How to tackle childhood obesity?

'Cute, 'chubby' and 'healthy' are some of the euphemisms we use to refer to children and adolescents who are on the heavier side. This practice should be stopped because the statistics paint a scary picture. According to UNICEF'S World Obesity Atlas for 2022, India is predicted to have more than 27 million obese children, representing one in 10 children globally, by 2030.

What is childhood obesity?

"Childhood obesity means when the child is too overweight for his/her age and height. Being overweight is problematic as this leads to diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and many other complex health conditions," points out Annavi Khot, a Pune-based nutritionist and personal fitness trainer. The easiest way to stay healthy is by 'moving'. Khot observes that in the last two years, the number of mothers approaching her, seeking help for their kids, has gone up. "During the lockdown, most children did nothing but eat unhealthy food and watch a lot of online shows and films. There have also been cases where playing a sport is not encouraged! This is a sad state of affairs, but kids imitate their parents and their lifestyle. It is the parent's responsibility to practise a healthy lifestyle," she says.

Children should engage in a sport that they enjoy so that they make it a part of their lifestyle. It is very important for kids to move; they should have great stamina, mobility and strength, not only for performance but also for their mental health.

Eating food minus nutrients

Junk food, packaged food, etc. appeal to the taste buds, but lack the nutrients necessary for a growing child. Medical practitioners say they are dealing with teenaged patients who are both 'under-nutritioned' and over-nutritioned. Over-nutrition results in the child becoming overweight or obese.

Healthier, tastier options

"Mothers, kids will eat healthy food if it tastes well! Please learn some healthy recipes -there are tonnes of books and videos available. Don't think that healthy food is boring!" says Khot. "You should have your nutrition comprising all the necessary vitamins and minerals, good fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Fruits and vegetables are a must every single day!"

Try experimenting with food. Instead of regular pasta, you can have ragi (finger millet) pasta with lots of veggies. You can switch to pizzas, burgers and frankies made from multigrain bread Restrict your intake of junk food to once a week.

 Talking about packaged food, Khot warns. "Watch out for different names of sugar used in the packaging. Eat home-cooked meats and healthy snacks in place of processed foods.”

 A nutritionist should be consulted before putting any diet plan into practice.

Picture Credit : Google 

Why is it important to stay hydrated in the summer heat?

It is imperative to ensure good hydration in the summer to make up for the sweat loss. This is more so when you are outdoor playing. Low water intake can pose challenges such as creation of extra heat in the body leading to acidity, constipation, and dehydration.

 "Staying hydrated is important not just for children but for all age groups. It ensures normal fluid and electrolyte balance which helps to keep you active and going all day long," says Dr. Arjun Verma, Consultant Paediatrics and Neonatal, Artemis Hospital, Jaipur.

Elevated temperatures and heat waves increase sweating, leading to immediate loss of sodium and water from the body. Hence electrolytes are taken. However, the downside here is if there is an increased intake of sodium, you may experience hypernatremia (a condition wherein the sodium in the body is high). Symptoms of hypernatremia include decreased activity, lethargy, fainting, palpitation, headache and migraine. So, we need to avoid electrolyte disturbances which may lead to mild to severe symptoms mentioned above, he says.

Preparing ORS at home

Dehydration should not be taken lightly. If you feel you are dehydrated, tell your parent to take you to the hospital. "In case of dehydration, homemade ORS (oral rehydration solution) or commercial preparations can be taken en route to the hospital. ORS can be prepared at home by dissolving 1 tablespoon of salt in one litre of water and taken in sips," says Dr. Parimala. V. Thirumalesh.

Hydration keeps the skin replenished, glowing and supple and helps the kidney function well. It can also help relieve constipation.

