Category Archives for "Health & Fitness"

evolve the mood & mind clinic psychiatrist
Jan 13

Being Afraid Of One’s Own Image

Health & Fitness

People affected with body dysmorphic disorder have extreme negative views about themselves

In today’s world when appearances have begun to rule our lives, there is some aspect of our overall looks that most of us may not like — uneven teeth, a big nose or small eyes. While we may not be happy with the way we look, these imperfections, real or perceived, don’t interfere with our daily lives.

However, individuals, who suffer from body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), have negative, and sometimes biased, views about their real or perceived flaws. These people are excessively preoccupied with some ‘imagined’ or ‘slight’ defect in their body to the extent that it starts affecting their mental health.

Symptoms and traits

This disorder is characterised by persistent and intrusive negative thoughts about imagined or slight flaws that these people can’t control. They refuse to believe others about their appearance. Their thoughts and behaviour may cause severe emotional stress and interfere with their daily functioning. They may miss work or school, avoid social gatherings and withdraw from family and friends because of their fear that others will notice their flaws.

Symptoms and behavioural traits include excessive preoccupation with grooming rituals, hiding their bodies under various clothes, makeup, comparing their body parts to others’, checking or avoiding mirror, seeking corrective surgery, etc. BDD patients always worry about their nose, eyes, hair, chin, skin or lips, etc. Even a slight flaw seems prominent to them.

These kind of obsessions and behaviour cause emotional distress and impact their abilities to perform day to day activities. People with severe BDD may even have suicidal thoughts.

evolve the mood & mind clinic psychiatrist brochure

Causes and factors

The causes of this disorder are unknown, though biological and environmental factors, including genetics, neurobiological factors like malfunctioning of serotonin in the brain may be responsible for its development.

Other factors may include bullying and/or abuse during childhood/adolescence, low self-esteem. Such patients may get dependent on alcohol and develop poor eating habits.

BDD is thought to affect around one to two per cent of the population, and it affects men and women equally. It often starts during adolescence. However, most people who are diagnosed with this problem do not get diagnosed until 10 to 15 years after their symptoms usually begin. This may be due to a feeling of shame often associated with mental problems, which prevents people from seeking help.

People affected with BDD may also suffer from other disorders such as anxiety or social anxiety disorder, depression, eating disorders, or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). BDD patients can also be misdiagnosed as they share similar symptoms with other mental disorders.

BDD is treatable and can be treated with the help of trained mental health professionals like a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist who can use a combination of medication and psychotherapy or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

With effective and tailor-made treatments, BDD can be overcome and patients can live full, productive lives.

Dr. Manish Jain


sleep nice good evolve dr manish psychiatrist
Aug 17

Why Seven Hours of Sleep Might Be Better Than Eight

Health & Fitness

How much sleep do you really need?

Experts generally recommend seven to nine hours a night for healthy adults. Sleep scientists say new guidelines are needed to take into account an abundance of recent research in the field and to reflect that Americans are on average sleeping less than they did in the past.

Several sleep studies have found that seven hours is the optimal amount of sleep—not eight, as was long believed—when it comes to certain cognitive and health markers, although many doctors question that conclusion.

Other recent research has shown that skimping on a full night’s sleep, even by 20 minutes, impairs performance and memory the next day. And getting too much sleep—not just too little of it—is associated with health problems including diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease and with higher rates of death, studies show.

“The lowest mortality and morbidity is with seven hours,” said Shawn Youngstedt, a professor in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at Arizona State University Phoenix. “Eight hours or more has consistently been shown to be hazardous,” says Dr. Youngstedt, who researches the effects of oversleeping.


– People say they need an average of 7 hours, 13 minutes of sleep to function at their best. They sleep 6 hours, 31 minutes on an average weekday, and 7 hours, 22 minutes on weekends.

– 69% of Americans get less sleep on weekdays than they say they need.

– Sleeping with a partner is preferred by 60% of adults. About 1 in 5 people sleep with a pet.

– Pajamas are worn by 73% of people and 12% sleep with nothing on.

– A third of adults sleep with one pillow, 41% use two and 14% keep four or more pillows.

Source: National Sleep Foundation, 2013 International Bedroom Poll

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is helping to fund a panel of medical specialists and researchers to review the scientific literature on sleep and develop new recommendations, probably by 2015.

Daniel F. Kripke, an emeritus professor of psychiatry at the University of California San Diego, tracked over a six-year period data on 1.1 million people who participated in a large cancer study. People who reported they slept 6.5 to 7.4 hours had a lower mortality rate than those with shorter or longer sleep. The study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry in 2002, controlled for 32 health factors, including medications.

In another study, published in the journal Sleep Medicine in 2011, Dr. Kripke found further evidence that the optimal amount of sleep might be less than the traditional eight hours. The researchers recorded the sleep activity of about 450 elderly women using devices on their wrist for a week. Some 10 years later the researchers found that those who slept fewer than five hours or more than 6.5 hours had a higher mortality.

Other experts caution against studies showing ill effects from too much sleep. Illness may cause someone to sleep or spend more time in bed, these experts say. And studies based on people reporting their own sleep patterns may be inaccurate.

“The problem with these studies is that they give you good information about association but not causation,” said Timothy Morgenthaler, president of the  American Academy of Sleep Medicine, which represents sleep doctors and researchers, and a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine.

Getting the right amount of sleep is important in being alert the next day, and several recent studies have found an association between getting seven hours of sleep and optimal cognitive performance.

A study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience last year used data from users of the cognitive-training website Lumosity. Researchers looked at the self-reported sleeping habits of about 160,000 users who took spatial-memory and matching tests and about 127,000 users who took an arithmetic test. They found that cognitive performance increased as people got more sleep, reaching a peak at seven hours before starting to decline.

After seven hours, “increasing sleep was not any more beneficial,” said Murali Doraiswamy, a professor of psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., who co-authored the study with scientists from Lumos Labs Inc., which owns Lumosity. He said the study replicated earlier research, including a look at memory loss. “If you think about all the causes of memory loss, sleep is probably one of the most easily modifiable factors,” he said.

Most research has focused on the effects of getting too little sleep, including cognitive and health declines and weight gain. David Dinges, a sleep scientist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine who has studied sleep deprivation, said repeatedly getting just 20 or 30 minutes less than the minimum recommendation of seven hours can slow cognitive speed and increase attention lapses.

