Like parent, like child! A child’s first role model is his/her parent whom the child adores and imitates. If a parent is healthy, eats nutritious foods and exercises regularly chances are more that the kid too follows suit. But when the parent himself/herself is sluggish or lethargic there is no denial that the kid too grows to be like the parent. All said and done, our current lifestyle practices and sedentary behavior has led us to a state wherein obesity and overweight rates are climbing up and almost a quarter of the kids today are either overweight or obese. India has the second highest number of obese children in the world. With the rising number of Western-styled food courts and eateries our nation is approaching a state of no-return. Children don’t play outdoors blaming the scorching heat and stay inside the comforts of the chilled AC rooms with an electronic gadget in their hand. They travel to school via school bus or parents drop them in two wheelers or cars. While evenings were spent playing outside during early days, nowadays evenings are for attending special classes, extracurricular activity classes or for doing homework. Not many kids go down and get a good day’s play in the playground. With all this troubling us we have a new research which says that children who commute to school by walk or by cycle are less likely to be overweight or obese than those who travel by car or public transport.
Physical Activity Negates Increase in Overweight/Obesity in Kids
The study included more than 2000 children and probed into their physical activity levels, body composition and socioeconomic status. Almost 50% of kids participating in the study practiced some sports daily and an equal number of them commuted to school by foot, bicycle or scooter. The research found that kids who commuted actively to school had lower risks of obesity/overweight as they had less body fat. The researchers relied upon body fat and mass instead of BMI as a measure of obesity rates and correlated how these measured up to physical activity levels. These researchers felt that BMI was flawed and it was in no way an appropriate tool for measuring the health risks linked to obesity. Read more about BMI and how it’s been used in today’s world as a weight measure by visiting the website www.firsteatright.com.
Whereas, if we use BMI measures it was found that kids who were actively involved in sports were likelier to be overweight/obese compared to those who participated in sports less than once a week. But if we consider fat mass and muscle mass, kids involved in sports had more muscle development with not much difference in fat mass. This shows that many inactive children are not classified as obese due to reduced muscle mass. Body fat, on the other hand, proved that staying inactive increased the risk of obesity or overweight. This is the first study to analyze obesity/overweight rates in primary school-going children by relating two extracurricular activities-commuting to school daily and participating in sports activity.
Only when we understand the impact levels of different activities on child obesity levels will we be able to conquer the obesity epidemic and bring our children onto healthy eating ranges. Walking/cycle to school and participating in sports guarantee kids against overweight/obesity issues and this is good news as any of these are practical, easy and simple to implement but their effects are worthwhile and tremendous.
Coffee lovers, here is yet another news about the health effects of coffee but this time its nothing in short of celebration! For most of us coffee is the first beverage of the day, something that cannot be missed at any cost to replenish us with the energy needed for pulling through the day. Since time immemorial, coffee has been acclaimed as an energy booster mostly because of the presence of caffeine, a naturally occurring stimulant in the beverage which also holds responsibility for other health benefits as well. Coffee was associated with caffeine and only caffeine until some years back but now people have started choosing from a variety of caffeinated and decaffeinated options. Currently, coffee has been associated with protecting the body against type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, liver cancer, stroke and heart health but don’t we also see articles very often debating over the ill effects of drinking coffee? Most of us don’t have a definite answer to the straightforward question whether coffee is good or bad for health. Maybe because the effects depend upon the quantity of the beverage consumed too! Concerned about the quantity of coffee you are consuming right now? Check whether your consumption falls within acceptable caffeine limits with the help of www.firsteatright.com.