Effects of dehydration

When you play outside while dehydrated you can face serious problems. Some of the serious effects of dehydration are seizures, low blood volume, swelling of the brain and even kidney problems. You will know you are dehydrated when there is little or no urine output in a 12-hour period, when you have dry mouth and when your eyes are sunken in. "The signs of dehydration are increased thirst, irritability, tiredness, sunken eyes, loss of skin turgor or elasticity. Normally, if you pinch the skin and release, the skin gets back to shape within 2 seconds. If dehydrated, it takes a longer time which is called loss of skin turgor," says Dr. Parimala V. Thirumalesh, Senior Consultant, Neonatology and Paediatrics, Aster CMI Hospital, Bangalore.

"Children under 3 years of age need 4 cups of water a day which is roughly a litre. Older children need to drink 7-8 glasses of water," says Dr. Parimala V. Thirumalesh. To prevent dehydration, develop a habit of drinking water regularly, she adds.

"Roughly, the 2 litres of water per day can include water every 4 hours (morning at least 2 glasses of water on an empty stomach), home-prepared fruit juices, coconut water if available (this will do wonders to your hydration), milk shakes, etc.." says Dr. Arjun Verma.

To prevent dehydration, avoid too much of outdoor sports or roaming in the sun, apply sunscreen lotion before stepping out, ensure at least 2 litres of water intake per day, always keep a water bottle in your bag when you go out for fun or study, and wear light coloured clothes, he says.

Hydrating refreshments

Here are some liquid refreshments that will not only quench your thirst but also keep you healthy.

Smoothies are an interesting variant of the plain, boring milk. Packed with nutrients, protein, vitamins and antioxidants, they help you kick-start your day with vigour. Take them along with your breakfast or evening snacks.

*Buttermilk is an all-weather drink that aids in digestion. Thirst quenching and inexpensive, this drink is easy to prepare at home.

*Apart from being a low calorie beverage, coconut water is packed with a lot of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Aam Panna is a refreshing drink made of raw mango that is sweetened with jaggery or sugarcane juice.

*Slices of cucumber can be added to a jar of lemon water and taken.

Tips to follow in summer

*Drink a glass of water before play. Avoid too much of outdoor sports.

*Take water breaks at 30-minute intervals.

Apply sunscreen lotion before stepping out.

*Wear loose-fitting and light coloured clothes.

Eat hydrating foods such as watermelon, grapes and orange.

Picture Credit : Google 

Are all fats bad?

Did you know that a balanced diet must include fat? Why? Read on to find out.

Not all fats are unhealthy. A balanced diet must include fat as it is a source of energy and helps our body to absorb other nutrients.

Healthy fats like monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids help to lower cholesterol. The richest sources of unsaturated fats are cooking oils like olive, soybean and peanut oils, nuts and tofu.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in oily fish, nuts, seeds and leafy green vegetables. They are essential nutrients not produced by our body, but vital for normal growth in young children. Bad fats like saturated fats raise our cholesterol levels, clog our arteries and increase our risk of heart disease in addition to making us obese. We get saturated fats from animal products: red meat and whole-milk dairy products like cheese, ice cream and butter. However, they are also an important source of vitamins and minerals. Hence, we should limit, not eliminate our consumption of saturated fats.

Trans fats, also known as hydrogenated fats, are found in processed foods, like French fries and cookies. They raise bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol. Next time you buy snacks, check for the term partially-hydrogenated oil in the list of ingredients - those are the items you must avoid.

Picture Credit : Google

Is irradiated food safe for consumption?

Research has proved that irradiated food does not retain any radioactive property. Absolutely. The process of food irradiation involves exposing the food to the energy from short-wave radiations like gamma rays, x-rays or electrons. But research over the last 40 years has proved that irradiated food does not retain any radioactive property and hence is completely safe. Moreover, irradiation does not diminish the nutritive value of the food.

This technology is used to destroy the bacterial, fungal or viral growth in food that can spoil it or cause diseases. Irradiated food thus has a longer shelf life. As irradiation is a cold process it causes no change in the freshness or texture of the food unlike certain other procedures that involve heat. In fact, it is difficult to tell an irradiated apple from a normal one as it remains as juicy and crisp. Presently over 40 food items such as fruits, vegetables, spices, seafood, grains, meat and poultry are available in irradiated form. Many specially-marked irradiated fruits and vegetables are commercially sold in the U.S., France, China, South Africa and the Netherlands.

