Wednesday December 11, 2019

Physical Activity in Early Childhood Affects Future Cardiovascular Health: Study

For the study, more than 400 children between the ages of three and five years were involved

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physical activity
The researchers calculated cardiovascular fitness by measuring how long the children could last on a treadmill test and how fast their heart rates recovered after exercise. Pixabay

Physical activity in early childhood may have an impact on cardiovascular health later in life, according to a study. Published in the journal Pediatrics, the study found that physical activity in toddlers as young as three years old benefits blood vessel health, cardiovascular fitness and is key to the prevention of early risk indicators that can lead to adult heart disease.

“Many of us tend to think cardiovascular disease hits in older age, but arteries begin to stiffen when we are very young,” said study lead author Nicole Proudfoot from McMaster University in Canada.

“It’s important to start any kind of preventative measures early. We need to ensure that small children have many opportunities to be active to keep their hearts and blood vessels as healthy as possible,” Proudfoot said.

Physical activity
“Many of us tend to think cardiovascular disease hits in older age, but arteries begin to stiffen when we are very young,” said study lead author Nicole Proudfoot from McMaster University in Canada. Pixabay

For the study, more than 400 children between the ages of three and five years were involved. Over the course of three years, the researchers measured and analysed key markers of heart health: cardiovascular fitness, arterial stiffness and blood pressure.

The researchers calculated cardiovascular fitness by measuring how long the children could last on a treadmill test and how fast their heart rates recovered after exercise. They measured arterial stiffness by how fast their pulse travelled through their body and used ultrasound images to measure the stiffness of the carotid artery. They also measured blood pressure.

physical activity
The researchers determined that while arteries stiffen over time, the process is slower in young children who have been more active. Pixabay

ALSO READ: Physical Activities Powers Kids to Fight Emotional Distress: Study

The research team tracked physical activity each year by having the children wear an accelerometer around their waist for one week, allowing researchers to determine the amount and intensity of their activity each day. The researchers determined that while arteries stiffen over time, the process is slower in young children who have been more active.

Those kids also showed more endurance on the treadmill, suggesting they had better cardiovascular fitness and their heart rates came down faster after exercise. While the study showed overall physical activity had favourable effects on cardiovascular health, more intense physical activity was more beneficial. (IANS)

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Protein Deficiency Ordinary Among Indians: Experts

Experts say sedentary lifestyles and inadequate protein deficient diets are having a huge impact on the muscle health

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Nuts Reduces Protein Deficiency
Too little protein may cause changes in body composition that develop over a long period of time, such as muscle wasting. Pixabay

Like iron and calcium deficiency, protein deficiency is also common among Indians, say experts.

Most Indians think that protein deficiency is not an important concern. The most common myths are that protein is only for body-builders or gym-goes, and that diet gives one enough protein and cutting on protein is a good way to lose weight.

The latest survey by the Indian Market Research Bureau (IMRB) to ascertain the levels of protein deficiency and awareness about protein in India showed 73 per cent of urban rich is protein deficient with 93 per cent of them unaware about their daily protein requirements.

These revelations find resonance in the Inbody-IPSOS study of 2018 which illustrated that 71 per cent Indians have poor muscle health and 68 per cent have lower protein content than adequate levels.

According to the National Sample Survey Office (2011-12), rural households consumed 56.5g of protein (reduced from 60.2g in 1993-94), while urban households were taking in 55.7g (57.2g in 1993-94).

Experts say sedentary lifestyles and inadequate protein deficient diets are having a huge impact on the muscle health.

Proteins are essential at all stages of life, even after growth and development since humans constantly lose protein through normal physiological losses and it needs to be replenished.

“A sedentary lifestyle and inadequate protein diet can lead to poor muscle health which may affect productivity of adults,” Nandan Joshi, Danone India’s head of medical affairs, told IANS.

“The loss of muscle mass starts as early as in the 30s. We lose about 3-5 per cent muscle every decade. However, by consuming adequate protein and engaging in physical activity, we can control the muscle loss and stay active,” Joshi added.

Milk Reduces Protein Deficiency
Milk is an emulsion or colloid of butterfat globules within a water-based fluid that contains dissolved carbohydrates and protein aggregates with minerals. Pixabay

The IMRB study was conducted in seven cities with 73 per cent of people surveyed being protein deficient.

“Since protein is such an integral part of our diet, one should strive to consume an adequate amount of protein in daily diet — one gm/kg of body weight. For example, an egg contains six gm, so either you can fulfil your requirement through diet or through supplements,” Joshi said.

Good quality protein could come from meat, milk, eggs as well as legumes and pulses. The quality of protein is related to the presence of all essential amino acids as well as its digestibility.

Vegetarians can include a combination of pulses along with cereals.

ALSO READ: Here’s Why Excess Consumption of Protein is Harmful for your Body

Besides pulses, other sources are legumes, green peas, soybean, paneer, tofu, sprouts, etc.

One should also include fistful of nuts, roasted peanuts or chana along with seeds cocktail as a protein snack. (IANS)