Saturday, November 23, 2013

Obesity in Children

Childhood Obesity is a condition where excess amount of body fat negatively affects the child's health and development. It is alarming to note that around 10 percentage of world's school aged children are carrying unnecessary excess fat in their body. Due to the rising prevalence of childhood obesity and its adverse health impact, it has been acknowledged as burning health issue. 

Health impact of childhood Obesity
Childhood Obesity is a potential dangerous seed which can sprout into various ailments such as diabetes, Hypertension, sleep disorders, liver disease, early puberty, skin infections, respiratory problems, etc… Over weight children are more likely to grow up in to over weight adults. Obesity in adolescence is an indicator of reduced health status in adulthood. Recent studies have revealed that obese adolescent girl have higher risk of PCOD (poly cystic ovary disease) and infertility in adulthood. More over obese children suffer from social seclusion, discrimination, teasing, and resultant low self esteem, poor performance and depression.

Thus obesity has a significant health consequence for the child and adolescent group both in short term and adult life.

Causes
Obesogenic environment is the medical term which includes mosaic of all causative factors of obesity.
·         The greatest risk factor is the obesity of both the parents. Obese parents have 45% more chances of begetting obese offspring when compared to non obese parents.
·         Psychological factors also play pivotal role in obesity causation.
·         Easy availability and access to energy loaded food coupled with reduced energy requirement in daily life.   
·         Childhood obesity is nourished and celebrated by the fast food industry which spends a lavish amount of $ 4.2 billion on advertisement for luring young children.
·         Physical inactivity and engagement in immobile activities such as watching television, computer and video games are the major culprits. Sedentary habits cause the unused energy in the body to be converted into fat.
·         Genetic factors and endocrine factors are also contributory.

Investigation
·         In case of moderate obesity and associated physical signs the test for blood glucose, serum lipid, liver function test, ultrasound of liver, thyroid function test can be done.
·         A fasting lipid profile should be considered in obese children and adolescents especially in those with the family history of cardio vascular risk. 
·         A fasting insulin and glucose test should be considered in obese children with the family history of type 2 diabetes.

Management
Obesity management is an essential lifestyle modification. Since it has to be pursued for a lifetime, continuous motivation and family involvement is inevitable. Before problem is addressed it has to be ascertained whether the parent and the child unanimously agree that there is a problem to be tackled. Realistic change cannot be expected without consent and motivation in a family setting. As far as childhood obesity is concern family factors, whether psychological, physiological or cultural are relevant.
The domain of weight management is encompassed by mainly 3 components
·         Change in attitude
·         Change in diet
·         Change in activity level

Attitude
·         A positive attitude is the first step towards fighting obesity.
·         Parents should have a realistic body image of their children. Blind comparisons are futile. For ex: it is normal to see the child’s rib unless and until the child is weak and less active.
·         Avoid giving food as a reward to children. For ex: Burger, pizza as gifts.
·         Food choices and selections must be taken up by adult in the family.
·         Breast feeding helps to counter childhood obesity.

Diet
·         Appropriate food and eating habits have a key role.
·         Breakfast, lunch and dinner time should be fixed as far as possible.
·         Munching snacks in between meals should be strictly discouraged.
·          The time duration between meals should be a minimum of 4 hours.
·         Avoid the dreadful combination of food and television.
·         Avoid over feeding.
·         Use less processed and tinned food.
·         Substitute noodles, chips, chocolates, sweets, soft drinks and bakery items with homemade snacks, salads, fruit juices
·         Bakery and commercially marketed food items contain maida, transfats, artificial sweetners, colorings agents and preservatives, all of which are least nutritious and hazardous to health.
·         Encourage eating legumes, fruits, vegetables and cereals.
·         Contrary to the belief that planned diets are bland and boring, obesity diet can be prepared in a very tasty and interesting manner. Addition of ginger, garlic, onion can do the trick.
·         Drink water, fruit juices, butter milk, etc… Water cannot be substituted by tea, coffee, etc…

Activity              

·         Reduce sedentary habits such as long hours of television and computer watching more than continues 4 hours.
·         Avoid day sleep after meal
·         Encourage physical activity such as brisk walking.
·         Regular exercise for minimum 20 min session 3-4 times a week
·         Children and adolescent group should engage regular physical exercise both at school and home. Clumsiness should be identified and curbed by parents and teachers as early as possible.