Experts say people should be able to figure out their optimal amount of sleep in a trial of three days to a week, ideally while on vacation. Don’t use an alarm clock. Go to sleep when you get tired. Avoid too much caffeine or alcohol. And stay off electronic devices a couple of hours before going to bed. During the trial, track your sleep with a diary or a device that records your actual sleep time. If you feel refreshed and awake during the day, you’ve probably discovered your optimal sleep time.

eat healthy child dr manish psychiatrist
Aug 17

Healthy Eating Habits for Your Child

Health & Fitness

By teaching your children healthy eating habits and moulding these behaviours in yourself, you can help your children maintain a healthy weight and normal growth. Also, the eating habits your children pick up when they are young will help them maintain a healthy lifestyle when they are adults.

Your child’s health care provider can evaluate your child’s weight and growth and let you know if your child needs to lose or gain weight or if any dietary changes need to be made.

Some of the most important aspects of healthy eating are portion control and cutting down on how much fat and sugar your child eats or drinks. Simple ways to reduce fat intake in your child’s diet and promote a healthy weight include serving:

– Low-fat or nonfat dairy products

– Poultry without skin

– Lean cuts of meats

– Whole grain breads and cereals

– Healthy snacks such as fruit and veggies

Also, reduce the amount of sugar sweetened drinks and salt in your child’s diet.

If you are unsure about how to select and prepare a variety of foods for your family, consult a registered dietitian for nutrition counseling.

It is important that you do not place your overweight child(ren) on a restrictive diet. Children should never be placed on a restrictive diet to lose weight unless a doctor supervises one for medical reasons.

Other approaches parents can take to develop healthy eating habits in their children include:

Guide your family’s choices rather than dictate foods. Make a wide variety of healthful foods available in the house. This practice will help your children learn how to make healthy food choices. Leave the unhealthy choices like chips, soda, and juice at the grocery store. Serve water with meals.

Encourage your children to eat slowly. A child can detect hunger and fullness better when they eat slowly. Before offering a second helping or serving, ask your child to wait at least 15 minutes to see if they are truly still hungry. This will give the brain time to register fullness. Also, that second helping should be much smaller than the first.

Eat meals together as a family as often as possible. Try to make mealtimes pleasant with conversation and sharing, not a time for scolding or arguing. If mealtimes are unpleasant, children may try to eat faster to leave the table as soon as possible. They then may learn to associate eating with stress.

Involve your children in food shopping and preparing meals. These activities will give you hints about your children’s food preferences, an opportunity to teach your children about nutrition, and provide your kids with a feeling of accomplishment. In addition, children may be more willing to eat or try foods that they help prepare.

Plan for snacks. Continuous snacking may lead to overeating, but snacks that are planned at specific times during the day can be part of a nutritious diet, without spoiling a child’s appetite at meal times. You should make snacks as nutritious as possible, without depriving your children of occasional chips or cookies, especially at parties or other social events.

Discourage eating meals or snacks while watching TV. Try to eat only in designated areas of your home, such as the dining room or kitchen. Eating in front of the TV may make it difficult to pay attention to feelings of fullness, and may lead to overeating.

Encourage your children to drink more water. Over consumption of sweetened drinks and sodas has been linked to increased rates of obesity in children.

Try not to use food to punish or reward your children. Withholding food as a punishment may lead children to worry that they will not get enough food. For example, sending children to bed without any dinner may cause them to worry that they will go hungry. As a result, children may try to eat whenever they get a chance. Similarly, when foods, such as sweets, are used as a reward, children may assume that these foods are better or more valuable than other foods. For example, telling children that they will get dessert if they eat all of their vegetables sends the wrong message about vegetables.

Make sure your children’s meals outside the home are balanced. Find out more about their school lunch program, or pack their lunch to include a variety of foods. Also, select healthier items when dining at restaurants.

Pay attention to portion size and ingredients. Read food labels and limit foods with trans fat. Also, make sure you serve the appropriate portion as indicated on the label.

tobacco cigarettes effects harms cancer quit smoking stay fit evolve dr manish jain psychiatrist
Aug 16

Tobacco : Facts and Figures

Health & Fitness

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the United States. It causes many different cancers as well as chronic lung diseases such as emphysema and bronchitis, heart disease, pregnancy-related problems, and many other serious health problems.

– Who smokes?

– Why is smoking harmful to smokers?

– Why is smoking harmful to non-smokers?

– Who uses smokeless tobacco?

– How is smokeless tobacco harmful?

Who smokes?

– Each day, more than 3,200 people under 18 smoke their first cigarette, and approximately 2,100 youth and young adults become daily smokers.

– 9 out of 10 smokers start before the age of 18,  and 98% start smoking by age 26.

– 1 in 5 adults and teenagers smoke.

– In 2011, an estimated 19% of U.S. adults were cigarette smokers.

– Approximately 18% of high school students smoke cigarettes.

– In 2011, nearly 18% of high school boys were current cigar users.

– From 1964 to 2014, the proportion of adult smokers declined from 42.0% to 18.0%.

Why is smoking harmful to smokers?

General Health

– More than 16 million people already have at least one disease from smoking.

– More than 20 million Americans have died because of smoking since 1964, including approximately 2.5 million deaths due to exposure to secondhand smoke.

– 8.6 million people live with a serious illness caused by smoking.

– On average, smokers die 13 to 14 years earlier than nonsmokers.

Respiratory Health

– Nearly 9 out of 10 lung cancers are caused by smoking. Smokers today are much more likely to develop lung cancer than smokers were in 1964.

– Nearly 8 out of 10 COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) deaths are a result of smoking. Currently, there is no cure for COPD.

– Women smokers are up to 40 times more likely to develop COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) than women who have never smoked.

– Smoking increases a person’s risk of getting tuberculosis and dying from it.

– More than 11% of high school students in the United States have asthma, and studies suggest that youth who smoke are more likely to develop asthma.

– Smoking slows down lung growth in children and teens.

– Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women in the United States, and 90% of lung cancer deaths among men and approximately 80% of lung cancer deaths among women are due to smoking.


– Smoking causes many other types of cancer, including cancers of the throat, mouth, nasal cavity, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, and cervix, as well as acute myeloid leukemia.

– Men with prostate cancer who smoke may be more likely to die from the disease than nonsmokers.


5.6 million children alive today will ultimately die early from smoking. That is equal to 1 child out of every 13 alive in the U.S. today.


Smokers are 30% to 40% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers.


18 million males over age 20 suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED). Smoking is a cause of ED, as cigarette smoke alters blood flow necessary for an erection.

Why is smoking harmful to others?

