<br>Star hotel chefs told IANS that after Covid-19 there is an increased focus on having healthy food among guests who are above 40 years of age."Guests who are above 40 years of age are now conscious about what they eat and they opt for healthy food. They are receptive to the idea of trying out millet dishes. After the first time, they go for such dishes," Jagadeesh Karuppaiah, Sous Chef, Sheraton Grand Chennai Resort & Spa, told IANS.According to him, one has to explain the benefits of millets for people to try it out first.Amongst the younger segment, those who are studying or are in the medical field go for millet items, while the young software professionals still go for the regular maida dishes, a couple of hoteliers told IANS."Only in Chennai and that too by people in the age group of 25-40 years, there is a reluctance to go for millet based dishes regularly," celebrity Chef Damu informed IANS.Can the hoteliers just call the dishes made with millets by their generic names - say idli/dosa/biryani- without prefixing the millet name to make their guests try the item on the buffet?Experts are divided over it."In order to make young people go for millet dishes, perhaps calling the dishes by their generic name without prefixing the millet name could be tried out," Damu said.However, Prakash Jayadevan, General Manager of 167-room Trident Hotel which is part of the Oberoi Group here, differs about it."Guests may not appreciate that as there will be a huge expectation mismatch when they eat. For instance, the bite size would differ in the case of a basmati rice biryani as against a biryani made with a millet," Jayadevan said."Millets are super food. And why not brand it and give it a new name," he added.Echoing the same view Karuppaiah said: "One has to prefix the millet name to the dish and also explain its health benefits."As food is first evaluated with the eyes, people may skip a dish if it is not in the well known colour or form.According to Damu, people living outside Chennai go for millet based items like Samai Pongal, Varagu Adai and others at restaurants.Millet based restaurants like 'Coconut Shell', 'Millet Magic Meal' have come up in Tamil Nadu and also in other states."Apart from main dishes (idli, dosa, vada, poori, oothappam and others) made with millets including noodles and pasta we also make sweets and pastries with millets. We use full wheat flour for making the pastry sponge and not maida," S. Vignesh alias Chef Annamviky, one of the brains behind Coconut Shell, told IANS.He said at the 30 cover Coconut Shell, one can get ragi choco banana cake, kodo millet walnut brownie and others.Vignesh said he had spent considerable time with the tribals in Tamil Nadu to learn about millet dishes.(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at [email protected])--IANS<br>vj/shs/bg
New Delhi, Aug 13 (IANS) Delhi government is planning to implement a world-class Health Information Management System by the next year. The health department has completed the vendor selection and bidding process and is working to streamline the project and place before the cabinet.Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the Health Information Management System will be a monumental step towards getting the people of Delhi freedom from their problems. The project will bring about a revolution in the healthcare infrastructure of Delhi. As part of the project, Health Cards will be assigned to each citizen, which will be a repository of medical information. Doctors will be able to see patient's medical history using the card and the patients will be able to take appointments from home.Kejriwal held a meeting to review the progress of the Health Information Management System along with the Health Helpline and the eHealth Card which are two crucial landmarks the project aims to achieve. Reviewing the project with Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, Kejriwal instructed the officers to expedite the timelines. He said that the Delhi government is committed to providing the best and most modern healthcare facilities to the people of Delhi. Delhi will be the first state to have such a world-class system after the implementation.The first phase of the preparation will be completed by the end of this year and can be implemented in the beginning of the next year. Once the project is implemented, people can get an appointment with the doctor they wish to see by accessing an online portal from the comfort of their homes. The eHealth Card will be distributed through a door-to-door campaign which will have the entire medical history of the cardholder and will be able to get treatment at any hospital on the HIMS system.Delhi government is trying to implement HIMS in all government hospitals in the capital. The private hospitals of the city will also be connected in a phased manner with the system.---IANSavr/rs
Beijing, Aug 2 (IANS) Cooking with wood or coal can increase the risk of major eye diseases that can lead to blindness, according to a study involving nearly half a million people in China.The study led by a team of international researchers from the University of Oxford and the Chinese Academy of Medical Science and Peking University, Beijing, showed that long-term use of solid fuels for cooking was associated with conjunctiva (32 per cent), cataracts (17 per cent), and disorders of the sclera, cornea, iris and ciliary body (DSCIC - 35 per cent), compared with those who cooked using clean fuels.Individuals who switched from using solid to clean fuels for cooking had smaller elevated risks (over those who had always used clean fuels) compared to those who did not switch. People who switched had 21 per cent, 5 per cent and 21 per cent higher risk for conjunctiva, cataracts, and DSCIC, respectively, according to the results published