Stress can lead to unhealthy eating and several health issues

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine Comments Off

It is imperative to inculcate mindful eating from a young age

New Delhi, 30 April 2019: Indulging in high-calorie ‘comfort’ foods when you are stressed can lead to more weight gain than usual, says recent research. The study talks about a molecular pathway in the brain, controlled by insulin, which drives the additional weight gain.

In Chapter 6 Shloka 17 of the Bhagwad Gita Krishna says to Arjuna, Yukaharaviharasya yuktachestasya karmasu. Yuktasvapnavabodhasya yoga bhavati duhkhaha. It means that the one, whose diet and movements are balanced, whose actions are proper, whose hours of sleeping and waking up are regular, and who follows the path of meditation, is the destroyer of pain or unhappiness.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Most of us lead very busy lives today; we are either working, driving, looking into our smart phone, iPad/tablet etc. In a nutshell, we are too busy to pay attention to what we are eating because we are thinking of the work ahead of us and planning for it and not concentrating on the food. Eating without awareness or eating while distracted by various activities can be harmful to health. It may cause weight gain, a forerunner to lifestyle diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension etc. Hence, it is important to be aware of the food we are eating. This is called mindful eating.

Mindful eating means being aware of the hunger and satiety signals. It also means using all the five senses while eating: colors (eye), smells (nose), flavors (taste), textures (touch) and sound while chewing (ear) of the food. Mindful eating also relieves stress.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “The Bhagwad Gita says ‘While eating, one should concentrate only on eating as the food is served to one’s consciousness’. Eat slowly. The process of digestion begins in the mouth itself. Thus, you should chew your food at least 15 times. If you chew the food well, you will eat less. You will not only enjoy every bite and savor the food, but also maximally gain the nutritional benefits of the food that you are eating.

Some tips from HCFI

·  Eat only when you are hungry.

·Do not eat for pleasure, social obligations or emotional satisfaction.

·  Eat at a slow pace. It improves satiety.

·  Eat less; dinner less than lunch.

·  Take small bites of food, chew well, swallow it and only then take the next bite.

·  Do not eat while watching TV, driving a car or watching sports events. The mind is absorbed in these activities and one does not know what and how much one has eaten.

· Do not talk while eating and never enter into heated arguments. The stomach has ears and can listen to the conversation. It will send signals accordingly to the mind and heart.

· Plan and decide in advance what and how much you are going to eat.

Eyeing Profits

Health Care Comments Off

With hospitals and pharma companies charging heavily for medical devices, a PIL in the Delhi HC seeks direction to cap lens prices

Medical devices have often come under the scanner for being overpriced. A PIL filed in the Delhi High Court late last year challenged such overpricing with a specific plea that intraocular lenses, among the essential medical devices, be listed under the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority.

India has for long been known as the “blind capital” of the world. Around 15 million people here are blind, which is 50 percent of the world’s blind population. According to the data published by the National Programme for Control of Blindness and Visual Impairment, cataract alone accounts for 62.6 percent of all causes of curable blindness in India.

The cataract surgery rate is pinned at above one percent of the total population of the country every year. That means millions of people are getting intraocular lenses implanted each year. But there is a huge gap between the cost of procuring these lenses and the price a patient has to pay for correcting his vision.

The PIL came up for hearing in the Court last week and there was talk of the need for incorporating implantation of intraocular lenses into the definition of a “drug” in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) and price capping it in the interest of public health. The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) was set up in August 1997 to act as an independent regulator for the pricing of drugs and ensure availability and accessibility of medicines at affordable prices. The Drug Price Control Orders (DPCO) are issued by the government to declare a ceiling price for essential and lifesaving medicines (as per a prescribed formula) so as to ensure that these medicines are available at a reasonable price to the general public.

The criteria for inclusion of a drug in NLEM includes, among other things—it should be approved/licensed in India; it should be useful in case of a disease which is a public health problem in India; it should have proven efficacy and a safety profile based on valid scientific evidence; it should be cost effective; and it should be stable under storage conditions in India.

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare prepared and released the first NLEM in 1996, consisting of 279 medicines. This list was subsequently revised in 2003 and included 354 medicines. Later in 2011, the list was further revised and had 348 medicines. Till June 2018, 851 medicines (including four medical devices—cardiac stents, drug eluting stents, condoms and intra uterine devices) are regulated under the revised schedule.

Currently intraocular lenses, which fall under the ambit of notified devices and are widely used in cataract surgeries, are being priced ten times higher than the market at the point of care. Consumers are charged Rs 8,000 for a brand of intraocular lens which has a landing cost of Rs 800.

Medical experts have been insisting that intraocular lenses, catheters, orthopaedic implants, dental implants and ophthalmic medication be brought into the NLEM in order to make them affordable for the common man.

It is now the High Court’s turn to take a call.

Dr KK Aggarwal

Padma Shri Awardee

President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO)

Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications

President Heart Care Foundation of India

Past National President IMA