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Problem sleeping? Alcohol consumption could be the reason

How often have you had a drink to ‘help you sleep better’? Well, although moderate alcohol consumption is considered safe, no amount of alcohol is recommended. This is because alcohol affects every individual differently, again also depending on other factors such as a person’s age, sex, their body time and size. And while alcohol gives a feeling of relaxation and sleepiness, studies show that alcohol consumption -especially in excess- is associated with poor sleep quality and duration.

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Diet supplements and laxatives: Doing more harm than good?

Using diet pills and laxatives is among many unhealthy methods of weight management which have been shown to increase the risk of individuals developing eating disorders.  Additonally, use of diet pills has other health effects including high blood pressure, liver and kidney damage, increased heart rate, rectal bleeding, as well as sleeping disorders. Despite these effects, and the regular discouragement to use them by health care providers, over the counter diet pills and laxatives are still popular among young adults and youths, especially women.

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Build a healthy lifestyle to ward off the risk of diabetes

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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How to prevent overweight and obesity in time of quarantine

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.

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Food addiction is a habit you can beat

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.

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Wait. Did you read the health warning on the cigarette pack?

Globally, 7.1 Million death per year; 5.1 men and 2.0 women, die from tobacco use, 6.3 million of which are attributed to cigarette smoking and 884,000 from second hand smoke (The Atlas Tobacco, 2018). In Kenya, 69 per 100,000 deaths of individuals aged 30 and above result from tobacco use. Further, 5% of all non-communicable deaths in Kenya result from tobacco use while 55% of all deaths from cancer of the trachea, bronchitis, and lung are attributed to tobacco.

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The supermarket could be the reason you can’t keep your weight down

When I was young, my parents shopped for food stuff and other household consumables at Mama Peter’s wholesale and retail shop. My siblings and I went to the same shop even when we were not accompanied by our parents. It was where we waited for my mum when she went to the market, and when we went to town, we passed by just to say hello. Then supermarkets came to our town.

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Could soft drinks increase the risk of cancer no matter your weight?

A study that was recently published in the Public Health Nutrition Journal has given some new evidence that sugary soft drinks could increase the risk of cancer, no matter the weight. This adds to the existing knowledge on the effect of soft drinks on our health, most of which has been linked to weight, and consequently weight related problems, including cancer and other non-communicable diseases.

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Are you fit to carry a pregnancy?

Obesity in pregnancy

Pregnancy is beautiful.

But 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. Read More

Make the broader social and economic policies and programmes non-communical diseases sensitive

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. Read More