Playing computer games,Neurotic teens, impulsive eating’,shopping linked to depression, anxiety

By Live Dr - Fri Jun 12, 9:59 am

Wanna look like Kareena Kapoor?

Kareena’s glowing skin and svelte figure has millions of girls aspiring to be in her shoes. But Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor says it is her ‘vegetarian’ diet that keeps her fit and glowing. “Apart from doing yoga to keep myself fit, I am a pure vegetarian. I don’t eat meat and that has helped me a lot to keep fit,” Kareena told reporters over the weekend.
kiss boy girl

kiss boy girl

Kareena had given up non-vegetarian food in 2006, that is two years after she started dating actor and former beau Shahid Kapur, a strict vegetarian himself.
“I am proud to be a vegetarian and I am against those who eat meat. Go green to be fit, that’s the best way for me at least,” she added.
Kareena had given up non-vegetarian food in 2006, that is two years after she started dating actor and former beau Shahid Kapur, a strict vegetarian himself.
But even after her break-up with Shahid, the actress has continued to follow a vegetarian diet to keep her weight in check.
In fact, in 2007, Kareena had also won the ‘Cutest Vegetarian’ online poll conducted by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India’s youth division ‘PETA Dishoom’. She shared the title with actor R. Madhavan.
Apart from eating vegetarian food for her figure and fitness, Kareena’s water intake is high to keep her skin radiant.
“I drink a lot of water for my skin. And yes, my mom is beautiful, so it is also my parents who have gifted me with beautiful skin,” she said.
© Copyright 2008 HT Media Ltd. All rights reserved.

High impact veggie

What’s so fantastic about tomatoes? That they are red and plump (and when rotten can be used as missiles on besura singer). Tomatoes play a large role in our daily food being able to take various guises in soups, beverages, salads, gravies, sauces, ketchup, rasams, dals, pulaos, snacks, chutneys among others.
High impact veggie
This can include a tomato halwa that I make and also a tomato phirni that is quite a novel dessert. Incidentally, which soup sells the most in restaurants? Did I hear you say the cream of tomato? I think so too. Though the colour of some of them can be quite sickly bordering on orange. The colour of tomato soup is very important for palatability.
If only tomato juice is used the product will lack appeal. However if the pulp is pressed vigorously through the mesh used for pureeing, this pulp will contribute a pleasing red colour and wholesome flavour as well.
That versatile plant

Cultivated tomatoes vary in size from cherry and slightly longish grape tomatoes (both do well in salads) up to beefsteak tomatoes that are nearly four inches in diameter. Tomato plant has taken a lot of research and genetic handling and cultivators produce not only red fruit but also yellow, orange, pink, purple, green, or white fruit! Multicolored and striped fruit can also be quite striking.
The versatility of the tomato as a raw vegetable is evident in all the cooking that is done around the world. Round tomatoes make excellent cases for fillings (that can be recycled leftovers!) and when baked with a crusty cheese topping, make a dish fit for a special occasion.
Tomato tricks

Tomato puree is wonderful too. You can use it freshly made at home or go for the packaged one. I freeze tomato puree in ice trays and zip lock the cubes for ready use. This trick works very well when tomatoes are really nice in the season and one wishes to preserve them. One-two cubes of tomato puree in an insipid dal or aloo matar can really create wonders. I also enjoy a platter of thickly sliced firm tomatoes with a sprinkling of chaat masala.
One of my friends takes tomato slices sandwiched between slices of paneer, dips them in thick besan and then fries these pakoras. Sumptuous. I have also seen tomatoes come to my aid when there is nothing much at hand. Tomato rasam, tomato rice, tomato chutney.. all these can be counted as excellent recipes that defy their simplicity.
New dimensions
Green tomatoes are wonderful chopped up and tempered lightly. Add some jaggery and you have an instant chutney type side vegetable! Or buy a whole lot and let them ripen at home. If there is one word that crops up often in recipes it is concasse. This is roughly chopped tomato flesh done after peeling and seeding tomatoes.
Sun dried tomatoes with their strong smoky flavour and pleasant chewy texture, are now available in most large stores. Tiny bits of them can add new dimensions to omelettes and pizzas.
Health matters

Consumption of tomatoes is believed to benefit the heart among other things. They contain lycopene, one of the most powerful natural antioxidants, which, especially when tomatoes are cooked, has been found to help prevent prostrate cancer.
Personally, my favourite gravies are tomato based; this is probably because of its fruity texture and taste. In North Indian cooking tomato is one of the most often used ingredients. Imagine Dal makhni or Dum aloo without them. Gazpacho would cease to exist if tomatoes go extinct. So would Bloody Mary. Few vegetables have greater culinary impact than the tomato.
Source: Hindustan Times

