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Pregnancy guide if you are going to become a Mom

18 May

Body: In a woman’s life, pregnancy is one of the most exciting times and thus during this period the mothers need to very careful and conscious for the growth of their growing child. This time period starts being a great mother when these mothers come to know about their pregnancy. Once they conceive, along with that the growth of their unborn child tends to grow and below is some guidelines to keep themselves and their baby healthy during the time period of pregnancy.

First of all go to doctor for regular checkups and treatments

In India, the prenatal care at the regular intervals of time is very much important and thus it is quite helpful for a woman to keep her baby fit and fine in her womb. Most of the women have normal pregnancies and it is only due to the proper care and thus prevents pregnancy related complications. These complications could be life threatening and thus a mother needs opt be very careful during this time period. A physician specializing in obstetrics and midwives are healthcare professionals that particularize in caring for expecting mothers.

Go for healthy diet

A well balanced and healthy diet can help the mother as well as the baby to get the right nutrients.  The pregnancy always keeps in mind that the diet they take helps in the growth of their baby. The baby food intake all depends upon the diet of the mother. If the mother takes the wrong diet and goes for hard drinks then it could adversely affect the baby’s growth. Ladies are supposed to make sure that they eat good deal of whole grains, lean protein, veggies and fruits. Swordfish, canned tuna, undercooked meat, hot dogs and delicatessen meats should be fended off.

In addition, ladies may ask their doctor or midwife about considering a fish oil supplement. Fish oil contains omega 3 carboxylic acid, which are necessity for the baby’s mental capacity growth. Omega 3 fatty acids can also help out in reducing the risk of preeclampsia, which is the chosen cause of parental and fetal death.

Stay away from smoking and hard drinks

This may seem like a contributed, but both hard drinks and smoke can harm the growing baby. Smoking enhances the danger of bearing to a low-birth weight baby. Hard drinks increase the danger of a circumstance called FAS (fetal alcohol syndrome). It has been connected to heart defects, retarded growth and facial disfigurations.

Pregnancy specialist exercises

Many doctors and experts suggest that women gain amongst 25-30 pounds throughout pregnancy. Women who acquire more than the suggested amount of weight gain their risk of formulating preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. Proper exercise helps pregnant ladies to maintain standard weight. It also put in order the body for labor and finally the delivery. It not only does well for the mother, but it also does well for the baby. Researchers have shown that light exercise during this time period helps in strengthening the baby’s heart. Yoga or the great Indian meditation techniques have been practiced since centuries to cure many diseases and disorders. It helps the pregnant women to relieve stress and increase fertility who face problem in conceiving. Perform these techniques either at home or join some center to take better care of your unborn child.

About the Author:

Anna Cleanthous is a enthusiastic author who writes about various topics such as health, travel and tourism. She enjoys traveling and teaching.
My mail id: anna.cleanthous@gmail.com

Weight loss surgery safe & effective – Dr Abeezar Sarela

14 Feb

 

About the Author:

Dr.Abeezar Sarela

Abeezar Sarela specialises in surgery for diseases of the oesophagus and stomach (often referred to as Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery or Upper GI Surgery or Foregut Surgery). There are three areas of sub-specialisation in this area: (1) surgery for obesity & related diseases such as diabetes (Bariatric & Metabolic Surgery);(2) surgery for cancer of the oesophagus and stomach (Surgical Oncology) & (3) surgery for benign disorders, such as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, hiatus hernia, achalasia cardia and gastroparesis.

He practices in UK at: St James’s University Hospital, Nuffield Hospital, and Spire Hospital. He also operates in India at Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai

Contact: a.sarela@leeds.ac.uk

Website: http://foregutsurgeon.com/ (Powered by Websites For Doctors)

EFFECTS OF SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS ON THE NUTRITIONAL AND HEALTH STATUS OF ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CHILDREN

14 Sep

EFFECTS OF SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS ON THE NUTRITIONAL AND HEALTH STATUS OF SELECTED ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CHILDREN AGED 6 – 10 YEARS IN RAMANATHAPURAM DISTRICT OF TAMILNADU STATE.

