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New Delhi: Indulging in a diet rich in packaged snacks, fizzy drinks, and other ultra-processed foods could significantly shorten your lifespan and increase the risk of early death, a 30-year-long study published in The BMJ journal has revealed.

The study, conducted by an international team of researchers spanning the US, Brazil, and China, tracked the health outcomes of 74,563 female registered nurses and 39,501 male health professionals over three decades. Participants had no history of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, or diabetes at the study’s onset.

Ultra-processed foods, laden with colors, emulsifiers, flavors, and additives, are often high in energy, added sugar, saturated fat, and salt while lacking essential vitamins and fiber. Overconsumption of these foods has been linked to poor health outcomes, including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and an elevated risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

The study found that individuals consuming an average of 7 servings per day of ultra-processed foods faced a 4% higher risk of total mortality and a 9% higher risk of mortality from non-communicable diseases. Particularly concerning was the 8% higher risk of neurodegenerative deaths observed in this group.

Further analysis revealed that ready-to-eat meat, poultry, and seafood products posed the greatest risk of premature death, followed closely by sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened beverages, dairy-based desserts, and ultra-processed breakfast foods.

While the study underscores the correlation between ultra-processed food consumption and adverse health outcomes, it is important to note that the research is observational, and causal relationships cannot be definitively established. Nonetheless, the findings offer compelling evidence supporting the need to limit the intake of certain ultra-processed foods for long-term health and well-being.

Moving forward, researchers advocate for improved classification of ultra-processed foods and further studies to validate these findings across diverse populations. As awareness grows regarding the impact of dietary choices on health, individuals are encouraged to adopt balanced diets rich in whole foods to promote longevity and vitality.

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New Delhi: In a groundbreaking collaboration aimed at revolutionizing healthcare in India, Google Health and Apollo Radiology International have joined forces to provide 3 million free AI-powered screenings for tuberculosis (TB), lung cancer, and breast cancer over the next decade.

The initiative addresses a significant challenge in the Indian healthcare landscape – the shortage of radiologists to promptly analyze medical scans, leading to delays in disease diagnosis. Through cutting-edge AI technology, Google and Apollo Radiology aim to empower early detection, potentially saving countless lives.

Empowering Early Disease Detection

The partnership between Google Health and Apollo Radiology signifies a powerful synergy between advanced AI expertise and diagnostic imaging leadership. Google’s AI capabilities will be harnessed to develop intelligent tools that can analyze chest X-rays for TB, lung cancer, and breast cancer.

These AI-powered screening systems will assist radiologists by identifying potential abnormalities in medical scans, streamlining the diagnostic process, and enabling faster and more accurate disease detection. By enhancing efficiency and accuracy, medical professionals can focus on complex cases, ultimately improving patient outcomes.

A Vision for the Future

The impact of this collaboration extends beyond technological advancements. Apollo Radiology has committed to providing 3 million free AI-powered screenings, particularly targeting underserved communities with limited access to quality healthcare.

The selection of TB, lung cancer, and breast cancer for this screening program is strategic, considering their significant impact on public health in India. Early detection is crucial for successful treatment and prevention of transmission, making AI-powered screening an invaluable tool in combating these diseases.

Potential Benefits of AI in Healthcare

The collaboration between Google Health and Apollo Radiology heralds a brighter future for healthcare in India. By leveraging AI technology, the initiative aims to:

  • Improve Accessibility: AI-powered screening tools can reach remote areas with limited access to radiologists, ensuring timely diagnosis for a wider population.
  • Reduce Costs: Early detection through AI can lead to lower healthcare costs associated with advanced disease stages.
  • Enhance Accuracy: AI algorithms continuously learn and improve their ability to detect abnormalities, potentially leading to more accurate diagnoses.
  • Expedite Treatment Initiation: Early identification of potential concerns allows healthcare professionals to initiate treatment promptly, improving patient outcomes.

Conclusion

The partnership between Google Health and Apollo Radiology International represents a significant step forward in leveraging AI for early disease detection in India. By providing 3 million free screenings, the initiative aims to make healthcare more accessible and effective, ultimately paving the way for a healthier future for millions across the country.

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Plastics have long been recognized for their detrimental impact on the environment, but a groundbreaking study published in the New England Journal of Medicine sheds light on their potential harm to human health. The study, titled “Microplastics and Nanoplastics (MNP) in Atheromas and Cardiovascular Events,” delves into the association between microplastics (MNPs) and cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes.

Led by Dr. Sanjay Rajagopalan, Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine at University Hospitals and Herman Hellerstein Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine in Cleveland, U.S., the study examined over 200 individuals undergoing carotid endarterectomy, a surgical procedure to remove blockages in the carotid artery. The findings revealed that 58% of patients had detectable amounts of polyethylene, commonly found in food containers and wrappers, in their excised carotid plaque. Additionally, 12% of patients exhibited measurable amounts of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), commonly used in pipes and structural materials.

