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If you lose weight, your spouse might too

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Weight Loss gym

New York, Feb 4: Want your partner to be fit? You can be a source of motivation for them as a new research suggests that people who make an effort to lose weight aren’t just helping themselves, they may be helping others too.

The findings of the study showed that when one member of a couple commits to losing weight, the chances were good the other partner would lose some weight too, even if they were not actively participating in a weight loss intervention.

“When one person changes their behaviour, the people around them change,” said the lead author of the study, Amy Gorin, Professor at the University of Connecticut in the US.

The study also found that the rate at which couples lose weight is interlinked.

For the study, published in the journal Obesity, researchers tracked the weight loss progress of 130 couples over six months. They recorded objective measurements of participants’ weight and examined couples’ weight loss trajectories over time.

The couples were divided into two groups. In one group, one member of the couple was enrolled in a structured six-month weight loss program that provided in-person counselling and online tools to assist with weight loss.

In the second group, one member of the couple received a four-page handout with information on healthy eating, exercise, and weight control strategies.

Contact with those individuals stopped with the handout.

The results showed that the untreated partners of both, those who tried losing weight on their own and those who participated in the structured program also, exhibited weight loss at three and six months.

The findings could add a new dimension to national guided weight loss programs that have traditionally targeted individuals seeking a healthier lifestyle, the researcher said.

IANS

Lifestyle

Smoking may damage immunity of skin cancer patients: Study

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Smoking

Smoking may damage the immune response against melanoma and limit patients’ survival chances, according to a new study.

Melanoma patients with a history of smoking cigarettes are 40 per cent less likely to survive their skin cancer than people who have never smoked within a decade after their diagnosis, according to the study, published in the journal Cancer Research.

Other researchers have reported that smoking have adverse effects on the immune system, but it is not yet known which chemicals are responsible for this.

“The immune system is like an orchestra, with multiple pieces. This research suggests that smoking might disrupt how it works together in tune, allowing the musicians to continue playing but possibly in a more disorganised way,” said lead researcher Julia Newton-Bishop, Professor at the University of Leeds.

Smoking could directly affect how smokers’ bodies deal with the melanoma cancer cells, said the researchers.

“Overall, these results show that smoking could limit the chances of melanoma patients’ survival so it’s especially important that they are given all the support possible to give up smoking for good,” said Julie Sharp, head at Cancer Research UK in Britain.

This is the reason why people should try to give up smoking, particularly those who have been diagnosed with malignant melanoma, suggested the researchers.

For the study, the team included more than 700 melanoma patients.

IANS

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Lifestyle

How to take care of hair in pollution

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hair fall
Representative Image

New Delhi, Feb 15: With pollution comes the requirement to be extra cautious of your hair as the chances of it getting dull gets higher. Make sure you treat it well.

Pankaj Chaturvedi, Director, Senior Consultant Dermatologist and Hair Transplant Surgeon at MedLinks list down some steps to get rid of frizzy hair due to pollution.

* Take cover, wear a hat: Always carry with you a hat or hairband to protect your hair from damage. If you really can’t help being in a really polluted area, keep your hair covered if you can, (or tie it back).

* Wash your hair regularly: Fortunately, pollutants sit on the outside of the cuticle and so can easily be washed off, so in order to reduce the microbial content of the scalp and make it less itchy and prone to flaking, we recommends regular shampooing. For men, alternate days to everyday and for women twice or thrice in a week.

* Adjust your styling routine: Hair that has been exposed to excessive amounts of air pollution becomes damaged, feeling brittle and making breakage and split ends more likely. Keep this in mind when using heat from a straighter, curling iron or hair dryer. Minimize the amount of heat you use and always use a heat protecting product.

* Add back hydration: When in doubt, hydrate. It’s a good rule for your health and your hair. Jojoba oil is one good ingredient to look for as it both moisturises and strengthens the hair’s natural hydro-lipid layer, which coats the hair to help keep it hydrated.

* Deep condition: Start a deep conditioning routine weekly. Deep conditioners are used to repair damaged hair, penetrating deep into the hair hydrating and repairing it.

