Wednesday October 18, 2017
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Sugary drinks responsible for 1 in 200 deaths: Study

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By Charu Bahri

Sugar-sweetened beverages account for one in every 200 deaths caused by India’s rising tide of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, according to a 2015 study.

“Over 80 percent of those deaths happen because sugary drinks are associated with weight gain and diabetes,” Dariush Mozaffarian, study co-author and dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition, Tufts University in the US, told IndiaSpend. Another 15 percent of those deaths occur because sugar-sweetened beverages are an established cause of heart disease, said Mozaffarian.

Heart disease and diabetes have reached epidemic levels in India, together responsible for 28 percent of all deaths.

Over the last decade, obesity has more than doubled among men, and risen one-and-a-half times among women, according to the latest National Family Health Survey.

One or two sugary drinks a day – what you might consider “moderate” consumption, and hence safe – are enough to cause trouble, according to scientific evidence.

People consuming one to two servings a day are at 26 percent greater risk of developing type-2 diabetes than those consuming no sugar-sweetened beverage or less than a serving a month.

Women consuming two or more sugary drinks a day had a 35 percent greater risk of developing coronary heart disease than infrequent consumers, according to this study. Men who averaged a can of a sugary beverage per day had a 20 percent higher risk of having a heart attack or dying from a heart attack compared to men who rarely consumed sugary drinks.

How tax hikes cut demand: The Mexican experience

India’s battle with excess weight and lifestyle diseases has turned the focus on high-calorie foods and beverages, and in turn, on taxation – a tool with the potential to lower consumption.

Higher taxes increase prices, which in turn lower demand. It’s a formula that has worked in Mexico.

A new 10 percent tax on soft drinks, introduced in January 2014 with the objective of lowering consumption 10-12 percent, actually lowered overall consumption by 12 percent, or 4.2 litres per person by December, a new Mexican study showed. Poorer households witnessed a 17 percent decline in consumption.

A 20 percent tax on sugar-sweetened beverages would cut India’s excess weight and obesity prevalence by three percent over a decade – and the cases of type-2 diabetes by 1.6% at current consumption growth rates – a 2014 study estimated.

That implies India would have 11.2 million fewer cases of obesity and 400,000 fewer cases of type-2 diabetes.

If soft drink consumption were to rise further – as it likely will, in line with the annual average growth of 13 percent since 1998 – the authors of the India study suggested that taxation would avert 4.2 percent of prevalent excess weight/obesity and 2.5 percent of type-2 diabetes cases.

In India, the weather impacts fizzy drink demand more than higher tax

In July 2014, the Indian government increased the tax on sugar-sweetened beverages by five percent, hoping to curb consumption.

With that, the tax on sugar-sweetened beverages touched approximately 18 percent, which sounds high, but not enough to make a sizeable dent in demand, according to IndiaSpend’s analyses.

Sales of aerated beverages increased 10 percent in 2014, according to the Indian Beverage Association, a lobby group. This is because “summer had already passed by July 2014, when the tax was increased”, Arvind Varma, secretary-general of the Indian Beverage Association, told IndiaSpend. About 40 percent of the soft-drink industry’s annual sales occur between April and June.

Sales of aerated beverages declined 10 percent between April and September 2015, “primarily because of the mild summer of 2015, but the additional five tax on aerated beverages has only served to deepen the impact on the industry”, said Varma.

Coca-Cola, the industry leader, referred to “unseasonal weather” for a “mid single-digit decline” in India sales between April and June 2015, with sales growing four percent between July and September.

Sales of sugar-sweetened fizzy beverages grew nine in 2014, when the extra tax was imposed, according to Euromonitor International, a market-intelligence company that projected similar sales growth in 2015.

If India’s last five percent tax hike has not served to curtail demand for sugary drinks, it may be time for another round of increases.

“India can expect the consumption of sugary beverages to fall in response to taxes that are high enough, because India, like Mexico, has a surfeit of price-conscious consumers and comparatively lower income levels, consumer segments that are more price-sensitive,” said Barry Popkin, professor of nutrition, University of North Carolina, and co-author of the Mexican study that advocates taxes as a disincentive.

In greater awareness, lies India’s health

The government should raise taxes, launch awareness campaigns, and curtail soft-drink availability, especially in schools and sports complexes, said health experts.

“Higher tax is definitely one of the strongest interventions to reduce consumption, but it should be accompanied by robust behavioral interventions to change social norms and perceptions,” said Manu Raj Mathur, research scientist and assistant professor at the Public Health Foundation of India advocacy. Mathur studies ways to reduce the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages among adolescents and school children.

“Increasing awareness about the risks and health consequences of high sugar intake would help inspire sorely-needed dietary changes-permanently,” said Hemalatha R of Hyderabad’s National Institute of Nutrition.

Mathur said their interactions with adolescents from private schools in Delhi and their parents and teachers show that most believe sugar-sweetened beverages to mainly be fizzy drinks. “They did not recognize fruit juices in tetra packs as sugar-sweetened beverages and even referred to them as healthy alternatives to Coke and Pepsi,” he said.

Packaged fruit juices contain added sugar, as do most dairy-based beverages and sport and energy drinks. Parents and teachers want prominent film stars and sports people to counter celebrity endorsements of sugary drinks. Such advertisements lead adolescents into believing that sugary beverages in moderation are not harmful – a prominent qualitative finding of Mathur’s study. (IANS/IndiaSpend.org)(Photo: www.natureworldnews.com)

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5 Reasons Why You Should Not Skip Breakfast!

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Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Pexels

New Delhi, October 17, 2017: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Have you ever wondered why we call this meal ‘breakfast’?

