Exercise For 1 Hour Daily Can Help Beat Health Risks From Sitting

Exercise For 1 Hour Daily Can Help Beat Health Risks From Sitting

60 minutes of exercise is sufficient to eliminate the increased risk of early death. (Representational)

Moderate exercise such as cycling and walking for just an hour daily may eliminate the health risks associated with sitting for eight or more hours a day, a new study has claimed.

Ever since a study in 1953 discovered that bus drivers in the UK were at greater risk of heart disease compared to bus conductors, scientists have found increasing evidence that lack of physical activity is a major risk factor for several diseases and for risk of early death.

Recent estimates suggest that more than five million people die globally each year as a result of failing to meet recommended daily activity levels, according to researchers from University of Cambridge in the UK.

Studies in high-income countries have suggested that adults spend the majority of their waking hours sitting down.

A typical day for many people is driving to work, sitting in an office, driving home and watching TV.

Current physical activity guidelines recommend that adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week, researchers said.

Researchers analysed 16 studies, which included data from more than one million men and women.

They grouped individuals into four quartiles depending on their level of moderate intensity physical activity, ranging from less than five minutes per day in the bottom group to over 60 minutes in the top.

Moderate intensity exercise was defined as equating to walking at 5.6 kilometres per hour or cycling at 16 kilometres per hour, for example.

Researchers found that 60 to 75 minutes of moderate intensity exercise was sufficient to eliminate the increased risk of early death associated with sitting for over eight hours per day.

However, as many as three out of four people in the study failed to reach this level of daily activity.

The greatest risk of early death was for those individuals who were physically inactive, regardless of the amount of time sitting – they were between 28 per cent and 59 per cent more likely to die early compared with those who were in the most active quartile – a similar risk to that associated with smoking and obesity, researchers said.

In other words, lack of physical activity is a greater health risk than prolonged sitting, they said.

“There has been a lot of concern about the health risks associated with today’s more sedentary lifestyles. Our message is a positive one: it is possible to reduce – or even eliminate – these risks if we are active enough, even without having to take up sports or go to the gym,” said Ulf Ekelund from University of Cambridge.

“For many people who commute to work and have office-based jobs, there is no way to escape sitting for prolonged periods of time. For these people in particular, we cannot stress enough the importance of getting exercise, whether it is getting out for a walk at lunchtime, going for a run in the morning or cycling to work,” researchers said.

The findings were published in the journal The Lancet.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


Exercise Will Do You Good Only If You Believe It Would: Study

Exercise Will Do You Good Only If You Believe It Would: Study

Photo for representational purpose.

People who believe exercise is good for them may derive more mental and physical benefits from working out than those with lower expectations, a new study has claimed.

In the study conducted by Hendrik Mothes from the University of Freiburg in Germany and his team, test subjects derived more neurophysiological as well as psychological benefits from exercise if they already have positive mindsets about sports.

Moreover, the team provided evidence that test subjects can be positively or negatively influenced in this regard before engaging in the exercise.

The researchers invited 76 men and women aged between 18 and 32 years to their research laboratory, where they had to exercise for 30 minutes on a bicycle ergometer.

Beforehand, the test subjects were separated into different groups and shown one of several short films that either praised the positive effects of cycling on health or not.

In addition, the researchers asked the test subjects whether they had already believed in the positive effects of physical activity before beginning the study.

The participants filled out questionnaires asking them about their well-being and their mood before and after the exercise. The researchers also measured the participants’ brain activity with an electroencephalogram (EEG).

“The results demonstrate that our belief in how much we will benefit from physical activity has a considerable effect on our well-being in the manner of a self-fulfilling prophecy,” said Mothes.

The results provide evidence for a placebo effect during exercise, researchers said.

Test subjects who already believed the physical activity would have positive effects before participating in the study enjoyed the exercise more, improved their mood more, and reduced their anxiety more than less optimistic test subjects.

The study also showed a neurophysiological difference between the test subjects.

According to the measurements of brain activity, the participants with greater expectations before the beginning of the study and those who had seen a film about the health benefits of cycling beforehand were more relaxed on a neuronal level.

The results likely also apply to other endurance sports like jogging, swimming, or cross-country skiing, said Mothes.

