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Knowledge Sharing on Overweight and Obesity

Knowledge Sharing on Overweight and Obesity

Overweight and Obesity

What Health Problems Can Obesity Cause?

Obesity puts kids at risk for medical problems that can affect their health now and in the future. These include serious conditions like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol — all once considered adult diseases.


Overweight and obese kids are also at risk for:


bone and joint problems

shortness of breath that makes exercise, sports, or any physical activity more difficult. This also can make asthma symptoms worse or lead kids to develop asthma.

restless sleep or breathing problems at night, such as obstructive sleep apnea

a tendency to mature earlier. Overweight kids may be taller and more sexually mature than their peers, raising expectations that they should act as old as they look, not as old as they are. Overweight girls may have irregular menstrual cycles and fertility problems in adulthood.

liver and gallbladder disease

Cardiovascular risk factors (including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes) that develop in childhood can lead to heart disease, heart failure, and stroke in adulthood. Preventing or treating overweight and obesity in kids may help protect them from these problems as they get older.


Obese kids also might have emotional issues to deal with (such as low self-esteem), and may be teased, bullied, or rejected by peers. Kids who are unhappy with their weight can be at risk for:


unhealthy dieting and eating disorders


substance abuse

How Are Overweight and Obesity Defined?

Body mass index (BMI) uses height and weight measurements to estimate a person’s body fat. But calculating BMI on your own can be complicated. An easier way is to use a BMI calculator.


On a standard BMI chart, kids ages 2 to 19 fall into one of four categories:


underweight: BMI below the 5th percentile

normal weight: BMI at the 5th and less than the 85th percentile

overweight: BMI at the 85th and below 95th percentiles

obese: BMI at or above 95th percentile

For kids younger than 2 years old, doctors use weight-for-length charts instead of BMI to determine how a baby’s weight compares with his or her length. Any child under 2 who falls at or above the 95th percentile may be considered overweight.


BMI is not a perfect measure of body fat and can be misleading in some cases. For example, a muscular person may have a high BMI without being overweight (extra muscle adds to body weight — but not fatness). Also, BMI might be hard to interpret during puberty when kids have periods of fast growth. Remember, BMI is usually a good indicator of body fat, but it’s not a direct measurement.


If you’re worried, take your child or teen to see the doctor. The doctor will ask about eating and activity habits and make suggestions on how to make positive changes. The doctor also may order blood tests to look for some of the medical problems associated with obesity.


Depending on your child’s BMI (or weight-for-length measurement) and health, the doctor may refer you to a registered dietitian or a weight management program.


Why Do Kids Become Overweight or Obese?

A number of things contribute to a person becoming overweight. Diet habits, lack of exercise, genetics, or a combination of these can be involved. In some instances, too much weight gain may be due to an endocrine problem, genetic syndrome , or some medicines.


Diet and Lifestyle

Much of what we eat is quick and easy — from fat-filled fast food to processed and prepackaged meals. Daily schedules are so busy that there’s little time to make healthier meals or to squeeze in some exercise. Portion sizes, in the home and out, are too large.


Plus, modern life is sedentary. Kids spend more time playing with electronic devices than actively playing outside. Kids who watch TV more than 4 hours a day are more likely to be overweight compared with kids who watch 2 hours or less. And kids who have a TV in the bedroom also are more likely to be overweight.


Exercise and Physical Activity

Many kids don’t get enough physical activity. Older kids and teens should get 1 hour or more of moderate to vigorous exercise every day, including aerobic and muscle- and bone-strengthening activities. Kids ages 2 to 5 years should play actively several times each day.



Genetics can play a role in what kids weigh. Our genes help determine body type and how the body stores and burns fat. But genes alone can’t explain the current obesity crisis. Because both genes and habits are passed down from one generation to the next, multiple members of a family may struggle with weight.


People in the same family tend to have similar eating patterns, levels of physical activity, and attitudes toward being overweight. A child’s chances of being overweight increase if one or both parent is overweight or obese.


How Can We Prevent Overweight and Obesity?

The key to keeping kids of all ages at a healthy weight is taking a whole-family approach. Make healthy eating and exercise a family affair. Get your kids involved by letting them help you plan and prepare healthy meals. Take them along when you go grocery shopping. Teach them how to make good food choices.


