Mothers’ Nutrition Pivotal for Healthy Child Growth, Study

Improving mothers’ nutrition before and during pregnancy is pivotal to reducing child stunting in developing countries, researchers said on Tuesday, as a new study showed poor child growth often starts in the womb.

Mothers' Nutrition Pivotal for Healthy Child Growth, Study

Defined as low height-for-age, stunting affects one in three children in the developing world and carries severe, irreversible consequences for both physical health and cognitive function.

An analysis of data from 137 developing nations by a team of Harvard scientists found the leading cause of stunting is fetal growth restriction (FGR) – poor fetal growth in the womb resulting in a baby being abnormally small at birth.

Almost a quarter of a total of 44.1 million estimated cases among two-year-olds in 2010 were attributable to FGR, according to the study published on Tuesday.

Researchers said the findings called for “paradigm shift” from interventions focussed solely on children to those also targeting mothers and mothers-to-be.

“It highlights the importance of developing a comprehensive intervention programme to target moms and their families even they get pregnant in order to help their children’s growth in the future,” study co-author Kathryn Andrews told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a phone interview.Greater emphasis should be placed on ensuring that mothers have enough to eat and improving their diet with nutrient supplements, Andrews said.

FGR was already known to be one of numerous causes of stunting but the study was the first to rank each cause’s relative contribution to the total number of cases, the authors said.

Poor sanitation and childhood diarrhoea had the second and third largest impact after FGR, counting for 16.4 and 13.2 percent of cases respectively, according to the research, funded by the Canadian government through Grand Challenges Canada’s “Saving Brains” programme.

Other causes include infections, poor child nutrition and discontinued breastfeeding.

Last year the United Nations adopted an ambitious set of global development goals to end hunger and poverty by 2030.

Stunting affect both areas, as children who have poor growth in their first years of life tend to perform worse at school, which usually leads to poorer earning power later on.

“Knowing the major risk factors for stunting, the global cost of poor child growth, and the number of children missing developmental milestones are key pieces of information in ensuring children not only survive, but thrive,” said Grand Challenges Canada’s CEO, Peter Singer.

Peri Peri Chicken Satay Recipe

About Peri Peri Chicken Satay Recipe: A mouth-watering chicken starter! This chicken satay recipe has a spicy twist with the addition of fiery peri peri sauce. Serve this appetizer at a dinner party or prepare for a game night with friends, the succulent chicken pieces slathered in spices and grilled to perfection would tingle everyone’s taste buds.

Peri Peri Chicken Satay

Ingredients Of Peri Peri Chicken Satay

  • 200 gms boneless skinless chicken thigh (trimmed)
  • to taste salt and pepper
  • 100 gms yogurt
  • 5 gms chilli powder
  • 25 gms ginger garlic paste
  • 5 gram coriander leaves
  • oil to fry
  • 50 gms peri peri sauce
  • 100 gms potato fries

How to Make Peri Peri Chicken Satay

  • 1.Soak the skewers for at least 60 minutes or more totally submerged in water before using it to prevent burns. You may skip this part if pan grilling.
  • 2.Marinate thigh chicken with yogurt, chilli powder, ginger garlic paste, peri peri sauce, salt and pepper.
  • 3.Refrigerate and use when ready. You may make this a day or more ahead of time.
  • 4.Place in a zip lock bag, or sealed containers and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
  • 5.When ready to grill. Using tong remove excess marinates and reserve.
  • 6.Pre heat grill to medium- high heat.
  • 7.Place chicken over medium heat, and then brush with oil to prevent chicken from sticking. Grill for about 10 to 15 minutes, rotating from sides for even cooking. Keep an eye on it — if they are browning too quickly, turn the heat down.
  • 8.Grill in batches if you have a small grill. Transfer the skewers to a platter.
  • 9.In a small saucepan simmer the remaining peri peri marinade and the one from the chicken for about 7 minutes.
  • 10.Serve with chicken, heat oil and prepare the potatoes fries, serve as a bed for chicken.