in the journal PLOS Medicine."The increased risks may be caused by exposure to high levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and carbon monoxide, which can damage the eye surface and cause inflammation," said lead author Dr. Peter Ka Hung Chan, research fellow in the Nuffield Department of Population Health at Oxford.Burning wood also increases the risk of eye injury from sparks or wood dust.Further, there was no association found between solid fuel use and risk of glaucoma, because this disorder affects internal eye structures, which are less exposed to pollutants in the air, the researchers said."Among Chinese adults, long-term solid fuel use for cooking was associated with higher risks of not only conjunctiva disorders but also cataracts and other more severe eye diseases. Switching to clean fuels appeared to mitigate the risks, underscoring the global health importance of promoting universal access to clean fuels," Zhengming Chen, Professor of Epidemiology and Director of China Programmes at the Nuffield.--IANSrvt/pgh
Chennai, Aug 1 (IANS) Of the 8.16 lakh students who have received their Class 12 marks, under the Tamil Nadu School Education Department's weightage system, only 23 have opted to appear for the supplementary examination, an official statement said on Sunday.The statement from the office of state School Education Minister, Anbil Mahesh Payyamozhi, said that all the 23 students who have opted for the examination are government school students.The state board had given an option to appear for the supplementary examination for students who felt that they did not get the marks they expected in the Class 12 board exam under the weightage system - which gave 50 per cent weightage to Class 10 marks, 20 per cent for Class 11, and 30 per cent for Class 12 internal assessment and practical marks.After declaring the Class 12 results, the Directorate of Government Examinations had provided the opportunity for aggrieved students to apply for the supplementary examinations. Payyamozhi, in the statement, said: "The School Education Department had announced that the students who are aggrieved with their marks under the weightage system, need to write the supplementary written exam in all subjects and the marks of this exam will be final." This may be the reason for most of the students to opt-out of the supplementary examination, he said.The supplementary examination for private candidates will be conducted from August 6 to 19, according to the statement.Several complaints are also coming up against the CBSE exam results with parents complaining that very low marks were awarded to students who had scored high marks in Class 10 examinations.Meanwhile, the Education Minister's office said that the government school teachers are directed to reach schools from August 2. Drawing flak over his announcement on reopening of schools, the minister had backtracked, stating that the government will take a decision to reopen schools after receiving reports from health experts.--IANSaal/vd
New Delhi, July 30 (IANS) The Central government is making all efforts to ensure the National Exit Test (NExT) to get a license to practice medicine in India, will be conducted in the first half of 2023 as per the roadmap, said Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya on Friday.The Minister chaired a review meeting with the National Medical Commission (NMC) and discussed important issues of medical education.As apprised by NMC officials in the meeting, efforts are underway to ensure that the NExT will be conducted in the first half of 2023.To test the procedure and remove anxiety among medical students, a mock run is also being planned and will be conducted in 2022.It was also discussed that the results of NExT -- Step 1 and 2 -- will then be used for the qualifying final MBBS exam, to get a license to practice modern medicine in India and for merit-based allocation of post-graduate (PG) seats in broad specialties.Ways to make NExT an examination of world class standards were also discussed.The importance of the NExt exam lies in the fact that it will be the same for everyone whether trained in India or any part of the world and hence it will solve the problem of foreign medical graduates (FMGs)/mutual recognition.Addressing the meeting, Mandaviya emphasised that the Union government is committed to creating quality medical education and transparent examination infrastructure and health services and is working with all stakeholders to achieve this objective.The NMC has been established by an Act of Parliament known as the National Medical Commission Act, 2019, which came into force on September 25, 2020 with the objective of improving access to quality and affordable medical education, ensuring adequate and high-quality medical professionals in all parts of India and to provide equitable and universal healthcare.The broad functions of NMC include laying down policies for maintaining high quality and standards in medical education and making the necessary regulations.It also includes laying down policies for regulating medical institutions, medical research and medical professionals; assessing the requirements in healthcare, including human resources for health and healthcare infrastructure, and developing a roadmap for meeting such requirements.It also ensures coordination among the autonomous boards.The NMC also acts as the appellate jurisdiction with respect to decisions of autonomous boards and lays down policies and codes to ensure observance of professional ethics in the medical profession and promotes ethical conduct during care by medical practitioners.--IANSsk/khz/bg
A new study has shown that eating millets reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and helps manage blood glucose levels in people with diabetes.
