Even small kids know that elderly people suffer from joint pain and hip problems. Each of us are capable of different strength and energy levels some of which is genetic while most of it depends on our nutritional intake and physical activity practise. Milk, in the form of the most nutritious breastmilk, has been the first food that every child consumes after born unto this world. As kids grow milk is an indispensable part of their daily life-each of us never forget to drink our glass of milk in our favourite cup before leaving to school. But as we reach high school or college this gradually decrease replaced by other less-nutritious choices such as fruit juices, mocktails and soda.
Calcium, the most important nutrient present in dairy products such as milk gradually decreases in proportion as the consumption of other beverages increase. Human bones become stronger only up to a certain age, 30 years, after which bone mass and strength start diminishing gradually. After the age of 30 the consumption of calcium-rich foods helps in only protecting our bone mass and strength from further diminishing rather than building better bones. While this is the general scenario, results are quite different for women. Once they reach menopause their body undergoes turbulent hormonal changes and physicians definitely prescribe calcium and multivitamin supplements along with diet recommendations to prevent extreme health deterioration. Get in touch with a registered dietitian nutritionist at www.firsteatright.com who can help you with a well-balanced diet plan to meet your postmenopausal nutrient needs. In case a woman fails to supplement her body with calcium supplements she might surely face the debilitating consequences of joint pain, arthritis, increased risk of fractures and likewise. The risk of such conditions is further heightened when she is habituated to regular soda consumption.
Mind Your Beverage
Food has become fashionable and people consume food keeping fashion in mind. Pairing pizza with soft drinks or French fries with soda has become the unwritten law. During the introduction of these processed foods in India, many people objected to the adaptation of Western culture and eating trends but now, we see innumerable people, including seniors and elderly people, relishing a piece of cheesy pizza or burger paired with a fizzy beverage of their choice. We have a new study where researchers examined the effect of soda consumption on bone health and fracture risk in more than 70,000 postmenopausal women who were around 69 years. Almost 50% women were followed-up for at least 12 years during which 2,578 hip fractures occurred. Results showed that women who consumed more than 14 350-ml servings per week were likelier to experience 26% hip fracture during the study period than those who never had soda. Those who consumed more than 14 servings of caffeine-free soda were at a 32% increased risk of experiencing hip fracture.
According to the results, low or moderate consumption of soda does not increase the risk of fracture in postmenopausal women but after certain quantities of consumption, almost equal to two cans per day, the risk increased significantly. Menopause brings about slowed production of bone tissues and women face an increased risk of osteoporosis. Such porous and brittle bones make it easier for fractures to appear. Carbonated beverages and soda have already been linked to lower bone mineral density in some other studies but this is the first step to prove that soda alone can increase the risk when consumption increases by more than two sodas a day. The risk remained constant even when other factors such as use of osteoporosis meds, coffee intake, diabetes, exercise and maternal hip fracture history was taken into account. This shows that soda consumption must be added to the list of behaviour such as unbalanced diets and sedentary lifestyle that increase the chances of hip fracture.
Age has become no bar for many things both good and bad: 10-year-old kids are given employment at IT companies for their coding skills, 5-year-old children give cut-throat competition to singers in contests and even 15-year-old teens make rather surprising discoveries that are out-of-the-box and extraordinary. The MTS kid advertisement that’s shown might become a reality in near future too! Every toddler and kid is blessed with such talents that needs to be recognized and nurtured. With all these on one side, there are devastating things happening at jet speed that could ruin our quality of life on the other side. Kids are growing to be obese/overweight right from a tender age, even 2- or 3-year-old kids seem to be above normal weight ranges. Heart attacks, joint problems and leg pain, health problems that was monopolized by adults decades back are seen frequently among small children these days. Cancer too has joined the queue.
Obesity, one of the biggest concerns of the world not only has impacted the life of adults but has also endangered small children’s life. Sedentariness has become the common trend as most houses employ maids to look after kids and these children enjoy their life in the absence of parents. In course of time they become couch potatoes addicted to electronic gadgets eating processed foods to their heart’s content and living a happy idle life. Outdoor games seem to have vanished and board games are trending right now. This puts the kids at an increased risk of diseases and infections including cancer too.
A new study in Denmark on more than 3,00,000 individuals shows that heavier and taller kids are at a greater risk than their average-sized peers for developing renal cell carcinoma (RCC) as adults. There have already been studies showing obesity as a leading risk factor for cancer and an upsurge in cancer rates due to higher obesity rates. Cancers take years to develop and overweight adults are at an increased risk of RCC. Comparing two13-year-old kids with one z-score difference in BMI (almost 5.9 kg for boys and 6.8 kg for girls) and similar height showed that the heaviest boy or girl was at a 14% increased risk of RCC compared to the leaner child. While normal-weight kids at 7 and 13 years of age did not have risk of RCC later in life, kids who were normal weight at 7 years and overweight at 13 years were at a 67% increased risk of developing RCC. Also those kids who were slightly taller than average height kids at 7 years of age were at an increased risk of RCC. There have been clues in previous studies that height, being tall, increases the risk of cancer and hence the fact that RCC risk is heightened in taller children comes as no surprise. But the news here is that it’s a combination of heaviness and tallness in kids that increase the risk of RCC in kids. It is better to be safe than sorry. Curb weight gain in your children during initial stage to avoid repenting for tis effects during later stages. Get in touch with registered dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com to help your child lose weight in a simple, scientific and efficient way.