“Beliefs and expectations could possibly have long-term consequences, for instance on our motivation to engage in sports. They can be a determining factor on whether we can rouse ourselves to go jogging again next time or decide instead to stay at home on the couch,” Mothes said.

The study was published in the Journal of Behavioural Medicine.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


These Yoga, Exercise, And Meditation Apps Can Help You Shake That Stress

These Yoga, Exercise, And Meditation Apps Can Help You Shake That Stress

Americans, as many will admit, are perpetually overworked and invariably sedentary. Despite the endless options for getting in shape – gym memberships, trainers, Class Pass – doing so still remains as hard as ever. Fitting in time for a workout between home-and-commute-and-job-and-commute-and-home is next to impossible as work hours extend, stress levels spike, and our daydreams all involve going back to sleep. And while there’s a plethora of apps to make you move more and worry less, choosing the right one can be so daunting that it just adds to the burden.

Never fear: Here we come with some of the best choices recommended by health professionals and fitness experts – all of whom pledge they have no stake in any of the companies.

Apps for when you can’t make it to the gym:

Sometimes you want to go to the gym but your schedule just doesn’t leave time for the schlep. These apps help you squeeze the exercise you need into the time you have.

1. The 7 Minute Workout:

Inspired by a 2013 news report on a study finding that high-intensity interval training can be as beneficial as longer endurance training, this app’s workouts combine tried-and-true exercises like push-ups and sit-ups with helpful graphics, text, and video. And it’s hardly just for the neophytes unwilling to make the leap into a full club membership. “I use the workouts on the app to complement cardio activities in my routine, like running, biking, and swimming,” says Nancy Easton, a triathlete and executive director and co-founder of Wellness in the Schools, a national nonprofit focused on healthy eating and fitness for kids in public schools.

2. Sworkit:

This app offers personalized video workouts varying in time (5 to 60 minutes) and routine (cardio, strength, yoga, or stretching). It even hooks up to your Spotify account to make exercising less painful. “This is the app I recommend for my clients when they travel and don’t have access to a gym,” says Amanda Edell, a personal trainer and online fitness coach based in New York City. “It’s very user-friendly,” says Michelle Liz, another fan of the app and a dietitian at the city’s Lenox Hill Hospital. It’s “like having a personal trainer in your phone,” says Michelle Rivas, of TheHealthyLatina.com.

3. YogaGlo:

With more than 3,500 yoga workouts available in a variety of lengths and levels, the $17.99-per-month subscription to this app is significantly less than most studios will charge – and a lot more convenient. “I take YogaGlo with me wherever I travel, and having all the different class options helps ensure that no matter what I’m facing with work, I’ll always have something dedicated to catering to my specific needs,” says Erika Nicole Kendall, a New York City-based trainer and writer of the blog A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss. “Top of the line when it comes to online yoga,” says Andrew Tanner, a yoga teacher and chief ambassador of Yoga Alliance. “They just have some of the best teachers in the world.”

Apps for people who hate the gym:

Gyms are hardly the only places for physical fitness. These apps cost less, require minimal commitment – and there are no grunting bodybuilders to worry about.

1. Endomondo:

What’s the point of walking to work if you’re not going to get credit for all those steps? That’s where this app comes in, allowing users to track walks, runs, bike rides, and more than 40 other sports. “I’m a fan of simple and practical, and the Endomondo app is both for me,” says Sandria Washington, a certified yoga teacher and executive editor of BlackDoctor.org, an online health resource serving African Americans.

2. Zombies, Run!:

Whether you’re training for the apocalypse or a marathon, this app ties in zombie-fleeing plots, complete with zombie groaning audio, to give your runs some added excitement. “The story line, the humor, and the interface often get me lacing up my shoes even on days where I’m dragging,” says Yoni Freedhoff, assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Ottawa and author of “The Diet Fix: Why Diets Fail and How To Make Yours Work.”

3. Cody:

This app provides access to a wide range of fitness videos led by world-class coaches and arranged into plans to help you meet your goals. Different plans come with different prices, but each one takes only a single payment for unlimited use. “What I love is that it brings an entire series focused on one targeted issue to your device,” says Kendall. “If I need to focus on stepping up my flexibility, I can get the guidance of an informed coach to walk me through a month or six weeks or however-long-practice to help me improve that specifically.”

