right quantity of water. Simple tests & rules like that help you start using the book’s advice right away.

Then she unveils the soul of her diet regime. The four principles of eating right….

Principle #1: "Eat some real food within 10-15 minutes of waking up."

Not tea or coffee but some real food…When we sleep, our blood sugar levels are dropped & we must bring them up to optimum levels. A real food (I have started eating an apple) leads to slow & steady rise of blood sugar levels. Tea & coffee actually work against this requirement as they contain caffeine (or cigarette) which increases the blood pressure, heart rate & breathing rate and make body feel “kicked”. In reality, body feels stressed but we take this as feeling awake. Stress is the biggest enemy of an efficient digestive system, the fat burning process of the body and hence, keeping body stress-free help you burn the fats at better rate. She also talks about the right potty style, the Indian Pot way. (In fact, this book has many boxes of relevant information which are spread within the chapters and they help you understand a particular point, concept or food item in detail. Some of them are Honey Lime Water / How to drink alcohol if you must / Coffee post dinner / What about sex post dinner / Tea & antioxidants / Italians & Olive Oil to name a few)

Don’t lose your mind, Lose your weight!

Principle # 2 - "Eat every 2 hours."

She says that you can follow this principle 2 only if you follow principle 1 because eating first thing in the morning lays down the foundation for day long hunger. This principle is derived from psychological perspective of body. Our body, when we eat at longer intervals (no breakfast, lunch at 2.00 pm & dinner at 10.30 pm), feels that it’s a starvation mode & hence, stores food (in form of fat) as it doesn’t know when the next lot of food will come its way. Also, when we eat at prolonged gaps, we tend to overeat. Eating every two hours makes body feel cared & reassured. It doesn’t feel like storing fat as it’s getting its food intake regularly. Also, when we eat at short intervals, we tend to eat less which means calorie intake is small. This simple mantra cuts down your fat stores and reduces your dependence on stimulants like tea, coffee & cigarettes.

Principle #3: "Eat more when you are active & less when you are less active"

Again the author tells you that one cannot follow the principle no. 3 unless you follow principle no. 2. Only when you actually eat all the time can you actually decrease meal size when less active and increase when more active. High activity could be both physical and mental. Activities like intense thinking, gymnasium, attending important meets are the ones where you are actively involved & are demanding a lot of energy from you. Low activity is when you are passive & do not use much of mental energies too. Activities like watching movie or TV, small chat over phone, being driven in car are considered as low activities. Eating more food when you are more active will make your body an efficient calorie burner which will increase the metabolic rate of your body. This will help you stay energetic all day long & will help you lose your fats more effectively.

Principle #4: "Finish your last meal of the day at least 2 hours prior to sleeping."

Digesting food is a calorie burner and a type of work for the body. The digestive system gets relaxed post sunset & if you overload your stomach with food in the night, most of it will get wasted or will get converted in fat. When we sleep, it’s time for body to repair the wear & tear and rejuvenate. If the stomach is full of food then, the body either starts working for digestion & ignores the rejuvenation OR ignores the digestion and works of repairing wear & tear. Both these things harm body. Keeping 2 hours gap between last meal & sleeping will help most of your food get digested and that leads to making you feel hungry in the morning. The principle 4 again ties down to principle 1.

Real Life Examples: In last two chapters, author has provided various real life examples on actual diet habits of people & analysed what’s wrong with them. Then she goes ahead & shows with minimal changes in lifestyle, how these people can shift to healthy eating habits and experience better results. The idea is to make one aware about one’s eating habits and then bring in a conscious change for better. This is typically like time & motion studies that manufacturing or process oriented industries adopt where log of activities is observed for a week or two weeks and then modifications are suggested.

This book is MUST for any adult who wants to remain fit & healthy and does not want to get cheated by the extreme diet fads & weight loss programs. When you want to cut down on your fat, the food (at least some food) is looked upon as poison. But Rujuta Diwekar brings back the old wisdom of “Anna He Purna Brahma” (The food is God). Go guys & gals, buy this book, read & implement to make you feel happy & healthy from within.

P.S.: Feel, Crossword should also keep some copies of this book in philosophy section where I frequent more. Like I believe that Godfather is not a Fiction but a Management book, I think that this book is about the eating as ‘way of life’ & hence should find a space in philosophy section too. At least, I would have come across this book earlier & reaped the benefits long back Wink

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!

To know more…click here

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.

To know more, click here…

Why Thin people are not Fat

Haven't you heard of thousand studies and papers dissecting obesity and weight gain? But here is one that talks about why some people do not gain weight no matter how much they eat. Being an anmoly in a world of overweight people, it will be interesting to know what exactly helps them stay in shape while others around them struggle to put off weight.

In BBC's Horizon documentary, they found 10 skinny people and put them on extremely high calorie diets with restriction on activity to observe how their bodies reacted to excess calories. The results were shocking while some participants put on weight, there were some, whose bodies increased their metabolism and they hardly put on any considerable weight, one participant whose body had rather than increased fat levels, had increased muscle mass. After the experiment, all the participants lost the excess weight without much efforts.

This convinced reasearchers that weight loss is not as simple as consumption of fats versus activty. There are lot of factors involved like- genetics, metabolism and psycological conditioning. They also found out that there is a biologically determined 'normal weight' that our bodies recognize and try to maintain by altering the metabolism and other functions.

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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.

To know more, click here…

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!

To know more, click here…  

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

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