What is BMI, Waist circumference and how do you measure it?

Body Mass Index is one among the commonly used method used by professionals to calculate the body fat.

As it is easy to use one can calculate their BMI using their height and weight.

Other measures of body fat, such as skinfold thicknesses, bioelectrical impedance, underwater weighing and dual energy X-ray absorption, maybe more accurate than BMI. BMI is calculated in the same way in all ages but interpreted differently in adults and children.

Formula to calculate BMI is Weight (kg) / Height (m)2.

Weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared (kg/m2).

The formula needs to be altered slightly when using pounds and inches (Weight (lbs.) * 703) / Height (inches)2. Multiply your weight in pounds by 703. Divide that by your height in inches, squared.

BMI CATEGORIES FOR ASIANS:

BMI of less than 18.5: A BMI of less than 18.5 indicates that you are underweight, so you may need to put on some weight, in a healthy manner.

BMI of 18.5-23: A BMI of 18.5-23 kg/m2 indicates normal BMI.

BMI of 23–27.5 kg/m2: A BMI of 23–27.5 kg/m2 indicates that you are  overweight.

BMI of over 27.5 kg/m2: A BMI of 27.5 kg/m2 or higher indicates that you are heavily overweight.

As one can calculate their BMI easily using above formulas, they can assess their own health and it is helpful in preventing certain diseases and problems caused by overweight.

What is waist circumference:

Measurement taken around abdomen that is just below the belly button is called waist circumference. It is used to screen many weight related health conditions like diabetes, heart diseases etc.

Waist circumference alone cannot indicate that you have a medical condition or that you’ll get one in the future. But it can help you and your doctor to determine where fat is located on your body and if that fat may cause health problems for you in the future.

How to measure waist circumference:

  1. Find the top of your hip bone and the bottom of your ribs. Place the tape measure midway between these points and wrap it around your waist.
  2. Tape should not be too tight and it must be straight, even at the back. Don’t hold your breath while measuring.
  3. Check the number on the tape measure right after you exhale.
  4. Stand up to get an accurate waist measurement.
  5. Measure it 2-3 times to get accurate result.

If Waist circumference is high, it indicates you are having increased risk in developing weight related health conditions. When in men it is  ≥90 cms and in women if it is ≥80cms we call it as abnormal.

References:

https://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/calculating-your-waist-circumference

https://www.healthline.com/health/body-mass-index#2

https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/your-heart/know-your-risks/healthy-weight/waist-measurement

-Dr.Y.Alekhya.

Tips to Quit Smoking

For most tobacco users, tobacco cravings or urges to smoke can be powerful. But you’re not at the mercy of these cravings.

When an urge to use tobacco strikes, remember that although it may be intense, it will probably pass within five to 10 minutes whether or not you smoke a cigarette or take a dip of chewing tobacco. Each time you resist a tobacco craving, you’re one step closer to stopping tobacco use for good.

Here are few tips to help you resist the urge to smoke or use tobacco when a tobacco craving strikes.

Try nicotine replacement therapy

Ask your doctor about nicotine replacement therapy. The options include:

  • Prescription nicotine in a nasal spray or inhaler
  • Over the counter nicotine patches, gum and lozenges

Short-acting nicotine replacement therapies such as nicotine gum, lozenges, nasal sprays or inhalers can help you overcome intense cravings.

Avoid triggers

Urges for tobacco are likely to be strongest in the situations where you smoked or chewed tobacco most often, such as at parties or bars, or while feeling stressed or sipping coffee. Identify your trigger situations and have a plan in place to avoid them entirely or get through them without using tobacco.

Delay

If you feel like you’re going to give in to your tobacco craving, tell yourself that you must first wait 10 more minutes and then do something to distract yourself for that period of time. Try going to a public, smoke-free zone. These simple tricks may be enough to derail your tobacco craving.

Chew on it

Give your mouth something to do to fight a tobacco craving. Chew on sugarless gum or hard candy, or munch on raw carrots, celery, nuts or sunflower seeds — something crunchy and satisfying.

Don’t have ‘just one’

You might be tempted to have just one cigarette to satisfy a tobacco craving. But don’t fool yourself into believing that you can stop there. More often than not, having just one leads to another and you may end up using tobacco again.