General Population

– An estimated 88 million nonsmoking Americans, including 54% of children aged 3–11 years, are exposed to secondhand smoke.

– Each year, primarily because of exposure to secondhand smoke, an estimated 3,000 nonsmoking Americans die of lung cancer,

– Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase their lung cancer risk by 20–30%.

– Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase their heart disease risk by 25–30%.

– More than 33,000 nonsmokers die every year in the United States from coronary heart disease caused by exposure to secondhand smoke.


– More than 100,000 of the smoking-caused deaths over the last 50 years were of babies who died from SIDS.

– More than 400,000 babies born in the U.S. every year are exposed to chemicals in cigarette smoke before birth, because their mothers smoke.

– In babies aged 18 months and younger in the United States, secondhand smoke exposure is responsible for:

      – 150,000–300,000 new cases of bronchitis and pneumonia annually

      – Approximately 7,500–15,000 hospitalizations annually

– Babies who breathe secondhand smoke are sick more often with bronchitis, pneumonia, and ear infections.


Children are at particular risk for exposure to secondhand smoke: 53.6% of young children (aged 3–11 years) were exposed to secondhand smoke in 2007–2008.

While only 5.4% of adult nonsmokers in the United States lived with someone who smoked inside their home, 18.2% of children (aged 3–11 years) lived with someone who smoked inside their home in 2007–2008.

In children, secondhand smoke causes:

– Ear infections

– More frequent and severe asthma attacks

– Respiratory issues, including coughing, sneezing, and shortness of breath

– Respiratory infections, including bronchitis and pneumonia

– An increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

Smokeless Tobacco

Smokeless tobacco is tobacco that is not burned. It is also known as chewing tobacco, oral tobacco, spit or spitting tobacco, dip, chew, and snuff. Most people chew or suck (dip) the tobacco in their mouth and spit out the tobacco juices that build up, although “spitless” smokeless tobacco has also been developed.

chewing tobacco cigarettes effects harms cancer quit smoking stay fit evolve dr manish jain psychiatrist

Who uses smokeless tobacco?

15% of high school boys use smokeless tobacco, and an estimated 9% of all high school students use smokeless tobacco.

3.5% of all adults use smokeless tobacco.

Among the 50 states and DC, smokeless tobacco use was highest in Wyoming (9.1%), West Virginia (8.5%), and Mississippi (7.5%).

In all 50 states and DC, smokeless tobacco use was significantly higher among men than women; smokeless tobacco use among men ranged from 2.0% (DC) to 17.1% (West Virginia).

Data suggests that men, young adults (aged 18–24 years), and those with a high school education or less are more likely to use smokeless tobacco.

How is smokeless tobacco harmful?

Smokeless tobacco contains 28 cancer-causing agents (carcinogens).

Smokeless tobacco is a known cause of cancer; it causes oral and pancreatic cancer.

Smokeless tobacco is also strongly associated with leukoplakia—a precancerous lesion of the soft tissue in the mouth that consists of a white patch or plaque that cannot be scraped off.

Smokeless tobacco is associated with recession of the gums, gum disease, and tooth decay.

Smokeless tobacco use during pregnancy increases the risks for preeclampsia (i.e., a condition that may include high blood pressure, fluid retention, and swelling), premature birth, and low birth weight.

Smokeless tobacco use by men causes reduced sperm count and abnormal sperm cells.

Smokeless tobacco contains nicotine, and using it leads to nicotine addiction and dependence.

Adolescents who use smokeless tobacco are more likely to become cigarette smokers.

healthy eating eat healthy dr manish psychiatrist
Aug 16

Healthy Eating : 10 Easy Tips for Planning a Healthy Diet and Sticking to it

Health & Fitness

Healthy eating is not about strict dietary limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, improving your outlook, and stabilizing your mood. If you feel overwhelmed by all the conflicting nutrition and diet advice out there, you’re not alone. It seems that for every expert who tells you a certain food is good for you, you’ll find another saying exactly the opposite. But by using these simple tips, you can cut through the confusion and learn how to create a tasty, varied, and healthy diet that is as good for your mind as it is for your body.

“Instead of emphasizing one nutrient, we need to move to food-based recommendations. What we eat should be whole, minimally processed, nutritious food—food that is in many cases as close to its natural form as possible.”

–Dariush Mozaffarian, Dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition, Tufts University

How does healthy eating affect mental and emotional health?

We all know that eating right can help you maintain a healthy weight and avoid certain health problems, but your diet can also have a profound effect on your mood and sense of wellbeing. Studies have linked eating a typical Western diet—filled with processed meats, packaged meals, takeout food, and sugary snacks—with higher rates of depression, stress, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. Eating an unhealthy diet may even play a role in the development of mental health disorders such as ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, and schizophrenia, or in the increased risk of suicide in young people.

Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, cooking meals at home, and reducing your intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates, on the other hand, may help to improve mood and lower your risk for mental health problems. If you have already been diagnosed with a mental health problem, eating well can even help to manage your symptoms and regain control of your life.

While some specific foods or nutrients have been shown to have a beneficial effect on mood, it’s your overall dietary pattern that is most important. That means switching to a healthy diet doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition. You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a healthy diet and make a difference to the way you think and feel.

Healthy eating tip 1: Set yourself up for success

To set yourself up for success, think about planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps—like adding a salad to your diet once a day—rather than one big drastic change. As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices.

– Prepare more of your own meals. Cooking more meals at home can help you take charge of what you’re eating and better monitor exactly what goes into your food.

– Make the right changes. When cutting back on unhealthy foods in your diet, it’s important to replace them with healthy alternatives. Replacing dangerous trans fats with healthy fats (such as switching fried chicken for grilled fish) will make a positive difference to your health. Switching animal fats for refined carbohydrates, though (such as switching your breakfast bacon for a donut), won’t lower your risk for heart disease or improve your mood.

– Simplify. Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories, think of your diet in terms of color, variety, and freshness. Focus on avoiding packaged and processed foods and opting for more fresh ingredients.

– Read the labels. It’s important to be aware of what’s in your food as manufacturers often hide large amounts of sugar or unhealthy fats in packaged food, even food claiming to be healthy.

– Focus on how you feel after eating. This will help foster healthy new habits and tastes. The more healthy food you eat, the better you’ll feel after a meal. The more junk food you eat, the more likely you are to feel uncomfortable, nauseous, or drained of energy.

– Drink plenty of water. Water helps flush our systems of waste products and toxins, yet many people go through life dehydrated—causing tiredness, low energy, and headaches. It’s common to mistake thirst for hunger, so staying well hydrated will also help you make healthier food choices.

