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.
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…)
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!!
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. (more…)
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.
If you said none, have you had a soft drink? Packet juice, maybe a muffin or andazi? Then you have had sugar and it could be more than you think. See there is a lot of ‘hidden’ sugar in most pastries and processed foods even if they are not necessarily sweet. For instance tomato sauce will have atleast 1 teaspoon sugar, while a can of soda could have as much as 10 teaspoons. (more…)
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…)
New evidence is challenging delaying introduction of certain food to babies in an attempt to prevent food allergies. In an allergic reaction, the immune system responds to a harmless food as it were a threat, so that one experiences stomach upsets and diarrhea, hives and itching, or sometimes tightening of the throat and trouble breathing. (more…)
For every new birthday cake your HR endeavors to get, it’s another year of possible increase in health related expenses for the organization, and early retirement for you: nothing to do with cake, but the age. See with every new year, the risk of getting a chronic disease increases, including depression. (more…)
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). (more…)
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. (more…)
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…)
Yesterday morning, a friend from the African Cancer Foundation (ACF) sent me a message and told me about this guy with recurrent brain cancer whom they are trying to help access treatment. Like you may have figured already, I had quite a day so I only settled to slowly read about Jadudi -whose story is allover social media now- on my way home. It is heartbreaking to have such a young soul go through what he is going through now so if you can help, please do. A neighbour is not necessarily the person living next door, but he that needs your help. (more…)
Last week, 21 African first ladies and representatives congregated in Kenya to discuss cancer in the 9th Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer conference. The conference which was attended by an estimated 4000 local and international delegates looked at the role of public and private sector partnerships in the fight against cancer. (more…)
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.
In 2011, the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases recommended implementation of “fiscal measures” to improve diets and health. Soon after, Denmark implemented the first national ‘fat tax’, which on review, the 15-month-long tax resulted in a reduction in saturated fats intake. (more…)