Over a follow-up period of nearly three years, individuals with evidence of plastics in their arteries were found to be 4.5 times more likely to experience a heart attack, stroke, or death compared to those without plastic residues in their arteries. This correlation underscores the potential health risks posed by microplastics and their impact on cardiovascular health.

While the study does not establish causality, it raises significant concerns about the presence of plastics in human tissues and their association with adverse health outcomes. Dr. Rajagopalan emphasized the importance of exercising caution in the use of plastics, particularly in food storage and preparation. He recommended opting for alternative containers such as glass or steel and avoiding the purchase of plastic water bottles in favor of reusable stainless steel containers.

Furthermore, Dr. Rajagopalan stressed the importance of responsible plastic disposal to mitigate the widespread contamination of the environment with plastics. As the detrimental effects of microplastics on human health continue to emerge, the study underscores the need for greater awareness and regulation to safeguard public health against plastic pollution.

The findings of this study serve as a wake-up call regarding the potential health risks associated with plastic exposure, urging individuals and policymakers alike to take proactive measures to address this pressing issue.

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The international community comes together today to observe World Braille Day, a significant occasion that coincides with the birth anniversary of Louis Braille. Born in France in 1809, Louis Braille revolutionized accessibility by inventing the Braille script. Recognizing the pivotal role of Braille in education, communication, and fostering social inclusion, the United Nations has designated 4 January as World Braille Day annually.

Braille, a universal code transcending language barriers, serves as a vital tool for reading and writing in diverse languages such as Sanskrit, Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Spanish, and many more. In commemoration of this day, National Institutes and Composite Regional Centres under the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities are hosting a range of programs across the country.”

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On the 82nd anniversary of the sacrifice made by Dr. Dwarka Nath Kotnis, a member of the Indian Medical Mission to China, a three-day free acupuncture treatment camp was organized at Janj Ghar Shasti Nagar near GT Bahdur Hospital in Ludhiana. During the camp, 86 patients received acupuncture treatment.

Dr. Inderjit Singh, the director of Dr. Kotnis Memorial Hospital, commemorated the 82nd anniversary by reflecting on the historical context. In 1937-38, amidst the severe Japanese aggression and the resistance of the Chinese people, Jawaharlal Nehru, a leader of the Indian National Congress, decided to send medical aid to China. Dr. Kotnis, along with a team of five members, including Dr. Aral, Dr. Cholkar, Dr. B.K. Basu, and Dr. Bebesh from Kolkata, was sent to China.

The medical mission worked diligently in various parts of China. Unfortunately, Dr. Mukherjee, Dr. Aral, and Dr. Cholkar had to return due to health issues. However, Dr. Basu and Dr. Kotnis stayed in China and joined the liberation movement of the Chinese people. Dr. Kotnis passed away in China on December 9, 1942, at the age of 32. Dr. Basu, after returning to India in July 1943, actively engaged in the Indian freedom movement.

In 1958, Dr. Basu went to China and learned acupuncture therapy. In 1959, he introduced acupuncture therapy in India, specifically in Kolkata. Despite the strained relations between India and China after the 1962 border conflict, Dr. Basu was invited to China in 1972, where he learned acupuncture anesthesia. In 1973, he started propagating the ideals of the medical mission through the service of people.

Dr. Kotnis Hospital has been serving the community for the past 48 years. In China, a museum was set up in Schchiachung to commemorate Dr. Kotnis, teaching the youth about the support India provided during their liberation movement.

Dr. Inderjit Singh, reflecting on Dr. Kotnis’s life, emphasized the enduring friendship between the two countries. He highlighted the need to remember the significant contribution of Indian people in aiding China during challenging times. As a tribute, free treatment camps were organized on this day to pay homage to Dr. Kotnis.

Prof. Ganesh Channa (Hometown from Dr. Kotnis Memorial Solapur) visited Dr. Kotnis hospital and meet with Dr. Inderjit Singh on 13th Dec 2023 at Ludhiana.

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Falu and Gaurav’s track “Abundance in Millets,” featuring PM Narendra Modi, has surprisingly secured a nomination at the 2024 Grammy Awards in the Best Global Music Performance category. The song delves into the significance of millets in the country’s progress. Created by Falu & Gaurav Shah, the track competes with formidable nominees like Arooj Aftab, Vijay Iyer & Shahzad Ismaily’s “Shadow Forces,” Burna Boy’s “Alone,” Davido’s “Feel,” Silvana Estrada’s “Milagro Y Disastre,” Béla Fleck, Edgar Meyer & Zakir Hussain ft. Rakesh Chaurasia’s “Pashto,” and Ibrahim Maalouf ft. Cimafunk & Tank and the Bangas’ “Todo Colores.”

The creation of “Abundance in Millets” coincided with the celebration of the ‘International Year of the Millets.’ As mentioned on Falu’s website, the Indian government proposed the initiative, recognizing India’s status as one of the largest producers of this supergrain. The proposal garnered support from 72 countries and the United Nations General Assembly.

