8:22 PM

Obesity in Malaysia

This study was undertaken to assess the recent data on Malaysian adult body weights and associations of ethnic differences in overweight and obesity with comorbid risk factors, and to examine measures of energy intake, energy expenditure, basal metabolic rate (BMR) and physical activity changes in urban and rural populations of normal weight. Three studies were included
(1) a summary of a national health morbidity survey conducted in 1996 on nearly 29 000 adults > or =20 years of age;
(2) a study comparing energy intake, BMR and physical activity levels (PALs) in 409 ethnically diverse, healthy adults drawn from a population of 1165 rural and urban subjects 18-60 years of age; and
(3) an examination of the prevalence of obesity and comorbid risk factors that predict coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes in 609 rural Malaysians aged 30-65 years. Overweight and obesity were calculated using body mass index (BMI) measures and World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. Energy intake was assessed using 3-d food records, BMR and PALs were assessed with Douglas bags and activity diaries, while hypertension, hyperlipidaemia and glucose intolerance were specified using standard criteria. The National Health Morbidity Survey data revealed that in adults, 20.7% were overweight and 5.8% obese (0.3% of whom had BMI values of >40.0 kg m(-2)); the prevalence of obesity was clearly greater in women than in men. In women, obesity rates were higher in Indian and Malay women than in Chinese women, while in men the Chinese recorded the highest obesity prevalences followed by the Malay and Indians. Studies on normal healthy subjects indicated that the energy intake of Indians was significantly lower than that of other ethnic groups. In women, Malays recorded a significantly higher energy intake than the other groups. Urban male subjects consumed significantly more energy than their rural counterparts, but this was not the case in women. In both men and women, fat intakes (%) were significantly higher in Chinese and urban subjects. Men were moderately active with the exception of the Dayaks. Chinese women were considerably less active than Chinese men. Chinese and Dayak women were less active than Malay and Indian women. In both men and women, Indians recorded the highest PALs. Hence, current nutrition and health surveys reveal that Malaysians are already affected by western health problems. The escalation of obesity, once thought to be an urban phenomenon, has now spread to the rural population at an alarming rate. As Malaysia proceeds rapidly towards a developed economy status, the health of its population will probably continue to deteriorate. Therefore, a national strategy needs to be developed to tackle both dietary and activity contributors to the excess weight gain of the Malaysian population.

Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, University Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.

2:49 AM

Staying in Shape Over 40 - What You Need to Know

Turning 40 can be a powerful and transient event even though many women believe that everything starts to change or even fall apart at 40. This doesn't have to be so! Women can stay strong and competitive, healthy and fit well over the age of 40. There may be some changes you need to make, but it is an important time for you to make these changes so that you can continue to stay in shape.

Some basic dietary changes can help you to supplement your workouts and keep you strong. Calcium, for example, has always been important in a woman's diet, but it is critical to start supplementing calcium now if you haven't already. Bone density begins to decline and if this gets really bad, it can lead to osteoporosis later in life. Ginseng is an herb that can help to give you energy when you start to feel fatigue, and some people swear it is what helps keep them young. Consuming a lot of fruits and vegetables is crucial to keeping yourself young. Not only is it very healthy for your body, it is quite beneficial for your skin as well. Natural foods, especially fruits and vegetables, are full of antioxidants, and these help keep free radicals from destroying that youthful appearance of your skin. Also good are salmon and other foods such as almonds, flax and fatty fish which provide a strong source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Again, this is good for your heart health but also for your radiant skin. Staying in shape also means getting - or staying - physical, of course.

You may discover aches and pains that you haven't noticed prior to turning 40. It's not because 40 is some magical age, but rather a useful timeline to gauge when women tend to start feeling less energetic, more rigid, or have tighter muscles than they used to. A fun and relaxing antidote to this is yoga. Yoga has been said to be the true fountain of youth! A good, long yoga session a few times a week or a simple practice of ten to twenty minutes daily can relax, tone and lengthen your muscles as well as your spirit. It also helps to de-stress your mind, which has been shown to have an effect on cortisol levels in the body. By reducing cortisol, you can help reduce the belly fat that may be more stubborn to remove these days. Any time of stress-relieving mechanism you use will help keep you young, but yoga is an especially good one.