The Creamy Gluten-Free Kabocha Squash Gnocchi You’ll Crave This Fall

Gnocchi always sounds like one of those challenging homemade meals, when in reality it’s pretty simple to make, and you will certainly feel like an accomplished home-chef once you prepare it! What’s so special about this particular gnocchi is it uses nutrient-rich Japanese kabocha squash instead of the typical white potato, adding gorgeous colour, bold flavour and a natural sweetness you often don’t find in the traditional version of this dish. This recipe is also completely gluten-free, there is no white flour here; rather a delightful mix of brown rice flour and buckwheat flour. Pairing it with a garlic sage cream sauce makes this meal complete!

Creamy Gluten-Free Kabocha Squash Gnocchi

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Gnocchi:
3 cups kabocha squash, peeled and cut into large cubes
1/2 cup brown rice flour + extra for rolling
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 egg
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp sea salt

Cream Sauce:
3 tsp tapioca starch
3/4 cup plain, unsweetened almond milk or dairy milk
2 Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 fresh sage leaves
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Directions:

Gnocchi:
1. Peel the kabocha squash (you can use a sharp knife, as a peeler mostly likely won’t do the trick). Once peeled, cut into large pieces, steam it until it’s soft and a fork can easily puncture through the squash pieces.
2. Mash it by hand or in the food processor and allow it to cool.
3. Once cooled, mixed the squash mash with brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, an egg, cheese and salt. Use your hands to combine and form a dough.
4. Flour a clean surface with extra brown rice flour and divide the dough into 3 separate balls.
5. Roll each ball out into long, thin logs and add extra flour if the dough becomes too sticky.

6. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes and then roll the gnocchi down the fork tines to make indentations.
7. When the gnocchi is ready, boil a large pot of water and salt it.
8. Add the gnocchi to the water. When it floats to the surface, it’s cooked. Remove it with a slotted spoon. Don’t overcrowd the gnocchi in the pot, work in batches if you need to.

Cream Sauce:
1. Whisk together the tapioca and the milk until it’s smooth.
2. Place a saucepan over medium heat, add the butter, then drop in the garlic for a few seconds before adding the sage. Once the sage crackles slightly in the butter, add the milk and tapioca mixture.
3. Take this down to a simmer to allow ingredients to infuse together and for the sauce to thicken.
4. Once thicker, add the lemon juice.
5. Take off the heat and drizzle the sauce over the gnocchi. Top with extra cheese, if you please!

For more heavenly gluten-free recipes, check out these 30 Delicious Gluten-Free Dinners and 18 Great Gluten-Free Party Appetizers.

Treatment for Epstein-Barr Virus May Help People With Multiple Sclerosis

Researchers say the new immunotherapy can help bolster T cells that can then help relieve MS symptoms.

Another clinical trial using the immunotherapy is being organized. Getty Images

Australian scientists say they’ve found a new immunotherapy that’s showing promise as a treatment for multiple sclerosis.

The therapy is based on a treatment for Epstein-Barr virus.

The connection between Epstein-Barr and multiple sclerosis (MS) was made more than 40 years ago. Recent scientific research continues to show a correlation.

At times, researchers have suggested that a vaccine for Epstein-Barr could be an answer to MS.

This potential new treatment is based on the theory of Dr. Michael Pender, a professor at The University of Queensland and the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital in Australia.

Pender unveiled a new theory in 2003 that MS is caused by an accumulation of cells in the brain infected by Epstein-Barr and that a therapy targeting the virus could potentially stop the progression of MS.

“(Epstein-Barr) affects B cells and once affected, never leaves these B cells,” Pender told Healthline. “In healthy people, the immune system works all the time keeping the virus under control by using T cells.”

A common infection

About 90 percent of the public is infected with Epstein-Barr, although many don’t suffer from any serious effects.

All MS patients have the virus, Pender said.

Pender proposes that the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) could accumulate in the body, causing other chronic autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and type 1 diabetes.

He suggests that people who present with these conditions may have a decrease in these T cells that control the virus.

“This is the same process that causes chronic intestinal issues like irritable bowel disorder (IBD). It is the accumulation of EBV cells in the gut causing flora to get out of balance,” Pender told Healthline.

Boosting T cells

The immunotherapy treatment involves isolating T cells, then stimulating them in a laboratory environment and retraining them to be more effective T cells.

“We are giving back the T cells that are doing a good thing — like managing the EBV. They are removed and grown and given back to the patient,” Pender said. “These cells will go back into the brain and start killing the cells creating the damage.”

