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People who cycle to work have a lower risk of developing cancer!

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LONDON: People who cycle to work have a substantively lower risk of developing cancer, having heart ailments or dying prematurely!

According to a report run by British Medical Journal, scientists have discovered that cycling to work was linked to the most significant health advantages – including a 46 percent lower risk of developing heart disease and a 45 percent lower risk of cancer as compared to non-active commuters.

Since the study was observational, no firm conclusions could be drawn about cause and effect, the researchers warned. 

Observing that lesser and lesser Pakistanis use cycles to commute,  Dr. Behrouz Hashim lamented that instead of growing more trees (particularly neem) existing trees were being cut down.

As a result there is no shade and the weather too is getting harsher and harsher making cycling difficult.

Moreover, Dr. Hashim pointed out that poisonous fumes emitting from increasing number of unfit vehicles and unabated pollution caused by the factories, further discouraged cyclists.

Then encroachments on pavements (and even roads) have narrowed down the roads endangering cyclists’ lives. 

Today people prefer buying motorbikes instead of cycles, as they are available in easy installments.

The government should stop cutting of trees and force owners of fume-emitting rickety vehicles and industries to follow the laws.

Cycling itself would take a large number of vehicles off the roads helping contain the misery of pollution.

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Health

Affordable way to prevent stunting: An egg a day makes young people grow taller!

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KARACHI: Whether soft or hard-boiled, fried or whisked into an omelette, eggs appear to give infants a boost.

According to a report published in Pediatrics (journal published by American Academy of Pediatrics), egg could be an affordable answer to the menace of stunting (that leaves children too short for their age). 

Researchers hold that first two years of life are critical for growth and development and stunting is largely irreversible.

They further point out that poor nutrition is a major cause of stunting, along with childhood infections and illnesses.

According to WHO 155 million children under the age of five are stunted. Most live in low-and middle-income countries and health experts have been looking at ways to tackle the issue.

ONE EGG A DAY: 

Half of the 160 youngsters who took part in a random trial were fed an egg a day for six months – the others were monitored for comparison. Families were visited every week to ensure the plan’s regularity and to check for any allergies or side effects.

Stunting was reduced in the treatment group by the end of the study. Occurrence was 47% less than in the non-egg group, even though egg-fed infants were considered short for their age at the start.

Some of the children in the control group did eat eggs, but nowhere near as many as the treatment group.

The lead researcher said: “We were surprised by just how effective this intervention proved to be, and what’s great is the affordability for populations vulnerable to hidden hunger or nutritional deficiency.”

It was noted that eggs were great food for young children with small stomachs: “Eggs contain a combination of nutrients, which we think is important.”

A lead nutritionist at the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health, said: “In a way, it is surprising that more research has not been conducted using egg in this situation – although in some cultures, parents do not necessarily find egg to be an acceptable early food due to allergy concerns.

Lead researcher advised that eggs should always be well-cooked to avoid any potential infection risk.   Eggs are a good nutritious complementary food that can be introduced as part of a varied diet once the mother decides to start complementary feeding, never before four months.”

WHO recommends mothers worldwide to:

* Exclusively breastfeed infants for the child’s first six months to achieve optimal growth, development and health.

* After the first six months, infants should be given nutritious complementary foods and continue breastfeeding up to the age of two years or beyond.

British Nutrition Foundation maintains:

* While eggs are a nutritious food to include, it’s very essential for young children to have a variety of foods in a diet. Necessary to get all the vitamins and minerals needed, but also to become familiar with a wide range of tastes and textures.

* A range of protein-rich foods should be provided when feeding young children, which can include eggs but can also feature beans, pulses, fish, especially oily fish, meat and dairy products.

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Anti-Polio vaccination campaign begins today in Pakistan!

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ISLAMABAD: An anti-polio vaccination campaign began today in different parts of the country.
The campaign is scheduled to be run in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Baluchistan, Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir for three days, while in Rawalpindi and Karachi it will continue for six  days.
Around 2.3 million children up to age five years will be administered anti-polio drops in 188 union councils of Karachi during the campaign.
In Fata and KPK, over 6.7 million children will be vaccinated. In Rawalpindi, 811,000 children would be administered polio drops and 2.4 will be vaccinated in Baluchistan.
Similarly, the government planned to vaccinated 1.75 million children.

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Avoid depression to live longer!

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TORONTO: People who suffer from depression may not live as long as persons who don’t experience this mental health disarray, a Canadian study suggests.

Researchers went through six decades of mental health and mortality data on 3,410 adults during three time periods: 1952 to 1967, 1968 to 1990 and 1991 to 2011.

It transpired that depression was related to the risk of early death in every decade of the study for men and (starting in the 1990s for) women.

The connection between shorter lifespan and depression emerge strongest in the years following a depressive episode, leading the researchers to conclude that at least part of the risk might be minimized by effectively treating the mental illness.

Depression has long been associated to different kinds of health problems. It may lead to physiological changes in the body and  develop unhealthy habits like a poor diet, inactivity, smoking and excessive drinking.

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