Apps to help you achieve serenity now:

Meditation and mindfulness have been connected to improvements in anxiety, brain function, and even loneliness. But achieving Zen takes practice. These apps can help.

1. Headspace:

This super-popular app will teach you how to meditate for just 10 minutes a day and has fans among celebrities and health professionals alike. But it’s not just for run-of-the-mill stress: It can be a good first step for those with bigger mental health problems, too. “Oftentimes patients do not want to admit or accept that they are suffering from depression or anxiety,” says Daniel Turner-Lloveras, a Los Angeles-based physician and founder of HealSwift, which connects patients with nearby health-care providers. “It is much easier to download an app and listen to a guided meditation on your own than it is for some to enter a room and admit to a stranger they are suffering and that they need help.”

2. Buddhify:

This meditation app is specifically focused on city dwellers, and is designed for on-the-go use. Whether you’re on your way to work, on a break, or even sleeping, this app has a guided mediation for you (think soothing voices). “Everyone needs coping strategies they can turn to automatically in times of stress,” says Mary Commerford, director of the Furman Counseling Center at Barnard College. She also recommends Meditation Oasis. “These two apps, practiced regularly, can improve the quality of a person’s life.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Exercise May Offset Health Risks Of Drinking: Study

Exercise May Offset Health Risks Of Drinking: Study

Heavy drinkers who exercise are less likely to die from alcohol-related diseases than those who don’t, a study suggested Thursday, although its authors were cautious about the implications of their data. Researchers used British population data between 1994 and 2006, comparing health outcomes with self-reported alcohol intake and exerciselevels of more than 36,000 people.

Alcohol use categories ranged from “never drunk” to “harmful”, while exercise included everything from light gardening or walking to vigorous sport. The data showed that “the association between alcohol intake and mortality risk was moderated by PA (physical activity),” the team reported in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Previous research has linked high alcohol intake to a heightened risk of death fromheart disease, stroke and some types of cancer. Of the study respondents, 14.6 percent reported not drinking, while 13.3 percent exceeded the British recommended weekly maximum of 14 units for women and 21 for men. A unit is the equivalent of about a glass of wine, a small beer, or a shot of hard liquor. About one in four respondents said they did no physical activity at all, while a similar percentage were highly active.

The team did say that their study could not draw any firm conclusions about cause and effect — whether exercise actively lowers the risks associated with alcohol. But the results “provide an additional argument for the role of PA as a means to promote the health of the population even in the presence of other less healthy behaviours,” they wrote.

Experts not involved in the study pointed out that the apparent link may be caused by unrelated factors. “It is important to consider alternative explanations for the findings,” Matt Field of the University of Liverpool told the Science Media Centre in London.

“For example, people who are already ill may be less active than those who are healthy.” Kevin McConway of The Open University, said differences in diet of people who exercise and those who do not may also be a factor, rather than the level of activity itself.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Easy Aerobic Exercises You Can Perform at Home

Easy Aerobic Exercises You Can Perform at Home

The word ‘aerobic’ means ‘with oxygen’. So any physical activity that makes you move your major muscle groups(legs), in a rhythmic, systematic manner, elevates your heart rate and creates a demand for oxygen for a sustained period( at least 20 minutes), is called an aerobic activity.

The benefits of aerobics are plenty. Studies have found that it lowers the risk of heart disease, and regulates blood pressure and cholesterol levels. For diabetics, it has an insulin-like effect, and hence keeps a check on blood sugar. Regular aerobics improves your respiratory function, and is therefore beneficial to those suffering from asthma or other respiratory ailments.

Apart from these, it is great for weight loss, strengthening your bones and joints and improving your blood circulation to release endorphins (the happy hormones).

5 Tips to Keep in Mind

Before you start your aerobics session at home, here are some pointers –

1. Engage in an aerobic activity at least 3 times a week, for a minimum duration of 20 minutes and at an intensity that makes you breathless and yet enables you to talk. About a 5-7 on a scale of 1-10 in terms of perceived levels of exertion. It should be moderate to moderately hard.

2. Start gradually in terms of duration and intensity. Warm up adequately before picking up the pace. Ensure that proper form, posture and alignment are being maintained throughout.

3. Include a cool down to gradually bring down your heart rate and some stretches thereafter.

4. In case of any orthopaedic issues, keep the impact low. Avoid high impact activities or activities that have frequent and quick directional changes.

