There was a time when people used to believe and live on the line of ‘eat, drink and be merry’. But very soon they realised the hazards of leading such a life. This transformation in the ways of people’s lifestyle has been more prominent in the last decade. People are more health conscious and take care of themselves. 'Sakhi' brings to you the changes in our lifestyle and eating habits, how these occurred and how much health conscious have we become.
Being in shape, consuming healthy diet and exercising to remain fit speaks that there has been a sea-change in our eating and health habits in the past ten years. Junk foods like pizza, pasta and burgers are the curse of the past decade while low-cal, low-carb and healthy eating habits are blessings of the same decade. On one hand there has been an increased awareness about fitness whereas on the other hand serious health ailments such as obesity, hypertension, juvenile diabetes, heart diseases, prostate cancer and breast cancer also came to the fore due to the modern lifestyle followed.
Statistics reveal that around 80 percent people have become more aware about their health in the last decade. If diseases have increased then many new methods have also come up to treat them.
Impact of lifestyle
Health related information increased and along with it increased stress and depression owing to ever growing challenges in life. The risk of heart diseases, high blood pressure and diabetes increased 2-3 times mostly affecting people in the age group of 25-35 years. On the other hand, this decade saw the success in heart, kidney and knee transplants.
Health problems such as obesity and diabetes are generally found in children due to the decrease in outdoor activities and spending long hours in front of the television or playing video-games, 3-D games.
Earlier, people used to ignore their health problems but now they have become more cautious and concerned about it. The need to go to the root cause of the disease has also come up in the last decade only.
People have started checking out health related websites to satisfy their curiosity. Moreover, they are not even hesitant to undergo cosmetic surgery. According to a research, around 30 percent people go for cosmetic surgery to hide their blemishes.
There was a time when people used to eat to fill their stomachs. But then, they realised that vitamins, proteins, minerals were also essential for a healthy body. They also understood the importance of calcium in the body. But with increasing awareness, zero-calorie food, low-fat and low carb diet came in vogue.
People started following a balanced diet and also became aware of ill-effects of crash dieting. They are now well aware about calorie, vitamin and mineral count in fruits and vegetables. Knowledge about anti-oxidants, lycopene, metabolism system, organic food and cholesterol has increased in people. They are more inclined to have organic food and like to develop good eating habits.
They have adopted the habit of having fresh juices, fibres, cereals, milk and dairy products in their daily routine. People pay more attention to the increased cholesterol level which might be due to mono unsaturated fatty acid (MUFA), poly unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and saturated fatty acids (SAFA).
Diet plan and dietician
Earlier, people were unaware about the essential nutrients required for a healthy diet. They knew little about things to be included in the diet to increase or reduce weight. Diet planners were only meant for celebrities but now time has changed along with the needs and wants of people. Even a middle class individual now-a-days is on the lookout for a diet planner, dietician, nutritionist.
1. Cornflakes, dalia, muesli, poha and one glass juice or milk have replaced paranthas and pooris for breakfast. Items like soya beans, flakes seed, tofu, muesli have become a part of breakfast.
2. Honey and sugar-free have replaced sugar.
3. People have started opting for brown bread or whole wheat bread instead of white bread.
4. Brown rice has gained prominence than white rice.
5. Refine oil and mustard oil have been replaced with olive oil.
Now, salads have become an integral part of our lifestyle and various healthy soups and salads are included in our diet. Importance is given to microwave, grill and non-stick cooking. People have started adopting terminologies like steamed cooking, sauté (roasted in non-stick pan) and shallow fry (light cooked).
However, problems like obesity, depression and over-eating also have increased side by side. But it is true that the concept of eating just anything is a thing of passé now. With less sugar, people have started having less salt also.
According to a research conducted in the US, 68 percent people in India have become diet conscious. Most of them are between the age group of 20 and 40 years.
Health clubs and gym centres
Earlier, gym centres and health clubs were restricted to a special section of people but with more and more people becoming conscious about their body shape and fitness, gyms have come within the reach of the common men as well.
As per a research, two out of three persons hit a gym or a health centre. Apart from cardio vascular, weight lifting, punches, crunches and aerobics, new methods like zumba, power yoga, salsa yoga, hot yoga and meditation have also evolved to keep one fit. Earlier people used to work-out and exercise in gyms but now they prefer keeping a personal trainer or an instructor. Not only girls but women more than 40 years of age have also taken up memberships in gyms. Along with fitness, gyms, clubs, workouts and yoga classes have also become a trend.
Meditation and yoga have emerged as a popular stress buster. Weight management programmes are becoming common and gym culture is in vogue these days.
Fitness expert Yasmin
In the last decade people have become more conscious about their outer appearance. Now even a six-year-old kid wants to look fit. But in comparison to earlier days, physical activity has decreased which in turn has resulted in many health-related problems. This is why gym culture has thrived and people have started opting for personal trainers. The main point is that people, irrespective of their age, want to look fit and stay in shape.
Cosmetic surgery has become common: Dr Chiranjiv Chhabra, dermatologist
Talking about techniques, aesthetic laser light device, radio frequency, botox and filler have given a boost to the cosmetic industry. Now, there are many options which can enhance your beauty without going for surgeries. New formulae have come up for anti-ageing. Also one can go for any facial change without undergoing cosmetic surgery.
Awareness among females has incresed: Dr Indira Ganeshan, gynaecologist
Earlier, women used to hesitate to go to a doctor but now they have become quite health conscious. This has also increased their communication with the doctors. But, due to modern lifestyle, problems like unable to conceive, anaemia, breast cancer and thyroid have also increased.
Vaccine to prevent cervix cancer has been one of the achievements of the last decade. Women now are not scared for mammography HRT (hormone replacement therapy) and laproscopy. Since they are aware about their and health, diseases are being detected in time.
People have become more calorie conscious: Ishi Khosla, dietician
Earlier, people used to eat just about anything but now they are more aware of their diet. They know what is beneficial and harmful to their health. People have become calorie conscious. There has been an increased interest in a balanced and nutritious diet. Instead of oily food, people prefer oil-free food and boiled vegetables, fruit juice, salad, and soup. Stress due to work load has affected the eating habits of people resulting in obesity.
1. Obesity in young age: According to a research in the US, obesity in young children has increased rapidly over the last ten years. This is due to wrong eating habits and modern lifestyle. It also stated that this problem was mainly found in 12-21 age group.
2. Fear of dengue: As per World Health Organisation (WHO), dengue is of serious concern and cleanliness and action plan are important for its prevention.
3. Swine flu: This has become quite prominent in the last ten years.
4. In India every three and a half minute a child is born with genetic problems.
5. Prostate cancer has increased in males in comparison to lung cancer. Breast cancer in females has also increased by 40 percent.
6. According to a research by Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 58 percent people will become overweight by 2030.
7. Zumba, which is based on Latin dance, has become popular and people have started taking interest in it. Along with zumba, salsa, samba and merengue have also become a hit among the people.
8. Stem cell therapy emerged in the last decade. At the time of birth, stem cells of infants are stored and diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart problems are treated with these.
Courtesy: Sakhi (Illa Shrivastava)