 INTRODUCTION:-

         

Children are the future leaders of a community and the true welfare of a community depends upon their health and welfare. As pointed out in our National Policy for Children 1974, the Nation’s children are its supreme asset. The future well being of a nation depends upon how best its children grow and develop.

Socioeconomic status is one of many terms used to characterize social stratification, and it is often used synonymously with socioeconomic position and social class. The body of evidence linking socioeconomic status with health outcomes is large and invariably suggests that higher socioeconomic status levels are almost always positively associated with health-protective behaviours and negatively associated with health-impeding behaviours ( K.Viswanath, Kathleen Bond, 2007 ).

According to B.C. Muthaiyya (1991) the children from rural homes have parents who are illiterate and to that extent, are deprived of intellectual environment in their homes. Ignorance, coupled with illiteracy and poverty, can become a serious environmental lack, contributing to the disadvantage of the growing child.

Nutrition in childhood is the basis for survival and good health in adulthood. Inadequate nutrition in childhood may lead to malnutrition, growth retardation, reduced work capacity and poor mental and social development. Childhood nutrition has a significant influence on health and development throughout life. As children grow, their nutritional needs are much greater than those of adults and the consequences of a poor diet will be long-lasting. A good diet will protect against everyday illness and ensure the development of strong bones and teeth, firm muscles and healthy tissues (Mangala Kango, 2003).

The characteristics of good nutritional status are an alert, good-natured personality, a well-developed body, with normal weight for height, well-developed and firm muscles, healthy skin, reddish-pink colour of eyelids and membranes of mouth, good layer of subcutaneous fat, clear eyes, smooth and glossy hair, good appetite and excellent general health. General good health is evident by stamina for work, regular meal times, sound regular sleep, normal elimination and resistance to disease.

Poor nutritional status is evidenced by a listless, apathetic or irritable personality, undersized, poorly-developed body, abnormal body weight, small and flabby muscles, pale or sallow skin, too little or too much subcutaneous fat, dull or reddened eyes, lusterless and rough hair, poor appetite, lack of vigour and endurance for work and susceptibility to infections. Poor nutritional status may be the result of poor food selection, irregularity in schedule of meals, work, sleep and elimination ( Sumati K Mudambi, M.V. Rajagopal, 2003).

Large segments of the world’s population, particularly the poor, are known to be undernourished in a number of micronutrients (Joyce C McCanne and Bruce N Ames, 2007). Malnutrition is also caused by a number of related factors, such as social and economic condition of the family, poverty, ignorance, superstition, lack of food, poor environmental sanitation, undesirable social customs and traditional prejudices (Sharma, 1980). Malnutrition in poorly-fed areas of the world is a complex situation in which adverse effects of nutrient shortage are compounded by many other conditions. (Ercel Epright, 1986).

The nutritional status of the children has been found to be associated with the educational levels of the parents, per capita income of the family,  family size, parity and feeding pattern (with or without supplementation) (ICMR 1983-84). Food consumption is closely related to economic position of an individual or his family, with low-income families’ consumption being low (Evanson, 1980).

According to WHO criteria, fifty-two percent of young children in underdeveloped countries are considered normal, while 48% of them are malnourished and 10% of them are severely malnourished. Assessment of nutritional status of an individual is important and approach to nutritional assessment involves anthropometric observations, biochemical tests, clinical observations and diet evaluation.

 

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY:-

         

          The main objective of the present study is to probe in to the effects of various socioeconomic factors on the nutritional and health status of children aged 6 – 10 years, residing in Ramanathapuram district of  Tamilnadu, State.