Healthy eating tip 2: Moderation is key

Key to any healthy diet is moderation. But what is moderation? In essence, it means eating only as much food as your body needs. You should feel satisfied at the end of a meal, but not stuffed. Moderation is also about balance. Despite what fad diets would have you believe, we all need a balance of protein, fat, fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals to sustain a healthy body.

For many of us, moderation also means eating less than we do now. But it doesn’t mean eliminating the foods you love. Eating bacon for breakfast once a week, for example, could be considered moderation if you follow it with a healthy lunch and dinner—but not if you follow it with a box of donuts and a sausage pizza. If you eat 100 calories of chocolate one afternoon, balance it out by deducting 100 calories from your evening meal. If you’re still hungry, fill up with extra vegetables.

– Try not to think of certain foods as “off-limits.” When you ban certain foods or food groups, it is natural to want those foods more, and then feel like a failure if you give in to temptation. Start by reducing portion sizes of unhealthy foods and not eating them as often. As you reduce your intake of unhealthy foods, you may find yourself craving them less or thinking of them as only occasional indulgences.

– Think smaller portions. Serving sizes have ballooned recently. When dining out, choose a starter instead of an entree, split a dish with a friend, and don’t order supersized anything. At home, visual cues can help with portion sizes–your serving of meat, fish, or chicken should be the size of a deck of cards and half a cup of mashed potato, rice, or pasta is about the size of a traditional light bulb. If you don’t feel satisfied at the end of a meal, add more leafy green vegetables or round off the meal with fruit.

– Take your time. Stop eating before you feel full. It actually takes a few minutes for your brain to tell your body that it has had enough food, so eat slowly.

– Eat with others whenever possible. As well as the emotional benefits, this allows you to model healthy eating habits for your kids. Eating in front of the TV or computer often leads to mindless overeating.

Healthy eating tip 3: Reduce sugar

Aside from portion size, perhaps the single biggest problem with the modern Western diet is the amount of added sugar in our food. As well as creating weight problems, too much sugar causes energy spikes and has been linked to diabetes, depression, and even an increase in suicidal behaviors in young people. Reducing the amount of candy and desserts you eat is only part of the solution as sugar is also hidden in foods such as bread, cereals, canned soups and vegetables, pasta sauce, margarine, instant mashed potatoes, frozen dinners, low-fat meals, fast food, and ketchup. Your body gets all it needs from sugar naturally occurring in food so all this added sugar just means a lot of empty calories.

Tips for cutting down on sugar

– Slowly reduce the sugar in your diet a little at a time to give your taste buds time to adjust and wean yourself off the craving.

– Avoid sugary drinks. Try drinking sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice instead.

– Don’t replace saturated fat with sugar. Many of us make the mistake of replacing healthy sources of saturated fat, such as whole milk dairy, with refined carbs or sugary foods, thinking we’re making a healthier choice. Low-fat doesn’t necessarily mean healthy, especially when the fat has been replaced by added sugar to make up for loss of taste.

– Avoid processed or packaged foods like canned soups, frozen dinners, or low-fat meals that often contain hidden sugar that quickly surpasses the recommended limit.

– Be careful when eating out.  Most gravy, dressings and sauces are also packed with salt and sugar, so ask for it to be served on the side.

– Eat healthier snacks.  Cut down on sweet snacks such as candy, chocolate, and cakes. Instead, eat naturally sweet food such as fruit, peppers, or natural peanut butter to satisfy your sweet tooth.

– Check labels and choose low-sugar products.

Healthy eating tip 4: Eat plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and nutrient dense, which means they are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Focus on eating the recommended daily minimum of five servings of fruit and vegetables and it will naturally fill you up and help you cut back on unhealthy foods. A serving is half a cup of raw fruit or veg or a small apple or banana, for example. Most of us need to double the amount we currently eat.

Try to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day as deeply colored fruits and vegetables contain higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Add berries to breakfast cereals, eat fruit for dessert, and snack on vegetables such as carrots, snow peas, or cherry tomatoes instead of processed snack foods.

– Greens. Branch out beyond lettuce. Kale, mustard greens, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage are all packed with calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, and vitamins A, C, E, and K.

– Sweet vegetables. Naturally sweet vegetables—such as corn, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, yams, onions, and squash—add healthy sweetness to your meals and reduce your cravings for added sugars.

– Fruit. Fruit is a tasty, satisfying way to fill up on fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Berries are cancer-fighting, apples provide fiber, oranges and mangos offer vitamin C, and so on.

Healthy eating tip 5: Bulk up on fiber

Eating foods high in dietary fiber can help you stay regular, lower your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, and help you lose weight. Depending on your age and gender, nutrition experts recommend you eat at least 21 to 38 grams of fiber per day for optimal health. Many of us aren’t eating half that amount.

– In general, the more natural and unprocessed the food, the higher it is in fiber.

– Good sources of fiber include whole grains, wheat cereals, barley, oatmeal, beans, nuts, vegetables such as carrots, celery, and tomatoes, and fruits such as apples, berries, citrus fruits, and pears.

– There is no fiber in meat, dairy, or sugar. Refined or “white” foods, such as white bread, white rice, and pastries, have had all or most of their fiber removed.

– An easy way to add more fiber to your diet is to start your day with a whole grain cereal or add unprocessed wheat bran to your favorite cereal.

Healthy eating tip 6: Eat healthy carbs and whole grains

Choose healthy carbohydrates and fiber sources, especially whole grains, for long-lasting energy. Whole grains are rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants, which help to protect against coronary heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes.

What are healthy carbs and unhealthy carbs?

– Healthy carbs (or good carbs) include whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables. Healthy carbs are digested slowly, helping you feel full longer and keeping blood sugar and insulin levels stable.

– Unhealthy carbs (or bad carbs) are foods such as white flour, refined sugar, and white rice that have been stripped of all bran, fiber, and nutrients. They digest quickly and cause spikes in blood sugar levels and energy.

Tips for eating more healthy carbs

– Include a variety of whole grains in your healthy diet, including whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, and barley.

– Make sure you’re really getting whole grains. Check for the Whole Grain Stamps that distinguish between partial whole grain and 100% whole grain.

– Try mixing grains as a first step to switching to whole grains. If whole grains like brown rice and whole wheat pasta don’t sound good at first, start by mixing what you normally use with the whole grains. You can gradually increase the whole grain to 100%.

Avoid: Refined foods such as breads, pastas, and breakfast cereals that are not whole grain.

