Suboptimal diet causes more deaths than any other risk factor in the world.

According to the global burden of diseases study tracking the consumption of major foods and nutrients from 1990 to 2017 in 195 countries, published in The Lancet, people could benefit from eating adequate amounts of various foods and nutrients. Poor diets have been linked to a wide range of chronic diseases and 1 in every 5 deaths attributed to poor diet. (more…)

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SUGAR RUSH OR SUGAR CRASH?

Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

Before you grab that “sugar boost” because you feel spent, you may want to consider taking a walk to refill your water bottle or simply stretch. According to a new study by the University of Warwick, Humboldt University of Berlin, and Lancaster University, sugar does not help to improve mood or make you more alert. Instead, it can actually make you feel more tired and less alert after consumption. (more…)

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Let’s eliminate transfats in food

Last year in May, World Health Organization released REPLACE, a step by step guide aimed at eliminating industry trans-fatty acids from the global food supply by 2023. Trans-fats are artificially created fats where hydrogen is added to liquid vegetable oil to make it solid like shortening and margarine. They became popular in the food industry because they were inexpensive, gave food a longer shelf-life and mad it tastier. They have therefore been used largely to make deep-fried fast foods, baked goods, crackers, chips, and in some coffee creamers. (more…)

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Prevention better than reaction in Turkana

A man affected by the hunger in Turkana. (Photo: courtesy)

In the news the last couple of days, the tag of war between politicians and residents of Turkana has been apparent, with the latter reporting deaths from hunger while the former say that the deaths have not been directly linked to hunger. I take this to mean they did not drop dead because they haven’t had something to eat. But while this is very much possible, it is also possible that their lack of food did result in diseases that caused their death. In which case the death would be an indirect consequence of hunger. (more…)

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Healthy diet vital in managing arthritis

<a style="background-color:black;color:white;text-decoration:none;padding:4px 6px;font-family:-apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, "San Francisco", "Helvetica Neue", Helvetica, Ubuntu, Roboto, Noto, "Segoe UI", Arial, sans-serif;font-size:12px;font-weight:bold;line-height:1.2;display:inline-block;border-radius:3px" href="https://unsplash.com/@organicdesignco?utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=photographer-credit&utm_content=creditBadge" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" title="Download free do whatever you want high-resolution photos from Megan Hodges"><span style="display:inline-block;padding:2px 3px"><svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" style="height:12px;width:auto;position:relative;vertical-align:middle;top:-2px;fill:white" viewBox="0 0 32 32"><title>unsplash-logo</title><path d="M10 9V0h12v9H10zm12 5h10v18H0V14h10v9h12v-9z"></path></svg></span><span style="display:inline-block;padding:2px 3px">Megan Hodges</span></a>According to a study published by the University of Rochester Medical Center last year, junk food aggravates joint pain and arthritis. From the study, gut microbiome appear to be responsible for the inflammation that causes joint pain due to wear and tear of joints of obese individuals. Now arthritis is the inflammation of joints. The two most common types are; osteoarthritis which is degenerative and results from the wearing out of the protective cartilage of the bones, and rheumatoid arthritis which is an autoimmune disease- the immune system mistakenly attacks joints. (more…)

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RESTAURANTS PLEDGING HEALTH ARE NOT NECESSARILY GIVING HEALTH

<a style="background-color:black;color:white;text-decoration:none;padding:4px 6px;font-family:-apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, "San Francisco", "Helvetica Neue", Helvetica, Ubuntu, Roboto, Noto, "Segoe UI", Arial, sans-serif;font-size:12px;font-weight:bold;line-height:1.2;display:inline-block;border-radius:3px" href="https://unsplash.com/@robinstickel?utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=photographer-credit&utm_content=creditBadge" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" title="Download free do whatever you want high-resolution photos from Robin Stickel"><span style="display:inline-block;padding:2px 3px"><svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" style="height:12px;width:auto;position:relative;vertical-align:middle;top:-2px;fill:white" viewBox="0 0 32 32"><title>unsplash-logo</title><path d="M10 9V0h12v9H10zm12 5h10v18H0V14h10v9h12v-9z"></path></svg></span><span style="display:inline-block;padding:2px 3px">Robin Stickel</span></a>

The Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut has in a recent study -done in the US- found that 74% of children who eat at the largest restaurant chains- McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and Subway- still get unhealthy drinks and/or side items even though the restaurants have made a commitment to offer a healthy food menu for children. (more…)

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FOOD ADDICTION IS A HABIT YOU CAN BEAT

A habit is a behaviour or what we do without putting in much mental effort. When we do something repeatedly, a pathway is created in the brain. This pathway becomes the default for that activity, and we simply operate in “autopilot” mode.  Psychology postulates that habits can pretty much become addictions, and can be used to explain the human struggle with food and consequently weight. (more…)

