Thursday, 8 November 2012

Nutrition Nightmares

I not-so-proudly present before you a few reports of nutrition nightmares. They suffer from various diseases, have several deficiencies, are willing to spend currencies for medicines but are stubbornly unwilling to change their nutrition pattern or cooking practices. I have tried to give them friendly advices, scary truths and deathly facts. The decision to take a turn is all theirs.

CAUTION: - Listed below are from live cases.
The facts have not been exaggerated or mishandled in any way. The list may shock you to your roots or bore you to death. The risk is all yours.

A boy of 13 years, accompanied by his mother walked in haughtily. Fearless, reckless, insolent, lazy, this was his menu during the fasting month of Ramadan: Break the fast with a glass of sweetened, cold lime juice, helps him to 2 or 3 items of fried snacks. Runs off to the next door grocer and devours the following products- few packets of fried chips, and a bottle of preserved juice. Dinner would be boiled noodles with taste maker and no veggies or meat. The food for early morning before beginning the fast would be 2 or 3 parathas, already bought the night before.

A 40 something male, all muscles (or fat) with a minor skin complaint, desires to have his blood pressure checked. 130/90 mm of Hg. Tried to give him a small talk on eating habits, exercise and blood pressure. “Oh! No! Doctor, I can’t eat vegetables.” a reply! He works in the gulf sector and lives with fellow room mates and has a common mess. “Then you are buying disease.” Says I, didn't want to give up soon. He puts forth his reasons at this stage. “We eat chicken or fish daily, I can’t cook vegetables alone or my roomies will be hurt.” “Try salads then, meanwhile you are home now why don’t you try changing your diet to more of vegetables now?” “I don’t like the taste of veggies.” was the prompt reply. How do you put sense into arrogantly ignorant people like him is my question to you all?

Rice is the staple food in South India. That being said, would you like to eat boiled rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner? I know just a family like that. The lady of the family prepares boiled rice to be consumed all the three times. I thought she must be lazy to cook dosas, idlis or snacks. No, she prepares these items for breakfast but makes sure that everyone eats some rice too. “The body gets heated up otherwise” is her reason.

Not eating enough is the usual complaints of the mother about her child. The child is 4years old and suffers from bouts of asthma. He appears pale and under nourished. “What do you feed your child?” I wanted to get an insight into their food habits. “He loves biscuits, ghee-rice, biriyani and fried fish. I try to feed him that whenever possible.” What about veggies?” (Disclaimer: - I am not a strict vegetarian, love my fishes too. But concerned about balanced meal.) “We prepare veg dishes on Fridays but he doesn’t eat them.”

Weaning is an important phase in an infant’s life. There are whole lots of healthy stuffs like boiled vegetables, fruits, cereals (made from scratch not the processed variety) etc.  A mother of a 4month old infant asked me this question “When can I start giving my baby biscuits and warm water?” “Why would you want to do that and why biscuits?” “Well, all in our family starts with biscuits; they say if you don’t introduce solid foods soon, the baby will be a picky eater later.” Have you ever heard of such a thing?

There are even more scary nightmares, will follow them up in later posts. The choice to eat healthy well balanced food is ours to adopt and follow. Being healthy will keep you away from several diseases but not all. In addition your body will be in a better stage to fight infections or other ills and ailments. The prevalent lifestyle diseases are due to unhealthy eating and sedentary practices. So why don’t you eat healthily to stay healthy? 


  1. That was an interesting read. After being a mother i have been reading extensively on diets and nutrition for children and thanks to internet a plethora of information is just a click away. I have heard similar interesting weaning diets as advices and suggestions. It is alarming the kind of muscoceptions people hold..

    1. Yes Azra, it is important not to be carried away by the information. Choose wisely, local, fresh food are the best. Nothing fanciful!


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