Five years ago, Pender treated the first patient with T-cell immunotherapy in a phase I trial supported in part by MS Research Australia.

In the latest study conducted this year, seven of 10 participants said it alleviated symptoms for up to three and a half years.

The study was supported by California-based Atara Biotherapeutics, a T-cell focused company.

“If this theory is correct, then a targeted EBV treatment such as T cells could kill infected cells in the brain,” said Pender.

“This is very early but exciting and promising,” said Kathy Costello, a nurse practitioner at the Johns Hopkins Multiple Sclerosis Center in Maryland and the associate vice president of healthcare access for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

“EBV has been looked at and thought to be one of the risk factors for MS, but there are many, many more people with EBV than who ever get MS. It’s unlikely that it’s the only cause or only risk factor for MS,” Costello told Healthline.

“There are many researchers looking at EBV and how it plays a role in MS,” she added. “More people believe that infection of EBV triggers the disease, or risk of development of MS, like smoking cigarettes, taking vitamin D, watching weight/obesity. They all contribute to the risk of developing MS.”

11 places serving the best Soya Chaap in Delhi that you can’t miss

1. Best places to have Soya Chaap in Delhi

Best places to have Soya Chaap in Delhi

Those who think Butter Chicken is the ultimate food orgasm; they need to know that there is something equally delectable and that is ‘Soya Chaap’. Considered as vegetarian’s Chicken, it is rich in flavours and the credit goes to the market players who have redefined it with time. Roasted on skewers and drenched in cream, Soya Chaap is the ultimate way to start an appetising meal. Here’s the list of 10 places serving the best Soya Chaap in Delhi that you can’t afford to miss. (Image: Instagram)

2. Mitra Da Dhaba, West Patel Nagar

 Mitra Da Dhaba, West Patel Nagar

For those who need a break from the regular meal, Mitra Da Dhaba is your ultimate answer. According to residents of West Patel Nagar, their Stuffed Chaal,p Afghani Chaap, and Malai Chaap is incomparable. For the main course don’t forget to try Paneer Pasanda and Dal Tadka.

3. Chaap Point, Kirti Nagar

Chaap Point, Kirti Nagar

This small eatery, nestled in Kirti Nagar is known for different varieties of chaap and chaap rolls, and a few other things. Here, the must-try includes Shahi Chaap and Malai Chaap along with Paneer Tikka Roll and Mushroom Tikka Roll. (Image: Instagram)

4. FCF Chaap & Kabab’s, Rajouri Garden

FCF Chaap & Kabab’s, Rajouri Garden

Nothing can beat the magic of innovation that FCF Chaap has created over the years in the Rajouri Garden area. They have a wide range of fresh flavours in form of FCF Special Golden Fried Chaap, Chaap Orley, Chilli Chaap and Soya 65 that you just can’t miss! (Image: Instagram)

5. Shiv Tikki Wala, Karkardooma

Shiv Tikki Wala, Karkardooma

Open only during the evening hours of the day, this place has a plethora of chaaps that are served with rumali roti and special chutney. The melt-in-the-mouth Malai Chaap and Afghani Chaap are what we really loved during a recent visit. (Image: Instagram)

6. Sardarji Malai Chaapwale, Subhash Nagar

Sardarji Malai Chaapwale, Subhash Nagar

As the name suggests, the place is known for its wide variety of chaaps. Here, the must-try includes Hariyali Chaap, Malai Chaap, Achari Chaap, Masala Chaap, and the very famous Bunty Bubbly Roll. (Image: Instagram)

7. Hunger Strike, Greater Kailash 1

Hunger Strike, Greater Kailash 1

Recently, we got a chance to visit this much-talked-about place in Greater Kailash and we fell in love with the Soya Chaap, Butter Chaap Roll and Soya Malai Chaap. The platter comes slathered in a white sauce that is sinfully delicious. (Image: Instagram)

8. Wah Ji Wah, Janakpuri

 Wah Ji Wah, Janakpuri

Available in West and South Delhi, this place offers Haryali Chaap and Tawa Chaap Masala that is totally delectable. Also, here the wide range of kebabs is something that you should not miss. (Image: Instagram)

