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. (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. (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. (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. (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. (more…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
A few weeks ago in the news was a story on the people seeking cancer treatment at Kenyatta National Hospital. They were many and from all over the country. But the hospital only has a bed capacity of 30, resulting in those that do not get beds to sleep on the floor. That was sad.
Sustainable development in the words of one Dr Omar-Salim means, development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Now as far as sustainable development is concerned, in our own little ways, we play a role. One such role is to breastfeed. Yep! Men and women alike should protect, promote and support breastfeeding.
Here is why. Breastfeeding influences nutrition and food security; health, development and survival; ability to achieve full educational potential and economic productivity. It is also a fact that that breastfeeding is an environmentally sustainable method of feeding compared to the alternatives. As was reported in The Lancet in January only 1 in 3 children in low and middle income countries are breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months. Consequently, millions of children are failing to receive the full benefits provided by breastfeeding.
My cousin just had a baby and is going to be home until January on a paid maternity leave. She is lucky. But should breastfeeding be at the mercy of luck? So your organization cannot give maternity leaves that long, but can they provide a nursing room; a clean space where mum’s can express, a fridge for them to store their milk, flextime? Those staying with women who are breastfeeding, do you understand that it is important they breastfeed exclusively for the first six months? Are you supporting them?
The bottom line is, a mum who is less worried about her child is more focused on whatever she engages in, and therefore more productive. Ultimately, we will spend less on treatment and save lives, have more to spend on nutritious food, prevent obesity and diabetes later in life, increase intelligence in our children, as well as reduce the risk for breast and cervical cancer.
Happy breastfeeding week!!
In the news from World Cancer Research Fund International, sugary drink companies are now targeting low and middle income countries. Now as you may have noticed, obesity has rapidly grown over the years in the developing world, Kenya included. As a matter of fact, there are more overweight and obese children in low and middle income countries, than in high-income countries and sugar consumption is a notable contributing factor. (more…)
Happy new year!Happy month of love as well :-). Today the world marks Cancer day, under the theme We can. I can. The three year campaign looks to explore how everyone can contribute to reducing the global burden of cancer.
Whether living with cancer or not, cancer is a concern to all. It is a non-communicable disease which means it is not spread from one person to another but rather is driven by forces that include ageing, rapid unplanned urbanization, and the globalization of unhealthy lifestyles (WHO).
As such, everyone – collective or as individuals- can and ought to play a part.