Although the process of irradiation greatly reduces the growth of bacteria it does not completely eliminate it. Hence irradiated poultry needs refrigeration. As for irradiated fruits, refrigeration is not essential though they will last much longer in a refrigerator.

Around 20,000 million tonnes of food and allied products are irradiated in India annually. These include agricultural produce such as onion, potato, mango, grains and other products such as onion powder, garlic powder, spices, Ayurvedic products and animal feed.


*The Radura logo is an international symbol that indicates a food product has been irradiated. The logo, usually green in colour, depicts a flower represented by a dot and two leaves within a half-broken circle.

 * Around 20,000 million tonnes of food are irradiated in India annually.

Picture Credit : Google 

What is the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in India and various populations?

Are you aware that vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in epidemic proportions all over the Indian subcontinent, including India? Estimates suggest that over 70% of the general population, both in urban and rural settings, and across socio-economic and geographic strata, have this deficiency. This, despite the fact that most of our country receives bountiful sunlight throughout the year, and our bodies possess the capability to create vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors.

The reason, obviously, is the more sedate lifestyle that most of us are now used to. Vitamin D deficiency isn't the only problem, as obesity too is getting bigger in India, with estimates suggesting that one out of every four people might now be overweight.

In a more connected world, we are more addicted to our devices than ever before. While these gadgets do make a lot of things easy and provide wholesome entertainment, they are also eating into all our leisure, making most of us couch potatoes. What's more, plenty of services that are now available to us on our smartphones get almost everything delivered to us on the doorsteps, making even those minor social excursions to go out and buy something unnecessary.

It is important to incorporate some form of digital minimalism into your lifestyle. By having a philosophy with which you operate on the digital landscape, you will be surprised by the amount of time you can create and peace of mind that you are able to enjoy.

Once you create some time for yourself, it would be good spending it on some form of exercise. Even though most of us do not end up becoming elite athletes, it shouldn't stop us from incorporating some of those best practices in our daily lives. Simple activities like walking, jogging, running, and cycling, too, come with a lot of benefits.

You can even bring in activities into your everyday commute. You can walk to your destinations if they are less than a couple of kilometres away. You can cycle around, always being mindful of vehicular traffic, even if you are going 5-10 km. You can even walk to the nearest bus stop and travel by public transport for longer distances. By doing these, you are not only leading a more active lifestyle, but you will also be reducing your carbon footprint, making for a greener planet.

The benefits of having a more active lifestyle are not limited to physical well-being. Research suggests that being physically active on a continuous basis also helps the emotional well-being of most individuals.

Picture Credit : Google 

Is diabetes on the rise in children? What are the types of diabetes, risk factors for the disease, prevention and diet.

With the incidence of diabetes in children on the rise, let's take a look at the types of diabetes, risk factors for the disease, prevention and diet.

India is already known as the world's capital of diabetes with its vast adult population having diabetes. And it's not a disease that just affects adult population. The incidence of diabetes in children is steeply on the rise with an increase of 3-5% per year.

Types of diabetes in children

"Type 1 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and can affect children as young as 1 year of age. Childhood diabetes is on the rise with a worldwide estimate of 1 lakh children under 15 years likely to develop type 1diabetes. It develops due to a process called autoimmunity leading to permanent destruction of beta cells of the pancreas resulting in little or no insulin production. This gives rise to high blood sugar levels resulting in multiple short- and long-term damage to organs if untreated," says Dr. Namratha Upadhya, Pediatrician, Pediatric Endocrinologist, Aster RV Hospital, Bangalore.

