Cheap junk food expands waistlines in emerging economies

News4u-Features Desk- Eating healthy is becoming an expensive luxury in emerging MARKET countries, where vegetable prices have spiked while high fat, sugary junk foods have become cheaper, economists said on Monday.

Prices of fruit and vegetables rose by 91 percent from 1990 to 2012, while the costs of ultra-processed ready-to-eat meals dropped by up to 20 percent in Brazil, China, South Korea and Mexico, researchers wrote in the first study of its kind on emerging economies.

The price shifts are contributing to rising obesity in the developing world, mirroring the expanding waistlines in wealthy countries, said the 64-page study “The rising cost of a healthy diet” from the Overseas Development Institute, a U.K.-based think tank.

The prevalence of overweight adults in Brazil has doubled since 1980 as cheap crisps, sugary drinks and energy bars became more popular, the study said.

The prices of green vegetables have doubled over the past 20 years in China, as obesity has surged, said the study.

“The policy implications are clear,” Steve Wiggins, an agricultural economist and lead author of the study, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“Governments should start using taxes and subsidies to nudge people towards a healthier diet.”

Of the four countries studied, Mexico has the most serious problems with junk food consumption. Roughly two-thirds of its population is obese or overweight, a figure roughly equivalent to the U.K., Wiggins said.

In response to obesity and an “epidemic” of type 2 diabetes, Mexico has imposed a tax on sugary drinks, Wiggins said.

The economists who wrote the study said they are unable to explain why fruit and vegetable prices are rising.

Processed food is getting cheaper because industrial conglomerates have become more efficient in taking cheap ingredients and turning them into food that is “tasty but high in fat, energy, sugar and salt”, Wiggins said.Reuters


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Wine only good for heart when you exercise: Study

News4u-Features Desk- Drinking moderate amounts of wine may provide protection against heart disease - but only in people who exercise, a new study has found.

According to the study by Professor Milos Taborsky from the Czech Republic, wine only protects against cardiovascular disease (CVD) in people who exercise.

“This is the first randomised trial comparing the effects of red and white wine on markers of atherosclerosis in people at mild to moderate risk of CVD.

We found that moderate wine drinking was only protective in people who exercised. Red and white wine produced the same results,” Taborsky said.

The study is the first long-term, prospective randomised trial comparing the effect of red and white wine on markers of atherosclerosis. It included 146 people with mild to moderate risk of cardiovascular disease.

Participants were randomised to one year of moderate consumption of red wine or white wine from the same year and wine region of the Czech Republic. Participants kept a logbook on their consumption of wine and other alcoholic beverages, medication use, and amount and type of exercise.

The researchers found that there was no difference between High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels at the beginning of the study compared to one year in either the red or white wine groups.

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol was lower in both groups at one year while total cholesterol was lower only in the red wine group.

“A rise in HDL cholesterol is the main indication of a protective effect against CVD, therefore we can conclude that neither red nor white wine had any impact on study participants as a whole,” Taborsky said.

“The only positive and continuous result was in the subgroup of patients who took more exercise, which means regular exercise at least twice a week, plus the wine consumption.

“In this group HDL cholesterol increased and LDL and total cholesterol decreased in the red and white wine groups. There may be some synergy between the low dose of ethyl alcohol in wine and exercise which is protective against CVD,” Taborsky said.

“Our current study shows that the combination of moderate wine drinking plus regular exercise improves markers of atherosclerosis, suggesting that this combination is protective against cardiovascular disease,” Taborsky concluded.

The research was presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress in Barcelona.


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WHO GAVE YOU A RIGHT TO MOCK A RELIGION ? (RE PUBLISHED)

News4u-Features Desk- The Whites, be they Europeans or the Britishers, always considered themselves above every one else. They took upon themselves to rule over the world and write the destiny of the lesser beings inhabiting this earth. By and by their illusions were shattered and they had to withdraw themselves inside their own boundaries. The British, the French, the Dutch and the Portugies were all beaten back from where they had established their colonies. Yet the Pride, the cockiness and arrogance remained.

