Air pollution is third-highest cause of death in India among all health risks: report
On an average, the life of a South Asian child born today will be shortened by 2 years and 6 months growing up in current high levels of air pollution, while the global life expectancy loss is 20 months. This when current exposure to outdoor and indoor Air pollution contributed to over 1.2 million deaths In India in 2017, according to a new global study, State of Global Air 2019 (SOGA2019), released on 03 April, 2019.
The report published by Health Effects Institute (HEI) said that worldwide, air pollution was responsible for more deaths than many better-known risk factors such as malnutrition, alcohol use, and physical inactivity.
In India, air pollution is the third-highest cause of death among all health risks, ranking just above smoking; each year, more people globally die from air pollution related disease than from road traffic injuries or malaria.
In China and India
The study found that China and India together were responsible for over half of the total global attributable deaths, with each country witnessing over 1.2 million deaths from all air pollution in 2017. China has made initial progress, beginning to achieve air-pollution decline.
Overall, long-term exposure to outdoor and indoor air pollution contributed to nearly 5 million deaths from stroke, diabetes, heart attack, lung cancer, and chronic lung disease in 2017.
Out of these, 3 million deaths are directly attributed to PM2.5, half of which are from India and China together. The South Asian region — Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan — led the world as the most polluted, with over 1.5 million air-pollution related deaths according to the report.
‘Steps taken in India’
“At the same time, India has initiated major steps to address pollution sources: the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana Household LPG program, accelerated Bharat Stage 6/VI clean vehicle standards, and the new National Clean Air Programme. These and future initiatives have the potential, if fully implemented as part of a sustained commitment to air quality, to result in significant health benefits in coming years,” said Robert O’Keefe, vice president, Health Effects Institute.
Meanwhile, for the first time, this year’s report and website include worldwide estimates of the effect of air pollution on life expectancy. Worldwide, air pollution reduced life expectancy by an average of 20 months in 2017, a global impact rivaling that of smoking; this means a child born today will die 20 months sooner, on average, than would be expected without air pollution.
The report also highlighted that nearly half of the world’s population — a total of 3.6 billion people — were exposed to household air pollution in 2017. Globally, there has been progress: the proportion of people cooking with solid fuels has declined as economies develop.
But in India, 60% of the population still uses solid fuels; in Bangladesh that number rises to 79%, underscoring the importance of achieving success in government initiatives to address the problem.
The State of Global Air 2019 annual report and accompanying interactive website are designed and implemented by the Health Effects Institute in cooperation with the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Texas, Austin.
Are you in the habit of Skipping breakfast? Beware, your are more likely to gain weight and have a larger waist size, a study has found. The findings showed that 26.7 per cent of people who skipped breakfast were obese, compared with 10.9 per cent of those who ate it frequently, the Xinhua reported.
“Infrequent breakfast consumption is associated with indices of central obesity and weight gain, with these associations being more evident in individuals who never eat breakfast,” said researchers lead by Kevin Smith from Mayo Clinic in the US.
Besides, those who never ate breakfast self-reported the greatest weight gain over the past year.
For the study, the team traced the breakfast habits of 347 people from 2005 to 2017. The participants, aged from 18 to 87, were measured for their height, weight, waist and hip circumference.
The findings showed that 26.7 per cent of people who skipped breakfast were obese, compared with 10.9 per cent of those who ate it frequently, the Xinhua reported. “Infrequent breakfast consumption is associated with indices of central obesity and weight gain, with these associations being more evident in individuals who never eat breakfast,” said researchers lead by Kevin Smith from Mayo Clinic in the US.
The study also found that those who missed their breakfast had an average waist of 97.5 cm, 9.8 cm larger than those who had it five to seven times a week, even when age, gender and body mass were considered.
“Our findings on healthy adults are consistent with prior observations in the young, corroborating the concept that regular consumption of this meal is an important and independent contributor of healthy weight at all ages,” it added.
Qualcomm to invest $8.5 million in India to support PM Narendra Modi’s vision of digitisation
Technology major Qualcomm has announced that it will invest $8.5 million in India, with an aim to expand its digital design initiatives in the country. The Design in India challenge was announced back two years ago in 2015 and had around 400 participating members. Today, at an event, three startups among the top 10 participants who were shortlisted, won a prize money of $100,000 each. The event was also attended by Union minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad and NASSCOM President R. Chandrashekhar.