Healthy eating tip 7: Add calcium for bone health

Your body uses calcium to build healthy bones and teeth, keep them strong as you age, send messages through the nervous system, and regulate the heart’s rhythm. If you don’t get enough calcium in your diet, your body will take calcium from your bones to ensure normal cell function, which can lead to osteoporosis. 

Recommended calcium levels are 1000 mg per day, 1200 mg if you are over 50 years old. Try to get as much from food as possible and use only low-dose calcium supplements to make up any shortfall. Limit foods that deplete your body’s calcium stores (caffeine, alcohol, sugary drinks), do weight-bearing exercise, and get a daily dose of magnesium and vitamins D and K—nutrients that help calcium do its job.

Good sources of calcium include:

– Dairy: Dairy products are rich in calcium in a form that is easily digested and absorbed by the body. Sources include milk, unsweetened yogurt, and cheese.

– Vegetables and greens: Many vegetables, especially leafy green ones, are rich sources of calcium. Try collard greens, kale, romaine lettuce, celery, broccoli, fennel, cabbage, summer squash, green beans, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and crimini mushrooms.

– Beans: such as black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, white beans, black-eyed peas, or baked beans.

Healthy eating tip 8: Put protein in perspective

Protein gives us the energy to get up and go—and keep going. While too much protein can be harmful to people with kidney disease, the latest research suggests that most of us need more high-quality protein, especially as we age.

How much protein do you need?

Protein needs are based on weight rather than calorie intake. Adults should eat at least 0.8g of high-quality protein per kilogram (2.2lb) of body weight per day.

– Older adults should aim for 1 to 1.5 grams of lean protein for each kilogram of weight. This translates to 68 to 102g of protein per day for a person weighing 150 lbs.

– Divide your protein intake equally among meals.

– Nursing women need about 20 grams more high-quality protein a day than they did before pregnancy to support milk production.

How to add high-quality protein to your diet

– Eat plenty of fish, chicken, or plant-based protein such as beans, nuts, and soy.

– Replace processed carbohydrates from pastries, cakes, pizza, cookies and chips with fish, beans, nuts, seeds, peas, tofu, chicken, dairy, and soy products.

– Snack on nuts and seeds instead of chips, replace baked dessert with Greek yogurt, or swap out slices of pizza for a grilled chicken breast and a side of beans.

Healthy eating tip 9: Enjoy healthy fats

Despite what you may have been told, not all fats are unhealthy. While “bad” fats can increase your risk of certain diseases, “good” fats are essential to physical and emotional health. Foods rich in certain omega-3 fats, for example, can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, improve your mood, and help prevent dementia.

Good fats

Monounsaturated fats from avocados, nuts (like almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans), and seeds (such as pumpkin and sesame).

Polyunsaturated fats, including Omega-3s, found in fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and some cold water fish oil supplements. Good vegetarian sources of polyunsaturated fats include flaxseed and walnuts.

Bad fats

Trans fats, found in processed foods, vegetable shortenings, margarines, crackers, candies, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, baked goods, or anything with “partially hydrogenated” oil in the ingredients, even if it claims to be trans-fat free.

The debate about saturated fats

Saturated fats are mainly found in tropical oils, dairy, and animal products such as red meat, while poultry and fish also contain some saturated fat. The latest news in the nutritional world studies—with old and new studies to back them up—suggest that not all saturated fat is a dietary demon, either. While many prominent health organizations maintain that eating saturated fat from any source increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, other nutrition experts take a different view. The new argument is that saturated fat contributes to weight control and overall health.

Of course, not all saturated fat is the same. The saturated fat in whole milk, coconut oil, or salmon is different to the unhealthy saturated fat found in pizza, French fries, and processed meat products (such as ham, sausage, hot dogs, salami, and other cold cuts) which have been linked to coronary disease and cancer.

Healthy eating tip 10: Watch your salt intake

Sodium is another ingredient that is frequently added to food to improve taste, even though your body needs less than one gram of sodium a day (about half a teaspoon of table salt). Eating too much salt can cause high blood pressure and lead to an increased risk of stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, memory loss, and erectile dysfunction. It may also worsen symptoms of bipolar disorder.

– Use herbs and spices such as garlic, curry powder, cayenne or black pepper to improve the flavor of meals instead of salt.

– Be careful when eating out. Most restaurant and fast food meals are loaded with sodium. Some offer lower-sodium choices or you can ask for your meal to be made without salt.

– Buy unsalted nuts and add a little of your own salt until your taste buds are accustomed to eating them salt-free.

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Aug 16

Want to loose weight?

Health & Fitness

See below, How Many Extra Miles do you need to Walk a Day to Lose Weight?

For all of the methods we have that are geared towards helping people lose weight, good old-fashioned walking is still one of the best things to add onto a weight loss plan or workout program. While walking is very healthy for the body and it is absolutely helpful as supplemental exercise if you’re trying to drop weight or body fat, it does not cover all of the bases. However, if you combine a walking habit with a smart workout program, you’re going to drastically increase the health benefits and also see a lot better results, a lot faster.

If you’re trying to lose weight, you still need to challenge your cardiovascular endurance (for health and calorie burn). Keep in mind that this is relative to your own fitness level and it doesn’t have to be intimidating. Listen to your body, and move at a pace that is challenging to you specifically. The other piece of the puzzle is strength/resistance training, which is one of the best ways to lose extra weight and keep it off – it also has a very long list of health benefits that walking doesn’t quite cover.

If you are trying to lose weight through walking, one of the best things that you can do to boost the chances of success for your efforts is to use a pedometer. Pedometers are extremely cheap and can go a long ways in helping you determine how many miles you walk in a day, and how many more you might need to walk in order to lose weight.

In order to find out how many miles you need to cover to drop extra pounds, you need to find out how many you are currently covering. This way, you will know by how much you need to increase your steps, or distance each day in order to be able to see a difference in the number on the scale.

For example; if you currently take 8,000 steps with your existing routine and daily habits and are maintaining weight, the number of steps that you need to increase your daily distance to lose weight is simply a matter of mathematics; increasing your mileage according to the number of calories you want to burn.

How many steps do I need to take to lose weight?

The average person has a stride that is 2.5 feet long. Using this stride length, there are roughly 2112 steps in the average person’s mile.

Each mile that a person walks burns roughly 100 calories. If a person was to commit to walking 4,500 extra steps per day, or roughly 3 extra miles, they would be burning an extra 300 calories a day (at least). Burning 300 calories each day leads to a weekly deficit of 2100 calories. After a month, that’s roughly 9000 cal burned, which equates to approximately 2.6 pounds lost. Keep it up for a year and you’re looking at over 31 pounds lost!