Celebrating with sugar treats has been the norm since ages and there is nothing wrong about it. Functions and celebrations do not happen all round the year and making kheers or sweets did not disturb the optimal health of individuals back then. But the advent of processed foods and sweetened beverages has put us in turmoil-they have been the culprits behind increasing obesity/overweight rates and attack of a diabetes epidemic among the general public all of which can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cause more health problems. Individuals have become fans of the calorie-laden doughnuts, sugar-sweetened beverages and cupcakes which occupy central place during birthday celebrations and parties. This leaves people with spiked-up glucose levels that have devastating impact on the health that various countries are thinking about levying a sugar tax apart from the exuberant number of taxes already in place while it has been implemented and in practise in few countries around the world. But this has attracted a lot many supporters and haters despite the government seeing it as a way to tackle the rising obesity crisis (the tax on sugar-sweetened beverages reduces consumption rate).
Restricting sugar intake is indeed the wise choice to escape from weight gain problems and reduce risk of health consequences. Self-control is the best way to do this but many cannot withhold their temptation as it is imprinted in their neural connection, especially in obese/overweight people as elaborated in www.firsteatright.com. But how about playing a fun game that can help you do the same? Games have in fact been added as an addiction and I don’t think many would have problems doing this. That’s the study published in the ‘Journal of Behavioural Medicine’ where the researchers developed and evaluated a ‘brain training’ game that targeted the part of the brain that inhibits impulses hoping to see beneficial changes in diet.
Virtual reality games are becoming more and more prominent being used for treating dementia and other health problems as well. Cognitive or ‘brain training’ games have been in practise for motivating people to quit unhealthy habits such as smoking but this is the first study to look into the effect of gamified inhibitory control training on weight loss. The game was designed basically depending on the number of sweets consumed by each participant and changing difficulty levels based on how well each of them resisted the temptation of sweets. Overall 109 individuals participated in the study all of whom were overweight and ate sweets. All of them attended a workshop which mainly focused on how sugar is detrimental to health, provided a list of the sugar-laden foods that should be avoided and also helped them with ways for doing so. Still, the research team strongly felt that each of them needed an extra tool to help them refrain from sugar consumption. The tool used here was the gaming platform, the training of which could help the person pursue the no-added sugar diet.
Each participant played the game daily on the computer for a few minutes every day for six weeks and then again once a week for two weeks. The game was to help shoppers put the correct items (healthy foods) on the grocery cart while avoiding choosing incorrect foods (preferably sweets). Points were given every time a shopper placed the correct item in the cart. In those who loved sweets it was seen that over 50% of them lost around 3.1% of their body weight over eight weeks. They were happy with the training and also wished to continue it even after the study. Some received a highly gamified version of the study and in those who did so, there was a better reception to it among men than women
In ancient days people used to pray for the birth of a boy child as girls were considered to be a burden to the family-as they had to be raised and married off which incurred expenses for the dad. Times have changed and its now evident that parents love to give birth to girl babies! The only thing that they pray for is for the birth of a hale and healthy baby, that’s nowadays become a rarity with the haphazard lifestyles and environmental factors affecting us. Babies are born with physical deformities, jaundice, juvenile diabetes or mental health problems such as autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that disrupts the quality of life of both the child and his/her parents.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be blamed on a combination of both genetic and environmental factors and one genetic factor has surprised researchers dwelling on the root cause of the disorder-DNA mutations originating in father’s sperm. Read more about autism and the effect of environmental influence on it by visiting the website www.firsteatright.com. The disorder was prevalent during earlier times too but has become more prevalent owing to various factors such as improved technology to diagnose the disease and a numerous amount of environmental and genetic changes that have happened for the worse. Experts agree that autism is inherited as observations and research show that it tends to run in the families. Researchers started looking out for “epigenetic tags” that regulates which genes are switched-on or expressed. Basically, they wanted to check out the process that happens before someone is affected by autism.
Sperms are Increasingly Susceptible to Environmental Changes
Its quite easy to acquire a sample of sperms from men in comparison to eggs from women. Also, sperms are easily more affected by environmental changes that could alter the epigenetic tags in their DNA. A study on the effect of epigenetic tags on autism risk showed that several altered epigenetic patterns were found in the brains of individuals with autism showing that these tags could be linked to autism. It concluded that epigenetic changes in the father’s DNA increases the likelihood of the child developing ASD in families where there is already one child with the condition.
We also have studies linking autism risk to changes in DNA that occur in sperms and such mutations cause 10-30% of autism cases. Another risk factor that increase the frequency of mutations is the dad’s age-older the father at the time of conception higher is the chance that the sperm will result in new mutations that can lead to ASD. This made some researchers to find out whether they could match certain disease-causing genetic mutations in the DNA of kids with autism to the same mutations in their dad’s sperm. They matched the changes found in kids to the ones found in dads and concluded that the new mutations were definitely playing some part in contributing to autism. This can help scientists come up with a test to help fathers with an autistic child to know how likelier they are to have another one who could suffer from autism and also tell couples their possibility of giving birth to a child with autism.
We have more than 165 genetic mutations linked to autism and conducting tests on the dad’s sperm for some of these mutations could predict the risk of autism in his child. This could help parents make decisions based on this information-this is not only restricted to autism but also extends to other conditions such as schizophrenia, epilepsy and neurodegenerative diseases.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.