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Globally, one in 11 adults aged between 20-79 years have diabetes, says International Diabetes Federation. Diabetes is a chronic, progressive, and damaging lifelong disease. Type 2 diabetes is a condition where the body produces insulin but it doesn’t respond to it normally. Glucose is unable to enter the cells to supply energy (a problem called insulin resistance).
Dr. Sneha Kothari, Endocrinologist, Global Hospital, Mumbai says: “Type 2 diabetes is no longer an old man’s disease. Over the past decades, younger adults and children have been falling prey to this disease. Indians get type 2 diabetes not only at a younger age but also at a lower body mass index. The younger onset predisposes to a greater risk of complications.”
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Overweight and obesity, previously thought of as conditions of the wealthy, are now increasingly affecting the poor. Around 11-12 percent of kids in the 2-4 age group in India are overweight. There has been a tectonic shift in the lifestyle of families with increased consumption of high-calorie diet, junk food, lesser physical and outdoor activities.
The term ‘Diabesity’ has been coined to denote the dual epidemic of diabetes and obesity. Also, Type 2 diabetes is a highly heritable condition, with a majority of children and youth affected having a first-or second-degree relative who also has Type 2 diabetes. However, with a proper diet and a healthy lifestyle, it can be avoided, says the doctor.
Signs and symptoms of Type 2 diabetes often develop slowly. In fact, patients can have type 2 diabetes for years and not know it. The common symptoms are increased thirst, frequent urination, increase in hunger, unintended weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, slow-healing sores, frequent infections.
Type 2 diabetes can be easy to ignore, especially in the early stages. Not dealing with diabetes can lead to long-term complications like cardiovascular diseases, kidney failure, loss of vision, foot, and nerve damage, bacterial and fungal infection, and sexual dysfunction. Thus, it is the need of the hour to manage it and stay in top shape.
Follow these vital tips to tackle this condition and lead a healthy life:
1. Ditch those sodas and other aerated drinks. Drink water from time to time to stay hydrated and improve one’s sugar control. Bid adieu to those artificially sweetened beverages and even fruit juices.
2. Choose healthier carbohydrates. See to it that you follow a diet low in carbohydrates and choose healthy carbohydrates. Too many carbs in your diet can lead to diabetes.
3. Eat whole grains like brown rice, whole oats, buckwheat. At the same time, it’s also important to cut down on foods low in fiber such as white bread, white rice, and highly processed cereals in your lifestyle.
4. Eat-in controlled proportions and don’t go overboard. This will allow you to manage your blood sugar levels. Also, try to include foods rich in fiber in the diet. Eat broccoli, sprouts, carrot, asparagus, green peas, cauliflower, and even legumes.
5. Eat less red and processed meat. Red and processed meat like ham, bacon, sausages, beef, and lamb have been linked to heart problems and cancer. Try swapping red and processed meat for egg whites, fish, poultry like chicken and turkey, and unsalted nuts. Beans, peas, and lentils are also very high in fiber and don’t affect blood glucose levels too much, thus they are a great swap for processed and red meat.
6. Choose healthier fats. We all need fat in our diet because it gives us energy. Healthier fats are found in foods like unsalted nuts, seeds, avocados, oily fish, olive oil, rapeseed oil, and sunflower oil. Saturated fats like ghee, butter can increase the amount of cholesterol in your blood, It’s still a good idea to cut down on using oils in general, so try to grill, steam, or bake foods instead.
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7. Cut down on added sugar. Cutting down sugar can be really hard at the beginning. Try to swap sugary drinks, energy drinks, and fruit juices with water, plain milk, or tea and coffee without sugar.
8. Be smart with snacks. Choose yogurts, unsalted nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables instead of crisps, chips, biscuits, and chocolates. But watch your portions still.
When it comes to exercise, all movement counts! Consider incorporating such an exercise regime in the daily routine to which one can adhere. The American Diabetic Association (ADA) recommends aerobic exercise and strength training for optimal physical fitness.
Aerobic exercise (anything that raises your heart rate) can be achieved through activities such as walking, running, swimming, dancing, tennis, basketball, and more. ADA recommends 150 min per week of moderate-intensity exercise.
1. Consider parking as far from the door as you can on your trip to the store.
2. Exercise adds up. If you can’t walk for 30 minutes, try three 10-minute walks per day.
3. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
4. If you work at a desk, take a standing break every 15 minutes or so.
5. Strength training, sometimes called resistance training, focuses more on building or maintaining muscle. It improves blood sugar by improving insulin sensitivity. Exercise helps to shed those excess kilos, improves blood pressure, cholesterol, and helps stay fit and fine.
6. Cut down on stress and relax by meditating and help you stay calm and composed.
It helps to stay away from smoking and alcohol as well. Healthy lifestyle choices can help prevent Type 2 diabetes and its complications. In prediabetics, lifestyle changes can slow or stop the progression of diabetes. (IANS)
Facebook says it plans to hire 10,000 workers in the European Union over the next five years to work on a new computing platform.
The company said in a blog post Sunday that those high-skilled workers will help build "the metaverse," a futuristic notion for connecting people online that encompasses augmented and virtual reality.
Facebook executives have been touting the metaverse as the next big thing after the mobile internet as they also contend with other matters such as antitrust crackdowns, the testimony of a whistleblowing former employee and concerns about how the company handles vaccine-related and political misinformation on its platform.