The startups which won the prizes were iFuture Robotics, Uncanny Vision and Carnot Technologies. During the event, John Han, senior vice president and GM, Qualcomm technology Licensing said that the company is very passionate about innovation and it is evident in the fact that it invests a lot of money in risky research and development projects. He added that Qualcomm is committed to supporting PM Narendra Modi to help the Indian ecosystem become a digitally empowered society.
At the event, Ravi Shankar Prasad said that Indians are now more desirous of technology than ever before. He said that India is ready for innovations in digital designs. He asked the young entrepreneurs to work more towards India-focused research including rural health and education. He also talked about how Adhaar card’s technological prowess is now admired globally. Prasad also insisted on the need of more human resource in the area of research and talked about how the government is trying to create an ecosystem suitable for startups. He also asked Qualcomm to make a chip which is integral to the Aadhaar itself.
Among the prize winners, iFuture Robotics is a startup which makes industrial automation robots which read environment data to move and deliver objects in warehouses which reduce labour cost as well as human injuries from heavy machinery. Uncanny Vision demonstrated an intelligent surveillance camera which can solve many security problems in places like ATMs.
The camera uses machine learning to detect human actions for face and movement. Meanwhile, Carnot technologies is a telematics startup for low-cost bikes. The machine that they presented could connect a bike to a user’s smartphone which can be useful for the safety of the vehicle even during emergency situations.
In the next initiative, Qualcomm with its Design in India Challenge II will be supporting companies in fields like Rural technology, payment methods, agricultural technology, health, biometric and more. The company will also enable mobiles and Internet of Things vendors from India by giving them better Camera, RF and Audio design technology. The company said that it will launch a new Innovation lab in Hyderabad and expand its existing one in Bangalore.
The benefits of eating garlic and honey in food and different combinations has long been documented in a variety of ways and their health-promoting properties detailed almost endlessly. But what is the best way to eat garlic and honey as part of your usual daily diet and what happens when you do?
The garlic lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, prevents heart disease as well as it is a remedy for the common cold, flu, diarrhoea, insect bites and others.
But is it true?
Louis Pasteur confirmed the anti-bacterial properties of garlic in 1858. By 1500bc the Egyptians had identified no less than 22 different positive benefits of using garlic. Individual experience will prove hugely variable when it comes to bearing out the truth of claims regarding the healing and health properties of garlic; some will claim it is a ‘cure all’ others will say it makes no difference. But there is a wealth of research and cummulative experience that bears out the super-health properties of garlic.
Garlic and honey magic
The Maxdiaries’s article promotes the use of garlic raw and goes on to suggest that using it in combination withhoney has hugely beneficial effects upon health. The idea behind using it raw is that the heat used in cooking it affects and reduces the positive effects of allicin, a sulfur compound that is the active ingredient in garlic.
Crushing or chewing garlic produces allicin and this in turn produces other sulfur compounds such as ajoene, which is associated with anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal benefits, and allyl sulfides which are considered important in reducing the risks of certain diseases. It is also full of vitamin C.
Using garlic raw after crushing it increases the bioavailability of that all important allicin.
The proof is in the using
The maxdiaries article promotes using garlic before eating or drinking anything as a full stomach will not absorb all of the valuable nutrients available, so get the garlic in first!
It is also recommended that garlic is used with honey. The internet is buzzing with descriptions of how garlic infused with honey has been proven to be a tasty way of getting healthy doses of both to boost the immune system, which can’t be a bad thing. The World Health Organization recommends the use of honey for coughsin developing countries; it possesses anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties.
Combining garlic and honey could be a great way to combine two wonderful health-promoting natural foodstuffs. A huge benefit of using garlic with honey is that the honey will help to reduce the odorous effects of eating raw garlic.
Try it and see! It could be that daily use of garlic and honey will have a beneficial effect upon your health and theMaxdiaries’s article promotes using it before you take any other food. So it could be that eating garlic and honey on an empty stomach for a week might have a very positive effect upon your health. Look around the internet and study the various sites and comments offering advice about the use of garlic and honey. Make sure you look into possible side effects and downsides and be careful to monitor how your body is reacting to your change in diet.
Vegetable fat not the route to a healthy heart, study finds
Replacing animal fat in the human diet with vegetable oil seems not to lower heart disease risk, and might even boost it, according to a study published Wednesday that challenges a cornerstone of dietary advice.
Switching from saturated to unsaturated Omega-6 fats did result in lower blood cholesterol in a trial with nearly 10,000 participants, it said, but not the expected reduction in heart disease deaths.
In fact, those with a greater reduction in cholesterol “had a higher rather than a lower risk of death,” according to the research published by the medical journal BMJ.