Accumulating those three extra miles a day could be as simple as making small changes such as parking further from the store that you’re visiting, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or pacing while you’re talking on the phone. Even if you were to do the 3 miles in one fell swoop, it would only take an extra 45 minutes out of your day.

How many miles a day do YOU need to walk to lose weight?

The number of miles per day that you need to walk to lose weight really depends on your starting point. As mentioned above, it’s important to find out what your starting point is in terms of your activity level, the number of calories you’re currently burning in the day, and the distance that you are covering on average. Once you have an idea of what these figures are for your personal habits and activities, you’ll get a good idea of how many additional steps you need to take each day to see results.

Remember, it’s all a simple math equation.

Here are the basic numbers;

1 Mile = 2112 steps

1 Mile walked = 100 calories burned

1 Pound = 3500 calories

2 Pound weight loss per week = 7000 cal, or a 500 cal deficit per day

1 Pound weight loss per week just by walking = 5 extra miles walked per day – or 10,560 extra steps (in addition to the distance that you are currently covering while maintaining weight)

1 Pound weight loss per week with diet changes and walking combined = 2.5 extra miles walked per day (5280 extra steps), and 250 calories less consumed per day, for a total daily caloric deficit of 500 calories.

Again: If you are trying to lose weight, make sure that you are also doing strength training – people who are trying to lose weight often think that strength training will make them bulky or that they should wait until they lose the extra weight before they “begin to tone”. In fact, the longer you avoid strength training, the longer you are putting off easier weight loss and maintenance. Strength training is absolutely essential to losing weight, keeping a fast metabolism and a healthy body, and it can be modified to challenge anyone, from beginner to advanced. Strength training is healthy for people ages 3-110; as long as the training is smart (good form is emphasized and an appropriately challenging weight is selected), the health benefits are bountiful.

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Aug 16

Yoga for a Beautiful Body

Health & Fitness

A leaner you in no time

If you long for an even more gorgeous and graceful body, “there’s no better way to get it than through a yoga routine,” says certified yoga instructor and personal trainer Kristin McGee. “This series not only works your entire body, front and back, from toes to fingertips, but it includes strengthening, twisting, and balancing. You’ll sculpt, get grounded, and build confidence.”

Repeat the routine (on both sides) 3 to 5 times—it’ll take about 20 to 30 minutes total—at least 3 to 4 times a week. As you master the poses, you’ll begin to notice amazing changes both inside and out.

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Awkward Chair

Stand with feet together and abs contracted. Exhale as you push your hips back to squat down as if sitting in a chair; at the same time, lift your arms by your ears. Arms should be shoulder-width with palms facing and fingers pointing toward the ceiling. Hold for 5 to 8 breaths.

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High Lunge

Keeping arms raised and abs tight, step your left foot back and lower into lunge position so front knee is bent at 90 degrees and directly over your ankle. Hold for 5 breaths.

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Downward Dog

Lower your hands to the mat on either side of your front foot and step your right foot back so it’s even with your left. Straighten your legs and push into your hands and feet as you lift your hips toward the ceiling. Move your shoulders away from your ears and draw your front ribs in toward each other. Hold for 5 breaths.

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Lower your hips, coming onto your toes and moving your torso forward until your shoulders are directly over your hands. Your abs should be tight, with your body in a straight line from head to heels. Hold for 5 breaths.

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Low Plank

Keeping your body in line, inhale and bend your elbows to 90 degrees to lower yourself toward the floor. Hold for 1 breath.

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 Upward Dog

With hands still in place, inhale and slowly lower hips toward floor (try not to touch). Untuck toes and push gently into hands, straightening your arms and lifting your chest. Hold for 1 breath.

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High Lunge Twist

Tuck your toes and push into your hands, lifting your hips toward the ceiling to return to Downward Dog.

Step your right foot forward between your hands into lunge position, then lift your chest and bring your hands to prayer position; twist your torso to the right, bringing your left elbow to the outside of your right knee; look to the right and up. Hold for 5 to 8 breaths.

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Half Moon

Return to center and drop your right hand to the floor about 10 inches diagonally in front and outside of your right foot. Raise your left arm, pointing fingers toward the ceiling as you straighten your right leg and lift your straight left leg into the air, foot flexed and pointing to the side; look up at your left hand. Hold for 5 breaths.

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Revolved Half Moon

Turn your left toes toward the floor so hips are even; drop your left hand to the floor and twist your torso to the right, lifting your right hand to the ceiling. Look up at your hand (or as far to the right as is comfortable). Hold for 5 breaths.

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Standing Split

Return to center, dropping your right hand to the floor so it’s even with your left hand. Lift your straight left leg as high as is comfortable; hold for 5 breaths. Return your left foot to the floor next to your right, then slowly round up to standing. Push hips back to lower into Awkward Chair and repeat whole sequence on the opposite side.

Aug 16

5 Simple Exercises For a Fit, Fabulous Body

Health & Fitness

How many muscles have you worked lately? Ah, we thought so. No wonder lugging those groceries up the stairs or your suitcase to the airport leaves you aching. Our resistance-training plan can help you fix all that by putting your muscles to work for you.

Not only do these moves save time, they also burn plenty of calories and mimic real life more accurately than the standard bicep curl. Once you notice the difference it makes in how you look and feel, you’ll be hooked.

fit body exercise stay fit dr manish psychiatrist1. Superwoman

Works: Lower back

Lie flat on your stomach with arms and legs extended flat on floor. Lift both legs and arms a few inches off the floor; hold 5 seconds and lower. Repeat 10–15 times.

How to make it easier: Lying on your stomach, arch legs upward and place hands alongside face to support your body weight. As you progress, do the move with hands placed near your armpits. In time, alternately lift your extended right arm off the floor while lifting your extended left leg; then left arm, right leg. Finally, do the full Superwoman.

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2. Squats With Lateral Shoulder Raises

Works: Legs, butt, and shoulders

Holding a 5- or 7-pound dumbbell in each hand, stand with feet a little wider than hip-width apart and toes pointed outward slightly; knees should be slightly flexed and back should be flat. Focus on a spot on the wall that’s 45 degrees above eye level.