Type 2 diabetes which was once regarded as a disease of adults is increasingly seen in children now, and result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Children born with low birth weight and who grow rapidly during childhood can be at increased risk. Lifestyle factors such as excessive consumption of high-fat and calorie-rich foods, pre-packaged, refined and processed foods, coupled with minimal physical activity, and increased amount of screen time lead to children becoming overweight and obese. This puts them at a higher risk of developing type 2diabetes over time. Studies have shown that early onset of type 2 diabetes in children tends to be severe and progress faster than in adults, she says. There are other rare forms of diabetes which may occur due to genetic defects in insulin production or action, and diabetes occurring in children with certain chronic diseases and taking medications for some other illness.

Drinking water

Symptoms of diabetes in children "The presence of high blood sugar indicates diabetes. More common symptoms include excessive urination, excessive thirst, and getting up multiple times to urinate in the night. Children who have been toilet trained may suddenly start bed wetting. Parents may note excessive tiredness, weakness and unintentional weight loss in their children," says Dr (Mrs.) Sumeet Arora, Consultant Pediatric and Adolescent Endocrinologist, Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon. Early identification of these symptoms helps with timely diagnosis of diabetes preventing severe complications, sickness and the need for an intensive care unit admission.

What parents can do

"It is necessary to get your child's blood sugars checked if you feel your child might have any of the symptoms of diabetes. Children with type 1 diabetes, once started on treatment, might temporarily go into a phase of low insulin requirement which is referred to as 'honeymoon' phase and some might mistake this phase to be a cure for diabetes. Omitting insulin without supervision by your doctor might lead to a serious consequence in the child," says Dr. Namratha. Hence it is necessary to get your child evaluated by a professional who can guide appropriately. "Parents need to inform school authorities by giving contact numbers of children's doctor and guardian," says Dr. Sobhana. Children with diabetes can lead a normal life with professional and family support. As parents, the best gift they can give to their child is by being role models themselves and lead by example, especially in adopting healthy eating practices, keeping oneself physically active and get your child checked if you feel your child is having symptoms of diabetes and also get your child screened for obesity.

Prevention/risk factors

 "There is no known prevention for type 1diabetes. It is an auto immune condition in which our immune system gets hyper activated for unknown reasons and destroy the insulin-producing cells. At present there are no established ways to prevent type 1 diabetes that can be used for children. However, research studies are ongoing towards finding medications to help prevent or delay onset of type 1 diabetes," says Dr Sumeet Arora Having a parent or sibling with type 1 diabetes puts an individual at a higher risk for developing type 1 diabetes.


Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle-related disorder, where the body's insulin is unable to work properly causing a state of insulin resistance. Being overweight poor lifestyle and having family members with type 2 diabetes, put an individual at risk for this condition. A healthy lifestyle is essential to prevent type 2 diabetes," says Dr. R. Sobhana, Consultant Diabetologist Women Center by Motherhood Hospital. Coimbatore. With this condition on the rise in children, it becomes increasingly important to identify those at risk at an early stage, she adds. There are body mass index charts that can be used by paediatricians to determine if the children are at an overweight or obese stage. Strategies to target a normal BMI include dietary modifications and moderate to vigorous physical activity every day.


Keeping the intake of high calorie/ high sugar and processed food and sugary drinks to a minimum, adopting healthy eating practices, eating a rainbow every day (meaning consuming at least 5 different types of whole fruits and vegetables of different colours a day), consuming whole over refined foods, avoiding screen time during meals and engaging in any form of physical exercise for at least 30 minutes a day will help prevent diabetes in children..


"Type 1 diabetes requires basal bolus insulin therapy via multiple daily dose injections or continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion via insulin pumps," says Dr. Sobhana. There has been significant advancement in insulin pumps that along with continuous glucose monitoring sensor are able to maintain near normal blood sugars with little intervention from the user. "Type 2 Diabetes can be effectively managed with dietary and lifestyle modifications along with metformin, GLPI receptor analogues and newer pharmacotherapeutic agents," says Dr. Sumeet Arora.


