Food for thought
It's time to move away from the instant food regime of soft drinks and pizza. Change over to healthy home food to feel better.
Towards a healthy future.
A month and a half before the Board Exams, a 15-year-old student of Std. X collapsed in a city school. At the hospital she was diagnosed with hyperglycemia diabetes for us. She was at once put on insulin and continued taking it for a couple of months. She also studied and wrote her exams. Almost immediately after her exams her blood sugar levelled off.
This had her doctors thinking. Hers was not juvenile diabetes nor was it an adult - onset type II variety. So what was her problem? This is stress-induced diabetes, a new strain in India. Says dietician Dharini Krishnan, "Kids' health is now a matter of concern. Among the growing population of affluent children obesity is a definite problem (if you weigh 20 per cent more than what is allowed for your height you step into obesity). A study conducted in medium and affluent schools in a popular southern suburb showed the obesity levels at 12 - 15 per cent. There are more cases of respiratory ailments than before. Diabetes is raising its ugly head. There are several inter-connected factors around this phenomenon."
"The first one," she says is the change in lifestyle. The city is expanding vertically. Families live in small apartments. Children have less space to play in and they inhale dust constantly. "I see asthma in these surroundings."
Where health is wealth...
"Another detail is the food children take to school. Skip breakfast and carry snacks like pastries and sweets. Back home they eat puffs and pizzas." What is wrong with baked products? "We are moving into the instant food and coke regime," she says. "These items need bi-carbonates or sodium chloride to preserve them. Sodium accumulates in the body and combined with stress is ready to trigger hypertension." Another area for anxiety is anaemia among adolescent girls. "The food they eat must include calcium and iron to compensate the body changes they undergo at this time," she insists.
Ms. Krishnan is also worried about the sleep patterns. "Sleeping late (10 p.m. and beyond) and rising late leaves the child groggy all day. The body follows the normal rhythm and the child wakes up at the usual hour and after that it is disturbed sleep."
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid baked products. Stay away from junk food.
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