Thursday, June 28, 2012

Eat Ada, Kozhukatta to avoid depression

However, the gradual increase in the number of modern fast food joints in the state threatens to lure youngsters away from opting for a healthy, traditional meal.

Yes, Kerala does have its share of burgers, fries and pizzas. But the fact is that we continue to treat these as an occasional treat rather than a way of life. Much welcome, considering the results of some recent studies. Scientists from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the Univers ity of Granada found that fast food consumers are 51% more likely to develop depression than those who do not consume fast foods.

Across India...

Even in the Indian context, statistics continue to alarm. According to a recent study conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), 86% of metropolitan households in India prefer instant foods.

Around 3,000 representatives from major metropolitan cities were surveyed for the study, which found that bachelors have less time for formal meals. High income contributes to rise in unhealthy consumptions.

What it means...

More intake of fast food means high intakes of salt, sugar, fat and calories. Here, youngsters make a choice, either to die of diseases or to live painful lives. In addition to the physical health threats, recent studies have also found a link between depression and fast foods. The presence of trans-fat makes junk foods inconsumable. Trans-fat increases cholesterol and develop insulin resistance in body. This leads to weight gain and diabetic disorders, which further extend to other ailments.

In Kerala...

In a state that has already topped charts for high rates of depression and suicide, the lesser the number of triggers, the better. "Increasing number of fast food outlets within a city is a direct sign of increase in its consumption level. The scenario is apprehensive," says dietician Suni Shibu, who fears an addiction of junk foods among youngsters.

Fix it...

"Traditional rice and millet foods such as Nadan Ada and Kozhukatta are healthy and cost -effective choices. They are better than oil rich and plain white refined flour food stuffs," explains the nutritionist. "Students should take care of their food intake. Food decides their mood and activeness to a larger extent. Stick to home-made food. However, when it's not available, opt for healthy options from what is available outside," she adds.

This article is published in Times of India supplement Kochi Times on 27th June 2012.

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