While some avoid drinking when they have not eaten, others deliberately alter their eating habits to accommodate the alcohol.Read More
It takes 21 days to build a habit. Granted, we have a chance to build habits that promote a healthy lifestyle.
So what habits can you start building?
The World Health Organization defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease. Going by this definition, health is not one thing, and it is definitely not the same for everyone. That notwithstanding, practices such as healthy eating, physical activity, moderated alcohol consumption and smoking cessation have been shown to be critical in achieving health, and therefore forming very good ground for habits that you can build.
Among the many threats to health, obesity is one of, if not the fastest growing challenge. It is also largely influenced by habit: basically our lifestyle. Sometimes we know what to do, but most times we miss out the why.
So why is it especially important that you set losing weight and observing a healthy lifestyle as the why for your healthy habits?
A recent study “obesity, unfavourable lifestyle and genetic risk of type 2 diabetes” has shown that obesity and unfavourable lifestyles increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, regardless of the genetic predisposition. Compared to normal weight people, obese people were almost six times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, while those who were overweight had a 2.4 risk.
On the other hand, people who had high genetic predisposition scores had twice as high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. And when all three factors; obesity, unfavourable lifestyle and high genetic predisposition score, were factored, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes increased upto 14.5 times.
Notably, compared to normal weight people who had low genetic risk and observed a favourable health lifestyle, obese people were 8.4 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
As such, a healthy lifestyle, especially managing your weight could be what keeps you from getting type 2 diabetes.
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When I was a little girl, my mother and I were once invited for a cup of tea by a neighbour. I quickly declined because the offer was ‘ndubia’– kikuyu for sugarless tea.
My mother says my response went something like; “I can’t take tea without sugar. Not even for money”. Ha! The irony is that years later, and presently, I do not take sugar in any beverage.
Now, children are biologically born with a tendency to prefer sweet foods over bitter foods.Read More
May is the mental health month and as we continue to dymystify the stigma around mental health, let’s also understand the associated factors, and take responsibility of the modifiable factors such as obesity.
According to the recently released 2020 Global Nutrition Report, one in every 3 people is obese.Read More
Researchers at Concordia University argue that obesity has effects that mirror those of aging. According to their review: obesity and ageing: two sides of the same coin,effects of obesity comprise of many life changing or life threatening conditions that are normally seen in older people.Read More
The curfew and containment period was extendThe curfew and containment period was extended and we cannot travel to see our elderly parents and/ or grandparents upcountry. And with the cases of COVID-19 still growing, it is not advisable. This is because people above 60 have been identified as among those most vulnerable to COVID-19, with severe- even deadly- cases of infection. People in this age tend to have more chronic conditions than the younger people, lower immunity while diseases and conditions recovery often tends to be slower and more complicated, hence their vulnerability. But although we cannot be with them physically, we can still take care of them.
Health experts across the globe are concerned that staying at home may contribute to obesity especially for people living in urban set ups. This is because people are stocking up on a lot of highly processed and high energy comfort foods. At the same time, opportunities for physical activity have greatly reduced. But even with the situation, we are not helpless. We can take action to prevent weight gain, and resulting overweight or obesity.
According to UNICEF, there are about 1.2 Billion adolescents aged 10-19 in the world today. The population of adolescents has rapidly grown and particularly so in the developing countries. In Sub- Saharan Africa, adolescents make the largest proportion of the population, where 23 per cent of the population is aged 10–19 (UNICEF, 2016). This population is however, according to studies, facing a lot more health challenges than those faced years back. One such health challenge is obesity. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More