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