Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
Strong regulations to cap salt, sugar, and other harmful ingredients and simple to understand front of package labeling (FOPL) on junk food packets can help curb the alarming rise in childhood obesity in India, say public health experts and doctors, in a webinar organized by All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Rishikesh on Friday. Warning labels are critical to helping consumers and parents understand how many empty calories and harmful nutrients are being consumed by children.
“Food labels should provide clear guidance… Simple to understand labels with evidence-based nutrition cut-off is a need of the hour and will go a long way to address the crisis of childhood obesity in the country,” said Umesh Kapil, Professor, Clinical Epidemiology, Indian Institute of Biliary Sciences. The experts also urged that India must rapidly adopt the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended limits and also introduce simple, smart, and interpretative FOPL.
“There is enough scientific evidence and a globally agreed on WHO SEARO framework for evidence-based cut-offs for anti-nutrients like sugar, salt, and saturated fat present in packaged food,” Kapil added. WHO has identified FOPL as “one of the policy tools that can support healthy diets, both in stimulating consumers to make informed healthier food choices and in driving manufacturers to reformulate products to avoid making unfavorable nutrient content disclosure.”
With more than 14.4 million obese children, India has the second-highest number of children with childhood obesity in the world. By 2025 this number is expected to reach a staggering 17 million. As is the trajectory in other developing nations, the proportion of packaged and ultra-processed foods is on the rise. There is growing evidence that the Covid-19 pandemic could potentially increase the risk of children becoming obese. School closures and lockdowns have already deprived millions of children of nutritional school meals, sports, and adequate physical exercise.
“Being overweight or obese is directly associated with life-threatening noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. Obesity is a result of an imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended,” said Rekha Harish, Chairperson, Indian Academy of Paediatrics, NCD Prevention. The only way to control this growing epidemic of obesity is by establishing scientific cut-off limits for harmful ingredients and FOPL on packaged products, the experts suggested.
“Children are, particularly at risk. As doctors, we want to assert that the onus should not be on children or their families alone to prevent or fight this condition. It is the collective duty of policymakers, the food industry, and us as doctors to safeguard children and enable a nutritious food system for them,” said Manoj Kumar Gupta, Dean, AIIMS Rishikesh. (IANS/JC)
NASA will pay up to $1 million to people who can come up with innovative and sustainable food production ideas to feed astronauts in space, as the US space agency prepares to send astronauts further into the cosmos than ever before. Giving future explorers the technology to produce nutritious, tasty, and satisfying meals on long-duration space missions will give them the energy required to uncover the great unknown. In coordination with the Canadian Space Agency, NASA has launched the 'Deep Space Food Challenge' that calls on teams to design, build, and demonstrate prototypes of food production technologies that provide tangible nutritional products -- or food.
Also Read : NASA introduces 18 astronauts for Lunar program
"Feeding astronauts over long periods within the constraints of space travel will require innovative solutions," said Jim Reuter, associate administrator for NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington, DC. "Pushing the boundaries of food technology will keep future explorers healthy and could even help feed people here at home," he said in a statement. Over time, food loses its nutritional value. That means for a multi-year mission to Mars, bringing along pre-packaged food will not meet all the needs for maintaining astronaut health.
Innovative food production technology that produces safe, acceptable, palatable, nutritious food products. |UnsplashUnsplash
In October 2021, Phase 1 of the challenge culminated as NASA awarded 18 teams a total of $450,000 for their concepts for innovative food production technology that produces safe, acceptable, palatable, nutritious food products. NASA now invites both new and existing teams to enter Phase 2 for a prize purse up to $1 million. "Everything needed to store, prepare and deliver food to the crew, including production, processing, transport, consumption, and disposal of waste should be considered," said NASA. Proposed technologies such as plant growth systems, manufactured food products, and ready-to-eat solutions combined could provide the future crews with a variety of options that would provide the needed daily nutrition, it added. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : NASA, innovative, food, healthy, idea, astronaut, USA, tasty, technology, space, travel, explorer, health, nutrition, prize, solution, variety.)
