Public Health

Work out to live longer, not to lose weight

A couple of days ago I was watching a commercial for a new brand of fitness centers that have sprung up all over Bangalore. The mantra was “Workout to lose weight post-Diwali”. Well, I chuckled at the thought of pain after pleasure; workout after eating all those sweets, but at the same time is losing weight the only reason we need to work out?

Apparently not, A Canadian Study recently published in The Lancet magazine found that just 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week, could present 1 in 20 cases of cardiovascular diseases and 1 in 12 cases of deaths worldwide.

The amazing fact was this was irrespective of habits, medical history, family history, ethnicity, and backgrounds. The study was conducted with more than 130,000 participants from 17 countries (Including India) in the age group of 30-70 years.

The risk reduction was almost 28% for death overall and 20% for death due to cardiovascular diseases, as per the study. With increased levels of activity, more than 750 minutes a week, the risk reduction was even more.

The WHO recommends moderate aerobic activity for almost 150 minutes in a week and also recommends weight training at least 2 a week.

On searching further I came across this interesting video on YouTube. Published by Vox, it gives a good reason why exercise does not lead to weight loss but look on the bright side, it will definitely reduce your chances of having a heart attack.


Healthcare Delivery

Why Indian healthcare system needs to increase its efficiency

Recently I was greatly distressed to read the experiences of Dr Bhagwan D Aggarwal with the state of scientific research in the country. Dr Aggarwal is a scientist who had worked with University of Pennsylvania in the past and had come back to India to participate in the scientific progress of the country. After 5 years of bitter experiences he left India, to go back to the US. Though one may feel bad for the scientist and his obvious frustration at our system is evident, it made me wonder if our healthcare system is different from the world described by Dr Aggarwal

Public Health

India ranks 154th on health index published by Lancet

India continues to fare poorly on most health parameters. Not surprisingly it was ranked 154th among 195 countries by medical publication Lancet. No surprises that high growth and economic prosperity has not triggered a improvement in the health parameters. India lags on key parameters like Life Expectancy, Infant Mortality. Under 5 mortality and Maternal Mortality.