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Diverse trends in diseases need state-specific remedies: Experts

The Kashmir Monitor




Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and their risk factors have gone up in every state in India and now cause more disease and death than infections, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional diseases put together in each state, according to the first comprehensive analysis of disease trends and their risk factors in all states from 1990 to 2016.
NCDs, which include heart diseases, stroke, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, cancers and injuries, are the leading causes of death worldwide, but their co-existence with infectious diseases are leading to a “double burden” of disease in less developed states still battling infections like diarrhoea, lower respiratory tract infections and tuberculosis, among others.
Risk factors for NCDs have increased in every state over the past 25 years, the study shows.
“The rising prevalence in NCDs did not surprise as it validated earlier findings, but the massive change in a relatively short time is of immense concern. Such immense magnitude of change usually occurs over a large period of time… and India needs strong social and policy interventions to slow this telescoping …” said lead author of the diabetes study Dr Nikhil Tandon, professor and head, department of endocrinology, metabolism and diabetes, All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
The less developed states with large, underserved populations have their work cut out because of changing diets that are moving away from traditional foods to packaged foods, rising air pollution, and use of smokeless tobacco, which is pushing up oral and other cancers.
With the ageing of the population adding to the increasing burden of NCDs, these findings emphasise the need for the prevention and early management with policy support that is as high as that for communicable and childhood diseases.
“Recognising the shift from communicable diseases to NCDs, India’s national programme for prevention and control of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and stroke established NCD units in each state last year for the prevention, early diagnosis and management of major NCDs at the district level, including screening for high blood pressure and blood glucose and for oral, breast, and cervical cancers,” said Union health minister JP Nadda.
Many risk factors overlap, so controlling high blood pressure, high cholesterol, elevated blood sugar and overweight can lower risk of ischaemic heart disease, stroke, diabetes and certain cancers.
Lowering indoor and outdoor pollution will lower chronic respiratory diseases, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and lung cancer.
“Yes, we need initial diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases but overall management and follow-up has to happen in primary health care centres. We need innovations to strengthen primary health care centres, improve capacity of primary physicians and have multi-sectoral collaborations to reduce consumption of fat, sugar and salt and air pollution to deal with cardiovascular diseases,” said Dr Dorairaj Prabhakaran, vice president (research and policy) and Director, Centre for Control of Chronic Conditions, Public Health Foundation of India.
The Union health ministry is expanding its non-communicable diseases programme by promoting early screening, diagnosis and treatment under the 150,000 Health and Wellness Centres being set up by 2022.
The studies also called for India investing in improved surveillance systems to monitor changing trends in NCDs and injuries, and related risk factors, across the country.
Robust data helps policymakers tailor health roadmaps specific to each state, said experts.
“The heterogeneity in disease trends in itself is important because it will helps us identify the differential burden of risk factors in each state and offer policy makers to tailor state-specific interventions for each state,” said Dr Tandon.

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These Nutritious Breakfasts Can Give A Kick Start To Your Day: Do Try Them!

The Kashmir Monitor



Breakfast is undoubtedly the most important meal of the day. It is the meal which kick-starts your metabolism and helps you burn calories throughout the day. Not only is it important for people who are trying to lose weight, it is simply important for a person to stay fit and healthy. Breakfast is the one meal which can give you the energy to do things and focus at your work and school. WebMD says that including breakfast in your diet can have positive effects on your memory and concentration.

Following are some breakfast options suggested by Delhi-based nutritionist Pooja Malhotra, which can give a boost your energy and also keep you warm during the chilly winter months.

Try these healthy breakfast options right now!


1. Stuffed rotis

Winter is the time when a variety of vegetables are in season. Stuffed rotis or paranthas made from methi (fenugreek), mooli (radish), gobi (cauliflower), matar (peas) or gajar (carrots) can all make for a delicious and wholesome winter breakfast. You can cook them with ghee (make sure you use it in the right quantity) and eat them with pickle and curd. Stuffed rotis are essentially the traditional Indian breakfast which people have been having for years. Prepare them as your grandmother used to prepare and enjoy them throughout winter.