If yoga isn't really your speed, pick something that is. Maybe you enjoy spinning, or a step class or kickboxing. Whatever it is, don't stop now just because you've reached that dreaded age. Keeping active now is just as important as it was when you were twenty, if not more so. If your aches and pains feel like they are preventing you from doing what you like to do best, it probably means you need to stretch more. Stretching can be a wonderful tool to keep you young and keep your muscles supple and strong. It can help prevent muscle tears and help you reach new levels of fitness by warming up the muscles and ligaments, but it can also just feel great after a nice, long bout of exercise.

If you run or bike, be sure to stretch the calves and quadriceps muscles as well as the hamstrings. If you like to partake in a class at your gym and there is a lot of jumping involved, make sure to stretch the ankles as well. Simply adding ten or fifteen minutes of stretching to your daily routine can make you feel years younger if you are faithful about it.

Staying in shape doesn't just mean looking good or staying in good shape on the outside. Once you reach the age of forty, keeping up with regular doctor appointments becomes more important than it was in days past. Make sure to get a mammogram and screen for early detection of breast cancer. Make an appointment with your general practitioner for a complete physical. Consult with a dermatologist, and keep regular full-body skin checkups once or twice a year, which can help screen out skin cancer and suspicious moles that may crop up. If you used to see the eye doctor once every couple of years, cut that in half and see him once annually. Unfortunately, the eyes are quick to deteriorate as you age, and you will want to keep up with these check-ups for safety reasons, to be able to keep reading, and to check for signs of glaucoma and other age-related diseases.

Nobody said getting older was fun, but it does not have to be painful. The age-old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure applies to the aging process very well, and if you take these measures you too can age gracefully.

11:21 PM

What Would a Fashion Model's Diet Plan be

Have you ever wondered how the so-called super models manage to get in such good shape and stay trim, even after having a family? Fashion models depend on their slim figures for their livelihood, so it's imperative that they always look good. Don't worry, I'm not suggesting that you should embark on a diet of leaves and nuts. I'm not an advocate of the size zero, but I'm sure you'll find it interesting to know what sort of diet a fashion model would choose.

The Fashion Models Diet Plan A favourite way for models to look good is to "Cleanse" or "Fast". This is not a complete starvation diet, as it will include the intake of soups and fruit juices over a 3 to7 day period. It is more of a detox routine and is gernerally only carried out once or twice a year. The benefits of this detox is to obviously rid the body of harmful toxins, such as preservatives and food additives together with inhaled smoke and fumes. It also gives the colon a chance to rid the digestive system of any fecal build up.

The results can be dramatic as the liver and kidneys are able to repair and replace damaged cells instead of continuing to rid the body of toxins. A typical "Cleanse" diet might consist of a combination of fresh carrots, celery, beet, spinach, apple, coconut, broth and juices. Citrus and tomato juices are too acidic to drink while fasting so these should be avoided. It's important to drink plenty of water during the detox and avoid consuming any unnecessary medications or supplements.

The advantages of a detox are weight loss, reduced body odour, shinier finger nails, stronger hair, reduced cellulite, a glowing complexion and more beautiful eyes. After the detox, the typical fashion model will then begin her normal eating habits, which to some people may appear to be a "real" diet.
However, it will simply be a healthy balanced diet, which might typically consist of the following:

---Breakfast (9am)
One boiled egg with a slice of wholewheat bread
A bowl of cereal with skimmed milk
Black coffee
Total 369 calories

---Lunch (12.30pm)
Turkey salad with balsamic vinaigrette
Cup of tea with skimmed milk
Total 320 calories

---Early Evening Snack (4.30pm)
Low fat Jell-O pudding Total 100 calories

---Dinner (8pm)
Lean Cuisine chicken a l'orange with rice
2 slices of low fat cheddar cheese with wholewheat crackers
Total 448 calories

The total calorie intake for a typical day is 1237. The aim of the diet is to keep the daily calorie count below 1500. This is a typical example of a fashion model's diet, which will also involve some form of aerobic exercises 3 times a week. So, as you can see it's not at all what you might have originally thought. It's just a sensible eating plan and a sensible exercise routine.

