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Avoid eating too much potato chips during pregnancy

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Women should avoid eating too much vegetable oil and potato chips during pregnancy as such a diet may result in an increased risk of pregnancy complications and poor development of the babies, warns a study.

Foods such as potato chips and vegetable oil contain omega 6 fats, particularly linoleic acid, and the research suggests that overconsumption of this nutrient can promote inflammation and may be associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

“It is important for pregnant women to consider their diet, and our research is yet another example that potentially consuming too much of a certain type of nutrient can have a negative impact on the growing baby,” said study lead author Deanne Skelly, Professor at Griffith University in Australia.

The finding, published in The Journal of Physiology, found that eating a diet with three times the recommended daily intake of linoleic acid might be harmful in pregnancy.

For the study, the researchers picked rats for the experiment and they found three changes in rat mothers who ate a high linoleic acid diet: their liver had altered concentrations of inflammatory proteins, their circulating concentrations of a protein that can cause contraction of the uterus during pregnancy were increased, and a hormone that can regulate growth and development was decreased.

If the effects of high linoleic acid are the same in rats and humans, this would suggest that women of child-bearing age should consider reducing the amount of linoleic acid in their diet.

During the study, the research team fed rats for 10 weeks on a diet with high linoleic acid, mated them and then investigated the effects of the diet on their pregnancy and developing babies.

Rats typically give birth to multiple babies in each pregnancy. Rat mothers who ate a high linoleic acid diet had a reduced number of male babies, said the study.

It is important to note that when humans eat a diet rich in linoleic acid, the diet also tends to be high in fat, sugar, and salt.

However, in the study, the only change in the diet was higher linoleic acid, but no changes in fat, sugar or salt.

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More people could slip into hunger as result of COVID-19: UN Chief

The COVID-19 pandemic is making things even worse. Many more people could slip into hunger this year, he said.

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Antonio Guterres

United Nations, July 14 : UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that many more people could slip into hunger this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He sounded the alarm in a video message on Monday during the launch of “The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020” report, which says almost 690 million people went hungry in 2019, up by 10 million from 2018, and by nearly 60 million in five years, Xinhua news agency reported.

“This year’s State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report sends a sobering message. In much of the world, hunger remains deeply entrenched and is rising,” said Guterres in the video message.

The COVID-19 pandemic is making things even worse. Many more people could slip into hunger this year, he said.

“The report is clear: if the current trend continues, we will not achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2 — zero hunger — by 2030.”

Guterres said transformation can begin now. Investments in COVID-19 response and recovery need to help deliver on the longer-term goal of a more inclusive and sustainable world.

“We must make food systems more sustainable, resilient and inclusive — for people and the planet.”

He said he will convene a Food Systems Summit next year. “We must make healthy diets affordable and accessible for everyone.”

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Study reveals new strategies to control Covid-19 pandemic

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Social Distancing in Mizoram

London, July 13 : Strategies for the safe reopening of low and middle-income countries (LMICs) in response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic must recognise that preserving people’s health is as important as reviving the economy, say researchers, including one of Indian-origin.

In the study, published in the European Journal of Epidemiology, the research team examined three community-based exit strategies, and recommended their scopes, limitations and the appropriate application in the LMICs.

The three approaches considered are sustained mitigation, zonal lockdowns and rolling lockdowns. “Successfully re-opening a country requires consideration of both the economic and social costs,” said study lead author Rajiv Chowdhury from the University of Cambridge in the UK.

“Governments should approach these options with a mind-set that health and economy both are equally important to protect – reviving the economy should not take priority over preserving people”s health,” he added.

The study also revealed that strategies need to be based on the local epidemic growth rate at the time, social and economic costs, existing health systems capabilities and detailed plans to implement.

Sustained ”mitigation-only” approaches such as those adopted in the UK, Switzerland and other European countries, involve basic prevention measures such as mask-wearing, physical distancing and the isolation of positive cases after testing.

Zonal lockdowns approach involves identifying and ”cordoning off” new outbreak clusters with a high number of cases, keeping contact between zones and containing the disease within a small geographic area.

However, the authors point out that any successful implementation of zonal lockdown requires regular data feedback operations in real-time to identify hotspots, including information on newly confirmed cases, updated region-specific reproduction and growth rates, and deaths by age.

Additionally, control of transmission within zones may be an enormous undertaking. For example, in India, where this approach has been employed, the infection size within a cordoned zone can be as high as 100-200 times outside the zone.

Intermittent rolling lockdowns are now advocated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in various LMICs. These involve implementing strict social distancing for a set number of days before a period of relaxation. Rolling lockdowns may be particularly useful in LMICs with dense populations, where this is a high potential for contact, weak health systems and poor contact tracing.

“These three strategies should not be considered as one or the other. A country should further adapt and could combine them as needed,” the authors wrote.

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Beauty salons, nail bars and tattoo shops reopen for first time in four months

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that there were more than 100 “local actions” taken across the country each week to stem fresh outbreaks.

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Beauty salons Tatoo

London, July 13 : Beauty salons, nail bars and tattoo shops in England reopened on Monday after a four-month closure due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

Spas, massage studios and physical therapy businesses will also be able to welcome customers again from Monday, reports the Metro newspaper.

But businesses will be required to meet coronavirus guidelines, and restrictions on treatments which involve work directly in front of the face will not be available.

Government guidance states that face waxing, eyelash treatments, make-up application and facials should not be provided because of the greater risk of COVID-19 transmission.

The relaxation comes as around 200 workers at a farm in Herefordshire were quarantined following a fresh COVID-19 outbreas.

Some 73 positive cases of the virus have been confirmed among workers at vegetable producer AS Green and Co, which is based in the village of Mathon, near Worcester.

A joint statement from Public Health England (PHE) Midlands and Herefordshire Council said employees were being asked to remain on the farm during the period of isolation, the Metro newspaper reported.

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that there were more than 100 “local actions” taken across the country each week to stem fresh outbreaks.

As of Monday, the UK reported a total of 291,154 coronavirus cases, with 44,904 deaths.

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