mbalanced diet poses serious health hazards - South Asian News Agency

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ISLAMABAD, (SANA): Unbalanced food intake and inappropriate dietary habits can lead to serious health complication that can prove fatal for people, eminent and experienced consultants told the audience in a seminar organized to mark World Food Day here at Shifa International Hospital (SIH) on Monday.

National Emergency Coordinator Food and Agriculture Organization, United Nations, Dr. Faizul Bari was the chief guest on the occasion. Leading consultants, nutritionists and people from different segments of society attended the seminar. Free dietary consultation and dietary assessment tests were also conducted for the participants. Moreover, a health food model was displayed on the occasion.

Consultant Nutritionist SIH Dr. Rezzan Khan quoted a survey conducted in 2004 according to which 10.5 million children died before their fifth birthday and many of these deaths were from preventable causes that were exacerbated or caused by malnutrition.

She lamented that in Pakistan infant mortality rate (IMR) is 65 per thousand births and under-five mortality rate is 78 deaths per 1,000 births, which was drastically high. "Malnutrition is directly and indirectly responsible for 50 percent of all under 5 deaths in Pakistan."

Dr. Rezzan said that economic and social development are coupled with increased urbanization and shifts the food supply and production. She warned that food insecurity can lead to malnutrition.
"Well managed diet can help prevent and even reverse health related problems," she believed.

She was of the view that dieticians and community nutritionists can play a key role to create enhanced awareness of nutrition problems and healthy dietary practices.

Consultant Medical Specialist SIH Dr. Aamer Nazir Ahmad enlightened the audience about unbalanced food intake that can become the root-cause of deadly diseases including certain cancers such as colon, ovary, and breast. He stressed on the need to follow a balanced diet plan to avoid health hazards.

While informing the audience about daily water requirement, Dr. Ahmad said, 1500ml for first 20 kg body weight and then 20ml for every kg over 20 kg is necessary. He alerted that excessive water intake or inability of body to get rid of extra fluid may cause problems in function of brain, heart and lungs. "And less intake of water or more than normal loss of water from body may lead to low blood pressure which affects vital organs of the body including brain and kidney," he maintained.

Dr. Ahmad advised the audience that 30-35 kilocalories per kg body weight must be taken to address body needs. Daily energy or protein requirement are 0.8 -1.2 g of protein per kg per day. In moderate to severe stress the requirement is 1.5g per kg per day.

He said unbalanced diet increases risk of major depression and above all obesity can become source of social discrimination.
He however warned that 35 to 40 percent total body weight loss is usually fatal.

"Vitamins are important for body functions and their deficiency may cause anorexia, muscle cramps, paresthesias, irritability, anemia, mouth soreness, skin problems, bone weakness and night blindness," Dr. Ahmad added.

18 Oct, 2011

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