Women & child related

Obesity in children
Over the past three decades the prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased substantially. Globally, an estimated 170 million children (aged < 18 years) are estimated to be overweight. The high prevalence of overweight and obesity has serious health consequences.

Childhood obesity – facts 

    • Increasing at an alarming rate
    • 22% prevalence (5- 19yr) in India  (source;
    • Obese children grow into obese adults
    • Health complications start at a higher BMI

What factors contribute to obesity?

  • Genetics
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Environment (Media, family, etc)

Health concern

Physical Health

Emotional Health

  • High BP & cholesterol
  • Social isolation
  • Diabetes
  • Poor self esteem
  • Bone and joint problem
  • Poor social skill
  • Respiratory problems
  • Stress anxiety
  • Sleep disorders
  • Depression
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Behavioral problem

Scientific reasons supporting development of obesity in children

  • Socio-economic deprivation. 11hrs/week TV/video watching.
  • Low participation in school sports
  • Few interests involving active play
  • 2hrs/day travelling by vehicles
  • Few siblings.

What should be done to prevent childhood obesity?

Comprehensive approach in diet pattern , physical activity, and behavioral changes both at home and school is very important in preventing childhood obesity.

  • Avoid eating in the absence of hunger.
  • Eating high calorie foods such as pizzas, fried foods, foods with lot of sugar and ghee, bakery foods, fried chicken and fish etc needs to be limited.
  • Watching T.V and snacking increases calorie intake so limit watching TV
  • Do not discourage or bully the child who is attempting for healthy eating pattern and learning for behavioral changes

Few tips to develop healthy food habits

  • Eat nutrient dense foods
  • Don’t eat empty calorie foods
  • Eat all the meals in time
  • Don’t skip any meal ,though your wt. is slightly high
  • At least eat 150gm of fruits
  • Avoid  canned fruits and vegetables.
  • 250gm vegetables in a  day
  • Don’t indulge in  the same food  group every day.
  • Select  nuts and dry fruits as your snacks
  • Aware of high calorie foods, check nutritional information on food labels.avoid too many bakery items.
  • Start  the day with healthy breakfast such as idli, dosa, parathas, egg omlette, kichidi, cornflakes withfruits&milk etc
  • Avoid  bakery items, fried foods,  pastries etc. for breakfast.
  • Your beverages should be milk, fresh fruit juices, tender coconut water  or plain water
  • Say no  to sodas, sugary corbonated juices , and other colouring juices
  • Select food from all the food groups. Your food choice should  have variety

Ways to promote physical activity

    • Do not withhold games as punishment
    • Do not discourage children when they are playing in sunlight
    • Have short physical activity breaks
    • Encourage dance, martial arts, yoga
    • Encourage walking/cycling if possible
    • Teach some lessons in open air (at schools if possible)

Conclusion :

Healthy eating & physical activity can make a difference with family & community support for children in the category of overweight and obesity.Visit your family doctors and check children’s height and weight periodically.

Importance of nutrition in pregnancy

At no other time in woman’s life is nutrition so important than before, during and after pregnancy. Nutrition during pregnancy has a significant impact on the health of the mother and the growth and development of the baby. It is now widely accepted that the risks of a number of chronic diseases in adulthood such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease may have their origins before birth.

1st Trimester

  • Fine tune your diet for
    getting all nutrients
  • Well balanced diet
    rich in whole grains,
    fruits, fish, lean poultry,
    legumes and low fat.
  • Dairy products
    Vital nutrients –
    protein, folic acid, iron,

2nd Trimester

  • Increase food intake gradually to
    meet increased needs
  • Focus on nutrient dense foods
  • Include foods rich in fiber
    Add plenty of nourishing fluids
  • Adequate intake of foods rich in
    iron, DHA, choline, fruits, vegetables
    specially green leafy vegetables
    Vital nutrients – All B vitamins and
    vitamin A, C, D, calcium, FOS, iron,