For 50-odd years, animal fat in meat, butter, cheese and cream has been the bad boy of the diet world — blamed for boosting artery-clogging cholesterol linked to heart disease and stroke.
In 1961, the American Hearth Association recommended vegetable oils replace saturated fats — a position it still holds even as some research has started to challenge that hypothesis.
The World Health Organization also advises that saturated fats should comprise less than 10 percent of total energy intake.
For decades now, the world has viewed full-fat milk and bacon with suspicion and replaced pork with chicken, and butter with plant-based margarines and cooking oils.
But in the past few years, researchers have started poking holes in the “fat is bad” hypothesis.
The new study, led by Christopher Ramsden at the National Institutes of Health, re-analysed data from a randomised controlled trial conducted 45 years ago with 9,423 residents of state mental hospitals and nursing home in Minnesota.
This is a type of experiment — generally considered highly reliable — in which people are randomly divided into groups to receive, or not, the treatment being studied.
– ‘Less certain than we thought’ –
Part of the Minnesota group had their intake of saturated fat replaced with corn oil, while the rest ate a diet high in animal fat.
“As expected, the diet enriched with linoleic acid (a fatty acid found in plant oils) lowered cholesterol levels,” said a statement by The BMJ.
But “this did not translate to improved survival. In fact, participants who had greater reduction in blood cholesterol had higher, rather than lower, risk of death.”
The team also looked at other randomised controlled trials, and found no evidence anywhere to support the hypothesis that vegetable oils curb heart disease.
“The benefits of choosing polyunsaturated fat over saturated fat seem a little less certain than we thought,” Lennert Veerman, a lecturer at the University of Queensland School of Public Health commented on the study.
Further research is needed, he added, to determine whether all Omega-6 type fats provide similar results.
“While we wait for further clarification, we should continue to eat more fish, fruits, vegetables and whole grains,” Veerman wrote.
In January, updated US dietary guidelines reiterated that saturated fats should make up less than 10 percent of a day’s food intake — a recommendation that now “will be under increased scrutiny”, according to Veerman.
“If blood cholesterol values are not a reliable indicator of risk of cardiovascular disease, then a careful review of the evidence that underpins dietary recommendations is warranted,” he wrote in The BMJ.
Other experts stressed there was an established link between high cholesterol and the risk of heart attack or stroke.
“More research and longer studies are needed to assesses whether or not eating less saturated fat can reduce your risk of cardiovascular death,” said Jeremy Pearson of the British Heart Foundation.
In a decision that would impact the future of lakhs of medical aspirants, the Supreme Court on Monday recalled its 2013 order that had quashed the single entrance test for admission to all private and Government medical colleges in the country. Now, the Medical Council of India (MCI) is expected to write to the Central Government and various stakeholders to conduct common entrance test from this year itself.
The decision has come at a time when the Centre is preparing to hold the common medical/dental entrance examination for admission to MBBS/BDS courses in Government colleges. The court order has paved way for the Centre to explore the possibility of conducting the single test, popularly known as the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), for all medical colleges from the current academic session.
On July 18, 2013, a three-judge Bench by a 2:1 majority scrapped the NEET on a petition by private medical colleges led by Christian Medical College, Vellore. The decision triggered major controversy after the dissenting judge remarked that the judgment was passed in a hurry without discussion as the then CJI was due to retire. Further, an article had appeared on the day of the decision which predicted the order giving rise to speculation that the judgment was leaked prior to its pronouncement. The MCI sought review of the order on the ground that the decision failed to take note of past decisions passed by the apex court on the subject.
A five-judge Constitution Bench comprising Justices AR Dave, AK Sikri, RK Agarwal, Adarsh K Goel, and R Banumathi, while setting aside the majority decision of the three-judge Bench, said, “The majority view has not taken into consideration some binding precedents and more particularly we find that there was no discussion among the members of the Bench before pronouncement of the judgment.” Incidentally, Justice Dave, who had dissented with the majority view in the 2013 order, was part of the five-judge Bench.
The Centre had kept in mind the interest of students while announcing NEET as they were required to take several entrance tests across the country conducted separately by private medical colleges, association of private medical colleges, State colleges, besides the common entrance test (CET) of CBSE.
The court refused to give elaborate reasons for the earlier decision passed by a Bench of then Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir and Justice (Retd) Vikramajit Sen. Dealing with MCI’s review petition, the five-judge Bench said, “After giving our thoughtful and due consideration, we are of the view that the judgment delivered in CMC case needs reconsideration. We do not propose to state reasons in detail at this stage so as to see that it may not prejudicially affect the hearing of the matters.”