The study indicates the potential to design appropriate meals with millets for diabetic and pre-diabetic people as well as for non-diabetic people as a preventive approach.
Drawing on research from 11 countries, the study published in Frontiers in Nutrition shows that diabetic people who consumed millets as part of their daily diet saw their blood glucose levels drop 12-15% (fasting and post-meal), and blood glucose levels went from diabetic to pre-diabetes levels.
The HbA1c (blood glucose bound to hemoglobin) levels lowered on average 17% for pre-diabetic individuals, and the levels went from prediabetic to normal status. These findings affirm that eating millets can lead to a better glycemic response.
The authors reviewed 80 published studies of which 65 were eligible for a meta-analysis involving about 1,000 human subjects, making this analysis the largest systematic review on the topic till date, said International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).
"No one knew there were so many scientific studies undertaken on millets' effect on diabetes. These benefits were often contested, and this systematic review of the studies published in scientific journals has proven that millets keep blood glucose levels in check, reducing the risk of diabetes, and has shown just how well these smart foods do it," said Dr. S Anitha, the study's lead author and a senior nutrition scientist at International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).
"Diabetes contributed to very high disease burden from 1990-2016 in India. Diabetes-related health expenditure was over $7 million. There is no easy solution, and it requires a lifestyle change, and diet is a very important part of this. This study provides one part of the solution useful for individuals and governments. How we use this and implement it into programs needs careful planning," said Hemalatha, Director, National Institute of Nutrition (NIN).
Raj Bhandari, one of the study's authors and a representative on the Indian National Technical Board of Nutrition, noted that additional attention to our health has been accelerated due to Covid-19 and diabetics are even more vulnerable to the virus. "Our diets play a critical role and if we could bring millets back as a major part of our diet, we would not only help in controlling diabetes, but we would also be adding important nutrients to our plate."
According to the International Diabetes Association, diabetes is increasing in all regions of the world. India, China and the US have the highest numbers of people with diabetes. Africa has the largest forecasted increase of 143% from 2019 to 2045, the Middle East and North Africa 96% and South East Asia 74%. The authors urge the diversification of staples with millets to keep diabetes in check, especially across Asia and Africa.
Strengthening the case for returning millets as staples, the study found that millets have a low average glycemic index (GI) of 52.7, about 30% lower glycemic index (GI) than milled rice and refined wheat, and about 14-37 GI points lower compared to maize. All 11 types of millets studied were either low (<55) or medium gi (55-69), gi being an indicator of how much and how soon a food increases blood sugar level. the review concluded that even after boiling, baking and steaming (most common ways of cooking grains) millets had lower gi than rice, wheat and maize.
"Millets are traditional foods consumed in India. Use of locally available millets as dietary diversification coupled with good lifestyle modifications would help reduce not only Type II diabetes but also gestational diabetes.," said study co-author Professor Kowsalya Subramaniam, (Food and Science Nutrition), Registrar at Avinashilingam Institute for Home Science and Higher Education for Women (deemed to be university) in Tamil Nadu.
"The global health crisis of undernutrition and over-nutrition coexisting is a sign that our food systems need fixing. Greater diversity both on-farm and on-plate is the key to transforming food systems. On-farm diversity is a risk mitigating strategy for farmers in the face of climate change while on-plate diversity helps counter lifestyle diseases such as diabetes. Millets are part of the solution to mitigate the challenges associated with malnutrition, human health, natural resource degradation, and climate change. Trans-disciplinary research involving multiple stakeholders is required to create resilient, sustainable and nutritious food systems," said Dr. Jacqueline Hughes, Director General ICRISAT.
This study is first in a series of studies that has been worked on for the last four years as a part of the Smart Food initiative led by ICRISAT that will be progressively released in 2021. Included are systematic reviews with meta-analyses of the impacts of millets on: diabetes, anaemia and iron requirements, cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases and calcium deficiencies as well as a review on zinc levels.
As part of this, ICRISAT and the Institute for Food Nutrition and Health at the University of Reading have formed a strategic partnership to research and promote the Smart Food vision of making our diets healthier, more sustainable on the environment and good for those who produce it," explained Joanna Kane-Potaka, a co-author from ICRISAT and Executive Director of the Smart Food initiative. (agency)
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