Try to avoid these common traps:


Don’t reward kids for good behavior or try to stop bad behavior with sweets or treats. Find other ways to change behavior.

Don’t have a clean-plate policy. Even babies turn away from the bottle or breast to send signals that they’re full. If kids are satisfied, don’t force them to keep eating. Reinforce the idea that they should only eat when they’re hungry.

Don’t talk about “bad foods” or completely ban all sweets and favorite snacks. Kids may rebel and overeat forbidden foods outside the home or sneak them in on their own. Serve healthy foods most of the time and offer treats once in a while.

Recommendations by Age

Additional recommendations for kids of all ages:


Ages 1 to 5: Start good habits early. Help shape food preferences by offering a variety of healthy foods. Encourage kids’ natural tendency to be active and help them build on developing skills.

Ages 6 to 12: Encourage kids to be physically active every day, whether through an organized sports team or a pick-up game of soccer during recess. Keep your kids active at home with everyday activities like playing outside or going for a family walk. Let them be more involved in making good food choices, such as packing lunch.

Ages 13 to 18: Teach teens how to prepare healthy meals and snacks at home. Encourage them to make healthy choices when outside the home and to be active every day.

All ages: Cut down on TV, phone, computer, and video game time and discourage eating in front of a screen (TV or otherwise). Serve a variety of healthy foods and eat family meals together as often as possible. Encourage kids to eat breakfast every day, have at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily, and limit sugar-sweetened beverages.

Talk to kids about the importance of eating well and being active. Be a role model by eating well, exercising regularly, and building healthy habits into your own daily life. Make it a family affair that will become second nature for everyone.

Mental Health

Mental Health

What is mental health?

Mental health refers to cognitive, behavioral and emotional well-being. It is all about how people think, feel, and behave. People sometimes use the term “mental health” to mean the absence of a mental disorder.

Mental health can affect daily living, relationships, and physical health.

However, this link also works in the other direction. Factors in people’s lives, interpersonal connections, and physical factors can all contribute to mental health disruptions.

Looking after mental health can preserve a person’s ability to enjoy life. Doing this involves reaching a balance between life activities, responsibilities, and efforts to achieve psychological resilience.

Conditions such as stress, depression, and anxiety can all affect mental health and disrupt a person’s routine.

Although the term mental health is in common use, many conditions that doctors recognize as psychological disorders have physical roots.

In this article, we explain what people mean by mental health and mental illness. We also describe the most common types of mental disorders, including their early signs and how to treat them.

The WHO stress that mental health is “more than just the absence of mental disorders or disabilities.” Peak mental health is about not only avoiding active conditions but also looking after ongoing wellness and happiness.

They also emphasize that preserving and restoring mental health is crucial on an individual basis, as well as throughout different communities and societies the world over.

In the United States, the National Alliance on Mental Illness estimate that almost 1 in 5 adults experience mental health problems each year.


Early Warning Signs

Not sure if you or someone you know is living with mental health problems? Experiencing one or more of the following feelings or behaviors can be an early warning sign of a problem:

  • Eating or sleeping too much or too little
  • Pulling away from people and usual activities
  • Having low or no energy
  • Feeling numb or like nothing matters
  • Having unexplained aches and pains
  • Feeling helpless or hopeless
  • Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual
  • Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
  • Yelling or fighting with family and friends
  • Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
  • Having persistent thoughts and memories you can’t get out of your head
  • Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
  • Thinking of harming yourself or others
  • Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school

Mental Health and Wellness

Positive mental health allows people to:

  • Realize their full potential
  • Cope with the stresses of life
  • Work productively
  • Make meaningful contributions to their communities

Ways to maintain positive mental health include:

  • Getting professional help if you need it
  • Connecting with others
  • Staying positive
  • Getting physically active
  • Helping others
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Developing coping skills

Mental Health Myths and Facts

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Can you tell the difference between a mental health myth and fact? Learn the truth about the most common mental health myths.

Mental Health Problems Affect Everyone

Myth: Mental health problems don’t affect me.

Fact: Mental health problems are actually very common. In 2014, about:

  • One in five American adults experienced a mental health issue
  • One in 10 young people experienced a period of major depression
  • One in 25 Americans lived with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression

Myth: Children don’t experience mental health problems.