When you’re trying to shed a few pounds, the inventory in your pantry (and the weight loss tools and gadgets) will be the deciding factor to whether or not you’ll succeed. While fresh fruits and vegetables too often come and wilt before the week is up, there are healthy items that you can stash away without having to think twice about.
So, forget pastas and processed sauces—keep these diet-friendly picks stocked at all times and you’ll have no option but to craft healthy, slimming meals come dinnertime. For more ideas on how to whip up healthier, happier meals at home 15 Homemade Swaps for the Worst Ultra-Processed Foods.
There are so many ways to add flavor to meals without using salt, sugar or calorie dense fix-ins. “Seasonings such as cinnamon have great nutrient properties and flavor without added calories. If you’re trying to cut back on your weight you might want to try adding cinnamon to your coffee in the morning instead of sweetener,” says Jessica Crandall, a Denver-based RD, Certified Diabetes Educator, and National Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Bonus: Cinnamon is one of 12 D.I.Y. Flavors to Boost Your Coffee at Home!
2. Cayenne Pepper
The healthiest way to pump up the taste of your meal is by reaching for herbs and spices like cayenne pepper. Not only is cayenne calorie free, but according to a study published in Physiology&Behavior, consuming cayenne pepper—especially if you haven’t been doing so regularly—can help curb appetite and encourage your body to burn more calories overall.
International Convention on World Homeopathy Day inaugurated
Prevention of various epidemic diseases through homeopathy is huge, says Shri Shripad Yesso Naik
Shri Shripad Yesso Naik, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH inaugurated the International Convention on World Homoeopathy Day here today. While inaugurating a Homoeopathic International Convention, Shri Naik, greeted the people of India on the occasion of World Homeopathic Day.
Shri Naik, in his inaugural address, expressed regret over the fact that the potential of Homoeopathy remains largely unexplored and, therefore, underutilized in public health. This, despite the fact that Homoeopathy is practised in more than 80 countries of the world and is known to be effective in various communicable and non-communicable diseases, chronic diseases and diseases of children and mothers, he added. He said that, during pregnancy, when expecting mothers are usually advised not to take much medication, Homoeopathy is a safe alternative. The scope of prevention of various epidemic diseases through Homoeopathy is also huge, but not yet tapped, he added.
Shri Naik said that Homoeopathy, in India, has been well institutionalized. We have 212 Homoeopathic hospitals and more than 8000 Homoeopathic dispensaries. He said there are almost 3 hundred thousand Homoeopathy practitioners in India. There are 195 undergraduate and about 40 post-graduation medical colleges and the National Institute of Homoeopathy is a model institute for education and medical care through Homoeopathy, he added. He also said that there are more than 400 licensed pharmacies, most of whom are GMP compliant.
The Minister said that India had an extensive meetings and deliberations on AYUSH with a number of countries at the International level. The country recently hosted a delegation from the United States of America to discuss the modalities of integrating AYUSH systems in cancer care.
Shri Naik said that AYUSH information cells have been set up at the Indian embassies and consulates in Beijing, Stockholm, Latvia, Dubai and Croatia. He said that India is in the process of forming a chair of Homoeopathy at Yerevan State Medical University, Armenia. The AYUSH Chairs are established in the foreign universities, in consultation with Indian Missions to promote academic and collaborative research activities on AYUSH Systems abroad, he added.
The Minister said that India has been a major contributor in Homoeopathy research in the last few decade and the work of Indian homoeopathy researchers is often cited by many international researchers. Not only that, India is also following the contemporary research designs and methodology for conducting reliable, reproducible researches, he added.
Shri Naik said that India have signed Memoranda of Understanding with Sri Lanka, Mexico, Cuba, Nepal, Mauritius and Mongolia. A MoU on cooperation in research and education has been signed between the Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) and Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine, he added.
The Minister, Shri Shripad Yesso Naik also released a commorative stamp and a souvenir on this occasion.
The Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH Shri Ajit M. Sharan informed the gathering that the Government of India is putting in all efforts to develop centers of excellence in Homoeopathy. North Eastern Institute of Ayurveda and Homoeopathy is being given impetus and work on All India Institute of Homoeopathy has been initiated, he added. He also said that the centers of excellence so formed would be models for education, research and patient care in specific fields. Shri Sharan highlighted the importance of research for scientific advancement of Homoeopathy.