-*-

Chiranjiv Chhabra, Director and Consultant Dermatologist at Skin Alive Dermatology and Aesthetics also has some inputs to share:

* Oil your hair regularly and properly: You should regularly oil your hair as it nourishes the scalp, cleanses dirt and dead cells. Almond oil is an effective hair cleanser, keeps hair healthy and facilitates hair growth as it is rich in Vitamin E.

* Try some do it yourself hair masks

* Ingredients: 1 Banana (it nourishes and repairs hair); Whole milk (moisturizer); Cocoa Powder – 2 teaspoons (moisturizes)

Method:

* Step 1- Peel and break the banana and put them into the bowl, mash the whole banana with a fork to get a fine pulp.

* Step 2 – Add enough whole milk to thin out the banana mixture. Add two teaspoons of cocoa powder, wisk all the ingredients in the bowl to form a nice smooth paste.

* Step 3 – Apply the mask on dry hair with a dye brush, and leave it for 20-30 minutes once a week with a dye brush to get perfect results.

* Step 4 – Wash your hair with a cleansing mild shampoo and let air dry your hair.

* Usage of right shampoo and conditioner: You should always use a shampoo according to your hair type. If your hair is oily and greasy then you should use oil-free shampoos which will make your hair less oily. For dry hair, you should always use a conditioner or a moisturizing shampoo to protect your hair from frizzing up.

* Add extra protection for your hair: You should keep your scalp well protected in terms of both physical protection and nourishment before stepping out of the house. You can use a sunscreen serum or spray to protect your hair from harmful UV rays and toxins.

IANS

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TV-time in class? Textbooks come alive in Gujarat’s schools

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Bhuj Gujarat School LCD

Bhuj (Gujarat), Feb 15 (IANS) In a small school near Bhuj in Gujarat, a group of class five students sit attentively in class, their eyes glued to an LCD screen. The opened science books on their laps have come alive on the screen before them, as an animated character explains the nuances of the chapter in their native language, Gujarati. Efficient learning, experts say, happens when students enjoy the experience, and in hundreds of schools across Gujarat, digitised school textbooks are opening up children’s minds like never before.

Learning Delight, the hand that is turning the wheel of change in 10,000 government schools, mostly in rural and semi-urban areas across the state, has been digitising the state curriculum since 2011, and has the approval of the Gujarat Council of Educational Research and Training (GCERT). The idea is simple: use technology to aid classroom teaching to make the learning process more engaging, more efficient – and definitely more fun.

So much so, that in a survey done in 350 schools where they have a presence, Parinita Gohil, co-founder of Learning Delight, said, “The dropout rate among children studying between Class 1 and Class 8 has come down by 6-7 per cent in the past five years.”

It all started a decade back when two friends, Harshal Gohil and Vandan Kamdar, who were doing their MBA, realised that there was a huge gap in education between schools in different settings. Outdated teaching methods, lack of interest among students and teachers, and gender discrimination were some of the common problems. This led the two to use technology and design, an e-learning tool that would aid classroom teaching.

“Harshal and Vandan began with a survey in five schools. Here they found that although there was no dearth in infrastructure – the schools had computers – there was scepticism about using them,” Parinita Gohil, who is married to Harshal Gohil, told IANS. The resistance mainly arose because “most teachers were not comfortable with the English language, were scared of using the computer, and apprehensive if the computers would replace their role”.

Therefore, the offline computer software that they developed was designed in such a way that a teacher’s presence was necessary in the class. The medium of instruction was Gujarati. “So be it any subject – science, math, social studies – the content was digitised in a way that through animation, riddles, puzzles, and stories textbook learning is made more interactive and fun,” Parinita Gohil said. The experts who designed the digitised content also had teachers on board.

There has, however, been an exception in this digitisation process – the language textbooks, be it English, Hindi, or Gujarati, have been left out. “We don’t want children to leave reading their books. So, while we have digitised the grammar lessons, language textbooks have been left as they are,” she said.

Next in the pipeline is a mobile phone app being developed with a similar software and a foray into Rajasthan, for which software has been developed in Hindi and in tandem with the Rajasthan state education board.

(Azera Rahman can be contacted at [email protected] )

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