However, if even this diet seems a little too much to stomach, you could try a natural herbal diet remedy.

Here are the top 5 tips that fashion models highly recommend for staying in trim.

1. Decrease your alcohol consumption. Alcohol suppresses the body's ability to burn fat.

2. Eat more Black Pepper, Ginger, Chile Peppers. Spicy food helps speed up the body's metabolism.

3. Increase your muscle mass. Muscle burns fat, so adding 5lbs of muscle will help you burn another 250 calories a day. 3. Increase your vitamin B and Calcium intake. The B-Vitamins give you more energy and increase your metabolism.

4. Drink More Water. A healthy, well-hydrated body is important to flush out toxins and aid in metabolising fats

5. Increase your intake of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Omega 3 fatty acids can help to balance blood sugar levels and control appetite.

by: Mary Watson

1:02 AM

6 Beauty Tips: Hair

Use these 6 free beauty tips to make your hair care that much easier:

1. Test the strength of your hair by pulling a strand taut between your fingers. If it snaps easily it has probably been damaged. Be cautious with the use of hair dryers and heating appliances and use a heat-protective product first.

2. For a light, natural looking finish when using hair spray on fine hair, apply the hair spray to the hairbrush, then brush through the hair thus ensuring even distribution.

3. Use a range of volumizing products to build volume into fine, flyaway hair. A volumizing shampoo can do so much, but using a volumizing shampoo, conditioner and styling spray can make a huge difference.

4. Avoid hair frizzing by not brushing your hair when wet. Only use the brush when your hair is somewhere between damp and dry. Then use the blow dryer and a round brush until it is styled and completely dry.

5. To get the maximum effect from hair conditioner, be sure to leave it on the hair for the required time. As it can be difficult to approximate how many minutes, try and have a clock visible so a full 5 minutes is given for the ingredients in the conditioner to do their work. It is also important to work the conditioner well into the hair, almost like giving yourself a head massage. To get good results the product must come in contact with the hair itself.

6. When blow-drying the hair, divide the hair into three or four sections. Clip unwanted sections out of the way to allow you to concentrate on one section at a time. Trying to cope with the whole head at once can be difficult.

6:56 PM

Beauty Secrets Are All Around You

Are you seeking beauty secrets? Maybe you should realize that the most important beauty secret is that there is no single secret that will help every woman. Every woman is unique, and therefore, so are her beauty needs. In your search for beauty secrets, you may not notice the obvious. Stress is a major cause of aging, thus relief from it will help maintain your youthful beauty.

The spa is an excellent place to visit if you want to get rid of stress. Massages, mud, and other beauty wraps are also popular and effective methods of relaxing. Your mother or grandmother can probably give you some good beauty secrets. People have different skin, and your family is more likely to have gone through the same problems that you may be experiencing. Someone in your family may have already found a treatment that helps eliminate early wrinkles or ward off pimples for your skin type.

You can also look for more beauty secrets on the World-Wide-Web. Hop online for more beauty tips, but keep in mind that some of the information you find may not work for you. Women’s magazines are also a good source of beauty tips and treatments. They offer a huge variety of tips that may or may not work. You might say that half of the fun is experimenting with your friends, or spending a night alone to pamper yourself with new treatments.

Try to keep track of your own beauty secrets for future reference. There will come a time when you discover an amazing facial in the local beauty store, but a few weeks down the road, you can’t remember the brand name. You can also come up with an effective homemade treatment for acne, but then forget the basic ingredients that you put in it. Every generation thinks that they are facing a unique problem that old methods cannot handle. This idea is both true and false. Old fashioned methods can treat your beauty problems. In some cases, the environment has changed so much that your beauty or skin care needs may require new treatments. Keep in mind that you should be careful about what you apply to your skin or what you put into your body. While drinking a lot of water is one of the effective and reliable beauty secrets that you can safely try, putting a potentially harmful substance in or on your body is a risk that you should not take.

by: Morgan Hamilton