 

METHODS AND MATERIALS:-

The study was conducted in ten Government and ten Matriculation schools. One hundred students were randomly selected from the ten schools in each stream, making the total sample size two hundred. Ten students were randomly selected from each of the ten schools (Government and Matriculation streams). The students were aged 6 – 10 years and were drawn from standard I to standard V of each school. Two students per class (one boy and one girl) were selected randomly, for the execution of the present study.

Detailed information required for the study was gleaned with the help of an interview schedule. Parents’ education, occupation, income-level and budgetary provision for each category such as food, clothing, education, house, medicine, fuel and energy, transport, recreation and savings were collected, to assess the socioeconomic background of each family. Dietary nutrient intake was assessed by the food weighment survey, for three consecutive days. The nutritional and health status was assessed by four parameters such as, nutrient intake, anthropometric measurements, body mass index and haemoglobin level. The ingredients and the respective quantities taken were recorded and their nutrient intake for energy, protein, fat, calcium, iron, vitamin A and vitamin C, were calculated. The heights and weights were carefully recorded and BMI was calculated. Blood samples were obtained from the respondents by finger-prick method and analysed, using the cyanomethaemoglobin method.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION:-

         The data collected from the respondents have been presented in Tables I to XI.

 TABLE I

Fathers’ educational status

Fathers education

Government school

Matriculation school

Primary school

33

25

Middle school

21

17

High school

25

10

Higher sec. school

14

23

Graduate

7

25

Total

100

100

Twenty five percent of the Matriculation school children’s fathers were found to be graduates, while only seven percent of Government school children’s fathers were seen to be graduates. Being graduates, they wanted their children to study more than what they have studied, they claimed.

                                   TABLE II

                     Fathers’ occupational status

Fathers occupation

Government school

Matriculation school

Small entrepreneur

37

21

Farmer

20

29

Private worker

20

27

Government worker

23

23

Total

100

100

The main occupation of the people living in the selected area of study is agriculture. Most of the families migrate from their villages to the town area seeking more earnings in other pursuits, apart from agriculture, for their children’s studies. A majority (29%) of selected respondents’ fathers of Matriculation school respondents were found to be farmers. As they were land owners they seem to have the ability to spend for education in Matriculation schools. A large number of the fathers (37%) of Government school children were found to be small entrepreneurs. They found it difficult to run their families owing to severe competition in their villages. Twenty- three percent of fathers from both streams (Government and Matriculation schools) were found to be government employees. The difference is their cadre of job. Government school children’s fathers were found in lower-cadre jobs, like sweepers, scavengers etc.

TABLE III

Fathers’ income

Fathers Income

Government school

Matriculation school

Below 4500

66

38

4501- 6000

24

39

Above 6000

10

23

Total

100

100

Twenty-three percent of Matriculation school children’s fathers were seen to earn salaries above Rs.6000 whereas, only ten percent of fathers of Government schools were seen to earn above Rs.6000. Most of the fathers of Government school children (66%) earned below Rs.4500, while only 38% of Matriculation school fathers were found to earn below Rs.4500. The above table clearly reflects that education and income are interrelated.

TABLE IV

Mothers’ educational status

Mothers education

Government school

Matriculation school

Primary

38

23

Middle school

9

25

High school

34

29

Higher sec. school

12

8

Graduate

5

15

Total

90

100

Thirty-eight percent of Government school children’s mothers had studied only upto the primary level, whereas twenty-nine percent of Matriculation children’s mothers were found to be high school passed individuals. As Matriculation school mothers seem to be higher in their educational levels, they seem to desire that their children should study more than what they had studied. Fifteen percent of Matriculation school children’s mothers have studied upto degree level, in contrast, only five percent of Government school children’s mothers were graduates.

TABLE V

Mothers’ occupational status

Mothers occupation

Government school

Matriculation school

House wife

56

36

Small entrepreneur

7

8

Farmer

19

23

Private worker

10

13

Government worker

8

20

Total

100

100

Most of the mothers of Government and Matriculation school children, 56% and 36%, respectively, were found to be housewives. Twenty percent of Matriculation school children’s mothers were found to be Government employees, whereas, only 8% of Government school children’s mothers were government employees.