Fact: Even very young children may show early warning signs of mental health concerns. These mental health problems are often clinically diagnosable, and can be a product of the interaction of biological, psychological, and social factors.

Half of all mental health disorders show first signs before a person turns 14 years old, and three quarters of mental health disorders begin before age 24.

Unfortunately, less than 20% of children and adolescents with diagnosable mental health problems receive the treatment they need. Early mental health support can help a child before problems interfere with other developmental needs.

Nutrition and Physical Activity

Nutrition and Physical Activity

             Physical activity has so many benefits to your health. It can help you get to and stay at a healthy body weight, reduce the risk of bone fractures if you have osteoporosis, and can reduce the risk of many other illnesses like cancer and heart disease. For most people, participating in physical activity is safe. However, some people should check with their health care provider or a qualified exercise professional before they start becoming more physically active.

For information on the benefits of physical activity, setting goals and overcoming barriers, as well as safety tips and precautions, visit your general  physician.

Food provides energy for physical activity. As you get more active and more fit, and/or as you lose weight, your energy needs (how many calories you need) may change. To get the energy you require, you need to get the proper amount of:

  • Protein, which is needed to maintain and rebuild tissues such as muscles.
  • Carbohydrate, which is the body’s preferred source of energy.
  • Fat, which also provides energy.
  • Water, to replace water lost through activity.

Eating a diet that is varied, balanced, and moderate can provide you with all the nutrients the body needs without getting too much or too little of any one nutrient.

  • Balance means eating the recommended number of servings from each food group most days.
  • Variety within each food group (for example, eating different fruits from the fruit group instead of eating only apples) ensures that you will get all the nutrients you need, since no one food provides every nutrient. Eating a wide variety of foods will also help you avoid eating too much of any substance that may be harmful.
  • Moderation means eating a little of everything but nothing in excess. All foods can fit into a healthy diet if you eat everything in moderation.

           Those who are very active or who are athletes may have special nutritional needs. They usually don’t need more protein than other people, but they do need more carbohydrate (grains, vegetables, fruits) than the amount recommended for the average person. Carbohydrate is stored as ready energy in the liver and muscles, and this supply is used up very quickly during exercise. Endurance athletes (such as runners and cyclists) need a particularly large amount of carbohydrate. The carbohydrate needs to be eaten right before and during exercise, because the body cannot store a lot of carbohydrate.

            Physical activity has many benefits for your health. No matter what your age or activity level, it is important that you get enough physical activity. The resources below provide an  overview of why physical activity is important, how it can benefit your mental and emotional health, and how to add more physical activity to your life, including tips on setting realistic and timely goals.

               Physical activity has many benefits for your health. No matter what your age or activity level, it is important that you get enough physical activity. The resources below provide an overview of why physical activity is important, how it can benefit your mental and emotional health, and how to add more physical activity to your life, including tips on setting realistic and timely goals.

Healthy Drink Tips

Healthy Drink Tips


Why wouldn’t the drink that literally keeps us alive be on the list, and that too on the top? Water is not only important for our digestion but also necessary for the absorption of vitamins B and C. It helps in the detoxification of the body and is a very important component of the blood as well.


Not only is the healthy coconut water a good alternative to sports drink, it also has natural electrolytes to replenish the lost fluid in your body after a long workout.  Coconut Water also has high magnesium content. The best part is the refreshing ‘naariyal paani’ is so good to taste.


That bright red pomegranate juice is great for your body. It does not only prevent inflammation but also fights against prostate cancer, heart disease and lung cancer as well. One thing you need to ensure is that you are drinking pure juice and not diluted with sugar content in it.


 It is the healthiest hot beverage in the world. Unsweetened green tea is very healthy and fights against many diseases. It speeds up your metabolism, protects your skin against UVB ray damage, reduces inflammation and keeps your teeth and gums healthy. Why wouldn’t you drink on cup a day


A glass of fresh orange juice is great for your body. The best way to soothe those seasonal allergies is by drinking a glass of orange juice. It not only contains vitamin C but also quercetin, both of which are great for fighting against seasonal allergies.

