N C R   S T O R I E S


The new GenX epidemic: Obesity
Ravi Bhatia

With the present day lifestyle being limited to colas, burgers and computer games, the GenX of urban India is faced with the potential threat of a new epidemic-Obesity!! In a seminar to raise awareness about the adversities of obesity among urban adolescents on ‘Anti-Obesity Day’, VLCC, India’s premier chain of health and fitness, announced the startling findings of the adolescent obesity research supported by Biostatistics Department, AIIMS.

The research was conducted among 450 affluent urban adolescents with the main objective to determine the level of obesity and the nutritional, lifestyle psychological and health status of these children. This study is a plea to the Directorate of Education requesting them to incorporate Health and Nutrition Education as part of the school curriculum.

The findings of the research suggest that out of the 93 per cent of the young teenagers who ate breakfast in the morning, 60 per cent skip breakfast at least 2-5 times a week. Thirty-five per cent ate out more than twice a week. When asked about their preference (likes/dislikes) towards food items it was found out that 72 per cent of the adolescents ate pizzas, 49 per cent like burgers, 35 per cent noodles, 32 per cent ice creams, 12 per cent fruits, and only 8 per cent like green vegetables and salads.

Elaborating on the lifestyle of adolescents, Dr Veena Aggrawal, Nutritionist, VLCC, said: “More and more kids are engaging themselves in sedentary lifestyle these days. We have found out that 48 per cent of the students spend at least 3-5 hrs in the day in sedentary activities.” She also added, “Since obesity levels are on the rise, it is expected that such research programmes will help in improving on the nutritional status of adolescents. This should help in the betterment of human resources of the country by increasing on their productivity levels and also conserving the financial resources of the country.”

It has also come out more clearly that not only is adolescent obesity linked to health problems in middle age, but also that increasing number of diseases manifest themselves at a younger age.

This research is a culmination of various problems connected with obesity among obese adolescents. In fact, as part research project VLCC has evolved a special “diet diary” that could serve as a friend and guide to adolescents. This diary can help them alter their dietary patterns and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Obesity is a silent killer and the single largest cause of various life threatening diseases. In India, malnutrition had been associated with under nutrition and underweight. But ironically today, the terminology “malnutrition” is also associated with “overweight”. Hence, India today faces two extreme problems of both under nutrition and also over nutrition.

Adding fuel

Adding fuel to the latest debate in the nutrition community, a study published in the International Journal of Obesity (USA) shows that in two groups eating two different diets containing the same number of daily calories over six months, one group lost more weight than the other.

In this study, 65 overweight and obese adults - 70 per cent of whom had type 2 diabetes were put on one of two diets designed for weight loss. The first group ate a liquid formula-based low-calorie diet containing moderate fat from almonds (39 per cent total fat, 25 per cent monounsaturated fat, 35 per cent carbohydrate as per cent of energy). The second group ate a liquid formula-based, low-fat, low-calorie diet including self-selected complex carbohydrates (18 per cent total fat, 5 per cent monounsaturated fat, 53 per cent carbohydrates as per cent of energy). The two diets’ calorie count and protein levels were equivalent.

After 24 weeks, patients on the moderate-fat diet containing almonds had achieved a greater reduction in weight/BMI (-18 per cent vs. -11 per cent), waist circumference (-14 per cent vs. -9 per cent), fat mass (-30 per cent vs. -20 per cent) and systolic blood pressure (-11 per cent vs. 0 per cent).

Both groups experienced lower glucose and insulin levels. But medication requirements for individuals with type 2 diabetes decreased more steadily in the low-calorie almond diet than the low-calorie complex carbohydrate diet.

The study comes at a time when the nutrition community is beginning to wonder, based on other recent studies, whether all calories are really created equal. One of the most hallowed nutrition beliefs has always been that losing weight hinges solely on the number of calories consumed versus the calories burned through resting energy expenditure and physical activity.

Dr Shikha Sharma, Capital’s well-known nutritionist, said: “It is amazing how conscious the Indian population is about the stigma of obesity, but they do not posses the basic knowledge of a healthy balanced diet. This study reiterates the importance of natural foods in the diet, with a special emphasise on almonds. In India, adherence to these basics can begin from ones own homes, since almonds already have a rich cultural and nutritional history.”

Surgery for obesity

For the first time in India, chairman of department of minimal access surgery, Ganga Ram Hospital, Dr Pradeep Kumar Chowbey, has introduced a unique endoscopic or laproscopic surgery for the morbid obesity patients. A biocompatible, sillicon band is placed around the stomach just below the food pipe creating a 30 ml pouch (2 tablespoonful). The patient feels full after just two bites of food thus decreasing the intake and resulting in the weight loss.