After waking up you must treat your poor belly with some love as it’s been on a FAST for 6 to 8 hours. That is the reason why the first meal of the day is called ‘breakfast.’ You must break your fast with a healthy, nutritious, carbs filled diet. And there are many reasons for that.

Here are the top 5 reasons

1. Weight Loss

You may be skipping your breakfast thinking you are consuming fewer calories. But what you don’t realize is that you are unknowingly setting yourself up for a disappointment.

Skipping brings your blood sugar level down, and that results in you having less energy and later, cravings for calories. To make up for your feebleness, you gobble up whatever appears in front you without caring about its nutritious value. Thus, it is important for weight loss as it keeps you energetic and stops you from consuming more calories as the day progresses.

2. Breakfast Helps You Stay Focused

When you are running low on calories, your body has to work extra hard to sustain you. During this process, you will find it extremely difficult to focus on the task before you as your body will keep reminding you of the struggle it is going through. This is another reason for eating breakfast so that you can focus on the job at hand.

Studies have proven the importance of breakfast by showing how our memory and concentration levels increase after our first meal of the day.

3. A Full Stomach Means A Happy Day

Breakfast Muesli
A full stomach means an energetic start for a day. Pixabay

It is important that you start off your day with a smile on your face. Research suggests that consuming breakfast that is rich in carbs, proteins, whole grains can uplift your mood.

A healthy breakfast provides glucose to our brain after a long fast.  What happens is, our blood glucose levels increase after having a healthy breakfast, giving more energy to our body, which in turn results in a happy mood.

If you a have a child, a good breakfast is very important. Children who don’t have a healthy become jaded in school and tend to have shorter attention spans.

4. Helps Avoid Heart Disease

According to a study in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, heart disease has a slight association with breakfast. Men who admitted missing breakfast on a regular basis had a 27 percent higher chance of heart-related diseases than those who ate breakfast regularly.

It is quite clear how important is breakfast for our first meal of the day and there are multiple reasons for attending to it sincerely.

– prepared by Siddheshwar Sharma. Twitter: @MancSiddheshwar

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Get Ready for Winters with Petroleum Jelly, Get the Glow In The Festive Season

Know the magical benefits of Petroleum Jelly and adapt beauty hacks to look best this festive season from the Vaseline experts

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homemade face mask
Do you want glowing skin this festive season? We have got you covered. Pixabay

New Delhi, October 12, 2017 : With October comes an energizing and exciting series of festivals combined with colors, celebration and delicious food which bind everyone together. But amidst all this, we often forget taking good care of our body and skin. Not anymore!

Benefits of Petroleum Jelly
Apply Petroleum Jelly For Healthy Lips and Hairs. Pixabay.

To add to the already magical benefits of Petroleum Jelly, a Vaseline expert shares six beauty hacks to look best this festive season!

  • Smooth glossy hair: Use a little bit of Petroleum Jelly for your split ends and get sleek, glossy hair
  • DIY (Do It Yourself) Highlighter: Mix a little bit of face powder with Petroleum Jelly and dab it on your cheekbones to get that instant glow.
  • DIY Body Lotion: Mix a little of Vaseline with Sea Salt and apply it on your body after a bath. This will serve as a long-lasting lotion for your skin.
  • On the eyelids: Apply it for an instant glossy eye shadow look.
  • Eyebrow gel: A quick application of Petroleum Jelly can slick eyebrow hair back and keep them in place all day for a neat look that perfectly frames your face.
  • Soothe embroidery rashes: Apply Jelly on your skin to soothe embroidery rashes.

Lakme Beauty Expert, Donald Simrock also shares skincare hacks for bringing out your natural radiance this festive season.

Benefits of Petroleum Jelly
Get Warmness on the Hands and Feet of your Kid. Pixabay.

  • Rejuvenating and exfoliating your skin is of utmost importance. While you exfoliate your skin at least once a week, nourish it every morning to ensure you start your day with a fresh and nourished look.
  • Minimalism is all about keeping it simple while not making any compromises. Using a CC cream gives you a uniform complexion that makes your skin look flawless and has a matte finish.
  • Night time beauty regimes are a must: Cleansing your face before hitting the bed is the best way to allow your skin to breathe.
  • Having non-chapped, crack-free lips adds that extra glam to your festive look. Use one drop of the Overnight Oil in Serum to get a smooth finish before you apply a lip color. (IANS)

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Why migraines are more common among women

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Migraine

New York, Feb 8 : Females are more vulnerable to certain stress-related and allergic diseases such as migraines because of distinct differences found in mast cells, a type of white blood cell that is part of the immune system, says a study.

Mast cells are an important category of immune cells because they play a key role in stress-related health issues that are typically more common in women such as allergic disorders, auto-immune diseases, migraines and irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS.

“Over 8,000 differentially expressed genes were found in female mast cells compared to male mast cells,” said lead researcher Adam Moeser, Associate Professor at Michigan State University in the US.

“While male and female mast cells have the same sets of genes on their chromosomes, with the exception of the XY sex chromosomes, the way the genes act vary immensely between the sexes,” Moeser noted.

A further in-depth analysis of the genes within the RNA genome — a primary building block in all forms of life — revealed an increase in activity that is linked to the production and storage of inflammatory substances, according to the study published in the journal Biology of Sex Differences.

These substances can create a more aggressive response in the body and result in disease.

“This could explain why women, or men, are more or less vulnerable to certain types of diseases,” Moeser said.

With this new understanding of how different genes act, scientists could eventually start developing new sex-specific treatments that target these immune cells and stop the onset of disease, Moeser said. (IANS)