The French published magazine “Charlie Hebdo” is a living example of their arrogance and highhandedness. While the world stands united against the Islamic Terrorists, I respect their anguish and anger at their religion being mocked by the French. I do not even for a second side with terrorists, as killing, for any reason whatsoever can never be forgiven. It is inhuman and monstrous. However the question arises why should anyone be given a right to mock a religion, lampooning and downgrading it to the extent that even Americans and some other Wise heads took upon themselves to warn them against it.

If Muslims are extra touchy about their religion the same can be said of Chritians. When Dan Brown, a few years back deviated from the Biblical story about Christ , a storm rose against him. They had till recently refrained from showing the face of Christ on silver screen as they considered it as sacriligous. They are the ones who burnt Bruno alive and punished Copernicus for saying something against their religious belief. So many books have been banned and voices choked who dared to open their mouths against Christianity.

Now the same people are making fun of a religion which to its followers is dearer than life. If they react the way they did, its nothing to be shocked about. Even we the Hindus who keep a straight face when god Ram is made a butt of jokes, were angry when MF Hussain painted the hindu goddesses in the nude. We are very tolerant people, the world knows it, yet we also react when god Ganesha’s image is pasted on a bottle of wine. Every one is free to hold one’s belief and faith as desired. Why should a Charlie Hebdo make fun of a religion and the world not condemn it.

Now they are all set to repeat the folly with nods from irrational heads round the world. If now the terrorists raise havoc, even innocent people would be killed this time, those who do not even know what Islam is and why a cartoon should bring about the end of their lives.

By : Veera Chaturvedi
Veera Chaturvedi is a renowned author . She has many books to her credit. She is a freelancer you can find more of her articles on http://ipen-veera.blogspot.in/


WHO GAVE YOU A RIGHT TO MOCK A RELIGION ?

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ख़ामोश है दरवाज़ा ( A Memoir - in Hindi )

News4u-Features Desk- गुलाबी शहर जयपुर की जानी मानी मिर्ज़ा इस्माइल रोड पर पांच बत्ती से आगे स्टेशन की ओर जाती सड़क पर कुछ दायें सड़क एक रास्ता सा बना देती है भीतर की तरफ़ । वहीँ खड़ा है एक लम्बा चौड़ा दरवाज़ा जो अपनी ख़ामोशी कभी नहीं तोड़ता । उसमे एक छोटी सी खिड़की भी है पर वह भी चुप-चाप आने जाने वालों को देखती भर रहती है ।

साल में न जाने कितनी आँखें सिर्फ इस दरवाज़े को देखने के लिए ही इधर का रुख करती हैं, लेकिन कोई दस्तक नहीं देता । अंदर का सच सबके भीतर मेहफ़ूज़ है , उसे छेड़े क्यों?

मैं आज उसी दरवाज़े के बहर खड़ी हूँ । न खुले दरवाज़ा , मैं तो सब कुछ आर-पार देख पा रही हूँ। ऊंचा पूरा गुलतुर्रा लाल फूलों से लदा है, बेचारा अमरूद उसकी छाओं में पनप नहीं पाता पर फल बराबर देता है । ये और बात है कि ये फल कभी पक नहीं पाते । शैतान बच्चों की पूरी जमात उनपर निगाह लगाये रहती है ।
गुलतुरे की छाया में आराम से सोया हरे कालीन सा लॉन और उसके किनारे किनारे लगे फूलों के पौधे और उधर अशोक का ऊंचा दरख़्त साथ में दो बहनो सी बतयाती मौलश्री , अपनी जगह वहीँ हैं । दरवाज़े के पास अंदर सभी कमरों पर चिक पड़ी है । भाई लोग पढ़ें या क्रिकेट की चर्चा करें किसी को पता नहीं चलता । हाँ, जब वे बाहर आकर क्रिकेट खेलते या पतंग उड़ाने छत पर जाते तो एक शोर से सारा घर जाग उठता ।