TABLE VI

Mothers’ income

Mothers Income

in Rs.

Government school

Matriculation school

No Income

56

38

Below 4500

17

3

4501- 6000

22

32

Above 6000

5

29

Total

100

100

As most of the mothers of both the streams (Government and Matriculation) were housewives, they have no income of their own. When we observe the income-levels, twenty-nine percent of Matriculation school children’s mothers were seen to earn above 6000 Rupees while twenty-two percent of Government school children’s mothers earned between Rs.4501 – 6000. A meagre percent (5%) of Government school children’s mothers were found to earn above Rs.6000 while three percent of Matriculation school children’s mothers earned below Rs.4500.

TABLE VII

Expenditure Pattern.

Expenditure

in %

GovernmentSchool

MatriculationSchool

Mean

SD

Mean

SD

% in Food% in Clothes% in Education

% in House rent

% in Medicine

% in Fuel and Electricity

% in Transport

% in Recreation

% in Savings

43.27

14.04

7.66

11.40

11.88

5.19

8.12

4.93

5.74

6.30

4.47

3.58

2.47

6.35

0.95

2.81

0.36

2.06

43.93

13.77

8.25

11.17

10.97

5.16

8.83

5.00

5.00

5.41

3.92

2.86

2.71

6.15

0.87

2.12

0.00

0.00

In agricultural families of Government school children , the produce from their fields were sold and from these proceeds they bought the variety of rice they want, various vegetables, health drinks and every food item they need. In the case of joint families, during festival times Government school families seem to spend more on clothing, when compared with Matriculation school families.

As most of the mothers in Government school families were housewives, they seem to use electricity continuously as they were at home. In view of kerosene being available in insufficient quantities for preparation of food they were compelled to buy it at higher rates.

The mean expenditure on medical expenses, for the families of  Government school children was around 11.88%. This increase was perhaps, due to their food habits and unhygienic practices. In the case of Matriculation schools the mean value for medical expenses was found to be 10.97% because of parents’ carelessness in dietary practices and absence of regular health checkup for their children.

Parents of Matriculation school children were found to spend higher percentages of their income on their children’s education. While Government school children’s families spent more on transport as their residences were far from the purchasing area. This was the reason for their higher expenditure on transport. Parents of Matriculation school children’s families were able to allot a certain amount for recreation due to their children’s compulsion. Government schools children’s families also seem to allot amounts for recreation. The parents of respondents from both the streams (Government schools & Matriculation schools) were seen to be concerned about savings. Though the Government school children’s parents’ incomes were found to be lower, their expenditure on various items were also lower; hence, they seem to have better opportunities to save for their future.

TABLE VIII

Nutrient Intake.

Nutrient Intake

GovernmentSchool

MatriculationSchool

Mean

SD

Mean

SD

EnergyProteinFat

Calcium

Iron

Vitamin A

Vitamin C

 

1577.38

32

20.22

380.65

18.74

1889.44

33.08

255.66

7.96

3.14

54.80

4.05

313.81

3.80

1793.07

39.86

22.89

386.46

19.82

1963.89

33.87

302.29

9.64

4.23

56.27

4.33

328.15

4.02

With respect to energy, protein and fat intake there was significant difference between children from Government schools and their counter parts from Matriculation schools. Compared to Government school children Matriculation school children seemed to have a better intake of nutrients viz. calories, protein and fat. However there, was no significant difference between Government school children and Matriculation school children, with respect to the intake of calcium, iron, vitamin A and vitamin C.