Slowly lower to a sitting position, keeping weight on your heels and allowing yourself to lean forward slightly. As you lower, raise arms, keeping hands at 10 and 2 o’clock. Once thighs are parallel to the floor, stand up, pushing through heels to starting position as you lower weights to your sides. Lower into a squat, this time lifting arms straight out to sides, to shoulder height. Once thighs are parallel to the floor, stand up as you lower weights to sides. Repeat the sequence 10–12 times.

How to make it easier: Place a stability ball between your lower back and a wall, and then squat.

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3. The Bicycle

Works: Abdominals

Lie on your back with bent knees and feet on floor. Press lower back into floor. Cup hands lightly over ears. Lift left foot off the floor until left knee points toward ceiling. Extend right leg, lifting it slightly off floor. Exhale slowly, curl torso upward, and touch right elbow to left knee; lower to starting position.

Repeat on right side, touching left elbow to right knee. Do 10 reps.

How to make it easier: Instead of incorporating your upper body, just keep shoulders and head flat on the mat. Eventually, start to curl up.

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4. Bent-Over Row

Works: Midback and triceps

Holding a 3-, 5-, or 8-pound dumbbell in each hand, stand with your feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. Lean forward from your hips, not your waist, keeping your back flat; dumbbells should be in front of your knees.

Pull dumbbells up toward the lower part of your chest, keeping upper arms and elbows next to your ribs. Concentrate on squeezing your shoulder blades together until dumbbells touch your abdomen. Lower the dumbbells slowly, then repeat 10–12 times.

How to make it easier: Lie on your stomach and chest on an incline bench to do this exercise. Progress until you can do it unassisted.

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5.Pilates Push-Up

Works: Chest and triceps

Lie on the floor and get in a classic push-up position—hands under your shoulders and legs straight behind you. Keeping your head in line with your spine and looking down at the floor, lift your right leg about 6 inches off the floor.

Do 6–10 push-ups in this tripod position. Then lower foot to the ground, and lower to your knees to rest. Resume classic push-up position, this time elevating left leg while doing the move; do 6–10 reps.

How to make it easier: Start by doing a bent-knee push-up (knees on the floor). As you get stronger, extend one leg backward into the traditional push-up position. Progress to traditional push-ups, then to our Pilates-style move.

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Aug 16

Fitness Tips : How To Help Seniors Stay Active

Health & Fitness

Fitness routines are hard to maintain regardless of your age. But as priorities shift and physical abilities and interests often wane, it’s common for seniors to do even less—even though activity is still important.

What are the key benefits of exercise, when you’re not working toward a physical goal or worried about your body image as much?

No matter how you look, quality of life is important to all of us. Independence is a huge contributor to that! “Healthy” to a 40-year-old sometimes just means looking younger than 40. But “healthy” to an 80-year-old means comfortably doing their own grocery shopping, cooking, and laundry.

What key fitness areas should people focus on as they age?

Strength and cardiovascular training are certainly important, as stronger muscles, hearts, and lungs make moving easier. Many seniors, however, neglect reactive (aka. power/explosive) training. Grandpa may think, “I don’t need to move that weight or even this arm quickly. I’m in no rush these days.” But what if Grandpa is pushing three-year-old Jr. on the swing, and Jr. slips? Grandpa would want a healthy, trained nervous system to react quickly enough for him to catch Jr.!

Playing catch with a light weight ball of different sizes is a good place to start. Once comfortable, the “coach” can toss the ball further away from the senior’s location to make them dart for it just a step or two. Or they could try to “fake out” the senior and really make them work to get to the ball in time!

Standing with your eyes closed or standing on unstable surfaces, like pillows, also is great balance practice and can prevent broken bones caused by avoidable slips, trips, and falls.

Is there anything seniors should totally avoid?

Of course, your doctor knows best, and your medical history. So consult him or her before taking on too much. Seniors who have been sedentary for a long time should start simply and progress slowly. Physicians may recommend certain patients avoid certain exercises, but there’s nothing that “all seniors” should avoid just because of their age.

Is anyone ever too old to exercise?

Never! Exercise is any activity that poses a deliberate physical challenge the body can adapt to over time. If you get out of breath walking up the steps, then climbing stairs is exercise, and the only way to get better at it is to establish routine practice!

How do you recommend approaching a conversation with a loved one, if you’re worried about their health or inactivity?

Each person’s motivation is different. If your loved one has grandkids, helping them to visualize how much more they could do with those kids and how much longer they’ll be around for those kids can motivate many seniors to become the best version of themselves they can be!

If your loved one is always waiting for help to do laundry or go grocery shopping, ask them if they would feel relieved being able to do those things on their own, at any time, without needing to tell someone and get on their schedule.

You can also simply let them know how much they mean to you and how much you want them in your life for as long as possible. Because of you, your loved one may start watching those I Love Lucy reruns from a treadmill or elliptical instead of from the couch.

Are there ways to help even if you don’t want to formally address it?

Absolutely. Ask them to join you for “your” walk/hike/swim. Offer to help with cooking, errands or other chores, but make a point of including them. Ask them to babysit your child or pet (if they’re reasonably capable of doing so), or help with your own errands. Or incorporate small, easy activities within already planned gatherings to encourage movement. And of course, you could invite them to join your gym! It’s a great way to stay connected and help each other.

What are some good first steps or exercises to try at the gym?

Take your loved one to the gym for a fitness assessment together! Pick just two exercises to show (or to have the trainer show) your loved one each 1-4 weeks, depending on their progress. Learning two new movements at a time can make a sedentary senior feel very successful, which would make them gym somewhere he/she wants to go!

Start with cardio machines or strength machines that work larger muscle groups, like the back and legs. A Senior Fit class or Zumba Gold class are low impact and social, so some classes like that are also recommended for seniors.

How does nutrition tie in to seniors’ overall health?

Nutrition to your body is like fuel to your car, except cars are easier to replace! We should all eat when we’re hungry, and stop when we’re satisfied. Balance colorful vegetables with lean meats, nuts, whole grains, fruits, and an occasional treat. For people of all ages, appetite can increase with activity, so active seniors are more likely to want to consume more food (and healthy fuel) than their sedentary counterparts.

What do you wish seniors knew about fitness and aging?

People (not just seniors) can become easily overwhelmed thinking of what they already do versus what they “should” do. So many don’t start an exercise program because they fear they’ll never look/feel/do what they want anyway. My advice would be to look ahead in baby steps. Can you do more than you did last month? Or is the same level easier for you to do this month than it was last month? If so, then you’re on the right track! That track is measurable to its starting point, because the finish line is always changing.