5. Swimming or aqua fitness is great for those with arthritis and other joint issues.

Six Aerobic Exercises That Can be Done at Home

1. Bear Crawls

The longest length of your living/bedroom can be utilised to do some bear crawls. You need to use your hands and feet with your hips slightly higher than your knee, and crawl from one end of the room to the other for a few minutes. Then you can do shuttle runs for the next couple of minutes. I.e. run between the two ends as quickly as you can, followed by brisk walk or jog. You can repeat this above circuit 3-4 times before cooling down.

The minute you get comfortable you stop growing…. So you do something new to break out of that zone. The next level doesn’t come to you…you gotta take it. Thanks to @momivated for pushing me today!

A photo posted by jenbellamy (@jenbellamy) on Sep 15, 2016 at 11:53am PDT

2. Skipping

You can do this activity in several different ways. For starters, skip at an intensity that you can sustain for as long as you can. Walk around and recover for a bit and then repeat that process for 15-20 minutes at least. Skipping is a high impact activity, so make sure your knees are slightly soft when you land. Ensure that you wear appropriate shoes for it. Avoid if you have any orthopaedic issues.

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3. Cardio Circuits

You can do cardio circuits of skipping, jogging in place and knee ups. Perform 2-3 minutes of each in a circuit and repeat 3-4 times.
Scale up the intensity by running and brisk walk to decrease it. Same with the alternating knee ups. You can hop to bring down the intensity.


4. The Five Minute Circuit

You can start with:

1 Minute of alternating travel lunges: Hands on waist or overhead ( harder variation).Step forward with your right leg and lunge till the knee touches the ground, lift yourself up by pushing off through the heels, bring left leg in and then place left leg forward to lunge and repeat.

1 Minute of Burpees: Place your hands on the floor by pushing your hips back and bending you knees. Extend the right leg out and then left leg to plank position. Allow chest to touch the ground. Then push off with your hands to a push up position, bring right leg in and then the left leg and extend knees and hips to standing. A harder variation of the Burpee is to clap your hands overhead as you jump, push hip back and bend knees to get hands on the ground. Jump to plank. Let your chest touch the ground. Push up to plank position. Jump and get both feet in to low squat and then jump to standing.

1 Minute of Skipping: You can skip to your desired intensity.

1 Minute of Step Touches: Step out with your right leg to the side and bring the left leg in and tap. Repeat with left leg. Harder version can be done by leaping with your right leg to the side, bring the left leg in but do not let it touch the ground and repeat with left leg. (speed skating).

1 minute of Jogging/Jumping Jacks/ Brisk Walk: Take a minutes rest after the circuit and repeat 3-4 times. There is no rest period in the five minute circuit. After a minute seamlessly move onto the next exercise.


5. Squat Jumps + Skier + Mountain Climbers + Jumping Jacks

Squat Jumps: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes turned out slightly. Push your hips back and lower till it drops below knee level and jump up or stand. Repeat for 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds.

Skier: Spilt jump with right leg in front and the left leg back and with left arm going overhead and right arm at the back, switch and repeat for 30 seconds. Rest 30 seconds.

Mountain Climbers: in the plank position, keeping your hips stable and aligned with shoulders and ankles in a diagonal straight line, bring right knee in towards right elbow and quickly switch. Repeat for 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds.

Jumping Jacks: jump out with both feet to side and arms going overhead at the same time. Jump and bring feet and arms in. Repeat for 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds.
Repeat from squat jump 4-5 times.

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6: Squats + Mountain Climbers + Sit Ups

Squat jumps for 30 seconds and hold the bottom of the squat for 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds.
Mountain climbers for 30 seconds, hold plank for 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds.

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sit up

Sit ups: lie on you back with knees bent and feet on the floor. Keeping arms over head, let it touch the ground and sit up to allow your hands to reach towards feet and shoulder to cross the hips. Perform for 30 seconds and hold sit up position at the top for 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds.
Repeat from squat jump for 4-5 times.


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Wearable Activity Trackers May Not Boost Weight Loss

Wearable Activity Trackers May Not Boost Weight Loss

For young adults on a long-term healthy diet and exercise program, tracking activity with a wearable device may not lead to additional weight loss, according to a new study.

