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Health News of Friday, 30 April 2021


Dangerous ways to lose weight, according to experts

The President, Federation of African Nutrition Societies, Prof. Ngozi Nnam, says people who want to lose weight should be involved in physical activities rather than consuming concoctions that could jeopardise their health.

Nnam, a professor of Community and Public Health Nutrition at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, said there were too many concoctions being sold in the market with false claims that they could help people to lose weight.

According to her, people that want to slim down should simply exercise and consume plant-based foods.

The nutritionist told PUNCH HealthWise during an interview that it is risky for people to consume concoctions to lose weight, stressing that the composition of these concoctions are mostly unknown.

She said, “There are too many concoctions women carry about and sell in bottles. I don’t advise anybody to buy these concoctions because their production does not follow standard procedures, based on what we are seeing.

“People should avoid these concoctions, because consuming them is risky. You don’t even know the composition.

‘People should exercise and consume more of plant-based foods, which help people to lose weight.”

Experts believe that exercise and diet management are the keys to healthy weight loss.

The professor attributed less consumption of fruit and vegetables, as well as poor involvement in physical activities as factors fuelling increase in obesity and the concomitant burden of non-communicable diseases.

“We tend to eat more of fatty foods. We eat too much meat with fats without adequate consumption of fruits and vegetables. That is why you see obesity on the increase.

“Obesity is the risk factor for most of the non-communicable diseases that are ravaging the world today such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases and hypertension,” Nnam enthused.

She noted that people who want to become slim should get involved in exercise such as jogging and brisk walking, stressing that brisk walk helps to shed accumulated fat .

According to her, engaging in physical activities is at no cost.

The nutritionist also said that she is not in support of consumption of slimming tea for weight reduction. “I don’t know what it contains”, she added.

The United States Food and Drug Administration does not recognise any slimming tea as being effective, according to Medical News Today.

The FDA indicates that users report symptoms similar to those seen in people with laxative abuse disorder, which include, cramping, nausea, diarrhoea, aggravated constipation, dependency, weakened colon and reduced potassium levels, which the agency notes is dangerous for people with heart problems.

The agency warns against the use of most dietary supplements, including slimming teas, mainly due to a lack of reliable studies and evidence of their safety or effectiveness.

Nnam said there is need for a lot of nutrition education to enlighten people on proper dietary habits and to also sensitise them to the risk of not engaging in regular physical activities.

Meanwhile, the American Heart Association says science has linked being inactive and sitting too much with higher risk of heart disease, Type-2 diabetes, colon and lung cancers, and early death.

Said the AHA, “It’s clear that being more active benefits everyone and helps us live longer, healthier lives.

“Being active lowers risk of heart disease, stroke, Type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, dementia and Alzheimer’s, several types of cancer, and some complications of pregnancy.

“Exercise brings about better sleep, including improvements in insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea, improves cognition, including memory, attention and processing speed.”

The World Health Organisation says physical activity has significant health benefits for hearts, bodies and minds, noting that physical activity contributes to preventing and managing noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes.

The UN health agency, however, said, “Globally, one in four adults does not meet the global recommended levels of physical activity.

“Up to five million deaths a year could be averted if the global population was more active,” says WHO.

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