Friday, March 8, 2013


It looks like that raising undue alarm about many common foods taken by consumers is a fashionable thing to do, at least for those who want to be in the lime light! Otherwise how can one justify a recent report highlighting the dangers of giving butter to children in their diet by mothers wishing to see their children grow fast and healthy! According to a "study" published recently food provided to children should avoid butter as it may lead to obesity in later life. It is true that butter does contain cholesterol and the role of this metabolite in developing arterial plaques is well known. But to argue that for young kids who are highly active butter would pose dangers is nothing but scare mongering. Poor children are not to be given sugar, salt and fatty products but still pundits want them to grow normally! It is time that the so called health pundits realize that any food ingredient can be dangerous if consumed in uncontrolled amounts and butter cannot be singled out for such malicious propaganda. Here is the report which blames parents for including butter in the diet of their children.  

A new study on food preference of schoolchildren and influences exerted by their mothers on food choice suggests that over 50 per cent of the mothers do not have an inkling of the connection between diet and heart disease and cholesterol. Around 80 per cent of the mothers are clueless on the role of diet in developing cancer later in the life."Despite high prevalence of obesity among both mothers and children, mothers do not tend to associate overweight with an unhealthy diet or ill-health in the short or long term," said the study carried out on 1,800 children from 24 schools and the same number of mothers. Six schools each were selected from Delhi, Agra, Pune and Bangalore for the study. The research, which will appear in the journal "Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism" in a month's time, coincides with the "Global Burden of Disease" data that flag poor diet as the number one risk factor for the death and disease burden in India. "We are increasingly adopting unhealthy eating habits. The consumption of processed food, high-salt snacks and chips, pizza, burger and cola are on the rise while intake of fresh fruit and vegetables are going down," Lalit Dandona, research professor at the Public Health Foundation India, who is not connected to the study, told Deccan Herald. Many mothers were not concerned about childhood weight gain. 

Universally the first principle of keeping oneself healthy is to consume a mixed diet containing whole cereals and pulses, varieties of fruits and vegetables in liberal quantities and milk, Of course lean meat and fish in limited quantities are welcome. If obesity has become a global problem, with most such people residing in the US, it is due to consumption of too much calories, salt, sugar and fat and highly refined cereals. What type of message is being sent to mothers through such convoluted theories and surveys which are deceptive and misleading? There are well laid down dietary guidelines, nationally and internationally put in place by experts and one need not get scared by this type of reports from time to time by authors based on half baked studies! 

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