Over 24 months, people who used wearable activity trackers lost 2.4 kilograms (5.29 pounds) less than a group on a similar program but using a website to track their progress.

“We should not simply tell everyone to go and buy an activity monitor and that it will help them to lose weight,” said lead author John M. Jakicic of the University of Pittsburgh department of health and physical activity.

“Moreover, we should not send the message that these wearable technologies do not help with weight loss – there were some in our study for whom it made a difference,” Jakicic told Reuters Health by email. “There is so much more that we need to learn about how these devices lead to behavior change.”

The researchers recruited 471 adults in Pittsburgh who were 18 to 35 years old and overweight to moderately obese. The whole group initially met for weekly sessions to monitor weight change and talk about diet and exercise strategies to lose weight. Over the following year and a half, groups met monthly and each participant also had monthly phone calls and weekly texts with counselors to prompt engagement in weight loss behaviors.

All participants had prescribed calorie intake goals and self-reported their intake either in diaries or on web-based platforms. They were also prescribed 100 to 300 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous exercise.

After six months, half of participants began monitoring their diet and physical activityusing a website and the other half were provided with a BodyMedia Fit Core, a wearable activity tracker worn on the upper arm. The Fit Core tracks steps, hours slept and calories burned and costs about $100.

After two years, people in the wearable device group had lost an average of 3.5 kg (7.72 lb)compared to 5.9 kg (13 lb)in the group using web-based tracking only.

Both groups had improved their body composition, fitness, physical activity and diet, according to the report in JAMA.

This doesn’t mean that activity trackers “don’t work,” said Gary Miller of Wake Forest University Health and Exercise Department in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, who wasn’t involved in the study.

“The comparison group is really not the average person out there,” Miller told Reuters Health. “There are so many factors that affect weight loss, it’s difficult to say that these devices aren’t worthwhile or aren’t necessary for people just based on weight loss.”

Weight loss also isn’t the only endpoint that might change with a wearable device, he said.

“If (a wearable device) is what’s going to get you to exercise then I think it’s worthwhile, but if it’s going to be a fashion statement or something to talk about it’s not worthwhile,” he said.

“We know that monitoring activity behavior, and diet, is very important to weight management success, so making it easier to do that and in real-time should in theory improve success,” Jakicic said.

To manage your weight, you need to eat a sensible number of calories and aim to get 30 to 60 minutes per day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity – similar to brisk walking in addition to as much other activity as you can get in your daily life, he said.

“If these wearable technologies help you to do that then that is perfect,” Jakicic said. “However, you need to use the technology in a way that can really help you.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


Raising a Vegan Baby: There’s a Right Way And a Wrong Way

Raising a Vegan Baby: There's a Right Way And a Wrong Way

There’s a right way and a wrong way to raise a baby on vegan food. Those who get it wrong, parents say, give the responsible ones a bad name.

A Pennsylvania mother claiming to be vegan was charged this month with child endangerment for feeding her baby nothing but small amounts of nuts and berries.

In Italy, after a number of vegan babies required hospitalization for malnourishment, a lawmaker this summer proposed a bill that would make it a crime to feed children under 16 a vegan diet.

Those cases are not about veganism at all, but are instead about neglect, say parents who are raising their children vegan. Pinning bad parenting on vegan diets, some say, unfairly stigmatizes those who have done their homework and are safely raising their babies without feeding them animal products like meat and dairy.

“They stress the elements of veganism in these stories, but it’s not that these people aren’t giving their children the right kind of food, it’s that they aren’t feeding them,” said Fulvia Serra, of Fort Collins, Colorado. The native of southern Italy is raising her 1-year-old son vegan, and her 12-year-old daughter is vegetarian.

“To get a child to the point of starvation, it means you are ignoring him and his crying all the time,” she said. “It’s neglect.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics’ book “Pediatric Nutrition” devotes a chapter to vegetarian and vegan diets. It describes how, with sound nutrition and dietary planning, “it is possible to provide a balanced diet to vegetarians and vegans.”

“For children in general you can have a safe vegan diet, but it has to be in consultation with a pediatrician or health care provider,” said Sheela Magge, an endocrinologist at the Children’s National Health System and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ committee on nutrition .

