Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Pulse Beat
Weight of the Nation
 
Anew film, produced in association with the Institute of Medicine in Washington DC, gives sensible tips about avoiding and preventing obesity which is becoming an epidemic even in our country. In the US, one-third of the population is already obese and the number is growing. Since American junk food is invading India in a big way, this film makes sense. ‘Catch them young’ is the slogan. We must act in childhood to prevent childhood obesity. 
 
Some recommendations in the film are very sensible. All school children must have at least 60 minutes of lessons in physical activity daily. The school lunch should have no junk food and no sugary and preserved food with plenty of salt in it. Sugary drinks should not be sold to children. The same advice holds good for adults.
 
We, in India, will do well to initiate these measures in our schools. India vegetarian food is good for school lunch as well.
 
Cancer Cells To Kill Cancer?
 
The discovery of a rare human antibody has pointed to a way of getting leukaemia cells to kill each other, according to research findings published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in the US recently.
 
Researchers have stumbled upon a way to make leukaemia cells kill each other. The cells could be converted into NK (natural killer) cells, the most powerful killer cells in the human immune system. NK cells are a type of lymphocyte (a white blood cell) and a component of the innate immune system. Now, they have been able to convert some acute myeloid leukaemia cells into NK killer cells. Researchers think that this might be a safer method of cancer treatment. Let us wait and see. Early results appear encouraging.
 
Daytime Nap Might Improve Memory
 
University of Geneva in Switzerland researchers have studied daytime nap among 31 men and made a surprising observation: Men who had a daytime nap were found to have a better functioning of hippocampus major that deals with memory. This study needs to be replicated to see if this is a real or an accidental finding.
 
Alcohol Dangerous in Pregnancy
 
The recent study has shown that consumption of alcohol, in even small doses, during pregnancy could be dangerous to the baby. Many birth defects and abnormalities are related to alcohol ingestion during pregnancy. The American Academy of Paediatrics says that no alcohol is acceptable in pregnancy.
 
Sickness-care Industry Booming
 
Economics of the West shows that one industry that is doing very well is the sickness-care industry. The debt load on the US is about a trillion dollars annually only because of sickness care. They cannot sustain it for long. However, Big Pharma is the biggest beneficiary and they are very happy. 28%of American household expenditure goes towards medical insurance costs. Yet, US has the biggest disease load, among the industrialised nations.
 
America has a surplus of doctors also. It is an irony that America, among Western countries, is the worst as far as human health indices go. This is a warning for India which is aping the American way of life. Prevention is better than cure

User

How Russia Hid Its Doping in Plain Sight

A World Anti-Doping Agency report alleges widespread, widely accepted doping in track and field

 

On Monday, the World Anti-Doping Agency issued a report painting Russia's sports programs as doping machines reminiscent of East Germany's erstwhile state-sponsored drug programs.

 

This year we've written about the use of prescription drugs to enhance performance and why it's so hard to catch dopers. But in Russia, there appeared to be no need for ever-more advanced maneuvering to evade positive tests. In Russia, athletes simply needed cash anda culture that rewarded a no-holds-barred drive for champions.

 

WADA's independent commission report recommended that Russian track and field athletes be banned from the 2016 Summer Olympics, and suggested lifetime sports bans for five coaches and five track and field athletes 2014 among them the gold and bronze medalists from the women's 800 meters at the 2012 Olympics. The report contained a litany of cloak-and-dagger offenses that transcend typical doping violations. Among them:

 

  • Russian secret service agents infiltrated and spied on Moscow's WADA-accredited laboratory during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
  •  
  • A secret, second laboratory in Moscow pre-screened drug testing samples before choosing which to send on to the WADA-accredited lab for official testing.
  •  
  • Grigory Rodchenko, head of the WADA-accredited anti-doping lab in Moscow, was involved in the intentional destruction of 1,417 samples before WADA's independent commission could have them retested. The samples were likely from a range of sports, but are now lost forever.
  •  
  • Rodchenko, the report said, was also involved in extorting Russian athletes in order to cover up their positive drug tests.
  •  
  • Athletes regularly bribed doping control officers.
  •  
  • The "Russian State" directly interfered with operations at the anti-doping lab in Moscow and intimidated people who worked there, compromising the lab's independence.
  •  
  • The Russian Anti-Doping Agency failed to follow up on athletes whose samples showed abnormal blood profiles.
  •  
  • Russian secret service agents at times interfered with drug testing samples.
  •  
  • Athletes who were under active sanctions for doping where sometimes allowed to compete.

Thus far, Russian officials have claimed that the report is unfair and politically motivated. The country is set to host the World Cup in 2018.

 

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

User

Chinese lights spell darkness for traditional potters this Diwali
For generations, Indian homes were lit up by diyas, or traditional earthen lamps, during Diwali. Potters now complain that customers prefer cheaper Chinese electrical lighting or more pricey products in shopping malls, jeopardizing their livelihoods.
 
Until a few years ago, hundreds of potters and their families would be overworked in the run up to Diwali, churning out tens of thousands of small and big clay lamps that would brighten innumerable homes and businesses.
 
The diya business has now sharply declined.
 
"There is a huge fall in the sale of diyas. For what is supposed to be a festival of lights, our life has entered a dark phase," Harkishan, the head of Kumhar Gram, Delhi's largest colony for potters, told IANS.
 
"Diwali has lost its traditional charm as Chinese products have taken over the Indian markets.
 
"People are more interested in decorating their homes with Chinese lights or jelly candles rather than with the traditional diyas," he said.
 
Harkishan, 60, who won the National Award for Terracotta art in 1990, is not the only one despairing.
 
Harkishan, who arrived in Kumhar Gram in 1971 from Haryana, said the latest products in markets had jolted their business. "Every year there is at least a 30 percent fall in sales.
 
"Chinese products are choking our business," he said, adding that today's young ones may simply turn their back on diyas and other earthen products.
 
Krishna, 30, another potter, agreed.
 
"Earlier we did not even get time to rest during Diwali. But now we do not even sell half the products we prepare. Diwali is no more a busy time," added Krishna, who learnt the craft from her family elders.
 
"Now people head to malls and supermarkets. They are no more interested in buying earthen lamps and more from potters," Krishna told IANS.
 
"Worse is they don't mind spending more on other products. We hardly get a customer or two now. How can we survive?"
 
Others in the potters' hub said that often prepared products -- including diyas -- remain unsold. This never used to happen until about five years ago.
 
There was a time when Indian families went only for simple earthen lamps. Now the demand is mainly for decorated and fancy lamps.
 
No wonder many potters are slowly moving away from their traditional business in search of greener pastures.
 
"Only years ago our shops used to be crowded during Diwali. Now we wait and wait for buyers," complained a woman who has been selling clay products in Malviya Nagar in south Delhi for the past 30 years.
 
Different types of clay are used to prepare diyas. Much of it comes from Haryana, Harkishan explained, adding that even the quality of clay was not as good as it used to be earlier.
 
Potters are angry that successive governments have not done much to protect the traditional business of pottery.
 
"Earlier soil (clay), used to prepare diyas, was easily available in Delhi itself," another potter said. "Now we have to bring it from states such as Haryana and Rajasthan.
 
"We face several problems while transporting the clay. Shouldn't the government be taking care of such simple issues?"
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

User

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)