Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Water might be the new secret to weight loss
Water can be the potential secret weapon in the fight against the ever-burgeoning waistline, finds a study.
 
According to researchers, drinking water which contains no carbohydrates, fat or protein -- key factors for obesity -- may help avoid overeating and thus lead to a healthier weight.
 
"Staying hydrated is good for you no matter what, and our study suggests it may also be linked to maintaining a healthy weight," said lead author Tammy Chang, Assistant Professor at University of Michigan, in the US.
 
"Our findings suggest that hydration may deserve more attention when thinking about addressing obesity on a population level," Chang added.
 
The findings showed that people who are obese and have a higher body mass index (BMI) are more likely to be inadequately hydrated.
 
On the other, people with inadequately water content are also likely to be obese and have a higher BMI.
 
Staying hydrated by drinking water and eating more water-loaded fruits and vegetables can help with weight management, specially in obese individuals. 
 
However, "the link between hydration and weight is not clear. Our study further explains this relationship on a population level using an objective measure of hydration," Chang noted.
 
In addition, people with higher BMIs, who are expected to have higher water needs might also demonstrate behaviours that lead to inadequate hydration, the researchers said.
 
For the study, published in Annals of Family Medicine journal, the team looked at a nationally representative sample of 9,528 adults. Roughly a third of the adults, who spanned ages 18 to 64, were inadequately hydrated.
 
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.

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Users can now self-destruct conversations on Facebook Messenger
Social media giant Facebook is introducing a new secret conversation on its Messenger app that will help users self destruct their conversations after setting a timer to it.
 
Earlier this week, Facebook began offering an option to encrypt posts end to end -- a way to have secret conversations with other users -- to some 900 million Messenger users.
 
Now within a secret conversation, users can also choose to set a timer to control the length of time each message you send remains visible within the conversation. 
 
The service uses the Signal Protocol developed by Open Whisper Systems.
 
"Your messages and calls on Messenger already benefit from strong security systems -- Messenger uses secure communications channels," said Facebook in a blog post.
 
We've heard from you that there are times when you want additional safeguards -- perhaps when discussing private information like an illness or a health issue with trusted friends and family, or sending financial information to an accountant, the blog post read. 
 
To do this, Facebook is testing to create one-to-one secret conversations in Messenger that will be end-to-end encrypted and allows only the communicating users to read the messages. 
 
The upgrade will prohibit even Facebook from reading users' conversation.
 
Secret conversations are available on a limited test basis right now, but we will be making the option more widely available later, the blog post added. 
 
Secret conversations currently do not support rich content like GIFs and videos, making payments or other popular Messenger features.
 
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.

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How India's concretising cities are becoming heat islands
The monsoon has currently dissipated intense heat across India’s growing cities, but temperatures are rising and will continue to climb because of the way urban areas are expanding.
 
With trees, lakes and open spaces replaced by roads, expanses of concrete with closely spaced multi-storeyed buildings - often in violation of zoning and setback laws - Indian cities are turning into “heat islands”, according to an IndiaSpend review of scientific studies in five cities.
 
A clear trend is evident: The difference between the daytime maximum and nighttime minimum daily temperatures - the diurnal temperature range (DTR) - is steadily declining. This indicates that concretising cores of cities are retaining heat, even as temperatures rise in formerly cooler outskirts, as they, too, urbanise. A higher range of temperature indicates greater cooling.
 
* In Delhi, over a decade to 2011, the temperature range declined by more than 2 deg C, one of India’s strongest heat-island effects.
 
* In Chennai, the morning temperature at the city centre is between 3 to 4.5 deg C higher than its greener fringes.
 
* In Thiruvananthapuram, when a cool, evening breeze blows, the greener rural areas cool by 3.4 deg C, the city areas by half as much.
 
* In Guwahati, city areas are warmer by 2.13 deg C than the peripheries during the day and by 2.29 deg C at night.
 
* In Kochi, a canyon-like effect of buildings funnels heat into the city, creating a “heat island” that makes the centre 4.6 deg C warmer in winter and 3.7 deg C in winter.
 
