Are you fit to carry a pregnancy?

Obesity in pregnancy

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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CHOOSING A DIET FOR CHILDREN WITH ADHD

ADHD written on chalk board

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 (more…)

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BREASTDFEEDING CONTRIBUTES TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

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!!  

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IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME

SONY DSC

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. (more…)

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SHIFTING PARADIGM OF NUTRITION CHALLENGES IN HIV

Since the introduction of anti-retroviral therapy (ART), HIV wasting syndrome has become a thing of the past as people enjoy better health (HATiP, Issue 182, 06 October 2011). However as the condition has become more of a chronic disease with people living longer and ageing, the common trend now is overweight and obesity. Individuals living with the virus are now exposed to risk factors of non-communicable diseases similar to those of the general population, in addition to the risk factors associated with the infection and the ART. The result is nutrition challenges such as diabetes, hypertension; dyslipidemia among others (UNAIDS). (more…)

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IS NUTRITION A FEMINIST ISSUE?

fad-diets

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.
(more…)

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