Yoga
The age old tested methodology of yoga is well suited for children. Yoga is a simple, economic, therapeutic modality that is beneficial adjuvant in obesity management. It works on all aspects (physical, mental, and emotional domains) of obesity. It makes the body agile and slim. It helps to control the mind in combating food habits. Yoga is safe and stable. Some of the asanas that can be done are mentioned below.

Childhood obesity is dangerous immediate attention seeking health problem. It has to be identified estimated and tackled carefully. Judicious combination of right food, optimum activity and positive attitude are the powerful weapons in this battle for health and happiness. Let us remember that growth of our children should be graceful, not gluttonous.

Friday, May 27, 2011

ASTHIROGA AND PREVENTIVE CARE


Just as the trees are supported by the strong stems having compact mass in them, man is also supported by the strong Asthi (bone) present inside the muscles. (Acharya Susrutha)Asthi (bone) being composed of vayu and prithvi (air and earth element) emerges as the strongest, roughest and driest part of the body.
It is thus destined to provide erect posture and strong framework for the body (dharana karmam) along with nourishing the bone marrow (Majja).

Bone strength units
Bone mass (bone mineral density) is the amount of minerals that a specific bone volume contains. Bonemass is considerd as the unit of bone strength.
nevrlthless peak bone mass is acquired in adolescence.
There is small increase in bone mass between the age group of 20 -30yrs.
However bone mass starts declining after 30 years.the decline process gains momemtom at menopause for women, Around 1/3rd of women of the menopauseexperience fracture due to decreased bonestrength of the menopause.
Who has strong bones?
Inspite of personal variation the bonemass has certain level of generalized distribution.Usually the black race has stronger bonemasss than their white counterpart.Males have more bone strength than the females of the same age.According to Ayurveda, persons termed as Asthisara purusha( ie )those having well defined bones over the heels, ankles, knees, elbows, and wrist (etc) are endowed with health prosperity, success and strength.


Weak bones provide weak body
Decline in bone strength, pain and deformity of bones and joints indicate degeneration of body at a deeper level.
Experiencing cracking of joints, emaciation, and desire to eat fatty food point towards depletion of mamsa (muscles)
Suffering from emptiness of joints, body roughness and craving for fatty food, all these are signs of diminishing medas (adipose tissue)
Falling of hair of body and head, nail, teeth, rough skin and pricking pain of bones are direct indication of weak Asthi (bones).
Giddiness, feeling of hollowness and emptiness of body, darkness entering into eyes and pain of the bones are pointers of depleted majja (bonemarrow).
In addition to these the disturbed vata dosa accelerates the bone damage process.


How to identify the imbalanced Vata in you and your inclination for weak bones
Are you experiencing the following

• Dryness of the skin, hair
• Poor and variable appetite
• Rapid body movements
• Tires easily
• Non tolerance to cold
• Chances of constipation, Neuro, Ortho complaints
• Dark discolouration
• Weight loss
• Speech Language Problem
• Tremor
• Desire for heat
• Giddiness and Fatigue
• Pain and Cramps
• Cold feet
• Low energy and strength
• Numbness
• Increased chances on Dislocation and Frac ture
• Reduced sensory perception (deficit in hearing and skin sensation
• Forgetful
• Disturbed sleep
• Delusion
• Often sorrowful
• Non practical, but enthusiastic and imagi native
• Fear, anxiety
These are further aggravated by perverse diet and activities.
• DIET – bitter, pungent, astringent food ?
(chips, carbonated drinks, fast food, cold food, dry vegetables and fasting).
• ACTIVITIES – over indulgence in physical activity, sexual act, suppression or willful initiation of natural urges, loud speech, late night work, long working hours and traveling, alcohol, and smoking.
• PSYCHOLOGICAL – excess mental work load, fear, grief, anxiety.
• WEATHER – Cold rainy weather

Ways to keep your bones strong
The need of making and maintaining strong bones directly reduces the chances of troublesome complaints of osteoporosis, fracture, dislocation, postural imbalance.Careful adoption of proper diet, exercise and activities can go a long way in stabilizing the bones.
In the body 99% of calcium deposits are found in bone and teeth. So for healthy bones and teeth, the food pattern adopted should comprise of sufficient proportion of the macro nutrients (Ca, Na, K, Mg) and vitamin D. In addition they should be adequate supply of micronutrients (F, Vit B1, B12, B6, Vit A).
The food items selected and consumed should be essentially warm, semi solid and semi fluid, moderately spiced. The preferable tastes are sweet, sour and salt.