  • Childhood diabetes is on the rise with a worldwide estimate of 1 lakh children under 15 years of age likely to develop type 1diabetes.
  • Early identification of symptoms helps with timely diagnosis, preventing severe complications, sickness and the need for a hospital admission.
  • There is no known prevention for type 1 diabetes, which is an auto immune condition.
  • A healthy lifestyle is essential to prevent type 2 diabetes.

Picture Credit : Google 

Why does hard thinking make us tired?

Researchers were quick to point out that there are no quick fix solutions for this limitation of the brain.

You might have noticed that on Occasions when you think hard about something, you end up feeling tired. You are able to understand when this happens after hard physical labour, but you are surprised when this happens after hard thinking as well. Rather than try to find why this happens, you would have most likely let it pass, trying to give yourself some rest as you already feel exhausted.

Researchers from the Pitie-Salpetriere University in Paris have probed this very question as to why intense cognitive thinking makes us feel mentally exhausted. Their results were reported in Current Biology on August 11. Brains, as opposed to machines, can't compute continuously. The researchers set out to understand what mental fatigue really is. They suspected the brain's need to release potentially toxic substances built-up from neural activity as the reason for tiredness and decided to look for evidence.

Brain chemistry monitored

Using magnetic resonance spectroscopy, they monitored the brain chemistry of two groups of people over the course of a day. While one group needed to think hard, the other had relatively easier cognitive tasks. The group doing hard mental labour showed signs of fatigue, including reduced pupil dilation. In technical terms, people in this group had higher levels of glutamate in synapses of the brain's prefrontal cortex.

Glutamate accumulation

Along with existing evidence, this supports the idea that further activation of the prefrontal cortex becomes more costly following glutamate accumulation. In effect, a mentally tough workday eventually leads to cognitive control becoming more difficult. Researchers were quick to point out that there are no quick fix solutions for this limitation of the brain. Rest and sleep is what is suggested as there is evidence to show that glutamate is eliminated from synapses during sleep.

Scope for future studies on the subject includes learning why the prefrontal cortex is particularly susceptible to glutamate accumulation and fatigue. Researchers believe that learning more about the markers of fatigue in the brain could help us plan our lives to avoid burnout, and may even predict recovery from health conditions like depression or cancer.

Picture Credit : Google 


Besides theine and certain aromatic substances, tea contains a substance called tannin. It is an astringent acid that can dry up the digestive juices and cause indigestion. Tannin is present in strong tea and tea that has been standing for a long time. After pouring boiling water on the tea leaves or tea bags, three minutes is enough to extract most of the flavour and aromatic substances. That is when the tea should be poured into the cup for drinking, for, it will not contain harmful amounts of tannin. The longer the tea infuses, the more tannin will be present.

Picture Credit : Google 


Noise pollution, especially that's due to road traffic, is a widespread problem in cities around the world. At a time when the impact of these on children isn't well understood, a new study conducted at 38 schools in Barcelona, Spain suggests that traffic noise at schools has a detrimental effect on children's cognitive development. The study was led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health and the findings have been published in PLOS Medicine in June.

Attention and working memory

 The study covered 2.680 children between seven and 10 years of age. To assess the impact of traffic noise on cognitive development, researchers focussed on attention and working memory-two abilities that develop rapidly in that age group and are essential for learning. While attention corresponds to selectively attending to specific stimuli, working memory refers to the system that enables us to hold information in the mind and manipulate it during a brief period of time.

Over a 12-month period in 2012 and 2013, the field work of the study saw participants complete cognitive tests four times. By doing this, they were not only able to assess working memory and attention, but could also study their evolution over time. Noise measurements were taken in front of the 38 participating schools over the same period.

Slower progression

At the end of the study period, the findings clearly showed that the progression of working memory and attention was comparably slower in students who attended schools with higher levels of traffic noise. This supports the hypothesis that during childhood external stimuli like noise can affect the rapid process of cognitive development that takes place before adolescence.