Workout

Physical activity can help distract you from tobacco cravings and reduce their intensity. Even short burst of physical activity such as running up and down the stairs a few times can make a tobacco craving go away. Get out for a walk or jog.

If you’re stuck at home or the office, try squats, deep knee bends, push ups, running in place, or walking up and down a set of stairs.

Practice relaxation techniques

Smoking may have been your way to deal with stress. Resisting a tobacco craving can itself be stressful. Take the edge off stress by practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep-breathing exercises, yoga, massage or listening to calming music.

Get support

Call up on with a family member, friend or support group member for help in your effort to resist a tobacco craving. Chat on the phone, go for a walk together, share a few laughs, or get together to commiserate about your cravings.

Remind yourself of the benefits

Write down or say out loud the reasons you want to stop smoking and resist tobacco cravings. These might include:

  • Feeling better
  • Getting healthier
  • Sparing your loved ones from secondhand smoke
  • Saving money

Remember, trying something to beat the urge is always better than doing nothing. And each time you resist a tobacco craving, you’re one step closer to being totally tobacco-free.

Reference

https://www.webmd.com/smoking-cessation/ss/slideshow-13-best-quit-smoking-tips-ever

https://vapingdaily.com/quit-smoking/quit-smoking-tips/

https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/smoking/Pages/Motivateyourself.aspx

– Dr.Chandrashekar

 

Diabetes and Smoking

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a group of diseases in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal. Most of the food a person eats is turned into glucose (a kind of sugar) for the body’s cells to use for energy. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use the insulin very well. Less glucose gets into the cells and instead builds up in the blood.This leads to various risks and health issues affecting most major organs of human body.

How Is Smoking Related to Diabetes?

We now know that smoking causes type 2 diabetes. In fact, smokers are 30–40% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers. And people with diabetes who smoke are more likely than nonsmokers to have trouble with insulin dosing and with controlling their disease. The more cigarettes you smoke, the higher your risk for type 2 diabetes.No matter what type of diabetes you have, smoking makes your diabetes harder to control.

If you have diabetes and you smoke, you are more likely to have serious health problems from diabetes. Smokers with diabetes have higher risks for serious complications, including:

  • Heart and kidney disease
  • Poor blood flow in the legs and feet that can lead to infections, ulcers, and possible amputation (removal of a body part by surgery, such as toes or feet)
  • Retinopathy (an eye disease that can cause blindness)
  • Peripheral neuropathy (damaged nerves to the arms and legs that causes numbness, pain, weakness, and poor coordination).
  • Many of the combined health effects of smoking and diabetes may make it more difficult to make healthful lifestyle choices.

If you are a smoker with diabetes, quitting smoking will benefit your health right away. People with diabetes who quit have better control of their blood sugar levels.

How to lower the risk of smoking and diabetes

There is no safe way to smoke, particularly with diabetes. The best way to lower the risk from smoking is to quit. Or if quitting is not possible, to dramatically cut down.

The following strategies may lower the risks associated with smoking and diabetes:

  • Exercise may lower the risk of lung cancer in people who smoke. It also supports good glucose metabolism, and can reduce the chance of obesity, which is another risk factor for diabetes.
  • Healthful eating can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Fiber intake is especially important for people with diabetes, because fiber helps lower blood sugar.
  • Taking diabetes medications as prescribed. People with uncontrolled diabetes are more likely to experience diabetes complications. Smoking compounds these risks.
  • Cutting back on smoking. There’s no safe number of cigarettes to smoke, but heavy smokers tend to suffer more extensive health problems.

    How to make this change?

  • To lower your risk of complications, quit smoking and avoid tobacco products. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Smoking is addictive and can be very hard to quit.
  • Start by making a list of all the reasons you want to stop smoking.
  • Then set a quit date to begin your smoke-free lifestyle.
  • Share that date with friends and family members who can support you and help hold you accountable. Some of them may even want to join you on your journey!
  • Many people find that quitting cold turkey is the best way to stop. You might find it easier to quit gradually by decreasing the amount of cigarettes you smoke each day.