The procedure is safe, simple and reversible. It can be done as a short stay procedure (hospitalisation for 24 to 48 hours). It is a very patient-friendly procedure and has no cut (only few tiny puncture marks), very little pain is caused by the surgery and patient can resume his work with in few days after surgery. According to Dr Chowbey, 7-9 per cent people in India are overweight, of which 20-25 per cent are morbidly obese which amounts to a staggering 2-2.5 million people. Besides, social stigma and short life span, they are bound to face spectrum of problems. Patients with morbid obesity do not respond to medical means of health loss. Efforts to treat such patients through controlled diets, behaviour modification and exercise programmes are only temporarily successful with the patients invariably regaining even more weight than the amount lost. Obesity surgery is the only method by which long-term weight loss can be achieved in these patients. The over all cost of this surgery is around Rs.1.25 lakh.

Little known facts

The Annual Conference of Rheumatology Association (IRACON-2003 at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences here has brought together more than 400 rheumatologists to exchange information on the latest treatments on arthritis, osteoporosis and other rheumatic disorders. Realising that there is minimal awareness about arthritis and other related diseases both among the community and the medical fraternity, the three-day conference started with an objective of building a team of well-informed rheumatologists not only in big cities but also in small towns.

Rheumatic (musculoskeletal-bones, joints and muscles) complaints are very common in the community and constitute a large chunk of family practice. It is not appreciated that arthritis is of over 100 different types and that it is the most common cause of long-term pain and physical disability. The extent of the problem and its impact on society can be understood if one realises that joint diseases account for half of all chronic conditions in persons aged 65 and over.

“People think that there is no cure for arthritis and they tend to lump all musculoskeletal disorders together. With the modern advancements, several types of arthritis are curable and many more can be controlled,” says Dr Rohini Handa, Additional Professor, Rheumatology Division, Department of Medicine, AIIMS. “By having top rheumatologist, including 50 odd overseas participants, the conference will help in educating doctors in peripheral areas to the new treatments in this area,” he adds.

Contrary to the popular belief, children are prone to get arthritis too. In fact, age is no bar to arthritis and nearly one third of the patients are young. This fact is under appreciated by doctors and lay public alike. Often the diagnosis gets delayed due to lack of awareness. It is all too unfortunate to find children with crippling deformities, which could have been prevented with timely treatment. In addition, lifestyle changes in the youth and children are also likely to contribute to the burden of rheumatic diseases, notably osteoporosis, the brittle bone disease.

“The urban habit of increased consumption of cola drinks, tea and coffee with reduced milk consumption predisposes the youth to osteoporosis in later life. Few people know that the seeds of osteoporosis are sown in the teens. Even fewer know anything about bone health,” adds Dr Handa.

(Input by Nalini Ranjan)


Dental care camp
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 29
A dental care camp has been organised at the Max Hospital, Pitampura till November 30. The camp is aimed at preventing dental disease, a serious and frequent health problem with everyone. During the camp, leading orthodontists, prosthodontists and Maxillo Facial surgeons would be available for consultations.

Dr Ajay Sharma, prosthodontist, Max said, “Gingivitis, loosening of the tooth and cavities are the most common dental ailments. With the latest techniques in dental implants, the reconstruction of teeth is very easy now.”


Gajender, Rajesh hit tons in DDCA Division League
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, November 29
Century knocks by Gajender Kumar (117) and Rajesh Sahay (100) helped Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) beat Canara Bank by 45 runs in the DDCA A-II Division League at the YSC ground.

Scores: LIC: 286 for 2 in 40 overs (Gajender Kumar 117, Rajesh Sahay 100).

Canara Bank: 241 for 7 in 40 overs (Jai Singh Bisth 63, Vijay Singh 44).

Lal Bahadur Shastri Coaching Centre defeated Indo Cricket Club by 127 runs in an A-II Division match at the RSC ground.

Scores: Lal Bahadur Shastri Coaching Centre: 210 all out in 39.2 overs (Bijender Singh 52, Cristy Joshi 32, Rakesh Kari 35, Rajeev Walia 3 for 23, Rahul Dogra 3 for 46).

Indo Club: 83 all out in 24.2 overs (Harsh Kumar 3 for 15, Rakesh Khari 2 for 15, Yogender Singh 2 for 22).

Professional Management Group (PMG) defeated Telefunken by 162 runs in the DDCA A-II Division at the YSC I ground.