Thus, the effects of transport on children's cognitive development not only includes schools exposed to aircraft noise and schools exposed to traffic-related air pollution, but also schools exposed to road traffic noise. Further studies on road traffic noise and their effects on children in other populations and cities are necessary to find out if these initial findings can be extrapolated to other scenarios.

Picture Credit : Google 


Also known as zoonotic disease, zoonosis refers to the disease that humans contract from animals, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. Both wild and domestic animals can transmit a disease to humans, and the transmission can happen in different ways. Bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi are all agents of zoonotic diseases. Climate change and changing landscapes are expanding the range of infectious and zoonotic diseases, which were once confined to warmer regions.

Animals can sometimes carry harmful germs that can spread to people and cause illness – these are known as zoonotic diseases or zoonoses. Zoonotic diseases are caused by harmful germs like viruses, bacterial, parasites, and fungi. These germs can cause many different types of illnesses in people and animals, ranging from mild to serious illness and even death. Animals can sometimes appear healthy even when they are carrying germs that can make people sick, depending on the zoonotic disease.

Zoonotic diseases are very common, both in the United States and around the world. Scientists estimate that more than 6 out of every 10 known infectious diseases in people can be spread from animals, and 3 out of every 4 new or emerging infectious diseases in people come from animals. Because of this, CDC works 24/7 to protect people from zoonotic diseases in the United States and around the world.

How do germs spread between animals and people?

Because of the close connection between people and animals, it’s important to be aware of the common ways people can get infected with germs that can cause zoonotic diseases. These can include:

Direct contact: Coming into contact with the saliva, blood, urine, mucous, feces, or other body fluids of an infected animal. Examples include petting or touching animals, and bites or scratches.

Indirect contact: Coming into contact with areas where animals live and roam, or objects or surfaces that have been contaminated with germs. Examples include aquarium tank water, pet habitats, chicken coops, barns, plants, and soil, as well as pet food and water dishes.

Vector-borne: Being bitten by a tick, or an insect like a mosquito or a flea.

Foodborne: Each year, 1 in 6 Americans get sick from eating contaminated food. Eating or drinking something unsafe, such as unpasteurized (raw) milk, undercooked meat or eggs, or raw fruits and vegetables that are contaminated with feces from an infected animal. Contaminated food can cause illness in people and animals, including pets.

Waterborne: Drinking or coming in contact with water that has been contaminated with feces from an infected animal.

What can you do to protect yourself and your family from zoonotic diseases?

People can come in contact with animals in many places. This includes at home and away from home, in places like petting zoos, fairs, schools, stores, and parks. Insects, like mosquitoes and fleas, and ticks bite people and animals day and night. Thankfully, there are things you can do to protect yourself and your family from zoonotic diseases.

Keep hands clean. Washing your hands right after being around animals, even if you didn’t touch any animals, is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.

  • Always wash your hands after being around animals, even if you didn’t touch the animals.
  • Many germs are spread by not washing hands properly with soap and clean, running water.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Because hand sanitizers do not get rid of all types of germs, it is important to wash your hands with soap and water if they are available.
  • Know the simple things you can do to stay safe around your pets.
  • Prevent bites from mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas.
  • Learn more about ways to handle food safely—whether it’s for yourself or your family, your pet, or other animals.
  • Be aware of zoonotic diseases both at home, away from home (such as at petting zoos or other animal exhibits), in childcare settings or schools and when you travel.
  • Avoid bites and scratches from animals.

Credit : Centers for diseases control and preventions

Picture Credit : Google 


The practice of using stethoscopes started in a hospital in Paris, in the early 19th Century.

The Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital in Paris provided specialised medical care. Rene Laennec, one of the doctors there, was trained to use sound to diagnose diseases of the chest.

One day in 1816, a young woman who had a heart problem came to consult Dr. Laennec. Ordinarily, the physician would have put his ear to the woman's chest and listened to her heartbeats to detect if there was any aberration. But the woman who came to see Dr. Laennec was rather plump. Uncomfortable with the idea of putting his ear to her chest, the doctor's eyes fell on a newspaper lying there...and he got a brainwave!