9. Gupta Chaat Corner, Punjabi Bagh

Gupta Chaat Corner, Punjabi Bagh

Considered as one of the oldest eateries in the area, this place offers chaaps like Chilli Garlic Chaap, Kabooli Chaap, Tandoori Chaap, and Amritsari Chaap. The best part of this place is the quantity they serve. Don’t agree? Give it a try today! (Image: Instagram)

10. Veer Ji Chaap Wale, Patparganj

Veer Ji Chaap Wale, Patparganj

If you are diet conscious, you will have to ask them to put less butter, but if you try their chaap varieties once, you will fall for them. It is a small dingy place in the Madhu Vihar market but the chaaps that they prepare are out of the world. From Sunny Leone Chaap to Masala and Malai Chaap, their list is endless and full of varying flavours. (Image: Instagram)

11. Chawla’s, Preet Vihar

Chawla’s, Preet Vihar

Chawla’s offers crumb-covered chaap with mayonnaise and green chutney and is considered as the perfect evening snack that you can ask for in the area. If you love spicy snacks, then their Achari and Pudina Chaap is meant for you. (Image: Instagram)

12. Azam’s Mughlai, Khan Market

Azam’s Mughlai, Khan Market

If you are bored of cafes in the Khan Market, then you will be amazed to have desi flavours at Azam’s Mughlai. Their Soy Chaap, Soy Kathi, Soy Chaap Roll, Soy Malai Chaap Roll, and Tikka Roll will take you on a gastronomic journey that is sinfully delicious.

Top 4 Cancer Screenings That Should Be on Your Radar in 2019

Many of the lives lost to cancer each year could’ve been saved through earlier detection. Here are four screenings that should be at the top of your list in the new year.

As the new year approaches, there’s no better time to schedule those cancer screenings your doctor has been recommending.

According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 610,000 people were expected to die from cancer in 2018.

But many of the lives could’ve been saved through earlier detection.

“Cancer screening is so critical because early on in early stages of cancer there are no signs of the disease, and that is precisely when the cancer is most treatable,” Dr. Carmen Guerra, national board scientific officer of the American Cancer Society (ACS) and associate professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, told Healthline.

Guerra urges people to learn more about the guidelines from the ACS and to keep screenings for these four cancer types at the top of their list.

1. Breast cancer

Women ages 40 to 44 years old who are not at increased risk for breast cancer should be offered the choice to start an annual mammogram.

“Between 45 and 54 years old, women should definitely get a mammogram every year. After 55 they can switch to every other year or continue yearly mammograms,” said Guerra.

While there is no age maximum for a mammogram, women should discuss with their doctor what screening is best for them after age 54.

“If their physician believes they will live for another 10 years or longer, he or she may recommend screening,” Guerra said.

She also points out that even if you don’t have a history of breast cancer in your family, you should still follow these guidelines.

“The truth is over 90 percent of the cases occur in people without a family history. Also, many patients tell me that they don’t feel a breast lump [during self-exams] so they don’t need screening,” Guerra said. “Mammograms detect tumors that are not able to be captured with a self-exam or even a clinician exam. Some breast cancers are the size of an eyelash. That’s what a mammography detects, something you could never feel with an exam.”

Women who are at increased risk of breast cancer due to personal history, genetic history or because they carry a gene mutation, such as BRCA1 or BRCA2, should talk with their doctor about screening options, such as an MRI scan.

2. Cervical cancer

All women should begin cervical cancer screening at the age of 21.

Between 21 and 29, screens should be conducted with a Pap smear every three years.

Starting at age 30 and continuing all the way up to 65 years old, in addition to a Pap smear every 5 years, women should also have an HPV test.

“We know there’s a strong link between HPV and cervical cancer,” said Guerra. “After 65, women can discontinue cervical cancer screening if their last two Pap smears over the last 10 years were normal.”

For women who have had the HPV vaccine, Guerra says, the ACS is currently looking into whether or not screening is still needed.

“I’m on the panel that’s looking at that question now. We don’t know yet if women will have to continue cervical cancer screening in the same way I just stated. New guidelines may come out in the next year or so and may affect the recommendations,” she said.