10 Habits For Great Health

10 Habits For Great Health

Habit 1: Wake up in ब्राह्मि मुहूर्त (brāhmi muhūrta)

A healthy individual should wake up approximately 96 minutes before sunrise to stay healthy. Brahma means knowledge. The time to seek knowledge is called as Brāhmi Muhūrta.

Reason: We humans have an internal clock that maintains a cycle of events at a 24 hour interval. It is found that the body temperature is minimum at 5:00 AM, the sleep inducing hormone Melatonin is at its minimum level at the day time and also the hormone Cortisol that helps to withstand stress and traumas in life is secreted more at this time.

Moreover, the level of nascent oxygen is 40% in the environment at this time, so the more one is awake at this time, the more oxygen one gets and the more healthy all the tissues function in one’s body, as our bodily functions require oxygen for every process. waking up at this time keeps one’s body in sync with environment and our bodily changes too. Hence, do wake up in Brāhmi Muhūrta.


Habit 2: Do exercise (व्यायाम) everyday!

शरीरायास जनकं कर्म व्यायाम उच्यते (commentary by Arunadatta on अष्टांग संग्रह संहिता सुत्र २।१४) – any action that makes one tired is termed व्यायाम (vyāyāma).

अर्धशक्त्या निषेव्यस्तु बलिभि: स्निग्धभोजिभि:।
शीतकाले वसन्ते च मन्दमेव ततो अन्यदा।। (अष्टांग ह्रदय संहिता सुत्र २।११)
ardhaśaktyā niṣevyastu balibhi: snigdhabhojibhi:।
śītakāle vasante ca mandameva tato anyadā।।

One who is strong and eat unctuous food everyday should use half of one’s energy to do व्यायाम. Same to be done in winter season and autumn. In summer and rainy season, one should use less than half energy to do व्यायाम .


Reason:In Ayurveda, doing व्यायाम is said to reduce Kapha Dosha and Medha Dhatu, which is the main cause of the disease प्रमेह (diabetes mellitus and related diseases), रक्तचाप (Atherosclerosis, hypertension and related diseases), etc.

However, It is not recommended for elderly (above 70 years), young (below 16 yrs) and those having वात(vaata) and पित्त(pitta) diseases.

Since, in old age (above 70), most of one’s Dhatus (tissue systems) keep depleting, hence doing व्यायाम further depletes the Dhatus which are already in that stage due to age related changes. In young age (below 5), not all Dhatus are completely formed or matured, hence doing व्यायाम will deplete dhatus that are yet to gain their full potential.

Research: It is found by observational research that, those who are physically active exhibited a 30-40% reduction in relative risk of colon cancer and 20-30% women showed reduction in the relative risk of breast cancer.

Habit 3: Do अभ्यंग (Abhyanga-oil application) everyday!

अभ्यंग means applying oil in अनुलोम गति (direction of our hair) all over the body. Doing Abhyanga every day will reduce premature aging or keep one young, reduce tiredness, pacifies Vaata Dosha, brings clarity to the eyes, nourishes the body, facilitates sound sleep and makes one’s skin healthy.

It’s good to apply oil to the whole body, but if it is not possible, one should apply it to face, scalp, into the ears and feet.

CAUTION: Take care as to remove the oil in the ears with a cotton wick after counting to 100 times the number 1. One should not apply pressure while applying warm oil; just spread oil in the direction of body hair in swift motions for at least 15 minutes.

What is the Time to do and which oil to use?
It’s best done with coconut oil or sesame oil before bath in the morning after exercise.

After अभ्यंग procedure?
Take warm water bath.

Research: In a pilot study it was found that Abhyanga statistically reduced subjective stress, BP and heart rate in pre-hypertensive subjects.

A study was conducted on basketball players to elicit the effect of Abhyanga on muscle strength, it was found that Abhyanga increased muscle strength significantly. However, with no Abhyanga for a 15 days led to the reduced muscle strength. This shows how important it is to do Abhyanga everyday and especially after exercise.

Habit 4: Do उव्दर्तन (Uvdartana – scrubbing using medicated powders) everyday!

उव्दर्तनं कषायादि चूर्णैर्गात्रोध्दर्षणं (हेमाद्रि commentary on अष्टांग ह्रुदय संहिता सुत्र २।१५)
uvdartanaṃ kaṣāyādi cūrṇairgātrodhdarṣaṇaṃ
The act of rubbing चूर्ण (powders of any suitable drug) with some friction on the body is called as उव्दर्तन.