FOOD FACTS
Grains : Basmati, Brown rice, Barley, Whole wheat
Vegetables: Pumpkin, Cooked onion, Sweet potato, Carrot, Beans, Drumstick,Green vegetables account for 50% of calcium absorption and alsoreduces hip fracture( rich source of vit d). Fruits and vegetable contain the necessary micro nutrients, they are alkaline and so do not cause urinary loss of calsium.
Fruits: Banana, Papaya, Coconut, Mango, Plum, Sour sop, Oranges, Pomegranate.Always opt seasonal and indigenous fruits. Dehydrated,processed and foreign fruits should be discouraged.
Dairy: Cow’s milk, Ghee, Sweet and Sour Yogurt, Butter milk, Salted butter.
For adult 1 – 2 glass of milk daily, for children and adolescence 2- 3 glass of milk is required to cope up with their special calcium requirement.
Oil : Coconut oil, Almond, sesame, safflower oil
Sweetener : Sugarcane, dates, fruit juice concentrate
Herbs Cumin, Ginger, Cardamom, Garlic, Asa foetida
Fish : Salt water fish (rich sources of vitamin).
Meat : Meat soups (mutton), Organ meat
Water : Water boiled with cumin, dried ginger

Exercises and yoga for bone strength
Proper and regular exercise helps in stabilizing the bone cell activity and release of growth hormone from the pituitary gland of the brain. Both these are inevitable for bone growth and maintenance. Recommended exercise pattern are jogging, walking, dancing, swimming, etc…
How ever care should be taken not to over do the same or else it will culminate in negative results.
Practice of yoga does not render the side effect.
Yoga helps the bone structure by improving the balance and coordination of the body. It increases the flexibility and removing the stiffness from the joints. Aids in postural correction. Moreover the endocrine glands are automatically regulated by yogic postures.
A mosaic combination of asanas, pranayama and relaxation will do wonders for the bone.
A few suggested asanas: - Padahasthasana (hand to foot pose), Tadasana (heavenly stretch pose), Sukhasana (comfortable posture), Vajrasana (thunderbolt posture), Shavasana (corpse posture).

Good practice for bones stability
The body which is subjected to ruthless mental and physical exhaustion succumbs to degeneration of the bone as well. It is therefor obligatory to pacify the disturbed body elements and regularly nourish the same. A few age old Ayurvedic techniques are described below.
• Snehana (oileation with nourishing oil such as dhanvantharam kuzhambu, atleast once in a week. Oil should be applied on head and body)
• Svedana (followed by oileation bathing in warm water boiled with herbs such as tamarind leaves)
• Nasyam (apply 2-3 drops of anu thailam into both the nostrils daily)

Thus the Asthi dathu (bones) responsible for stability of the body, duly deserves regular episodes of stabilization.


(published on PUNARJANI)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Fighting cancer with fibre-rich food

Eat food like medicine or you may have to consume medicines like food, says Dr Anupama Krishnan

LOAD UP! Vegetables and fruits are  cancer-fighting powerhouses. Eat five servings  of each a day.In Ayurveda, cancer can broadly brought under the heading of arbuda — the word means ‘one hundred million’, which points towards the mad multiplication of abnormal cells.

Arbuda is negative reflection of energy, which involves the malfunctioning of the three doshas (namely vata, pita and kapha), the mutation of dhatu (tissue elements accounting for structural entity), the disruption of agni (error in digestion and transformation at the cellular, molecular and metabolic level), and the weakening of vyadhikshamatva (power of the body to resist progression of disease). All these factors collectively lead to the decline of ojus (vital essence of the human body).

Among the preventable and modifiable factors, diet management has a significant role to perform.

Food follies include poor selection, unhealthy combination, faulty processing and storage, poor quantity and faulty consumption (time of the day and season).

* Food selection should be based on the knowledge of one’s constitution, age, season, gender, and status of health.

* One should eat only after the previous meal has been digested.

* One must include the six rasas (sweet, sour, salt, pungent, bitter, astringent) in every meal.

* One must avoid over-eating.

* Incompatible and unhealthy combinations, such as milk and fish, milk and sour fruits, must be avoided.

* Eating in good company and in a clean place is advised.

* One must give due respect to food — avoid talking, laughing or walking when you eat.

* One must abstain from eating when the mind is agitated, distressed, depressed or anxious.

Ayurveda classifies food into:

Sattvik ahara: Food that pleasantly nourishes the body, like broken wheat porridge, whole wheat roti, buttermilk, seasonal fruits.