बोगनविलिया और पीले फूलों वाले कनेर के साथ ही हम सब बड़े हुए। एक ओर फूलों से भरा आँचल बिछाये बैठी बेला की लतर रात भर महकती , सुबह सवेरे लुट जाती । सुबह शाम चिकों के पीछे कमरों से घंटी बजने और दबे दबे सुर में आरती का स्वर उभरता और शाम रात में ढल जाती ।

गर्मी में आँगन में बिछी ढेरों चारपाइयां और उनपर लेटी चाचियाँ, ताइयां , भाभियाँ , बहने और बच्चे - कहीं लोरिया , कहीं कहानियां तो कहीं आंसू और शिकायतें । सब हवा में आज तक घुली मिली हैं ।

पढाई वाले कमरे में लड़कियों की खुस-फुस , उनकी हसीं एक अनुशासन पसंद आवाज़ के डर से कहीं दुबक जाती । क्रिकेट कमेंटरी सुनने की चाहत लिए कान या बिनाका गीत माला के प्रेमी भी इसी आवाज़ से सहम बत्ती बंद कर कोने में छिप जाते ।

ताउजी की आवाज़ पर पर्दा करने वाली भाभियाँ , चाचाओं और भाइयों की आवाज़ पर काम के लिए दौड़ पड़ने वाली लड़कियां , लम्बी चौड़ी रसोई में चूल्हे के सामने पसीने में नहाईं भाभियाँ और चाचियाँ , उन सब की चूड़ियों की खनक , आपस की चुहलबाज़ियाँ इस दरवाज़े के पीछे आज तक गूंजती हैं ।

“बस आगई !” का शोर सुबह से कई बार घर मैं गूंजता । लाल रिबन के फूल बनाये छोटी छोटी लडकियां , हरे लाल स्कर्ट में कुछ बड़ी और फिर सलवार कमीज में सजी कुछ और बड़ी लड़कियों के लिए बसें बार बार सड़क पर रूकती , दरवाज़ा देखता रहता ।

लम्बी चौड़ी छत से लटकती रंग बिरंगी साड़ियों की कतार , धुप खाते अचार , बड़ियां और आलू पापड़ के आस पास टहलती लड़कियां , इतनी बातें उनकी कि खत्म ही ना हों कभी । और फिर इसी छत पर बारात का स्वागत भोज , दूसरी छत पर से गालियां गाती घर की महिलाएं और कान लगाकर मज़ा लेते बाराती और घराती । सिल्क के कुर्तों में सजे घर के सभी मर्द बारात की ख़ातिर में माहिर होते ।

कहते हैं आवाज़ें कभी मरती नहीं , हवाओं में सुरक्षित रहती हैं । मेरे आँगन में हर बरस गर्मी में लम्बें चौड़े आँगन में सजे मंडप से गूंजती मुरादाबाद वाले पंडित के मंत्रोच्चार कानों में अभी भी उत्तर आतें हैं ।

हाँ दरवाज़े के पीछे और भी बहुत कुछ है । एक नौकर जो नौकर कम , चौकीदार ज़्यादा है । एक बड़ा सा कमरा जिसे साहब का कमरा कहते थे और जो वाकई कुछ राजसी सा लगता था । इसके अलावा मेरी माँ की दमें से भारी साँसे , बड़ चाची के हाथ का मुसलसल हिलता पंखा , दादी का मंद स्वर में गीता पाठ और बड़े हंडे की चाय , जिसके बिना ज़िन्दगी बदमज़ा होजाती ।

दरवाज़ा खामोश है पर मैं उसमें बोलती आवाज़ों को सुन सकती हूँ जब चाहूँ तभी ।

वीरा चतुर्वेदी

By : Veera Chaturvedi
Veera Chaturvedi is a renowned author . She has many books to her credit. She is a freelancer you can find more of her articles on http://ipen-veera.blogspot.in/


ख़ामोश है दरवाज़ा

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Social phobia puts you at teeth grinding risk

News4u-Features Desk- London: People with social phobia or anxiety are at increased risk of bruxism - teeth grinding which causes tooth wear and fractures as well as jaw pain, a new research has found.

