Tuesday, 18 January 2011

New Diet Regime in US schools: Pros and cons

A new diet regime is being introduced by Government in US schools to combat obesity.
Obesity is reaching epidemic proportions in US. And childhood obesity is all the more dangerous. About 80% of obese children grow up to be obese adults at 25 years of age.70% of obese children (5-17 years old) had at least one cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and 39% had two or more CVD risk factors. High blood pressure, high cholesterol and Type II diabetics are some other side effects to name a few. Read more about this in my Technorati Article http://technorati.com/lifestyle/article/healthy-food-in-schools-usda-takes1/

There is also a strange stat about Obesity in US. Childhood obesity is more prevalent among the poor. Obesity also has racial discriminations. One among seven pre-school aged children among low income group is obese. The Center for disease Control data also shows that Blacks have 51% higher rate of obesity and Hispanics have 21% higher rate of obesity compared to Whites. In 2008, obesity prevalence was highest among American Indian or Alaska Native (21.2 percent) and Hispanic (18.5 percent) children, and lowest among white (12.6 percent), Asian or Pacific Islander (12.3 percent), and black (11.8 percent) children.

Complex as the situation is, it demands an in-depth analyses before any solution can be effective. However, all efforts are welcome. And the Governments initiative in raising the fund money for school meals and lying down a plan to offer them a healthier meal deserves real praise.
Children spend a lot of their time in schools.And once they are school age, they replace a major portion of their allegiance to their family by an allegiance to their school.They love to feel a part of their school and what is taught in school have a great impact in their life. That’s why perhaps we try to find the best schools for them. There is sure a much greater probability of their accepting a new food pattern in school than if it is suddenly introduced at home.
But then if home food doesn't change its pattern, then the Government's efforts we turn just futile. If what is taught and practiced about food and Nutrition at school be completely contradicted by parents at home, then the chances of success is remote.
So what is needed is an equal awareness among parents and a support from home.

Again, how much ever the parents and teachers may try to persuade, food must taste good to be liked. That is some serious business. To keep healthy food tasty, think beyond your limits. Vegetable and fish are part of most Asian meals. Vegetables can be prepared in hundreds of tasty ways. They just needn't be taken raw in salads or boiled and dipped in some unhealthy sauce. Think beyond your fast food line of thinking and I am sure there are plenty of tasty options in most cultures that also keep your diet balanced.

But food habits or change in it is not enough to fight this epidemic. Plenty of exercise and an active life style is the actual cure. Less of video games and more of field play can bring about a real change. Again, only schools can't bring about these changes. Awareness among parents and their willingness to actively participate in this war against the epidemic named Obesity is the actual need of the hour.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Health Care Repeal: but why do I care?

It was perhaps one of the best things that Obama did after becoming President.We may also say it Is The Best thing he did.Health care for all is a normal thing in Europe.But till last March US Government did not take responsibility for its citizen's Health insurance.And I personally had no idea about this untill last year when Obama made the announcement.I was quite surprised as I had the idea that this was one of the major facilities that made the first world countries different from countries like India.State provided health care facility is such a common thing in Europe that in some countries immigrants are also included in the free health care.In Denmark we had the check up and even the vaccination for our child completely free.In U.K I was pregnant and hence all my medicines and even the Ultrasonogram was free,let alone the cost of seeing the doc which was free for all.
So it struck me as a real news when Obama declared the law regarding Health Insurance for all Americans .The real news was not the law but its absence so far in a First world country like America.
And now Boehner and his pack are out to repeal it as they say that even a majority of common Americans are against the law.They also declare that the law is going to cost jobs and increase budget deficits.

But the budget office director says just the opposite.He says that the repeal would increase the deficit by $230 billion from 2012-2021, the ten year budget prediction.
The Department of labour also reports that the US economy added 103,000 jobs last month and since the making of the Health Care Reform law in last march the economy has added a total of 1.1 million new jobs in the private sector,1/5th of which is in the private sector.
The Republicans are playing just nasty politics.Some 40000 Americans die each year for the lack of health insurance.And yet for their petty political gains they are playing this politics of gimmick.They call the health care reform a "job-killing law".They are just flashing this lovely pie of "more jobs" to accomplish their aim of turning all progress upside down. Women's abortion rights are to be taken away, the much awaited health care reform law must be repealed.And what is America going to get in return from them: "more jobs".

But why do I care?
After the Obama Government came to power, we have our visa process made more stringent.The usual L1 Blanket is being refused in 99% cases.And in L1 individual,90% cases get an RFE.That makes the process more complicated and long.The visa fees have also increased. No, I personally have no reason to be happy with Obama Government.
Only that when I think about it from the point of view of the American people, I find him a good President.Good things are not gimmicks.Jobs can't be made overnight. Whoever says so is not thinking of creating jobs,but only the ballot box.
And if the American people haven't lost all their senses,they will know better than believing that by repealing the historical health care law jobs would be created for them. This is almost like killing people for creating jobs!!

Useful links: Boehner dismisses budget office report
                 Budget Office Report
                Eminent Economist david cutler says
                Labor Department report