“These are critical times in brain development, and it has to be done carefully.”

The ideal first food for babies is breast milk, Magge said. Many vegan moms opt to breastfeed, but for those who can’t or don’t, the only other option is a soy-based formula.

Key nutrients for babies are Vitamin B-12 and Vitamin D, as well as iron, zinc and calcium, Magge said. Getting enough B-12, which comes from milk and eggs, is a specific concern in the vegan diet, since a shortage can lead to neurological problems.

As babies nurse less and start consuming more solid foods, parents need to make sure all the nutrients necessary for proper development are being provided. A pediatrician can help guide parents and offer supplements if needed.

In the Pennsylvania case, Elizabeth Hawk was charged Oct. 4 with endangering her 11-month-old son by restricting him to a diet of small amounts of fruit and nuts. Hawk, 30, of Farmington, became “obsessed” with a vegan diet, prompting her estranged husband to contact Fayette County child welfare workers, according to a criminal complaint.

Doctors determined in August that the baby had developmental delays and couldn’t crawl because he was malnourished, according to the complaint. The malnourishment also worsened a bad rash, the complaint said.

Calls seeking comment from Hawk, her former husband and the public defender’s office weren’t returned.

Stories of vegan parents being arrested for malnourished children pop up every few years in the U.S., and the cases in Italy have made international news.

In Arizona, Kimu Parker was arrested in April 2005 for nearly starving her three children with a diet she and the children’s father called vegan. She was sentenced to 30 years in prison; the father, Blair Parker, got 15 years.

In Florida in 2005, Joseph and Lamoy Andressohn got probation for neglect in the death of their 6-month-old son, who was fed only wheat grass, coconut water and almond milk.

In Georgia, Jade Sanders and Lamont Thomas were sentenced to life in prison for the 2004 death of their 6-week-old son, who starved to death after they fed him a too-limited diet of soy milk and apple juice.

Suzanne Lewis, a high school biology teacher in Reno, Nevada, who is raising her 8-year-old son vegan, feels more scrutinized when she hears such stories.

“It makes me wonder if people are questioning me,” she said. Vegan acquaintances have told her about being forwarded such articles from disapproving friends and family members, she said.

Reed Mangels is a nutritionist in Amherst, Massachusetts, who works with the Vegetarian Resource Group, a nonprofit education and advocacy group. She raised her two children, now 24 and 21, vegan.

She said such news stories about malnourished children can be stressful for parents who have done their homework and have to defend themselves time and again.

“The problem is not the vegan part of the diet, but it’s the inadequacy of the diet,” she said of the cases that make the news.

“Where on earth did they get the idea that this was a vegan diet?” she said.

Parents raising vegan kids need to be armed with facts, like being able to rattle off which foods and supplements are providing adequate vitamin B-12 and protein and where their kids are getting calcium.

For those who would question the safety of raising vegan babies, her suggested response is: “The doctors say we are doing it right.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


Malta Tops EU Obesity Rankings, Romania Thinnest

Malta Tops EU Obesity Rankings, Romania Thinnest

Malta has the highest proportion of obese adults in Europe, according to EU figures released Thursday, while Romania is the least obese.

In total just under a sixth of adults living in the European Union are obese — 15.9 percent, according to the Eurostat statistics agency, which said the figure goes up amongst older and less educated Europeans.

Counting 26 percent of its adults as obese, the Mediterranean island of Malta appears the worst hit by the public health problem, followed by Latvia and Hungary.

Britain — which leads the way in consuming the recommended five portions of fruit andvegetables a day, according to Eurostat figures released last week — came in fifth place with 20.1 percent.

Romania may not be doing so well on eating its greens — it came in last place on that ranking — but its rates of obesity are the lowest in Europe at 9.4 percent, ahead of Italy (10.7 percent) and the Netherlands (13.3 percent).

“With the exception of those aged 75 or over, the older the age group, the higher the share of obese persons,” Eurostat said in a statement. Only 5.7 percent of 18-24 year-olds are obese, compared to 22.1 percent of 65-74 year-olds.

There is also a clear link between education and obesity, with almost a fifth in the lowest-qualified category classed as obese compared to 11.5 percent for those with higher education.

Eurostat defines obesity as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 30, where BMI is the weight in kilograms divided by the square of a person’s height in metres.