Guerra also notes that the FDA has approved the HPV vaccination to be offered to people 27 to 45 years, which is an update from the approval of up to 26 years old.

“It’s new, but hasn’t been implemented widely yet. Talk with your doctor,” she said.

3. Lung cancer

Lung cancer kills more people than colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.

Screening for lung cancer involves a low-dose CAT scan of the chest for people who are known to be at higher risk of developing the disease.

Recommendations are to screen people (men and women) who are 55 to 74 years old, and who currently smoke or have smoked in the past, but quit in the last 15 years.

“They have had to have smoked approximately 30 pack years or more. What that means is smoking one pack a day times 30 years or half a pack a day times 60 years,” Guerra explained.

In addition to screening, she suggests smoking cessation counseling.

“Smoking rates have been declining since the publication of the reports of the Surgeon General in 1964. That began to raise awareness of the harms of smoking and a lot of public health research and investment has been put into smoking cessation,” Guerra said. “We suspect that all, along with improvement in treatment, has something to do with declining rates of lung cancer.”

4. Colon cancer

Screening for colon cancer not only detects cancer early, but by removing polyps, which can turn into cancer, the screening can actually prevent cancer.

“This is the only cancer screening that can do this,” Guerra said.

Recommendations for colon cancer screening changed earlier this year.

Previously, the ACS stated that anyone over 50 years old should start screening with colonoscopy or a stool-based test. The new guidelines lowered the age to 45 years old.

“There is a concerning increased rate of colon cancer that we are seeing in younger individuals, even millennials, and we don’t know why. To better address this new trend, the recommendations were lowered and should continue through age 75,” said Guerra.

Between the ages of 76 and 85, you should talk with your doctor about whether screening makes sense, and once you reach 85, screening should stop.

Your healthcare provider will also determine how often to screen, but generally, screening is performed once every 10 years with a colonoscopy. If no polyps are found, then screening may continue in intervals of 3 or 5 years.

For those who are concerned that colonoscopy is embarrassing or painful, Guerra says, “The truth is people who have had a colonoscopy almost universally say that the worst part is the prep, which may vary, but generally consists of a liquid you take in two portions and a clear liquid diet.”

She adds that most people don’t remember the procedure because they receive a sedative that helps them sleep.

“Sometimes the sedative is combined with a medicine that makes you forget things, so most people wake up and don’t think they had the colonoscopy, yet it’s over,” Guerra said.

Is it possible to screen too much?

Concern about over-testing and over-screening is a legit one, says Guerra. Doing so can lead to negative consequences such as time spent, cost, and in some cases harmful health effects, such as exposure to radiation (from mammograms).

However, she says this is more reason to adhere to the guidelines.

“For instance, the reason breast cancer screening focuses on age 45 to 54 is because if you were to plot all the cases of breast cancer that occur, it looks like a bell curve that has a peak at those years. Then it falls down,” she said. “As it falls, it’s okay to cut back on screening because the risks are also falling.”

She adds that work needs to be done to get more doctors and patients to realize this.

“Patients want to receive good care, and to them the yearly screening means good care, but it’s actually complex,” Guerra said. “Good care means cutting back for some people. The guidelines are based on a lot of scientific data.”

Seared Salmon and Crispy Tofu Poke Bowls

The bowl of the moment is most certainly the poke bowl, coming to your kitchen straight from Hawaii.  A spin on the traditional fish salad,  the poke bowl is typically composed of raw ahi tuna, seaweed and rice with a few simple, versatile garnishes. It’s lighter, fresher fare that makes a fun lunch or dinner.

Ahi tuna and sushi-grade salmon is a challenge to come by in regular grocery stores, and specialty markets can be expensive. But, you can make a poke bowl at home that suits your locale and budget by searing some wild salmon, or using vegetarian-friendly tofu. Experiment with the vegetables in this bowl, like avocado and steamed greens, or even some juicy fresh mango.

Enjoy these abundant bowls for a taste of warm Hawaiian sunshine.