Scores: PMG: 285 for 5 in 40 overs (Vipin Rawat 100, Shashikant 66, Sushil Kumar2 for 41).

Telefunken Club: 123 all out in 28.1 overs (Gurjot Singh 25, Kamal Bhardwaj 4 for 21).

York Club beat Syndicate Bank by 163 runs in an A-II Division at the RSKP ground.

Scores: Yorks Club: 194 all out in 38.5 overs (Rajesh Sharma 38, Neeraj Tyagi 37, Narender Deswal 33, Bhola Shankar 3 for 31, Rajeev Sharma 3 for 36, Sanjay Gupta 2 for 31).

Syndicate Bank: 31 all out in 11 overs (Rajeev Dutta 8 for 13, including a hattrick).

Gemini Club beat Mayapuri by three wickets in an A-II Division match at the RSC ground.

Scores: Mayapuri: 120 all out in 36.3 overs (Manoj Singh 57, Sourabh Srivastava 24, Abhishek Kumar 3 for 15, Bhavesh Kumar 2 for 25).

Gemini: 121 for 7 in 38.2 overs (Komal Singh 26, Manoj Singh 2 for 14, Sourabh Srivastava 2 for 31).

NDTV beat American Express

NDTV beat American Express Bank by 49 runs in the Eventus Cricket Tournament.

Scores: NDTV: 160 for 8 in 25 overs (Deepak Sharma 69, Rakesh Gaur 46, Sanjeev Kumar 2 for 24, Gaurav Narula 2 for 21).

American Express: 111 all out in 16.4 overs (Metjoe Verghese 40, Bal Pangam 30, Rishi Kumar 2 for 16, Deepak Sharma 3 for 26).


Air Force School taste victory
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, November 29
Air Force School, Subroto Park (New Delhi) scored their first victory when they defeated American College High School, Madurai (Tamilnadu) 2-0 in the Subroto Mukherjee Cup Football Tournament at the Ambedkar Stadium on Saturday. Michael Kamei scored both the goals, once in each half, for Air Force School.

Good Shepherd High School, Shillong (Meghalaya) trounced MM Rabanni High School, Nagpur (Maharashtra) 3-0. Hopengstone Suting once again shone for Good Shepherd, scoring all the three goals. The goals came in the sixth, 26th and 53rd minutes.

Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishtan, Dhaka were locked in a goalless draw with Mamta Modern School, Delhi. Both the teams had their share of chances, with the visitors enjoying more of the exchanges, but the Mamata School defence stood its ground to foil the rival team’s attempts.

Sunday’s fixtures: American College vs Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa School, Jabalpur (10 am); Air Force School, Subroto Park vs Good Shepherd School, Shillong (2 pm); Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishtan vs Kabiraj Tilal High School, Tripura (3.30 pm) — Ambedkar Stadium.


Jindal to meet Royal Kashmir in polo final
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, November 29
Jindal Steel and Power overcame a spirited challenge by Zara in a high-scoring semi-final match of the Rabo India Maharaja Hari Singh Cup Polo Tournament at the Jaipur Polo Ground on Saturday. Jindal won by 14 goals to nine. Royal Kashmir beat South Delhi 6-4 in the other semi-final.

In the first match, Zara got off the blocks in style, scoring three goals in the first chukker. Dhruvpal Godara scored two goals while Satinder Garcha scored the other.

But Jindal caught up with Zara in the second chukker, thanks to Vishal Singh’s three-goal effort. And Simran Shergill slotted home a fine goal to put Jindal in the lead at 4-3. Jindal widened the lead in the third chukker though Zara also pulled up their socks to score two goals and at the end of the chukker, the score read 7-5 in favour of Jindal. Samir Suhag scored two goals and Simran Shergill accounted for his second goal.

Gerardo Mazzini struck in two goals for Zara to narrow the lead. Jindal widened the lead to 10-7 at the end of the fourth chukker. Simran Shergill shot in two goals while G. S. Pandher scored one. Dhruv scored two goals for Zara.

In the fifth chukker, Vishal Singh, Samir Suhag and Capt. G S Pandher scored one goal each for Jindal while Dhrupal Godara got the only goal of this chukker for Zara. Both the teams added one more goal in the last chukker.

In the second semi-final, Juan Ambroggio, Capt. Navjit Singh Sandhu and Oliver Taylor scored for Royal Kashmir while Shivraj Singh and Phillip Elliott scored for South Delhi. The final will be played on Sunday at 3 pm.

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