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Lifelong dietary habits linked to early-life sensory experiences

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.

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Prevention better than reaction in Turkana

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

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. Read More

Glutten may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes

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Gluten products

You are probably on, or have tried the gluten free diet. Well, a study recently presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health 2017 Scientific Session, suggests that low gluten diets may be associated with higher risk of type 2 diabetes. A possible explanation is that participants in the long-observational study who ate less gluten, tended to eat less cereal fiber which is known to protect against developing Type 2 diabetes. Read More

Choosing a diet for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

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A healthy diet is important for management of all children including those with ADHD and autism. Among other factors, adverse food reactions- food allergy, non-immunologic food effects (intolerances and toxicities) – and nutrition deficiencies have been proposed as triggers of ADHD [Sylvia Cruchet et al.]. Pharmacological therapy has proven to be efficacious in controlling disruptive behavior and inattention in patients with ADHD, with a response of over 70% [Lancet 2016]. However, these medications have frequent adverse reactions, and some parents are also concerned about long-term side effects, preferring non-pharmacological approaches, including nutritional interventions Read More

Feeling fat affects your teen’s feeding habits

Woman on a scale checking weight

Adolescence is the stage of gender- specific biological changes, self-awareness; a stage of establishing a sense of independence, a transition into adulthood. It is during this time that eating habits are developed. The trend has however been such that more adolescents are consuming less vegetables and fruits, consuming more sweets and soft drinks, and skipping meals. This is a concern since behaviors picked then are likely to persist in adulthood. Moreover, overweight and obesity in children is more likely to persist in adulthood, with an increased risk of weight related non-communicable diseases. Read More

Irritable bowel syndrome

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Whenever I visit a hospital, I prefer not to talk about what I do, or the sector in which I work. Mostly because being human makes one want to make a conclusion, and at that very moment I am really just a patient. So I avoid it as much as I can. But when you visit the older consultants, they prod you until you give in. That’s what happened when I visited this entertaining gastroenterologist. Read More

Your body type has a take on your weight

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I have added a few kilos. I know because I had to jump a little to get into my most comfortable pair of jeans. I could blame it on the steroids I had prescribed couple of weeks back, but I’d be lying because I did not finish the dose. The truth is I took a rather long rest from my usual. In August, I did not run a single day, I danced once or twice in the entire month, and I had a little more of red-velvet (nutritionists have moments too). Read More

There is more to women health than just weight

How many ladies in the house are comfortable with their body? Hands please, I am counting….

For most women, weight is the dark shadow that hovers around all the time. But there is a lot more to health and happiness than just weight. Studies have shown that while maintaining good weight remarkably improves risk of non-communicable diseases, eating healthy and maintaining the recommended amount of physical activity (150 minutes of moderate exercise/week) also reduces the risk of non-communicable diseases, improves diseases outcomes and quality of life, even if weight loss is not achieved. So don’t be discouraged that your weight is not changing; there is more to your health than just weight. Read More

Is nutrition a feminist issue?

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From our grandparent years and beyond, it was common for families to have different meals. The mother and her children ate the same meal while the man ate the ‘better’ meal – meat, fried food- while pregnant women could not eat certain foods. In addition, women tended to the farms, milked cows and sold the produce, only to give the money to the men. They ate very little of it if any. Even today, women serve the men first.  Now it is okay to, as long as it does not mean you skip the meal or not have enough. But although the deprivation has remarkably improved, stigmatization has pretty much replaced it. Talk of diets-nearly all targeting women. Just log on to Facebook; you are guaranteed to find more than you need. There is a common perception that a woman is beautiful if she is a certain size, eats certain food, and takes certain drinks.  As a matter of fact, you are so much a lady, come meal time. I have heard a man tell a lady friend  “that is quite a serving for a girl”. I have personally been said to be dieting when I chose to have fruits or cereals during the tea break when everyone else had bread.
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