Poke-Bowl-5

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 25 Minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

Bowl Components
2 cups cooked short grain brown rice or sticky white rice
1 diced cucumber
1 diced carrot
1 diced cooked or raw beet
1 diced roasted red pepper
1 cup finely shredded kale
1 sheet nori (seaweed)
1 fresh red chili, thinly sliced
Black or white sesame seeds

Dressing
2 Tbsp sweet white miso
2 Tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp sesame oil

Poke-Bowl-1

Seared Salmon Poke Bowl
4 oz (per serving) fresh wild salmon (skinned or skinless)
1 tsp black or white sesame seeds
2 tsp coconut oil

Crispy Tofu Poke Bowl
4 oz (per serving) extra-firm tofu, cubed
1 tsp black or white sesame seeds
2 tsp coconut oil

Directions:

Seared Salmon Poke Bowl
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Press sesame seeds into top of salmon. Add oil to hot pan followed by salmon, seed side-down. Sear for 2 to 3 minutes; flip and cook until desired doneness (about 30 seconds to 1 minute for medium-rare). Transfer to a plate. Remove skin from salmon (if it has it) and flake into large pieces. Reserve.

Poke-Bowl-4

Crispy Tofu Poke Bowl
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat tofu with sesame seeds. Add oil to hot pan followed by tofu. Sear for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate. Reserve.

Poke-Bowl-2

Assembly
To large serving bowls, add a mound of rice. Add your vegetables of choice, leaving a space for desired protein. Add salmon or tofu (or both) to bowls, sprinkle with sesame seeds and garnish with chili. Serve warm or chilled drizzled with dressing.

Poke-Bowl-6

Looking for more creative takes on sushi? Try making this shareable sushi pizza.

Think You’re Metabolically Healthy? Only 12% of Americans Fit the Bill

If you think you’ve got good metabolic health just because you see a “normal” weight on the scale, think again.

New research shows that an “alarmingly low” number of American adults are achieving optimal metabolic health, leaving the majority of people at increased risk for serious diseases.

In a study published last month in the journal Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders, researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill evaluated data from 8,721 adults from the 2009 to 2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). They found that just 1 in 8 adults in the United States have optimal metabolic health.

They defined metabolic health as having ideal levels of blood sugar, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, blood pressure, and waist circumference, without using medications. These factors directly relate to a person’s risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

Participants who were obese fared the worst, with just 0.5 percent achieving optimal metabolic health. However, less than half of those who were underweight and less than a third of participants with normal weights had optimal metabolic health.

“We need to look at metabolism beyond just body weight,” said Dr. Rekha Kumar, endocrinologist at New York-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine. “There has been a push to address obesity through public health measures, but this study shows us that even people who are a normal weight seem to be developing diseases that we typically correlate with obesity.”

The report also showed that certain demographics and lifestyle factors affect metabolic health.

Those with the highest rates of metabolic health included women, people under the age of 40, nonsmokers, those who physically active, and those who had at least some college education.

Non-Hispanic black participants and people 60 years old and older were least likely to be metabolically healthy.

“Lifestyle factors play into our health. We’re not isolated to just our numbers — we have to look at everything all together,” said Dr. Samantha Nazareth, a double board-certified gastroenterologist in New York City.

Explaining the low rates of metabolic health

There’s no standard definition in the medical community for metabolic health. As such, the estimated occurrence may change quite a bit depending on which factors are considered.

While this is the first study on metabolic health in the United States, other researchers have looked at similar data to determine that some 23 percent of adults have metabolic syndrome. This condition occurs when a person fails to meet at least three of five ideal measurements of things like blood pressure and glucose levels.

The latest report considers a person to be metabolically healthy only if they meet ideal levels of all five criteria.

What’s considered optimal has become stricter over the years as well. In the report, the researchers used “the most recent and restrictive” cutoffs from scientific societies and government agencies, which drove down the prevalence of metabolic health.

“These are the appropriate levels for the definitions of ‘normal’ for each factor,” said Dr. Rosemary Ku, a dual board-certified physician and founder of the digital health nonprofit Cure Chronic Disease.

“One of the biggest changes here was the blood pressure threshold. The standard for metabolic syndrome was 130/85, but in this study, they considered 120/80 to be optimal,” she said.

“It’s not that we use strict guidelines to label people with diseases that they don’t have. We want people to understand what their health risks are,” Kumar added.

Interestingly, the inclusion of waist circumference made a relatively large impact on the findings, bringing the portion of people with optimal metabolic health from 17.6 percent to 12.2 percent.