He rolled the newspaper into a cylinder and applied one end of it to the region of the woman's heart and the other to his ear. And then his own heart thumped in joy and excitement! He could hear her heartbeats more clearly than if he had put his ear directly to her chest. It was a landmark moment in medical science.

Laennec fashioned a hollow, wooden cylinder and catalogued the various sounds he could hear through it when applied to a patient's chest, and what the sounds indicated about the health of the patient. He sent his findings to the Academy of Science, in Paris.

It was not long before his invention began to be used by physicians all over Europe.

Picture Credit : Google 


Among the numerous days celebrated the world over, the one that profoundly impacts the present as well as future generations is World Bicycle Day. Well, on 3 June every year, since 2018, the U.N. General Assembly dedicated this day to celebrate the joy of riding bicycles. The simple structure of a bicycle requires only air and a bit of energy to function, however, it has proved itself to be both environmentally-friendly and a friend to all mankind. Prof Leszek Sibilski, a Polish-American sociologist, along with his sociology students, was the inspirer of this cause.

Apart from being an eco-friendly and economic means of transport, bicycling also promotes good physical as well as mental health. Cycling decreases the possibility of falling prey to cardiovascular diseases, aids in building body muscle, and reduces overall fat. It strengthens bones, improves joint mobility and relieves stress. In addition, it also facilitates the regulation and maintenance of healthy blood sugar levels in our system. Thus, cycling reduces the risk of depression, obesity, arthritis, diabetes, certain cancers, strokes and heart attacks.

The bicycle symbolizes adaptability and sustainability. Governments around the world are adopting and promoting eco-friendly conveyance systems. Many countries have dedicated bicycle tracks which make commuting by bicycle safe. India, too, has introduced bicycle tracks in cities like Delhi and Bangalore.

Though daily riding to work may be an inconvenience, taking into consideration climatic conditions, either having to face the scorching sun or heavy rain, however, despite these conditions, enthusiastic riders change their cycling gear once they reach their destination. It's a trend already prevalent in Europe.

Types of bicycles

If you are new to buying a bicycle, these guidelines will help you choose the right one.

Road bikes: Designed for normal roads.

Mountain bikes: Suited for hilly terrains.

Hybrid/commuter bikes: Combination of road bikes and mountain bikes.

Cyclocross bikes: A road bike feel for off-road trips.

Folding bikes: Commuting, leisure or touring for the short-on-space.

Electric bikes: A hybrid, mountain or road bike with a battery and a motor.

Touring bikes: Designed for carrying loads over longer distances while remaining comfortable for the rider.

Taking into consideration the multiple benefits that cycling has to offer, using a bicycle whenever possible, if not regularly, will be advantageous to both our earth and ourselves. Look for ways in which cycling can be introduced into your daily routine; maybe riding to nearby places while carrying out daily tasks, to school, work or a friend's house. Let's try and adopt the culture of cycling and be the change our environment and our health needs.

Fun Facts

  • The longest tandem' bicycle seated 35 people; it was more than 20 metres long.
  • Every year, around a 100 million bicycles are manufactured worldwide.
  • The use of bicycles has conserved more than 238 gallons of gas yearly.
  • The Netherlands is the most bicycle friendly country in the world. 30 per cent of all transport is via bicycle. Seven out of eight of its residents over the age of 15 own bicycles.
  • The Tour de France, established in 1903, is the most famous bicycle race in the world. Bicycle track racing has been a sport in the Olympic Games since 1896.

Picture Credit : Google 


The crescent-shaped areas under our eyes have a large concentration of tiny blood vessels. When a person is sleepy, tired or sick, the capillaries swell and become visible through the skin dark patches If you develop these bags under your eyes due to lack of sleep you can get rid of them temporarily by cooling the area with ice and reducing the swelling.