- NASA Chooses Landing Site For Mars 2020 Rover - NewsGram ... ›
- Valkyrie: NASA humanoid robot dances to techno music ... ›
People suffering from depression are more likely to believe vaccine-related misinformation, according to a new study. The study found that people with moderate or greater symptoms of depression were more likely to believe at least 1 of 4 false statements about Covid-19 vaccines.
Those who believed the statements to be true were half as likely to be vaccinated, the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, indicated. 'It is clear the pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the mental health of Americans, especially young people," said researcher Katherine Ognyanova from Rutgers University, the US.
People suffering from depression are more likely to believe vaccine-related misinformation. | Unsplash
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, approximately one-quarter of adults in the US have consistently reported moderate or greater depressive symptoms during the Covid-19 pandemic. The findings suggest that people suffering from depression may be at a higher risk of Covid-19, highlighting the need to address mental health disorders.
For the study, the team used data from the research group The Covid States Project, which conducted surveys approximately once every six weeks since April 2020. The researchers analysed data from 15,464 adults in the US and the participants were asked to rate vaccine-related misinformation as accurate (statement is true), inaccurate (statement is not true) or not sure.
Approximately one-quarter of adults in US reported moderate or greater depressive symptoms during the Covid-19 pandemic. | Unsplash
The four statements of misinformation included "The Covid-19 vaccines will alter people's DNA", "The vaccines contain microchips that could track people", "The vaccines contain the lung tissue of aborted fetuses", and "The -19 vaccines can cause infertility, making it more difficult to get pregnant". The survey participants completed a health questionnaire to measure major depressive symptoms over two weeks. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: depression, vaccine, misinformation, patients, health questionnaire, study)
The space economy is on track to be valued at a trillion dollars by the end of 2030, but assets such as navigation, weather and communication satellites that serve our society daily are threatened by space debris, an Indian-American professor has stressed. According to NASA, it is estimated that millions of pieces of space debris orbit around Earth. A major portion of these objects as well as active satellites reside in the low-Earth orbit region, at altitudes between 200 km and 1,000 km. In November last year, Russia destroyed one of its own satellites with a ground-based missile, creating thousands of pieces of debris that passed through the International Space Station (ISS).
Also Read : Scientists to predict space weather faster
The astronauts and cosmonauts had to take shelter in their Soyuz and Dragon vehicles docked at the space station, as the orbital lab continued to pass through a debris field every 90 minutes. The US identified more than 1,500 trackable pieces of debris from the event, and many thousands of smaller ones couldn't be traced. According to Piyush Mehta, Assistant Professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at West Virginia University, the US, in low-Earth orbit, our ability to safeguard these space assets depends on modelling of the aerodynamic forces acting on the satellites, specifically satellite drag.
The astronauts and cosmonauts had to take shelter in their Soyuz and Dragon vehicles. |Unsplash
"The drag force acting on a satellite is affected by various physical parameters, however, the most crucial and uncertain are the drag coefficient and mass density," said Mehta, who leads a collaborative effort on satellite drag coefficient modelling under the International Space Weather Action Teams (ISWAT) initiative. Mehta explained that because of the interconnectedness of the two parameters, one of them is held constant, typically the drag coefficient, while the other is investigated.
However, he added that this causes inconsistencies or inaccuracies in our understanding of the mass density variability in the upper atmosphere or thermosphere. Jason Gross, Interim Chair of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the Statler College, West Virginia University, said: "With the continued rapid increase of manmade satellites in low-Earth orbit, his (Mehta's) work towards improved orbital decay prediction becomes more important for the future of space environment sustainability with each passing day. His lab is at the forefront of this important field." (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : dollar, space, economy, debris, satellite, navigation, weather, orbit, astronaut, cosmonaut, inconsistency, aerospace, collaborative.)
- NASA Plans To Hire More Astronauts For Space Projects ... ›
- ISRO Welcomes First Private Space Program - NewsGram - Lens to ... ›