While the researchers determined the waist circumference of each participant using a consistent method, there’s no standardization for how doctors should measure their patients’ waists, Ku says.

Nevertheless, a large waist circumference is an important factor to note when evaluating a patient, Kumar says.

“Waist circumference can be considered a surrogate marker for someone’s metabolic health. It implies there’s visceral fat, a dangerous type of fat that gathers around the organs and increases a person’s risk for heart disease and heart attacks,” she explained.

How do you improve your metabolic health?

Having poor metabolic health means you have a higher chance of developing diabetes, heart disease, or stroke.

Understanding your risks starts by getting your annual physical.

“Ask your doctor about whether or not it would be appropriate to be screened for chronic disease risk,” Ku said. “They can easily order a routine lab screening that looks at those factors, like your cholesterol and blood sugar.”

Making diet and lifestyle changes can help improve your metabolic health. Ku, Nazareth, and Kumar emphasize the importance of quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet rich in vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly throughout the week.

Those habits not only work to improve your metabolic health, but also offer a range of other benefits for the body and mind.

“Sleep hygiene should also be incorporated into improving metabolic health. That has taken a hit on our modern society with technology and what often feels like a 24-hour workday for people,” Kumar said.

Shifting public health measures to target everyone (not just those with obesity) is also essential in helping improve the rate of optimal metabolic health throughout the country, Kumar adds.

“All those campaigns focused on increasing someone’s physical activity. Reducing sugar intake and reducing saturated fats in the diet shouldn’t just be targeted at people with a weight problem, but to all people. We need to understand that even if you don’t have a weight problem, you might still have a metabolism problem,” she said.

10 unbelievably easy and healthy ideas for your office lunch box

1. Easy and healthy lunchbox recipes

Easy and healthy lunchbox recipes

In the morning rush, your lunchbox always takes the back seat. It is the most ignored box of your home which is often stuffed with last night’s chapati and veggies or a quickly prepared salad. And you have little motivation to open this box on a hectic weekday in office. But where is the time to prepare an elaborate and tasty meal in the morning? The following are a few ideas that can be prepared quickly in morning and are so tempting you would look forward to your lunch breaks.

2. Zucchini Tomato Pasta

Zucchini Tomato Pasta

Zucchini Tomato Pasta Recipe: Try out this delicious pasta recipe that will tantalize your taste buds.

3. Spinach-Mushroom Frittata

Spinach-Mushroom Frittata

Spinach-Mushroom Frittata Recipe: If you are a mushroom lover and want to try something unique and lip-smacking then, this recipe will surely be the one for you!

4. Roasted Broccoli with Peanuts and Chili

Roasted Broccoli with Peanuts and Chili

Roasted Broccoli with Peanuts and Chili Recipe: With the goodness of peanuts and broccoli, this dish is ideal for those who are trying to lose those extra pounds.

5. Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad Recipe: Quick, easy and healthy! Give only 25 minutes and some efforts to make this delectable and nutritious recipe.

6. Poha Oats Dosa

Poha Oats Dosa

Poha Oats Dosa Recipe: This mouth-watering and easy recipe needs no fancy ingredients and is prepared in leas than 30 minutes.

7. Onion Uttapam

Onion Uttapam

Onion Uttapam Recipe: This delectable recipe can be made easily at home within 30 minutes. This dish is perfect for those who loves having South Indian dishes!

8. Mushroom Roast

Mushroom Roast

Mushroom Roast Recipe: This easy-to-make recipe can be prepared in just 10 to 15 minutes with ingredients like button mushrooms, gram flour, curd and a melange of spices.

9. Baby Corn And Capsicum Pulao

Baby Corn And Capsicum Pulao

Baby Corn And Capsicum Pulao Recipe: The quintessential pulao needs only a few ingredients – rice, baby corn, red bell pepper, capsicum, tomato ketchup, tomato, onion and a melange of spices.

10. Avocado Bruschetta

Avocado Bruschetta

Avocado Bruschetta Recipe: There can be no better way of having bread than this! Nutrient rich and tasty, it is one of the best lunch box items.

11. Apricot Lemon Chicken

Apricot Lemon Chicken

Apricot Lemon Chicken Recipe: The amazing flavours of this recipe will surely take your food experience up by a notch.