The International Convention on World Homoeopathy Day is being organised by CCRH, an autonomous research organization of Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India and an international organisation Liga Medicorum Homeopathica Internationalis (LMHI). Scientists and homoeopathy doctors from 23 countries including Brazil, Russia, South Africa, Italy, Netherlands, U.K., Austria, Armenia, Canada, Israel, Australia, Bangladesh, Japan, France, UAE, Cuba, Nepal, Turkey, Argentina, Slovenia, Pakistan, Ghana and Kenya are participating in this convention.
The event is being organized to commemorate the 261st birth anniversary of the founder of Homoeopathy Dr. Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician, who was a great scholar, linguist and acclaimed scientist. The theme of the convention is ‘Integrating Homoeopathy in Healthcare’.
The convention will deliberate upon various significant issues in Homoeopathy. It includes special sessions on ‘Homoeopathy on Cancer’, ‘Homoeopathy on Mental Health’, ‘Homoeopathy on Epidemics’, ‘Homoeopathy on Public Health, Clinical Research studies, Drug Validation and Drug Development’ among others.
Among the invited guests are Mohd. Nasim, Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of Bangladesh, Mr. Mushtaq Alam, Minister of State for Health, Govt. of Nepal, Mrs. Fozia Manzoor, Counsellor of High Commission, Pakistan and Mr. Anura Jayawickrama, Health Secretary, Sri Lanka.
Sharp increase in number of diabetics, underweight in India, says report
If the number of obese men and women is increasing in India, it ranks number one in the case of underweight adults.
Between 1980 and 2014 the number of adults with diabetes in the world increased four-fold from 108 million to 422 million. The increase has particularly been sharp in low and middle-income countries. In 2014, 50 per cent of adults with diabetes lived in five countries — China, India, the U.S. Brazil and Indonesia, notes a paper published today (April 6) in The Lancet. The paper is based on data from 751 studies totalling 4.4 million adults from 200 countries.
The prevalence of diabetes in adults (after adjusting for age) more than doubled for men in India and China (3.7 to 9.1 per cent in India; 3.5 to 9.9 per cent in China) but increased by 80 per cent among women in India (4.6 to 8.3 per cent) but only 50 per cent in women in China (5 to 7.6 per cent).
The absolute number of adults with diabetes in India increased from 11.9 million in 1980 to 64.5 million in 2014. In the case of China, the increase was from 20.4 million in 1980 to 102.9 million in 2014. While India contributed 15.3 per cent of global share of adults with diabetes in 2014, it was 24.4 per cent in the case of China.
In the case of the U.S., the absolute increase in the number of diabetics was from 8.1 million in 1980 to 22.4 million in 2014. However, global share of adults with diabetes in the case of the U.S. reduced from 7.5 per cent in 1980 to 5.3 per cent in 2014. China, India and the U.S. have maintained their number one, two and three positions in 1980 and 2014.
Indonesia and Pakistan moved up in the world ranking from 12th and 13th position in 1980 (with 2.1 million and 1.7 million diabetics respectively) to fifth and sixth position in 2014 (with 11.7 and 11 million diabetics respectively).
In the case of Western Europe, though there has been an increase in overall rates of diabetes in many countries between 1980 and 2014, the increase has largely been due to ageing population.
There is a very slim chance of meeting the UN global target of halting the rise in diabetes and obesity (against the 2010 baseline) by 2025 if current trends in the rates of diabetes, which are rising quickly in China, India, and many other low- and middle-income countries, continues.
India faces a double whammy with increasing prevalence of obesity and underweight population. According to an April 2, 2016 paper in The Lancet, ranked 19th in the world in 1975, India had only 0.4 million obese men and 0.8 million obese women. But in 2014, the number shot up to 9.8 million obese men and 20 million obese women; Indian men and women occupied the 5th and 3rd rank respectively in the world in 2014.
With 0.1 million, Indian women were ranked 35th in the severely obese category in 1975 but shot up to 8th position in 2014 with 3.7 million severely obese women.
If the number of obese men and women is increasing in India, it ranks number one in the case of underweight adults. According to The Lancet, the number of underweight men in India increased from 61.4 million in 1975 to 101.8 million in 2014. The number of underweight women in India increased from 58.3 million in 1975 to 100.5 million in 2014.
As a result of the huge number of underweight men and women in the country, India’s percentage contribution to global underweight was also very high. India contributed to nearly 38 per cent of global underweight men in 1975 and 46.2 per cent in 2014. In the case of women, India contributed to nearly 33.4 per cent of global underweight women in 1975 and 41.6 per cent in 2014.