3rd Trimester

  • You need to eat more
    and drink more fluids
  • Vital nutrients –
    essential fatty acids,
    choline etc

Iron – a key nutrient

  • Increased formation of blood
  • Iron stores for baby
  • Iron deficiency can lead to
  • Increased risk of preterm delivery
  • Low birth weight
  • Poor maternal immune system
  • Lower pregnancy weight gain
  • Key food sources
  • Increase intake of iron rich foods (red meat,
    liver, jaggery,dry dates)
  • Include vitamin C rich foods like citrus fruits, amla,guava, tomatoes etc. for better absorption of iron
    Avoid tea or coffee after food

Brain Development

  • 70% of the baby’s brain growth occurs during pregnancy
    4 Key nutrients and their food sources DHA
    Crucial for brain and eye development
    Deep sea oily fishes, ,walnuts,flax seeds


  • Critical role in development of memory centre
    Milk, liver, eggs and peanuts


  • Prevents Neural Tube Defects
    Dark green leafy vegetables, fruits, eggs, and pulses


  • Improves brain development
    Seafood, iodised salt


  • The growing baby places a high demand onmothers’ stores of energy, protein and
    Key nutrients and their food sources


  • Supports baby’s growth
    Milk, Egg, Meat, Cheese, Soy, Pulses, Beans


  • Provide extra ene– Cereals(Rice, Roti), Butter


  • Critical for bone development
    Milk & milk products, green vegetables
    Fish oils, egg yolk and fortified milk,
    synthesized by body in sunlight

Myths & Facts

Myths Facts
Now that you are pregnant, you should be eatingfor two (or twice as much!). It is true that your nutrient needs increase, butenergy requirements only increase about 350 caloriesper day for the second and third trimester of pregnancy 
Gaining less weight during pregnancy willmake delivery easier Mothers who do not gain enough weightduring pregnancy place their babies at risk for different complications such as premature birth.
If you gain the right amount of weight duringpregnancy, none of it will be fat gain A healthy pregnancy includes fat storage.Your body uses this excess fat as energy during labour and breastfeeding
Pregnant women only crave the foods theirbodies need Pregnant women can crave foods of any type. Cravings should not be the sole indicator of nutritional needs

Article on Life style Diseases : Tips for Diabetics

There is nothing as such called “Diabetes diet”. The type of food recommended in diabetes aims at controlling high bold sugar levels. The food that is good for a diabetic is also good for non diabetic.That means every body in the family can eat the same healthy food at meal time. Slight modification is needed for diabetics.Some of the tips are given below, but each individual has to get the tailor made diet charts from dietician for good control of sugars.

Note :

Fruits are recommended in between meals .Its always better to consume whole fruit than fruit juices.



      • Follow meals at prescribed timings.
      • Eat plenty of vegetables, green leafy vegetables and salads.
      • Oil – ½ litre per person per month (i.e. 3 – 4 tsp per day).
      • Include  fruit everyday according to instructions.
      • Restrict sweets and direct sugars, bakery products
      • Restrict papads and pickles.
      • Restrict deep fried items.
      • After a meal wait for two hours before lying down or sleeping as this allows for digestion.
      • Regular exercise for 45 min per day.
      • Practice meditation /yoga to reduce stress.
      • Gofor regular reviews.
      • Use more of sprouts for protein source
      • Amla powder 2tsp /day
      • Flax seeds 2tspoon /day