2. Palak or beetroot roti with mint raita

Palak or spinach is a leafy geen veggie with more health benefits than you can count in your fingers. Similar is the case with beetroot, which is a root vegetable which is incredibly low in calories and is a great source of essential nutrients like fibre, folate and Vitamin C. Beetroot also contains nitrates and pigments which can help in controlling your blood pressure and may improve your overall athletic performance.

3. Egg parantha or scrambled eggs with chapati

Now that is a protein-rich breakfast which can help you keep full for longer. Prepare egg paranthas or eat scrambled eggs with roti for the perfect blend of protein, fat and carbs in your breakfast. Also, do not separate the yolk from egg white. A whole egg will provide you with all essential nutrients.

4. Bajra roti with beetroot raita/bajra khichdi

Bajra is a healthy grain which can be included a weight loss diet as well. You can either make a dough of bajra flour or prepare bajra khichdi as a healthy breakfast option. Bajra or millets has properties that can help in stabilising cholesterol levels in the body. Being rich in fibre, the grain is great for digestion and makes for a healthy breakfast option during winter.

(Pooja Malhotra is a nutritionist based in Delhi)

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5 Super Healthy And Warm Drinks To Keep You Hydrated During Winter

The Kashmir Monitor



Are the teas and coffees failing to keep you warm during the chilly winter? Then need not worry as we are right here with multiple options for warm and comforting drinks during winter. Warm drinking options are important to keep you hydrated during winter. Staying hydrated during summer seems to be way easier as cold and healthy drinks are aplenty. The easiest way to stay hydrated during summer is to simply gulp down a bottle of water. But in winter, the body is usually in need of something which keeps us warm and on-the-go. Keep reading if you want some alternative warm drinks instead of sipping on a third our fourth cup of coffee.

Drinks to keep you warm and hydrated during winter

Turmeric latte:


Well, this is nothing but our very own haldi doodh. It is the traditional drink which is taken when a person is suffering from cold or fever. It is a healing drink which can naturally detox your body and even strengthen your bones.

Ginger, honey, lemon tea:

Yes, this is another traditional drink which can be taken in warm form as well. You can create a tea concoction by adding ginger, honey and lemon to water and bring to a boil. It can make for a refreshing and warming drink during the chilly winter months.

Hot mulled cider:

All you need to do is add cardamom, peppercorns, star anise, ginger, lemon and cloves to apple cider vinegar. Add a tinge of all these ingredients in a cup of ACV and heat it in low flame. The drink is going to make for a flavourful companion to you and your favourite book by the fireplace.

Vegetable/chicken/bone broth or soup:

Soups or broths are filling and extremely warming during the cold winter months. You can either prepare steaming hot vegetable soup or broth or chicken soup or bone breath. Broths and soups are fluids which can help you hydrated during winter while also boosting your immunity and protecting your from catching a cold or infection. Just make sure that their preparation is light and healthy.

Vanilla-almond steamer:

Now this is a toasty treat you all have been craving! All you need is some warm milk, cinnamon, vanilla and some almonds. This velvety winter drink is going to be your all time favourite! What’s more is that you can prepare it beforehand and have it when you’re ready for a warm treat for yourself.

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Fasting can improve overall health, study suggests

The Kashmir Monitor



Fasting influences the circadian clock and fasting-driven cellular responses, which together work to achieve fasting-specific temporal gene regulation.

Fasting can lead to improved health and provide protection against ageing-associated diseases, a recent study suggests.

According to the research, fasting affects circadian clocks in the liver and skeletal muscle, causing them to rewire their metabolism, which can ultimately lead to improved health and protection against ageing-associated diseases. The study was published recently in Cell Reports.


The circadian clock operates within the body and its organs as intrinsic time-keeping machinery to preserve homeostasis in response to the changing environment. And, while food is known to influence clocks in peripheral tissues, it was unclear, until now, how the lack of food influences clock function and ultimately affects the body.

“We discovered fasting influences the circadian clock and fasting-driven cellular responses, which together work to achieve fasting-specific temporal gene regulation,” said lead author Paolo Sassone-Corsi.

“Skeletal muscle, for example, appears to be twice as responsive to fasting as the liver,” Paolo asserted.

According to the researchers, fasting is able to essentially reprogram a variety of cellular responses. Therefore, optimal fasting in a timed manner would be strategic to positively affect cellular functions and ultimately benefiting health and protecting against ageing-associated diseases.

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January 2019
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