Which powder is used generally?
Turmeric, Triphala (the powder of dried fruits of three drugs), gram flour are combined in equal quantity in powder form and applied as a bathing powder after abhyanga and before bath.

Research: A research conducted on healthy volunteers on the effect of udvartana showed that it significantly reduced body weight,body mass index, waist circumference,skin fold thickness, enhanced skin texture and also reduced stress.


Habit 5: Do कवल ग्रह (Kavala Graha – oil pulling or hot water or kashaya gargling) everyday!

Which Oil to be used?
Sesame oil or Coconut oil.

Take a spoon of warm oil in mouth and move it in mouth till there is uncontrollable or excessive salivation,thin watery discharges from eyes and nose.

A study done to know the effects of oil pulling on oral health showed significant reduction in plaques and modified gingival index.Also there was considerable reduction in microbial colony count in mouth.


Habit 6: Stop अध्यशन (Adhyaśana – overeating)

अध्यशनं भूयो भुक्तस्योपरि भोजनं (अष्टांग ह्रुदय संहिता  सुत्र ८।३४ )
adhyaśanaṃ bhūyo bhuktasyopari bhojanaṃ।
Eating food even before the digestion of previous meal is called अध्यशनं.

Reason: When you overeat, stomach expands to contain the food and hence puts pressure on other organs making you feel fullness, distended abdomen, sluggish or tired. Stomach produces hydrochloric acid to breakdown food, which is thrown back to food pipe causing heartburn, our body tries to metabolise extra calories leading to feeling temporarily hot or even dizzy.


Habit 7: Eat with तन्मना (tanmanā – mindfulnes)!

What we think while eating, positive or negative, how thankful we are for the food we eat impacts on our psychology and also affects our digestion. The first phase or step of digestion, the cephalic phase (begins when we see, smell and think about food) only works when we are relaxed and paying attention to what we eat. On the other hand, stress shuts down digestion.

A study conducted on treatment of obesity and overweight individuals with mindful eating as complementary treatment. It was found to help in treating both of the above conditions than just with the help of medicines.

Habit-Ayurveda -ReSanskrit

Habit 8: Eat शुण्टि (fresh ginger) with सैन्दव लवण (Rock salt) before any meal!

Ginger is found to act as antioxidant,anti-inflammatory,anti nausea compound, and anticancer agent. Rock salt is also a good antioxidant, maintains blood pressure and also used to reduce to reduce cough,cold,etc.


Habit 9: Drink उष्णोदक (Uṣṇodaka-boiled water), but according to the need:

उष्णं क्वथनोष्णं (हेमाद्रि commentary on अष्टांग ह्रुदय संहिता सुत्र ५।१६)
uṣṇaṃ kvathanoṣṇaṃ
Water that is boiled and reduced to 1/4th or 1/3 rd or 1/2 is called as उष्णोदक, which is unlikely of what the modern water purifiers do.

The same can become harmful if used in following conditions:
Alcoholism, fainting, vomiting, tiredness, confusion, thirst, burning sensation in the body, poisoning, Pitta Dosha caused diseases and blood related conditions.

Studies have found that drinking hot water increased metabolism by 30% which lasted for 30-40 minutes after consumption.it also facilitated weight loss,increased digestion and reduced constipation.


Habit 10: Do लंघन (Laṃghana- calorie restriction – fasting) once a week!

यल्लाघवाय कार्श्याय तल्लंघनं। (हेमाद्रि commentary on अष्टांग ह्रुदय संहिता  सुत्र १४।२)
yallāghavāya kārśyāya tallaṃghanaṃ।
That which brings about lightness in the body or that which makes one lean is called as लंघन.

Fasting is one among 10 types of लंघन.

Which is the ideal time?
Skipping dinner once a week is ideal for all body types.

Studies conducted in overweight humans show that calorie restriction or fasting improves health outcomes including several cardiac risk factors (which might cause heart diseases), improving insulin (factor responsible for glucose metabolism) sensitivity and oxidative damage to both DNA and RNA hence help in healthy aging.