Brown: The Color that Unites Fat & Coffee
Brown adipose tissue (BAT) or brown fat is one of the two types of fats found in all mammals including human beings. BAT was initially assumed to be found only in babies and hibernating mammals but thanks to repeated research we are now sure that adults too contain brown fat in their body. The other type of fat is white fat which is dangerous to the body when it goes beyond certain proportions (20% of body weight in men and 25% in women who are of a healthy weight). While white adipose tissue (WAT) is used for storing calories BAT is used for burning calories by generating body heat. So, people with a lower BMI have a higher amount of BAT while those with a higher BMI have a higher amount of WAT. While we are aware that BAT can have positive effects on the body until now researchers were not so sure on the acceptable ways in which this fat could be stimulated to actively benefit humans. By benefit, here it means to improve blood lipid levels, blood sugar levels and burning extra calories which helps in weight loss.
Obesity is playing havoc in human lives and despite steps to curb the obesity epidemic with lifestyle and dietary changes the numbers are only increasing. If we don’t do something sooner, we would be nurturing a generation of children who would reap the effects of our deeds. BAT plays a bigger role in burning calories and the study discussed here might be the first of its kind to show that a cup of coffee might have a direct impact on the brown fat functions-a fat that could hold the key to solving the obesity epidemic.
The research team initially started with a series of stem cell studies that worked towards finding out whether caffeine would stimulate brown fat and once they were sure about the results and the dosage, they applied the same to humans as well to check the results. Research shows that brown fat is concentrated mostly in the neck region. Thermal imaging technique is used to find the brown fat reserve in the body. The research team used this technique to locate BAT and also assess its capacity to produce heat. They imaged the neck region immediately after an individual drank coffee to test whether brown fat got hotter and indeed, it did bring a smile onto the faces of these researchers as the brown fat got hotter. The next step for these researchers would be to test whether it’s the effect of caffeine which stimulates this reaction or if there are other elements in the coffee that brings upon this effect. Caffeine supplements too are considered as to whether they would have the same effect on our body. Once definite results are achieved the same could be used in weight management to bring about desired results in individuals.
Stroke doesn’t come with much warning and doesn’t leave the person with much time too to seek help before causing worse nightmares, disabling the person permanently or leaving him/her with a whirlwind of problems. Stroke is nothing but an interruption of blood flow to the brain which results in loss of neurological functions. This interruption, when it is in the form of blockage results in ischemic stroke-the most-common form of stroke in more than 85% of stroke-affected people. Sooner that blood flow to the brain is restored better it is for the individual. Lack of oxygen and nutrients puts the brain cells at an increased risk of damage or death. This damage is irreversible mostly and might be cognitive, physical or mental damage.
Re-routing Blood Flow to the Brain
The percentage of damage or recovery in a stroke-affected person depends on how quickly the condition is identified. Such a clause doesn’t surprise us when FAST is used as an acronym to identify stroke occurrence in people where it stands for Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulties and Time to call emergency services. Be fast to understand FAST and take the necessary action (if you wish to know what it is, please visit the website www.firsteatright.com) immediately to save the patient. But once stroke is identified quickly physicians can save the patient with the help of clot-busting drugs and other procedures to enable continuous blood flow to the brain. The damage to brain cells doesn’t stop where the blood flow is cut off but the damage continues to spread rapidly unless preventive measures are taken. The area surrounding the dying region (penumbra) can be saved when blood flow is normalized and further damage might be prevented henceforth.
Physical Clot Removal
While the physical removal of blockage for up to six hours after stroke is advantageous to the patient and has been approved a new trial wanted to find out whether the same advantages hold good and if it is possible to remove the clot safely up to 16 hours after stroke in a patient. Of the 182 participants 92 of them were randomly assigned to receive both thrombectomy and standard medical therapy while another 90 of them received medical therapy (control) alone. All the participants were examined at the beginning, the next day after randomization, after discharge from the hospital and at 30 and 90 days respectively.
It was found that three months after the procedure fewer patients (14%) who had their clot removal procedure done died compared to controls (26%). Almost 45% patients who received thrombectomy were more functionally independent compared to 17% of controls. On a positive note, neither of the two groups faced any serious side effects. Though the study was to be pursued for a longer period there was no need for it as the team could identify overwhelming benefits from the clot removal procedure.