Most People Lie to Their Doctor: Here’s Why

When a physician asks health-related questions, they usually expect the wholehearted truth. After all, honesty is supposed to be the best policy. However, if you’ve stretched the truth to your doctor, you may not be alone.

A new study shows that between 60 and 80 percent of patients say that they haven’t told their doctors the truth or have withheld information from them.

This study was published in the JAMA Network Open journal by researchers at University of Utah Health and Middlesex Community College, Connecticut, in conjunction with authors from the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, and the University of Iowa.

They found that the most common reason for withholding information is patients not wanting to feel judged or lectured.

“While the idea that patients may not share everything with their clinicians is perhaps to be expected, we were surprised at how common it appears to be for patients to withhold information or beliefs,” said study co-author Brian Zikmund-Fisher, PhD, research associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan in a released statement.

What the study found

Researchers examined results from over 4,500 responses across the country using two different surveys. One survey captured the responses from 2,011 participants averaging 36 years old. The other online survey was given to 2,499 participants with an average age of 61.

In both survey groups, those who were female, younger, or self-reported having poor health were more likely to respond that they failed to provide truthful answers.

With input from health service researchers, physicians, and psychologists, as well as group meetings and pilot testing, the surveys were refined to include seven questions. These questions covered areas that survey participants may not have been candid about, such as whether they had been adhering to treatment.

If a participant answered they hadn’t been truthful for any of the seven questions, they were then asked to recall why they made that choice.

The primary reasons for failure to disclose information were highest for items involving physician communication, which included disagreement with a physician’s recommendations and not understanding their medical instructions. This is followed by nondisclosure of relevant health behaviors, such as eating an unhealthy diet.

“There are certain topics where patients tend to not always tell you what is going on. I think that is particularly true in scenarios when a patient does not know you that well or there is a sensitive subject” says Dr. Barbara Keber, chair of family medicine at Northwell Health’s Glen Cove Hospital in Glen Cove, New York.

Study participants didn’t disclose information with their physicians primarily because they didn’t want to be judged or lectured about their behavior. This was followed by the lack of desire to hear how bad the behavior was for their health, as well as simply being embarrassed about their health choices.

Other responses included not wanting information in their medical record, not wanting to take up their healthcare provider’s time, and wanting their healthcare provider to like them.

“Most people want their doctor to think highly of them,” said Angela Fagerlin, PhD, senior study author and professor and chair of population health sciences at the University of Utah Health, in a statement.

“They are worried about being pigeonholed as someone who doesn’t make good decisions,” she said.

The risks of keeping information from your doctor

Patients withholding information about their health can make it more difficult for healthcare professionals to provide the right care, and it can be dangerous to the patients’ health.

Patients who aren’t forthright with their health information face unpleasant and sometimes life-threatening side effects from regimens their doctors give them.

“Healthcare clinicians need complete and accurate information about patient behaviors and beliefs if they are to best serve and guide their patients,” said Zikmund-Fisher.

Zikmund-Fisher acknowledged busy doctors can take steps to try to get their patients to be comfortable and open with them.

“Perhaps by acknowledging how common it is for patients to withhold information, clinicians may be able to make it easier for patients to share their concerns and acknowledge their less-than-ideal behaviors,” Zikmund-Fisher said.

“Such conversations will only occur, however, if clinicians address patients’ fears that they will be judged or lectured.”

Although the data presented is astonishing, this study has an interesting limitation: Survey participants may have withheld information about withholding information. This means the statistics could be even higher.

Keber pointed out how important it was for doctors to effectively communicate with patients.

“It all comes down to the mechanism of communication — especially in the patient that you do not know,” says Keber.

“Putting the patient at ease is key. The physician needs to open a line of communication to engage the patient, and only then will the patient engage back with you in a discussion that will allow them to open up about their health concerns.”

The bottom line

A recent study shows that between 60 and 80 percent of patients aren’t forthcoming or even lie to their physicians.

Misrepresentation most commonly occurred when they disagreed with their physician’s recommendations or misunderstood their instructions. Patients reasoned that they didn’t want to feel judged or be lectured.

More than half felt embarrassed about their health choices.