Healthcare a call away

Washington: University of California researchers have developed a lens-free imaging technique small enough to fit in a mobile phone, which can be a boon in developing countries where healthcare is non existent.
Healthcare a call away
The study outlines improvements in a technique known as LUCAS, or ‘lensless ultra-wide-field cell monitoring array,’ platform based on shadow imaging.
LUCAS technique demonstrated a method for quickly and accurately counting targeted cell types in a homogenous cell solution. Removing lens from the imaging process allows LUCAS to be scaled down for integration into a cellphone. Samples could be loaded into a specially equipped phone using a disposable microfluidic chip.
University of California, Los Angeles researchers have further refined LUCAS technique to be able to classify a significantly larger sample volume – up to 5 ml, up from a tenth of one ml – representing a major step toward portable medical diagnostic applications.
The research team, led by Aydogan Ozcan, assistant professor of electrical engineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, includes postdoctoral scholar Sungkyu Seo, doctoral student Ting-Wei Su, master’s student Derek Tseng and undergraduate Anthony Erlinger.
Ozcan envisions people one day being able to draw a blood sample into a chip the size of a quarter, which could then be inserted into a LUCAS-equipped cell phone that would quickly identify and count the cells within the sample. The read-out could be sent wirelessly to a hospital for further analysis.
These findings will be published in the quarterly Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering and is currently available online.
Source: Indo-Asian News Service

Mobile use leads to road accidents

Toronto: Canadian doctors have warned that using cell phone while driving adversely affects the brain’s capacity to identify the danger, its visual concentration, the speed to process information and hence its reaction time.
Mobile use leads to road accidents
Basing their research on various studies from around the world, the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) doctors here say that there is a strong link between mobile use by drivers and road accidents around the world.
Their research points out that mobile use by drivers automatically led to a big reduction in their functional field of view, decreased safe distance between vehicles and slowed their brake reaction time. The use of mobile slowed the drivers’ response time to traffic light changes, 15 percent less response to traffic lights, and slowed braking by 18 percent.
Further, the use of mobile by the drivers reduced their visual monitoring of mirrors and instruments, with some abandoning them entirely. It also led to fewer glances at traffic lights and an increased tendency for hard braking.
“The evidence is clear that driving while using a mobile phone is dangerous to the driver, their passengers and others on or near the roadway,” said Ken Arnold, president of the OMA.
“Too many drivers treat talking on a phone while driving as a harmless practice.it’s not an easy prescription to give, but this practice has to be curtailed,” he said.
Arnold added, “`Doctors know all too well the consequences of driving while distracted and it is time that the right steps are taken to ensure the safety” of people.
Some states in America, Australia and many European countries have banned the use of cell phone while driving. In Canada, only four of the 10 provinces have put restrictions on the use of cell phones by drivers.
Since Ontario, which has more than 40 percent of the total Canadian population of 33 million, has no such laws to ban the practice, doctors have called for a legislation to discourage this habit.
Source: Indo-Asian News Service

Compulsive shopping linked to depression, anxiety

Washington: Compulsive shopping is not only a source of financial woes, family conflicts, stress and loss of self-esteem, but it is also becoming more widespread.
Compulsive shopping linked to depression, anxiety
In the course of three separate studies, researchers found that compulsive buying was linked to materialism, reduced self-esteem, depression, anxiety and stress.
Authors Nancy M. Ridgway and –Monika Kukar-Kinney, from the University of Richmond and Kent B. Monroe from the University of Illinois developed a new scale for measuring compulsive buying.
The scale comprises nine questions, and the authors believe it does a better job than previous measures of identifying people who engage in compulsive shopping.
“The scale is designed to identify consumers who have a strong urge to buy, regularly spend a lot of money, and have difficulty resisting the impulse to buy,” they explained.
Previous measures depend in large part on the consequences of shopping, such as financial difficulties and family strain over money matters.
But the authors explained that compulsive shoppers with higher incomes may experience fewer financial consequences yet still have compulsive tendencies.
Compulsive shoppers had positive feelings associated with buying, and they also tended to hide purchases, return items, have more family arguments, and possessed more maxed-out credit cards.
Researchers found that approximately 8.9 percent of the population they studied were compulsive shoppers, compared with five percent who were identified with the current clinical screener.
The study is scheduled for publication in the December issue of the Journal of Consumer Research.
Source: Indo-Asian News Service

New way found to suppress ‘hunger hormone’