Obesity — which carries with it a range of health problems including greater risks of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers — has doubled globally since 1980, according to the World Health Organization.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


5 Health Benefits of Eating Fish, Beyond the Delicious Flavour

5 Health Benefits of Eating Fish, Beyond the Delicious Flavour

The sheer joy of eating fish is known only to the lovers of seafood. Those who can’t seem to go beyond the foul smell associated with it miss out on a great expanse of culinary wonders that are delectable and oh so satisfying. The silken texture of fishwhen coupled with indigenous spices and local cooking techniques, renders an exquisite experience to the palate. Fish is probably one of the easiest items to cook and goes well with most ingredients. Its versatility is astonishing. Its delicate texture makes experimentation easy – it may be steamed, baked, grilled or fried to arrive at a range of lip-smacking preparations.

Fish consumption has long been linked to a bevy of health benefits. Here are some of them:

1)  Its rich nutritional profile that comes studded with essential micronutrients including omega 3, protein, B vitamins, selenium and vitamin D among others, makes it a much sought after item among fitness enthusiasts.

2)  Almost all fish and sea organisms are a rich source of vitamin E and omega 3. Regular fish consumption has long been tied to healthy hair, eyesight and skin.

3)  In the year 2004, The UK Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition reviewed the evidence on the health benefits of fish. According to the committee, a “large body of evidence” suggests fish consumption – especially oily fish –alleviates the risk of cardiovascular diseases owing to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids in them.

4)  Some recent medical studies point at the association between oily fish consumption and lower blood pressure levels.

5)  It is also believed to reduce fat build-up in the arteries. The evidence is strong enough to warrant a government recommendation that we eat at least two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily.

Common fish types containing omega-3:

– Haddock
– Salmon
– Mackerel
– Tuna

“You can easily get your daily dose of omega-3 from a range of oily fish. Tinned sardines and mackerel are some of your best options, are easy to cook and light on the pocket. These can be eaten in a variety of ways – on toast, with a side salad or as a quick, easy and nutritious meal,” shares Alison Hornby, a dietician and BDA spokesperson.

Although nothing can beat the crunchy goodness of fried fish, those who keep a strict watch on their calorie intake can opt for grilled, baked or steamed fish delicacies instead. Frying tends to increase the fat content of fish and shellfish, especially when they’re cooked in butter.

Pregnant women are often told to avoid seafood in any form owing to the mercury content in some organisms, which can be detrimental to the development of the foetus. Carrying mothers should particularly avoid eating shark, swordfish and marlin as these types contain more mercury than other fish. However, if you are pregnant, it is recommended that you take your doctor’s word on fish consumption before giving it a try.

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Afghanistan Burns 5 Tonnes Of Drugs, Alcohol In Single Blaze

Afghanistan Burns 5 Tonnes Of Drugs, Alcohol In Single BlazeAfghanistan Burns 5 Tonnes Of Drugs, Alcohol In Single Blaze
Authorities reportedly destroyed a tonne of heroin which is worth $44 million.
HERAT, AFGHANISTAN: Afghan authorities on Sunday burned around five tonnes of heroin, hashish, drug-making chemicals and alcohol in a show of their commitment to curbing drug trafficking.

Piles of drugs as well as some 100 bottles of alcohol were set alight outside the western city of Herat, seen as of the three main transit routes for narcotics out of Afghanistan.

“This demonstrates our commitment against drug trafficking. We are determined to prevent drug trafficking by all means possible,” Herat police chief Ayoub Ansari told reporters.

One tonne of heroin, sold gram by gram, is worth 40 million euros ($44 million) when it reaches European markets, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

There are conflicting accounts of how Afghanistan’s war on drugs is going.

Officials stress their efforts in the fight against opium production and trafficking but the country last year produced more than 80 percent of the world’s opium.
In addition to channelling hundreds of million of dollars into the Taliban-led insurgency, drug-based corruption also undermines the nation’s administration.

Afghans are not only producing record amounts of drugs, they are also consuming them.

Addiction levels have risen sharply – from almost nothing under the 1996-2001 Taliban regime – giving rise to a new generation of addicts since the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

According to the UN data the national drug use rate stands at 11 percent, one of the highest in the world. Drug use in rural areas is three times higher than in towns and cities.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)