In a separate blog post Sunday, the company defended its approach to combating hate speech, in response to a Wall Street Journal article that examined the company's inability to detect and remove hateful and excessively violent posts. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Facebook, Metaverse, Augmented and Virtual Reality
As children, singing the rhyme Rock A Bye Baby was a fun thing to do. It was a statement of thrill and adventure to imagine a child climbing to the top of a tree and rocking to sleep. Especially in the Indian context, rocking a baby to sleep by attaching the cradle to the tree is quite a common thing. But the origin of this rhyme, or lullaby, seems rooted in other histories.
The most popular notion associated with this lullaby is of women leaving their babies tied to tree branches, rocking to sleep with the wind. It is believed that at the time this lullaby was written, it was inspired by a coloniser who saw the Native American women tie their children in birch bark cradles to the trees. The babies went to sleep rocked by the gusts of wind while the parents went about their tasks.
A Native American wooden cradle Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Another interpretation of the rhyme is that it is an allegory to Betty Kenny, or Kenyon, as some versions record it. The Kenyons were a tree-dwelling family, and they used to live in a yew tree. They had carved the tree branches to fit their babies and allowed them to nestle there during the day. The part of the rhyme that talks about falling off the tree is a little scary in this context, but the speculation is that the tree branches were quite low.
The final interpretation of the lullaby has political allusions. King James II of England, was the last Catholic king. He had no heir and reportedly used another baby to impersonate his own. But he was found out and exiled in the Glorious Revolution that took place after he was deposed. The act of falling down from the cradle is a metaphor for those who make mistakes from being overconfident or proud.
The many versions that exist of the rhyme/lullaby make it confusing to really know why it was written in such a strange and morbid manner. Each version points to a different time in history where certain practices were prevalent. However, despite all the various interpretations available, the lullaby itself works wonders in rocking babies to sleep, and perhaps that is the only reason it has survived.
Keywords: Lullaby, Rhyme, King James II, Kenyons, Native Americans, Colonisers
As kids growing up in different states, Shoba Narayan and Michael Maliakel shared a love of one favorite film — "Aladdin." Both are of Indian descent, and in the animated movie, they saw people who looked like them.
That shared love has gone full-circle this month as Narayan and Maliakel lead the Broadway company of the musical "Aladdin" out of the pandemic, playing Princess Jasmine and the hero from the title, respectively.
"Growing up, there was such little South Asian and Middle Eastern representation in the American media, and Princess Jasmine was really all I had. She was a huge role model to me as someone who was intelligent and strong and independent and beautifully curious, and that's who I wanted to be," says Narayan, who grew up in Pennsylvania.
The pair arrived at "Aladdin" in very different ways. Maliakel is making his Broadway debut, but Narayan is a musical theater veteran, having made her Broadway debut in "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812" and touring with "Hamilton" as Eliza Hamilton.
She was in "Wicked" as Nessarose when the pandemic shut down Broadway in March 2020. Her agent called in April with the prospect of auditioning for Jasmine. She sang "A Whole New World" over Zoom on gallery mode, pretending to be on a magic carpet. "It was a very unique experience," she says, laughing.
Disney producers flew her to New York to meet face-to-face and go through the material again. Narayan was asked to read with different Aladdin potential actors. She got the gig: "I went from a wicked witch to a Disney princess. Can't complain."
Maliakel, a native of New Jersey, came from the world of opera, a baritone who studied at Johns Hopkins University and the 2014 winner at the National Musical Theatre Competition. He trained his voice to be flexible, waiting for the right window to open.
"I didn't really see a lot of people doing what I wanted to do in the world," he says. "There just wasn't a whole lot of representation. So it's really hard to imagine yourself in those scenarios when you have no one to look up to as a role model or an example of how it could be done."
He played Porter and understudied Raoul in a national tour of "The Phantom of the Opera," which ended its run in Toronto just before the pandemic hit.
"I always dreamed that Broadway might happen someday," he says, laughing. "I'm just kind of dipping my toes into the waters in one of the biggest male roles in the business right now, and it's kind of surreal."
'Aladdin' featured as a Broadway Musical with a cast of Indian origin playing the main roles Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Broadway's "Aladdin" is a musical adaptation of the 1992 movie starring Robin Williams. The musical's story by Chad Beguelin hews close to the film: A street urchin finds a genie in a lamp and hopes to woo a princess while staying true to his values and away from palace intrigue.
Key Alan Menken songs from the film — including "Friend Like Me," ″Prince Ali" and "A Whole New World" — are used. The lyricists are the late Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Beguelin.
The show — and it's two new leads — had a few performances to celebrate Broadway's return from the pandemic this fall before it was forced to close for several days when breakthrough COVID-19 cases were detected. The actors say the safety of the cast, crew and audience are paramount and closing was the smart move.
"This is how we keep theater going in the pandemic," Maliakel says. "The other option is to just not do it at all. And that's not an option. A week's worth of lost performances, when we look back on things in a year or so, I think will just be a little blip on the radar."
They both look back with heart-thumping appreciation at the early performances when they welcomed back theater-starved audiences, who gave the company 3-minute standing ovations just for singing "A Whole New World."
"It is every brown girl's dream to be singing that song on an actual flying carpet," says Narayan. "And the fact that I got to do it on Broadway in the full costume with the lights and the 32-piece orchestra beneath me — oh, my gosh, I really had to hold it together. It was emotional overload for me."
Maliakel recalls that he and his brothers wore out their VHS cassette version of "Aladdin." He remembers having lunchboxes, pajamas and bed sheets with the film's theme. Aladdin was "every little brown kid's prince." Now he is that prince.
"Now, finally, to get to get paid to do it on the world's largest stage — it's not lost on me how crazy that is," he says. "The responsibility of my position right now feels really great. This moment sort of feels bigger than me in some ways, and I don't take that lightly. I think it's a really exciting time." (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Aladdin, Broadway, Musical, Indian Descendant cast,