The study results show that such physical intervention to remove blood clot has a positive effect on people curbing their risk to death or permanent disability. While stroke exists as a condition which needs immediate intervention to save the patient’s life, the new research comes as a pleasant surprise to all of us as this provides physicians with a possibility to treat it even hours after the initial symptoms. Everything has got its pros and cons in life and so does thrombolysis. While minor risks involve bruising the punctured site in the neck or groin in the affected limb major risks involve the risk of blood clot travelling deeper into the artery or vein or maybe even an injury to the affected area after treatment. There are possibilities of bleeding too as a result of thrombolysis and thrombectomy and when this is the case, the treatment must be stopped immediately.
The number of pubs, breweries and late-night parties have increased and people actually feel pleased about it. The younger generation’s idea of entertainment is unending flow of booze, night outs, sleepovers and late-morning sleeps. Generally, individuals love to consume alcohol as a way of celebration, when in distress, emotional stress or likewise. We do see a bottle of champagne in many offices when their project is a booming success or even after weddings or birthday parties. When drinking socially has become increasingly seen these days, how about drinking in front of children? Parties and get-togethers are never devoid of our lovely kids whose presence doesn’t deter few parents when it comes to consuming alcohol. But what impact does it have on the child as well as the parent?
Parents: A Child’s First Role Model
Children adore their parents and during their initial stages or even until teenage, parents are a child’s first superhero! They look up to their parents with admiration and try to imitate them in many scenarios be it while having meals, talking, walking or even laughing. When such simple acts are followed don’t you think that a child would surely observe your act of drinking and follow the same too? In general, children learn about what’s acceptable and not by observing their parents & drinking too is no exception.
Individuals go for a glass of wine after a tough day at work to relax and this might even be good enough to ease off tension. But the same can have a delirious effect when the quantity consumed exceeds prescribed limits or when you have children lurking around. A study by the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) shows that a glass of wine is more than enough to make your child anxious about your behavior and start worrying for their parents. A drunk parent makes kids feel awkward, embarrassed and even concerned about their parents. While the parent might not see any noticeable changes the kids always point out every awkward situation that’s an outcome of a parent’s consumption of alcohol. They feel that parents are pushy, their bedtimes are disrupted and even start to panic when they are around their heavy-drinking parents. The study too showed that almost 50% of parents commented that they were unsteady in front of their kids, 29% accepted that they were drunk and another 29% thought that it was not a bad think to stay drunk until it did not affect the kid in any way. From the children’s side, almost one in five kids felt embarrassed when their parents consumed alcohol, 11% were worried, 7% said it led to arguments with them, 8% said their parents were unpredictable, 12% said that they paid less attention and 15% said that they had been put to bed earlier than usual (https://www.businessinsider.com/drinking-in-front-of-your-kids-can-leave-them-anxious-embarrassed-and-worried-even-if-its-just-a-glass-of-wine-2017-10?IR=T). Despite the frequency of alcohol consumption however minimal it might be kids of those parents who drank did not consider them as positive role models.
Above all, the child is sure to copy you. Statistics too show that children who live with family members who drink are at a higher risk of drinking, many parents who drank were also ok with their kids drinking alcohol until it was well within the limits while those living with parents who never drank were at a minimal risk of drinking alcohol.
Recommendations to Parents
Should you drink in front of your children? https://www.telegraph.co.uk/family/parenting/should-drink-front-children/
Drinking in front of your kids can leave them anxious and embarrassed: https://www.businessinsider.com/drinking-in-front-of-your-kids-can-leave-them-anxious-embarrassed-and-worried-even-if-its-just-a-glass-of-wine-2017-10?IR=T
Should I avoid drinking in front of my children? https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/oct/23/should-i-avoid-drinking-in-front-of-my-children
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
+91 7846 800 800
Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.