Whatever method you choose, your doctor can provide tips to help you along the way. They can also prescribe medications or recommend over-the-counter aids, such nicotine patches or gum. They may also encourage you to try smoking cessation counseling.

Remember, nicotine raises your blood sugar. If you use smoking cessation aids that contain nicotine, such as nicotine patches or gum, your blood sugar will remain elevated. Over time, you can wean yourself off of these aids and enjoy the benefits of lower blood sugar.

The Takeaway

Having diabetes raises your risk of many health problems. Why add fuel to the fire by smoking? Avoiding tobacco products lowers your risk of complications from diabetes. It can help you limit the damage to your organs, blood vessels, and nerves. This can help you live a longer and healthier life.

If you currently smoke, recognizing the benefits of quitting is an important first step. Now it’s time to commit to a change. Make an appointment with your doctor to learn about the treatment and support options that can help you quit for good.

-Dr Prerna Gaur

Acknowledgements

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317411.php

https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/diseases/diabetes.html

https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/guide/diabetes-smoking-cessation-tips#1

https://www.healthline.com/health/type-2-diabetes/smoking-diabetes

 

Work stress and its management

Stress at the workplace has become a common phenomenon due to external factors such as technological advancement, changes in the economy of a country which might lead to better productivity and stressful working conditions. Stress can be considered as an inevitable condition at least at one point in time or another; however it can also be minimized to the extent that the productivity and health of the employee is maintained which could lead to a productive organization. Work stress is a common occurrence in multinational companies where operation is global and employees have different cultural background.

Stress isn’t always bad. A little bit of stress can help you stay focused, energetic, and able to meet new challenges in the workplace. It’s what keeps you on your toes during a presentation or alert to prevent accidents or costly mistakes. But in today’s hectic world, the workplace too often seems like an emotional roller coaster. Long hours, tight deadlines, and ever-increasing demands can leave you feeling worried, drained, and overwhelmed. And when stress exceeds your ability to cope, it stops being helpful and starts causing damage to your mind and body—as well as to your job satisfaction.

Stress is defined as an organism’s total response to an environmental condition or stimulus, also known as stressor. Stress typically described as a negative condition that can have an impact on an human being’s mental and physical wellbeing.

-Stressors can be Positive or Negative.

Work stress is also known as occupational stress.This is the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demands placed on them at work. Stress is not an illness but a state. However if stress becomes too excessive and prolonged, mental and physical illness may develop.

Symptoms of work stress –

  • Feeling anxious, irritable, or depressed
  • Apathy, loss of interest in work
  • Problems sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Muscle tension or headaches
  • Stomach problems
  • Social withdrawal
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Using alcohol or drugs to cope

There are many factors which cause work stress. These factors are

  • High professional demands
  • Friction in working relationships
  • Frequent changes in the working environment
  • Unclear design of task
  • Poor management style
  • poor working conditions and erratic work hours

Stress is associated with various kinds of illness like, 

  • Heart disease
  • Asthma
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Headaches
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Accelerated ageing, Hair fall, wrinkled skin
  • Premature death

Stress reduction methods

  • Time management
  • Meditation
  • Proper nutrition
  • Group/social support
  • Creative imagery
  • Self hypnosis
  • Regular exercise
  • Relaxation response-quiet environment, passive attitude, comfortable position

Tips to reduce and manage job and workplace stress

  • Recognize warning signs of excessive stress at work
  • Figure out where the stress is coming from.
  • Consider what you can control and work on that
  • Reduce job stress by prioritizing and organizing
  • Manage your time well. Time management-A key to reduce work stress.
  • reduce job stress by taking care of yourself
  • reduce job stress by improving emotional intelligence
  • reduce job stress by breaking bad habits
  • Do what you love
  • Learn  to say no
  • Put a ‘Do not disturb’ sign
  • Avoid distractions

Modern life is full of hassles, deadlines, frustrations and demands. Stress isn’t always bad. In small doses,  it can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best. But when you’re constantly running in emergency mode, your mind and body pay the price.