Articles on general Nutrition

  • Nutrition for your eyes
    Balanced nutrition is very important for keeping your body healthy. Good nutrition helps our body to grow, repair wear and tear, protect against infection and to function properly. As part of an overall healthy diet, several key nutrients appear to be particularly important to preserving sight as we get older.
    Eating a balanced diet is important for maintaining eye health. Researchers have found that certain eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, dry eye syndrome or macular degeneration may be slowed or prevented altogether by certain vitamins and minerals,
    Relationship between nutrients and eye function
    “Vision depends on tiny capillaries that supply the retina and other parts of the eye with nutrients and oxygen,” says Monique Roy, MD, a professor at the New Jersey Medical School’s Institute of Ophthalmology and Visual Science. Keeping those arteries healthy is essential by the supply of proper nutrition in balance.
    Important nutrients that supports keeping eyes healthy.
  • Vitamin A & beta carotene
    Vitamin A is a key factor in eye health and in the health of the retina of the eye. Vitamin A deficiency can cause the condition xerophthalmia, which is a form of childhood blindness, according to the Royal National Institute of Blind People. Vitamin A can also reduce the risk of dry eye syndrome, according to All About Vision. This vitamin may also play a role in preventing the development of cataracts. Good food sources of this vitamin include beef liver, eggs and milk.
    According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology,beta-carotene(precursor of vit.A) protect eyes against night-blindness and dry eye syndrome. “It also helps the eyes to adjust to low levels of light at night,” explains Sarah Coulson, a registered dietitian with Pivot Sport Medicine and Orthopaedics in Toronto
    Dietary sources of this antioxidant include carrots, sweet potatoes, yam etc.
    Lutein and Zeaxanthin
    Two other nutrients — lutein and zeaxanthin — are also linked to lower risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. A Tufts University study of 1,802 women 50 to 79 years old found that those who consumed the most lutein and zeaxanthin in their diets were 23% less likely to develop cataracts than those who consumed the least. Rich sources of these two compounds include yellow pepper, spinach, turnip greens, lettuce, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.
    Omega-3 Fatty Acid
    The newest nutrient linked to better vision with age is omega-3 fatty acid, which is found predominantly in fish oil. In a study of 2,520 people, researchers at Johns Hopkins University reported that people who consumed fish high in omega-3s fatty acids often were significantly less likely to have advanced age-related macular degeneration. Omega-3s may also protect against cataracts, according to findings by researchers at the Clinical University of Navarra in Spain.
  • Selenium
    Selenium, in combination with antioxidants like vitamins A and C, may work to decrease the risk of macular degeneration, according to All About Vision. Shrimp, crab, Brazil nuts and brown rice are good sources of this mineral.
  • Vitamin C
    Vitamin C may slow down the progression of macular degeneration when taken in combination with other antioxidants. Vitamin C may also lower the risk of cataracts and may impact the development of glaucoma, according to All About Vision. Food sources of vitamin C include strawberries, lime,amla, guava, oranges , papaya, tomatoes and cantaloupe.
  • Vitamin E
    “What vitamin E does is protect the eyes from free-radical damage,” says Coulson, meaning that it protects cells in the body from oxidation, which can cause deterioration and disease. Vitamin E may also decrease the progression of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. wheat germ is good source of this vitamin.Almonds, sunflower seeds and hazelnuts are also good sources of vitamin E.
  • Zinc
    Zinc may help decrease the risk of night blindness and the development of macular degeneration. According to Lighthouse International, zinc may also slow down the progression of cataracts. Zinc helps release vitamin A from the liver so that it can be used in eye tissues, while a zinc deficiency can cause deterioration of the macula, at the centre of the retina.Zinc can be obtained from dark meat turkey, oysters and beef. From chickpeas and kidney beans, to mung,Beans and lentils,eating beans and other legumes is an easy way to add zinc to your diet.
  • What about supplements?
    While it may be tempting to add supplements to your diet to boost your eye health. when it comes to getting the right nutrients, whole foods are the way to go. At the end of the day, a diet that is rich in fruit, vegetables, low fat milk & its products, whole grains, fish and lean meats will benefit your body in all sorts of ways. Food provides nutrients in the right amounts taken in balanced amounts with even distribution. Take them just as nature made, because they are far more effective. If supplements are really in need take according to advice of your doctor because self prescription is dangerous as some of the nutrients in excess can lead to serious health issue.

Speak Your Mind