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MOTHERS LIFESTYLE LINKED TO OBESITY IN CHILDREN

<a style="background-color:black;color:white;text-decoration:none;padding:4px 6px;font-family:-apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, "San Francisco", "Helvetica Neue", Helvetica, Ubuntu, Roboto, Noto, "Segoe UI", Arial, sans-serif;font-size:12px;font-weight:bold;line-height:1.2;display:inline-block;border-radius:3px" href="https://unsplash.com/@simonrae?utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=photographer-credit&utm_content=creditBadge" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" title="Download free do whatever you want high-resolution photos from Simon Rae"><span style="display:inline-block;padding:2px 3px"><svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" style="height:12px;width:auto;position:relative;vertical-align:middle;top:-2px;fill:white" viewBox="0 0 32 32"><title>unsplash-logo</title><path d="M10 9V0h12v9H10zm12 5h10v18H0V14h10v9h12v-9z"></path></svg></span><span style="display:inline-block;padding:2px 3px">Simon Rae</span></a>

A study by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health USA, found that children and adolescents whose mother’s follow some selected healthy habits: exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, keeping a healthy body weight, not smoking and drinking alcohol in moderation, were 75 percent less likely to become obese compared to children whose mothers did not follow any such habit. (more…)

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The diet that will save the world

About 50 years ago, the global health situation was characterized by high mortality from infectious diseases, hunger, infant and maternal mortality and poverty. Today, the life expectancy has increased, population grown and the general health situation improved. While improved food production has contributed to these milestones, we risk not enjoying the benefits for much longer due to the global shifts towards unhealthy diets. More people across the globe are eating processed, refined carbs and animal based products, diets high in calories, sugar, and low in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, and fish. We now have a double burden of malnutrition; both over nutrition and undernutrition occurring in the same household. (more…)

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Prevent maternal obesity preconception

Research has shown that obesity among women before conception increases the risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), affects their health during pregnancy, their birth outcome, and the transmission of obesity and related NCDs to their children. Weight management during pregnancy however hasn’t yet been shown to be successful in improving pregnancy outcomes, and the health of the offspring.  Some studies have actually suggested that dietary and lifestyle interventions during pregnancy whether alone or in combination with drugs, is not enough to have meaningful impact on the pregnancy, its outcomes, or to reduce gestational diabetes. (more…)

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Car ban in Nairobi

Commuters walking to town. (Photo: courtesy)

I watched the craziness that became of the roads last week when matatus were banned from the city. Wah!! Then the governor drops the line “we want to keep our citizens fit” and I thought are these guys making fun of real problems that actually need to be addressed? But let’s agree that it was indeed a pilot. What do we learn? (more…)

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Retirement need not be the end of usefulness

Sometime this year I visited Singapore. I took taxi twice and both times, the drivers were men of advanced aged- already retired from their usual jobs. Let me add that they were driving some really nice cars. In Malaysia as a younger cab driver would tell me, he had his friend’s dad who had also retired and was also doing the taxi business with his luxury car. These are senior citizens who have found an opportunity to continue having an income, while enjoying their independence. But these are among the lucky ones who have had pensionable jobs or businesses that they can continue to be part of. (more…)

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Wait. Did you read the health warning on the cigarette pack?

 

Globally, 7.1 Million death per year; 5.1 men and 2.0 women, die from tobacco use, 6.3 million of which are attributed to cigarette smoking and 884,000 from second hand smoke (The Atlas Tobacco, 2018). In Kenya, 69 per 100,000 deaths of individuals aged 30 and above result from tobacco use. Further, 5% of all non-communicable deaths in Kenya result from tobacco use while 55% of all deaths from cancer of the trachea, bronchitis, and lung are attributed to tobacco. (more…)

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The supermarket could be the reason you can’t keep your weight down

 

When I was young, my parents shopped for food stuff and other household consumables at Mama Peter’s wholesale and retail shop. My siblings and I went to the same shop even when we were not accompanied by our parents. It was where we waited for my mum when she went to the market, and when we went to town, we passed by just to say hello. Then supermarkets came to our town. (more…)

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Could soft drinks increase the risk of cancer no matter your weight?

 

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Seems so. A study that was recently published in the Public Health Nutrition Journal has given some new evidence that sugary soft drinks could increase the risk of cancer, no matter the weight. This adds to the existing knowledge on the effect of soft drinks on our health, most of which has been linked to weight, and consequently weight related problems, including cancer and other non-communicable diseases. (more…)

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Are you fit to carry a pregnancy?

Obesity in pregnancy

Pregnancy is beautiful.

But While a good number in this era ‘plan’ for pregnancies, the planning mostly involves getting off birth control. Rarely do we think about whether our weight is good for the pregnancy. According to World Health Organization, obesity has more than doubled among adults above 18 since 1980. This has resulted in the increase in the number of obese women of reproductive age, and the rise of a relatively new high-risk population; obese pregnant women. (more…)

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