Anxiety experienced in social circumstances elevates the risk of bruxism, the findings showed.

“Interaction with people seems to be necessary to trigger bruxism in socially anxious people,” said lead researcher Ephraim Winocur from Tel Aviv University in Israel.

“By treating social anxiety, we will be able to treat bruxism as well,” Winocur said.

Although antidepressant drugs have previously been linked to bruxism, this study found no such association.

The researchers assessed 75 men and women in their early 30s using questionnaires.

One group of 40 people had social phobia, characterised by excessive fear in social situations.

A control group of 35 did not have social phobia. All the participants underwent psychiatric and dental exams. Bruxism symptoms and oral habits, such as gum chewing, nail biting, and small jaw movements with no tooth contact (“jaw play”), were all assessed.

Moderate-to-severe dental wear was found in 42.1 percent of the social phobia participants and 28.6 of controls.

The rate of jaw play was 32.5 percent in the phobia group and 12.1 percent in controls. Symptoms of awake bruxism were reported by 42.5 percent of social phobia patients and by percent percent of controls.

The study was published in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation. IANS


Social phobia puts you at teeth grinding risk

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Deep-sea microbes called missing link for complex cellular life

News4u-Features Desk- Deep beneath the Atlantic Ocean between Greenland and Norway, scientists have found microorganisms they call a missing link connecting the simple cells that first populated Earth to the complex cellular life that emerged roughly 2 billion years ago.

The researchers said on Wednesday a group of microorganisms called Lokiarchaeota, or Loki for short, were retrieved from the inhospitable, frigid seabed about 1.5 miles (2.35 km) under the ocean surface not too far from a hydrothermal vent system called Loki’s Castle, named after a Norse mythological figure.

The discovery provides insight into how the larger, complex cell types that are the building blocks for fungi, plants and animals including people, a group called eukaryotes, evolved from small, simple microbes, they said.

The Lokiarchaeota are part of a group called Archaea that have relatively simple cells lacking internal structures such as a nucleus. But the researchers found the Lokiarchaeota share with eukaryotes a significant number of genes, many with functions related to the cell membrane.

These genes would have provided Lokiarchaeota “with a ‘starter-kit’ to support the development of cellular complexity,” said evolutionary microbiologist Lionel Guy of Sweden’s Uppsala University.

Archaea and bacteria, another microbial form, are together known as prokaryotes.

“Humans have always been interested in trying to find an answer to the question, ‘Where do we come from?’ Well, now we know from what type of microbial ancestor we descend,” said Uppsala University evolutionary microbiologist Thijs Ettema, who coordinated the study.

“Essentially, Lokiarchaeota represent a missing piece of the puzzle of the evolution from simple cells - bacteria and archaea, prokaryotes - to complex cells - eukaryotes, which includes us humans,” Ettema added.

Earth’s wide diversity of life would have been impossible without this transition from rudimentary cells into the more complicated ones seen in multicellular life. Microbial life originated about 3.5 billion years ago. The first complex cellular life came roughly 2 billion years ago.

How cellular complexity first developed has been one of the big puzzles of evolutionary biology, Guy said.

The Lokiarchaeota were retrieved from oxygen-starved sediment layers during voyages of a Norwegian research vessel, said microbiologist Steffen Jørgensen of Norway’s University of Bergen.

While the Loki’s Castle geothermal vents spew fluids reaching about 570 degrees Fahrenheit (300 degrees Celsius) about 9 miles (15 km) away, the Lokiarchaeota’s locale was desolate, pitch dark and around the freezing point, Jørgensen added.Reuters


Deep-sea microbes called missing link for complex cellular life

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Sleep well to avoid sick leaves

News4u-Features Desk- London: Is taking a lot of sick leaves tarnishing your image at work? Following a good sleep hygiene can lower the risk of falling sick that often, says a new fascinating study.