TABLE IX

Body mass index

BMI Group

GovernmentSchool

MatriculationSchool

CED Grade III

58

42

CED Grade II

25

21

CED Grade I

15

28

Low weightNormal

2

6

Normal

3

Total

100

100

Three percent of Matriculation school children had normal BMI whereas none of the Government school children was found to have normal BMIs. Fifteen percent, twenty-five percent and fifty-eight percent of Government school children were found to be belonged to grade I, II and III categories of Chronic Energy Deficiency (CED), respectively, while only six percent of the Matriculation school children were found to be below the normal weight for their age and sex.

TABLE X

Haemoglobin Level

Haemoglobin Level

mg/dl

GovernmentSchool

MatriculationSchool

Below 7

31

18

7 – 10

56

51

10 – 12

13

31

Total

100

100

 

A majority of Government school children (56%) and Matriculation school children (51%) had haemoglobin levels ranging from 7 to10mg/dl. Thirty-one percent of Government school children had haemoglobin levels below 7mg/dl, whereas, the same percent of Matriculation school children had haemoglobin levels ranging from 10-12mg/dl. It appeared, therefore, that children studying in Matriculation schools had better intakes of vegetables, fresh fruits, dried fruits or whole grain cereals than their counterparts from the Government stream.

 

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS :-

From the data discussed above, it may be concluded that socioeconomic conditions are closely related to the nutritional status of children. This is proved by comparing incomes of parents with the Body Mass Indices of their children. Though only twenty-three percent of fathers and eight percent of mothers of Government school children were Government employees, they preferred Government school education for their young children. The Noon meal programme appeared to play a significant role in meeting the nutritional needs of Government school children. The meals served to the children appeared to be sufficient, quantitatively. However, in terms of quality, some more changes are needed both, in the food preparation methods used and the types of foods included. Organizers of the Noon meal Programme must be more concerned about the quality of food and enable the children to get the nutrients needed, for their well-being. In the case of Matriculation school children, the availability of a variety of foods is more but their preparations seemed to be monotonous; this leads to the children’s dislike of certain foods. Knowledge about their children’s food tastes and preferences, besides their requirements and the way to meet them, should be taught to the parents. Dietary counseling services to advise and guide parents regarding the dietary needs of their children and planning suitable menu patterns for use in schools, may be organised as an integral part of the Health and Nutrition Counseling  centre of each school.

REFERENCES

1. Ercel epright, ( 1986 ), “Teaching Nutrition” II edition, The IOWA U.S.A.,pp 243 – 245.

2. Evanson, ( 1980 ), “Just me the kids”, A study of single parent families inNorthern Ireland, Berlit F.O., P131.

3. Joyce cMc Cann and Bruce N.Ames, 2007, An overview of evidence for a causal relationship between iron deficiency during development and deficits in cognitive or behavioral function, American journal of Clinical nutrition 85.931 – 45.

4. K.K.Viswanath, Kathlean bond, 2007. Social determinants and nutrition; Reflecting on the role of communication Journal of Nutrition education and Behavior vol -39, no-25 March/April 2007.

5. Mangala Kango, (2003), “Normal Nutrition Fundamental and Management”, RBSA publishers, Jaipur, Pp.255.

6. Muthaiya B.C, ( 1991 ), “The disadvantaged children”, C.D.R. Digest pp 54 – 57.

7. Sharma, ( 1980), “Child mortality and morbidity in a rural community Social welfare, Vol 83, No.4 pp 4 – 6.

8. Sue Rodwell Williams, ( 1989 ), Nutrition for growth and devt: Infancy, Childhood and Adolescence, Nutrition and Diet therapy, times mirror/Mosby college publishing,Boston, Page-506-507.

9. Sumati K Mudambi, M.V. Rajagopal, 2003. “Meal Planning for School Children and Adolescents”, Fundamental of foods and nutritio,n fourth edition, New age International publishers, Pp-1-6.

About the Author:

N.JEBA SOWPACKIA RANI

Ph.D in Foods and Nutrition (On Going)

Sri Meenakshi Arts and science college for Women,Madurai

Contact Email: solomonjeba2@gmail.com

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