Rajasik ahara: Food linked to action and restlessness, like fried or spicy food, bitter/sour/ salty/ pungent food, fast food, chillies, alcohol.

Tamasik ahara: Food linked to a state of inertia, negative obstructive energy, lethargy, depression, addiction, extreme action. Such food causes bowel irritation, nausea, and degeneration. Unfortunately the flourishing food patterns of today are rajasik and tamasik, thereby resulting in stress, lack of insight and compassion.

Refined or raw?

On entering a bakery, one is tempted by the goodies made with maida (refined flour), which causes indigestion, heartburn and bloating of the abdomen. Moreover, saturated fats or transfats are used in puffs, cakes and biscuits to give them a long shelf life.
The use of unhealthy oil, reheated oil and deep frying food are harmful cooking practices. So is the excessive reliance on ready-to-eat/ processed food.
Ready-to-eat processed meats are known to contain nitrosamine and ajinomoto, which cause conditions ranging from skin allergy, heartburn, liver trouble, menstrual abnormalities, repeated abortions to cancer.
Parota and chicken curry are seen on almost every dining table at dinner time, when the ideal choice should be light and easily digestible food. Another favourite meal is rich, spicy biryani followed by ice cream. All such meals can be categorised under virudhaahara (discrepant) foods.
The long-term consumption of such meals weakens the body, causes malfunctioning of the system and renders the body vulnerable to ailments ranging from fever, indigestion, gastric disorders to obstinate skin disease and cancer.

Dietary do’s and dont’s

The daily consumption of vegetables and fruits is strongly advised. Plant products are cancer-fighting powerhouses as they are rich in fibre.
Fibre helps in moving toxins swiftly out of the gastro intestinal tract. Moreover, fibre reduces the production of fecapentanes, which are bacteria produced by decaying food in the stomach.
For those suffering from hereditary pre-cancerous colorectal polyp, a daily intake of 15 grams of wheat bran is suggested. Wheat bran, whole wheat, beans and legumes are important fibre sources.
Vegetables like carrot, spinach, yellow and dark green leafy vegetables contain beta carotene which neutralises free radicals.

Fruits like pomegranate, gooseberry and grapes have high anti-oxidant concentration. All seasonal fruits and vegetables contain organic compounds that inhibit carcinogens from accessing the target site. They protect the cell memory and prevent faulty metabolism. The phytochemicals present in brightly- coloured fruits and vegetables are immunity boosters and disease fighters.
Whole wheat and brown rice should be bought instead of polished varieties of rice and flour. Spices like garlic, ginger and turmeric are advised because they have proven evidence of cancer resistance.
In Ayurveda, milk and ghee are considered sattvik food items which should be consumed every day.
Indigenous oil should be the prime choice because, logically, the vegetation of a particular region will nourish its inhabitants.
However, use of reheated oil should be discouraged.
Meat consumption should be marginalised. The amount of meat consumed in a day should be equivalent to the size of one’s palm.
Eating fruits like gooseberries and oranges (rich in Vitamin C) is advised for obsessive meat eaters since Vitamin C can neutralise the harmful nitrosamine effect in processed meat to a large extent.
Cooking style should be preferably steaming and low-flame cooking instead of deep frying.

(published in deccanherald on 12/02/2011

Monday, May 31, 2010

VATA VYADHI (disorders due to Vata) AND ROLE OF NUTRITION IN MANAGEMENT

  •  VATA
               Synonyms – vayu, anila, pavana, marutha, vishwakarma, vishwarupa
  •  Root
              To move, to make known, effort, to enlighten
  •  Types
              Lokavata, Sariravata
  •  Lokavayu
             Governs the position, movement, orbits of Sun, Moon,
             constellations and planetary systems.
  • Sariravayu
            The vata inside the body

QUALITIES OF VATA
  • Ruksha
  • Laghu
  • Sita
  • Khara
  • Suksma
  • Cala
LOCATIONS OF VATA
  •  Lumbosacral (Main)
  •  Thigh
  •  Feet
  •  Bone (Dhatu)
  •  Ear and Skin (Sensory)
  •  Brain
  •  Lung
  •  Heart
  •  Kidney
 PSYCHOLOGICAL PROPERTIES

BALANCED
  • Enthusiasm
  • Alertness
 IMBALANCED
  •  Dementia
  •  Disturbed sleep
  •  Delusion
  •  Sorrow
  •  Fear
  •  Jealousy                     more...