If you have these dark patches all the time whether you sleep well or not, it suggests that the pigment in that area is darker than in the rest of the face. In such cases you may have to consult a dermatologist if you want to get rid of the bags. The dermatologist can treat the problem with creams, chemical peels or other methods.

Picture Credit : Google 


According to reports, "tomato flu" is detected in children in Tamil Nadu's neighbouring State, Kerala. In a bid to stop the mysterious flu from spreading to Tamil Nadu, a medical team is carrying out tests on those entering Coimbatore for fever, rashes and other illness at Walayar checkpost on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border. But what is this new flu and what are its symptoms? Let's find out.

Over 80 children below five years of age in Kollam district in Kerala are suffering from what is called "tomato flu", an unidentified fever. What is of concern is that the number from this rare viral infection is predicted to go up.


Infected children experience skin irritation, and develop huge red blisters on different parts of the body, and hence the name "tomato flu." They feel dehydrated and run a high temperature. It is said that the symptoms of the tomato flu are very much like in a chikungunya infection.

Besides a high fever, skin irritation and blisters, the symptoms of the tomato flu include fatigue, body ache, swelling in joints, coughing, sneezing, and runny nose. Some children reportedly experience abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea. With the cause of the fever still not known, parents should exercise caution. As of now, there is no specific medicine to treat this fever.


*Consult a doctor immediately if you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms.

*Drink a lot of boiled-and-chilled water to stay hydrated.

*Stay indoors and take ample rest.

*Keep yourself isolated and avoid close contact with family members, as this infection is likely to spread from person to person.

Do not scratch the blisters as it may spread the infection.

Last but not least, maintain hygiene.

Picture Credit : Google 


Include these locally-available foods that are rich in fibre, antioxidants, essential vitamins, minerls and healthy fats in your diet.


 Few can resist the joy of eating a gooseberry preserved in brine. Offering a delicious mix of salty, sour and sweet after tastes, the gooseberry has always had a place in our hearts. Had as pickles or plucked directly off the tree and eaten, this every-day berry has a number of health properties. It is a natural blood purifier, boosts immunity, helps in weight management and is good for the skin and hair. Next time you find gooseberries, make sure you eat them.


 Packed with anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals, the moringa is a powerhouse of nutrients. Containing seven times more Vitamin C than oranges and 15 times more potassium than bananas, in addition to iron and amino acids, it helps build muscle and helps the body heal. Eat it as a simple curry or add it to a salad. You could even add moringa leaves to your pasta.


 The humble jackfruit is today celebrated for its multiple health benefits. It is considered more nutritious than other fruits because consuming a small cup of sliced jackfruit can give you carbohydrates, protein, fibre, Vitamin A and C, riboflavin, magnesium, pottassium. copper and manganese that your body needs. It helps prevent diseases, especially diabetes. You can eat it ripe or cook raw jackfruit into a stir-fry. Jackfruit is used to make chips, too, and its flour is now used to make cakes, biscuits and even papads.


Also known as finger millet, ragi is a cereal rich in protein and minerals. Known for its anti-microbial properties, ragi helps boost immunity and bone health. Ragi is also known for its ability to prevent cancer. Normally had as a porridge or dosa or steamed like an idli or mudde, ragi ncan be had in fancy forms too - it can be added to cookies, muffins, and even in cakes.


A rich source of vitamins, minerals and fibre, the banana flower helps in development of a healthy body and mind. It has the power to cure infections, too and aids digestion. If you don't want to have it as a traditional stir-fry, you could make an interesting salad out of it, by adding other vegetables or fruits, as the banana blossom can also be had raw.


 Many of us started consuming more of turmeric during the first wave of COVID-19. This is because turmeric can help build immunity against viral infections. It contains curcumin, a substance that helps reduce inflammation. In addition to turmeric's anti-spectic and anti-bacterial properties, it can also help relieve pain. So, next time you have your favourite curry, add an extra spoon of turmeric to it.

Picture Credit : Google