Heat islands are created by a combination of design, construction material and environment. Closely built buildings form canyons that trap heat reflecting from their walls. Air-conditioning vents, especially in narrow alleys, further warm up buildings and nearby areas.
 
Trees, shrubs, grass and soil absorb heat and cool the land, but since these are increasingly absent in Indian urban design, and what existed is being cleared, what’s left is concrete and asphalt, which soak in and intensify the day’s heat, staying hot for many hours at night.
 
Things are set to worsen, as IndiaSpend reported in March 2016. Kolkata’s tree cover fell from 23.4% to 7.3% over 20 years, as the built-up area rose 190%. By 2030, vegetation will be 3.37% of Kolkata’s area. 
 
Ahmedabad’s tree cover fell from 46% to 24% over 20 years; the built-up area rose 132%. 
 
By 2030, vegetation will be 3% of Ahmedabad’s area. 
 
Bhopal’s tree cover fell from 66% to 22% over 22 years. By 2018, it will be 11% of the city’s area. Hyderabad’s tree cover fell from 2.71% to 1.66% over 20 years. By 2024, it will be 1.84% of the city’s area.
 
On an instinctive, tactile level, you can feel the effects of heat islands in cities dissipate and the temperature drop when you pass a rare, green expanse, such as Delhi’s Lodhi Gardens or Jawaharlal Nehru University and Bengaluru’s Indian Institute of Science.
 
Here are the details of what’s happening in five cities:
 
Delhi: Intense heat island
 
Population: 11 million. Area: 1,484 sq km.
 
As Delhi’s metropolitan population grew 20% between 2001 and 2011, the difference between its maximum and minimum temperatures flattened out, a 2015 paper reported. Wider temperature variations - meaning cooler areas - were evident in urban villages and open areas. Northwest and Southwest Delhi, areas of intense growth, registered the largest fall in temperature variation - between 2.5 to 4 deg C.
 
Chennai: Star of fire becomes warmer
 
Population: 4.68 million. Area: 426 sq km.
 
During the hottest period of the year in late May - called agni natchatiram (star of fire) - the temperature in the commercial complexes and densely populated residential expanses of central and north Chennai registered the most variations; the outskirts were cooler, a 2016 paper said. Compared with observations in 1991 and 2008, heat islands have grown more intense, with a 1.5 to 2 deg C variation with the peripheries in 1991 growing to 2.53 deg C by 2008. Wherever there was vegetation, a cooling effect was evident.
 
Guwahati: Heat islands make summers hotter
 
Population: 0.95 million. Area: 216 sq km.
 
The creation of heat islands in Guwahati indicates that India’s smaller cities, too, have areas of growing heat, as they concretise. A daytime heat-island effect left core city areas up to 2.12 deg C warmer than the outskirts and 2.29 deg C at night, according to a 2014 study, illustrating how heat once absorbed by roads and buildings intensifies. 
 
Kochi: Tall buildings act as heat funnels
 
Population: 0.61 million. Area: 95 sq km.
 
Thanks to tall buildings funnelling and focusing heat, the heat-island effect was stronger early morning than late evening, stronger in winter than summer, a 2014 paper said. Heat islands had the greatest impact in what was termed “compact mid-rise zones” close to the city centre, where average building heights range from nine to 24 m. The most intense cooling was apparent in open and sparsely built areas in all seasons. Pre-monsoon rains and overcast skies weakened Kochi’s heat-island effect.
 
Thiruvananthapuram: How the wind is blocked
 
Population: 1.96 million. Area: 215 sq km.
 
Like Kochi, Kerala’s capital reported a 2.4 deg C higher temperature at the city centre, with areas of densely arranged low-rise (one- to three-storey) and high-rise (three- to eight-storey) buildings the warmest, according to a 2014 paper. The maximum evening temperature drop of 3.4 deg C was reported in rural areas, a degree more than city areas. The city is cooled by a sea wind between 8 and 9 pm, but the wind was blocked in areas with dense buildings, keeping temperatures high.
 
Variations of these trends were manifest in other cities, and it was evident that traditional building material cooled homes better. In Vellore, Tamil Nadu, roofs of thatch had the best cooling effect, a 2015 paper reported.
 
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.

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