Washington: An Indian American medical scientist has successfully suppressed levels of ‘hunger hormone’ ghrelin in pigs, which could pave the way for a lasting solution to obesity in people.
New way found to suppress 'hunger hormone'
He relied on a minimally invasive mode of vapourising the main vessel carrying blood to the top section or fundus of the stomach. An estimated 90 percent of the body’s ghrelin originates in the fundus, which, without good blood supply, can’t synthesise the hormone.
“With gastric artery chemical embolisation, called GACE, there’s no major surgery,” said Aravind Arepally, clinical director of the Centre for Bio-engineering Innovation, design and associate professor of radiology and surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
“In our study in pigs, this procedure produced an effect similar to bariatric surgery by suppressing ghrelin levels and subsequently lowering appetite.”
Arepally and his team pointed out that for more than a decade, efforts to safely and easily suppress ghrelin have met with very limited success.
Bariatric surgery – involving the removal, reconstruction or bypass of part of the stomach or bowel – is effective in suppressing appetite and leading to significant weight loss, but carries substantial surgical risks and complications.
“Obesity is the biggest bio-medical problem in the country, and a minimally invasive alternative would make an enormous difference in choices and outcomes for obese people,” Arepally said.
Arepally and colleagues conducted their study over four weeks, using 10 healthy, growing pigs; after an overnight fast, the animals were weighed and blood samples were taken to measure baseline ghrelin levels. Pigs were the best option, because of their human-like anatomy and physiology, he said.
Using X-ray for guidance, researchers threaded a thin tube up through a large blood vessel near the pigs’ groins and then into the gastric arteries supplying blood to the stomachs.
There, they administered one-time saline injections in the left gastric arteries of five control pigs, and in the other five, one-time shots of sodium morrhuate, a chemical that destroys the blood vessels.
The team then sampled the pigs’ blood for one month to monitor ghrelin values. The levels of the hormone in GACE-treated pigs were suppressed up to 60 percent from baseline.
These findings were reported in the Tuesday online edition of Radiology.
Source: Indo-Asian News Service
Anirban Mukhopadhyay, Jaideep Sengupta and Suresh Ramanathan of the universities of Michigan, Hong Kong and Chicago.

'Past behaviour governs impulsive eating'
The researchers assessed the impulsiveness of participants in four related studies. They had participants recall instances where they succumbed to temptation or resisted it. Participants also had opportunities to eat cookies or cheeseballs – without knowing their acts were being tracked.
In the case of impulsive people, “thinking about failure may actually beget success”, wrote the authors in an article that will appear in the December issue of the Journal of Consumer Research.
“So what is it that makes people succumb to temptation, time after sinful time? We suggest that the likelihood of a repeat act of indulgence depends on what people recall doing the previous time they were faced with a similar choice,” the authors write.
“In general, chronically impulsive people are more likely to feel this conflict between the two forces – of giving in and holding back, while those who tend to be less impulsive are also less likely to experience such a struggle.”
The results of this study suggest ways to improve the health of both impulsive and non-impulsive consumers. Both groups did a better job of resisting temptation when they recalled past instances of resisting temptation along with their reasons for resisting.
Source: Indo-Asian News Service

Neurotic teens develop anxiety disorders later

Washington: Teens who experience negative emotions like fear, anxiety, guilt, shame, sadness or anger will potentially develop both anxiety and depression later.
Neurotic teens develop anxiety disorders later
Michelle Craske, psychology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), is four years into an eight-year study evaluating 650 students, who were 16 when the study began, to identify risk factors for development of anxiety and depression.
Participants placed in front of computers were told that they might receive as many as three small muscle shocks, each stronger than the last, when the screen became red and said “danger”.
A countdown bar indicated when the shock was coming; as the bar counted down, the screen became redder. The students were also told that when the screen was green and said “safe”, they would receive no shock.
They then saw eight green and eight red screens, in random order, while researchers used sensors to study their physiological reactions, such as the “startle reflex”, which is measured by eye blinks, heart rate and sweat gland activity. Each participant actually received only one mild shock, during the fourth red screen.
All participants showed an elevated startle response when the threat of shock was most imminent, during the final countdown on the danger screens; this is the time at which the fear response is most imperative to survival.
However, those teenagers high in neuroticism showed a stronger startle response under conditions when the shock was not imminent and, in particular, during sections of the safe screens and the early phase of the danger screens.
Craske said “it may represent a failure to distinguish conditions that are safe from conditions in which threatening events are very likely to occur”.
The study’s co-authors included Edward Ornitz, professor at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, and Bruce Naliboff, also of Semel.
Craske and her colleagues reported their findings this month in Biological Psychiatry
Source: Indo-Asian News Service
Pew Internet & American Life Project found that nearly all teens play video games and that their games’ activity has become a major component of their overall social experience.

“This report does a lot of myth-busting,” said Amanda Lenhart, the Pew senior researcher who authored the study. “It’s not just about 14-year-old boys sitting alone in the basement blowing things up.”
The most surprising finding of the study was how all-encompassing video games are today, Lenhart said.
“We don’t see economic inequalities, we don’t see racial differences,” she said. “We see are some slight variations by gender and by age, but that’s about it.”
The report said it was “the first large-scale study to examine the relationship between specific gaming experiences and civic outcomes.”
“For most teens, gaming is a social activity and a major component of their overall social experience. 65 percent of game-playing teens play with other people who are in the room with them,” according to the study.
The study said 99 percent of boys and 94 percent of girls played video games, while 90 percent of parents said they played video games with their children. The figures were no doubt boosted by the incredible success of Nintendo’s Wii video game console, and also by the spread of casual online gaming, in which users can play quick and simple games online.
The study noted that the most popular game played by US teens was Guitar Hero, in which users play a plastic guitar device by hitting correct note sequences of songs. The other most popular games were Halo 3, Madden NFL, Solitaire, and Dance Dance Revolution.
The Pew report is based on a telephone survey of 1,102 teenagers ages 12 to 17 between Nov 1 and Feb 5. The margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points.
Source: DPA


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