The study has found that those who maintained an optimum sleep duration of seven to eight hours every night, fell ill considerably less.

Researchers in their further analysis have found that the optimal sleep duration should not be less than six hours or more than nine hours per night. A further break up reveals it to be seven hours, 38 minutes for women and seven hours, 46 minutes for men.

The study was based on a survey of 3,760 men and women in the age group of 30-64 in Finland.

According to Tea Lallukka from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, insomnia symptoms should be detected early to help prevent absence due to sickness and deterioration of health, well-being and functioning.

Successful prevention of insomnia not only promotes health and work ability among employees, but it can also lead to notable savings in reduced sickness absence costs, Lallukka concluded.

The study appeared in the journal Sleep.Agencies


Sleep well to avoid sick leaves

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Few Brain booster Foods for you…

News4u-Features Desk-  It’s that time of the year again… exam period! Whether you’re a high school or university student, I’m sure we all know what it feels like to spend sleepless nights, trying to stuff more content into our over-worked brains.

But did you know that eating the right foods is not only beneficial for your physical health, but it can also boost brain function? Despite it’s size, the brain is an extremely active organ that consumes up to 20% of your caloric intake every day!

Therefore, it’s crucial to fuel it with essential nutrients that will not only enhance mental performance, but also increase productivity and help control those crazy mood swings. Next time you step into the kitchen for a study snack – put down the packet of crisps, and choose one of these brain-boosting options instead!

 

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate

 

Yes, you read that right. Believe it or not, dark chocolate is wonderful brain food to have in moderation. It contains natural stimulants which increase blood flow to the brain, helping you to focus and improve concentration. Not only that, it stimulates the production of endorphins to boost your mood and keep your spirits lifted! Look out for brands that contain 85% or more cacao – the greater the percentage, the more benefits you’ll get from each piece (or two)!

 

 

 

Berries

Berries are a quick, convenient snack packed full of health benefits to promote brain function. The antioxidants and phytonutrients they contain help improve blood flow to the brain to enhance mental performance. In particular, research has suggested that blueberries can improve or delay short-term memory loss. Another great benefit is that they may protect the brain from neurological damage and reduce the effects caused by age-related conditions… anti-ageing for the brain, anyone?

-Agencies


Berries

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Japan’s maglev train creates new world speed record with top speed of 603 km/h

News4u-Features Desk- Japan’s state-of-the-art maglev train clocked a new world speed record Tuesday in a test run near Mount Fuji, smashing through the 600 kilometre per hour mark, as Tokyo races to sell the technology abroad.

The seven-car maglev train short for “magnetic levitation” hit a top speed of 603 kilometres an hour, and managed nearly 11 seconds at over 600kph, operator Central Japan Railway said.

The new record came less than a week after the company recorded a top speed of 590 kph, breaking its own 2003 record of 581 kph.


Japan’s maglev train

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Junk food consumption leads to diseases

News4u-Features Desk- Junk food is taking a toll on people’s lives these days and with changing lifestyle people tend to prefer it more.

A programme in the capital was organised to raise awareness about the harmful effects of junk food.

In today’s fast paced lifestyle, junk food has entered the diet of not only people in urban areas but in villages too consumption of junk food is rising.

A programme involving health experts and consumer rights activists was organised in New Delhi on harmful effects of junk food.

The experts blamed misleading advertising for the increase in consumption of junk food.

Daily consumption of junk food can affect health and lead to various diseases.

Panel discussions on the topic “Junk Food & Health - A Wake Up Call” was organised by Consumers India and it highlighted the view point of consumers.

Junk food is high in carbohydrates, fat and sugar content.

It usually includes fried food like burger, chips, pizza, chocolates among others.

The number of obese patients has grown significantly in the last ten years due to junk food.

Junk food

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