Aug 09


Health & Fitness

Alcohol use is a serious risk to the health and wellbeing of teenage children, as they are more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol than adults because their bodies and brains are still developing. As our society is becoming more prosperous and parents becoming more liberal, more and more minors, particularly teenagers, are becoming addicted to alcohol. We have had many concerned parents seek interventions and consultations for alcohol addiction among teenagers. While often the parents themselves drink socially, they express concerns relating to quantity and age appropriateness of consumption by their children.



What is Alcohol Addiction?

It is an unhealthy relationship with alcohol in which a person consumes more alcohol than she/he would like to, and continues consumption despite negative consequences. Typically, the person consumes to escape, relax, or to reward. But over the time, alcohol makes the person believe that one cannot live without it.

Effects of Alcohol on  Teenage Brain.

Alcohol gives short term pleasure because it activates the nucleus accumbens (a region of the brain that plays an important role in pleasure). It releases endorphins that are chemicals that pass along signals from one neuron (or nerve cell, an electrically excitable cell that processes and transmits information through electrochemical signals) to the next. Neurotransmitters play a key role in the function of the central nervous system and can either prompt or suppress further signalling of nearby neurons.

Endorphins are produced as a response to certain stimuli, especially stress, fear or pain. They originate in various parts of the body – the pituitary gland, spinal cord and throughout other parts of the brain and nervous system — and interact mainly with receptors in cells found in regions of the brain responsible for blocking pain and controlling emotion. This activates the thalamus (mainly gray matter of the brain which functions as a relay centre for sensory impulses to the cerebral cortex), and plays an important role in reward, pleasure, laughter, addiction, aggression, and fear.

Why Do Teenagers Consume Alcohol?

Teenage drinking is typically related with curiosity, pleasure-seeking and personal or family problems. Young children who start drinking alcohol, even occasionally, during their teenage years are more likely to get addicted to it. Some factors which have been linked to serious alcohol addiction in adolescents are:

Peer factor, personality and attitudes—drug using peers, poor individual self esteem and aggression.

Early onset of problem behaviours leading to drug abuse early in life.

Family factors like broken home i.e. divorced or separated parents, drug use in parents, family conflicts.

School factors like poor academic performance, low IQ, performance anxiety and stress.

Approximately 60 per cent of youth with an addiction develop psychiatric disorders and are nearly five times more vulnerable to other problems like conduct disorder (46 per cent), depression (19) per cent, anxiety disorders (17 per cent), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (12 per cent).

One recent report by World Health Organization strongly links child maltreatment with alcohol use.

Allowing children unrestricted or unsupervised access to money or alcohol results in development of addiction problems later in life.

Harmful maternal alcohol use during pregnancy can lead to foetal alcohol syndrome.

Many international and Indian studies have concluded that the consumption of alcohol by fathers have a significant influence on teenage drinking, even after ruling out other familial and non-familial factors like parental supervision, academic performance, reported influence of advertisement, and having friends who drank. It has been found that over 80 per cent young addicts have a history of alcohol consumption in family. This is contrary to the popular belief that alcohol usage is often solely attributable to peer pressure.


Warning signs of teenage alcoholism may include:

Physical: Fatigue, repeated health complaints, red and glazed eyes, and a lasting cough.

Emotional: Personality change, sudden mood changes, irritability, irresponsible behaviour, low self-esteem, poor judgment, depression, and a general lack of interest.

With Family: starting arguments, breaking rules, or withdrawing from the family.

At School: Decreased interest, negative attitude, and drop in grades, many absences, truancy, and discipline problems.Social Problems: New friends who are less interested in standard home and school activities, problems with the authority, and changes to less conventional styles in dress and music.


Effects of Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol use is a serious risk to the health and well being of teenage children, as they are more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol than adults because their bodies and brains are still developing. Drinking, even in lesser amount may impair brain functions like memory, coordination, and motor skills, and may even severely restrict intellectual capabilities. The decision-making circuits in the brain continue developing till the 20s which get hampered by alcohol abuse. Children who begin ‘binge drinking’ at the age of 13 and continue to drink throughout adolescence are nearly four times likely to be obese and almost three and  a half times more likely to have high blood pressure than those who do not drink during adolescence.

Vulnerability: The hormonal changes teenagers go through at puberty make them more likely to take risks. Alcohol can further impair teenagers’ judgement, leaving them vulnerable. If they have been drinking they might unintentionally put themselves in risky situations like getting involved in a fight or walking home alone while not being fully prepared to handle the circumstances.

High Risk Behaviour & Unprotected Sex: Alcohol affects rational decision-making skills. Those under the influence may feel a heightened sense of confidence and have lower inhibitions, and are more prone to indulge in high risk behaviours including unprotected sex.

Alcohol Poisoning: As teenage parties tend to have an emphasis on ‘binge drinking’ and getting drunk, there is an increased risk of blackouts and even alcohol poisoning. Serious health effects of alcohol on teenagers can be seen when their blood alcohol levels get too high causing their brain to stop controlling their body’s vital functions and in an extreme scenario even result in them stopping breathing, falling into a coma or choking on their own vomit.

Appearance: Alcohol has almost as many calories as pure fat and causes weight gain. It is also a diuretic (a substance that promotes the production of urine) so it dehydrates the body and can make skin look pale and grey. Drinking also affects normal sleep patterns, leading to restless nights and tiredness.

How Do We Prevent Alcohol Addiction?

Parents need to adopt measures with less emphasis on punishment and incarceration and more on preventive strategies. They can prevent alcohol abuse by talking to them about evil effects of drinking through open communication, role modelling, and responsible behaviour. Parents must also know when to seek professional help for their child to extend the benefit of timely intervention.

Communication: Parents can talk about the impact of alcohol on the body and explain how it feels to be drunk, for example, doing silly things or feeling sick. Offering a listening ear is just as important as telling your child the facts. Reassure them that you will listen to their experiences and wont judge them if they have tried alcohol.

Society, School and Parents

There are various strategies but for their successful implementation there has to be a joint effort by teachers, parents and mental health professionals to provide a network. One of the most powerful tools in reducing the prevalence of teen drug use is communication that has been highlighted above. Second is to reduce alcohol availability to minors in which the society can play a significant role by implementing the rules already laid down for prevention of under-age drinking and to make it stricter for avoiding dispensing of alcohol to teenagers. Third, connections between child welfare services and addiction treatment programmes can be improved. Early detection and timely effective treatment of the addiction problem and related issues can prevent it from developing into a serious problem and also ensure a good prognosis of recovery and relapse can be prevented. Finally, public education campaigns among teachers, parents and the growing children can help the spread of this problem.