You can protect yourself by recognizing the signs and symptoms of stress and taking steps to reduce its harmful effects

– Dr. Prerna Gaur

Useful links

http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/features/10-fixable-stress-related-health-problems

http://news.health.com/category/stress-management/

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/07/11/10-practical-ways-to-handle-stress/

http://www.mindtools.com/cgi-bin/sgx2/shop.cgi?page=smmc.html

Apple is not a local fruit for South Indians

An apple a day keeps the Doctor away…but if the apples are not local then ???better to keep them away! Apples are available all around the year and are considered the safest fruit among all. Apples are neither too sweet nor too sour so they are usually consumed by all age groups,  during illness or disease and through all seasons.

But, the recent trends regarding eating and using only local and seasonal produce  made me question the origin of the abundant apples available to us throughout the year in Andhra Pradesh!

It seems apples were first introduced in India by Muslim emperor Firoz Tughlaq who grew apple trees throughout Delhi neighborhoods during his life from 1309 to 1388. But, the truly tasty sweet apple varieties reached us by efforts of  Samuel Evans Stokes of Philadelphia in the early 1900s which were adapted extensively by the farmers of Himachal Pradesh.

Availability of Apples in India:

Only northern parts of India , especially Kashmir experiences cold weather and crisp, chilly air essential for apples to thrive. Jammu and kashmir are the highest producer of apples (80% of the total production), followed by Himachal Pradesh at number two accounting for 12.5%. States such as Uttarakhand contribute 5% and most others such as Uttar Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Sikkim, Nagaland, and the colder hill stations of Tamil Nadu have negligible production

Common apple varieties grown in India include:

  1. Red delicious: a mid-season apple grown in Himachal Pradesh. This variant, along with Royal Delicious, are the most widely grown types in India.
  2. Golden delicious: a late-season cultivar grown in Jammu and Kashmir, and Himachal Pradesh.
  3. McIntosh: A reddish pink apple with a golden blush grown in Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.
  4. Chaubattia Anupam: A red and yellow-striped apple grown in Uttar Pradesh
  5. Lal Ambri: A reddish yellow apple grown in Jammu and Kashmir.

Some exotic (often imported) varieties are as follows:

  1. Fuji
  2. Royal Gala (from New Zealand)
  3. Washington Red: American variety
  4. Granny Smith: American variety
  5. Chilean

When to find apples in India:

The peak apple season is between August through September also known as the fall period. Some varieties from Uttaranchal appear during the late summer months, and the Jammu and Kashmir’s apple season may stretch into late November.

During off season you can still find apples in the markets as India imports apples from the US, China, Chile, New Zealand, and Italy. These imported apples seem to have a very artificial sweetness and mealy texture mainly because they travel over very long distances, are plucked early and then treated with gases to prevent their decay during the long transport.

In the Southern parts of India, apples are not of good quality and are expensive because they are not grown locally. Efforts are ongoing to produce low-chilling varieties of apples in Telangana. Kendre Balaji, a local farmer in the hills of north Telangana, is growing 150 plants, a mixture of all varieties, using organic cultivation methods which improve the nutritional value of his soil. His plants have shown excellent growth, including flowering and fruiting.

We suggest you wait for the right season to eat apples and look out for local varieties. foods grown locally and seasonally are best suited for our body at that given time.

Reference:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/growing-apples-in-the-tropics/article17961584.ece

http://theindianvegan.blogspot.in/2012/09/all-about-apples-in-india.html

6 hours running to burn calories of the biryani meal

A typical friday or a weekend lunch for many hyderabadis is spent with either colleagues, friends or family and the preferred dish on the menu is the “all time favourite hyderabadi chicken biryani!”. It’s often accompanied with a soft drink and a dessert – again the hyderabadi favourite “double ka meetha”. For a hardcore biryani fan, a week without a biryani is unimaginable! But have you ever wondered what it takes to burn off the calories from your hyderabadi meal? Continue reading “6 hours running to burn calories of the biryani meal”

Ways to incorporate whole grain in daily diet!

grain-structureOften selection of the daily staples is based on family traditions or cultural influences. Despite being the major component of our diet, we do not put enough time and effort in making a conscious choice of cereal or grains.

Whole grain are seeds of the grasses cultivated for food. They need to be processed to convert them into edible form but the level of processing Continue reading “Ways to incorporate whole grain in daily diet!”