Describing the song’s intent and highlighting the importance of millets, the website states, “Millets are small-grained, warm-weather cereals cultivated mainly in India, and they played a significant role as staples for centuries. However, they gradually took a backseat and faced marginalization post the green revolution when the focus shifted to increased food grain production using high-yielding varieties of wheat and rice. ‘Abundance in Millets’ was created to raise awareness about this supergrain, positioning it as a potential key to alleviating world hunger.”

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Legal Challenge to Meta

A big legal showdown is happening. 33 states, including influential ones like California and New York, are taking Meta Platforms Inc. to court. They allege that Meta is massively having a negative impact on the mental health of young people, especially children, and that Meta’s apps like Instagram and Facebook are designed to be overly addictive.

Concerns Over Data Collection

The states are also concerned about how Meta gathers data from kids under 13 without getting permission from their parents, which is against the rules. Yet still they have accounts on these platforms. Filed in a federal court in California, this lawsuit also alleges that Meta consistently harvests data from children under 13 without the vital consent of their parents, which is a clear violation of federal law.

Words from New York’s Top Lawyer

New York Attorney General Letitia James is outspoken about this issue. Kids and teenagers are suffering from record levels of poor mental health, and social media companies like Meta are to blame,” declares New York Attorney General Letitia James. She doesn’t mince words, pointing out that Meta has profited from children’s pain by engineering platforms with manipulative features, all while undermining their self-esteem.

Collaborative Investigation

This legal battle is the result of a joint effort by lawyers from different states. They delved into Meta’s secret studies, revealing that Instagram, in particular, has a detrimental impact on teenagers, especially girls. It all comes after damning revelations that first emerged in 2021 from The Wall Street Journal, grounded in Meta’s internal research. This research apparently showed how Instagram can profoundly affect teenagers, particularly teenage girls, in terms of mental health and body image issues. One study cited that 13.5% of teen girls felt that Instagram worsens thoughts of suicide, while 17% believed it exacerbates eating disorders.

Media and Whistleblower’s Impact

The seriousness of the matter is further underscored by the involvement of a consortium of news organizations, including The Associated Press. Their findings were primarily based on leaked documents from whistleblower Frances Haugen. Haugen’s testimony before Congress and a British parliamentary committee has shone a light on these concerns, adding fuel to the fire.

The Prevalence of social media Among Teens

One fact remains undisputed: social media is an integral part of teen life in the U.S. and many parts of the world. According to the Pew Research Center, up to 95% of youths aged 13 to 17 in the U.S. use a social media platform. More than a third of these young individuals claim to use social media “almost constantly.”

Challenges with Regulation and Bypassing Restrictions

Despite regulations banning children under 13 from signing up on social media platforms, the lawsuit highlights the concerning ease with which children can circumvent these bans, often without their parents’ consent. Even restrictions imposed by social media platforms for the sake of children’s mental health can be sidestepped. For example, TikTok introduced a default 60-minute time limit for users under 18, but minors can simply enter a passcode to keep on watching.

A Call for Immediate Action

In May, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy signaled, calling on tech companies, parents, and caregivers to take “immediate action to protect kids now” from the adverse effects of social media. The battle lines are drawn, and the tech industry’s impact on youth mental health is under the spotlight like never before.

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World Food Day is celebrated on October 16th every year to commemorate the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in 1945. The FAO is a specialized agency of the UN that is dedicated to leading international efforts to defeat hunger and malnutrition.

World Food Day is a day to raise awareness of the importance of food security and nutrition and to mobilize action to achieve a world where everyone has access to healthy and nutritious food.

The theme of World Food Day 2023 is “Leave No One Behind.” This theme highlights the importance of ensuring that everyone has access to food, regardless of their background or circumstances.

Hunger and malnutrition are still major problems around the world. According to the FAO, an estimated 828 million people were undernourished in 2021. This means that they did not have enough to eat to maintain a healthy and active life.

Hunger and malnutrition can have a devastating impact on people’s health, well-being, and productivity. They can also lead to social unrest and instability.

There are a number of factors that contribute to hunger and malnutrition, including poverty, conflict, climate change, and natural disasters.

However, there are also a number of things that can be done to address hunger and malnutrition. These include:

  • Investing in agriculture and rural development
  • Promoting sustainable food systems
  • Strengthening social safety nets
  • Addressing the root causes of poverty and inequality

World Food Day is a day to recommit ourselves to the goal of a world where everyone has access to healthy and nutritious food. It is a day to take action to leave no one behind.

Here are some ways that you can celebrate World Food Day:

  • Learn more about hunger and malnutrition around the world.
  • Donate to or volunteer with a food bank or other organization that is working to fight hunger.
  • Make a more sustainable food choices.
  • Talk to your friends and family about the importance of food security and nutrition.

Together, we can make a difference.

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Pune: The Serum Institute of India (SII) has announced its ambitious plan to introduce a pioneering malaria vaccine in the country. Cyrus Poona Walla, Managing Director of SII, revealed this incredible development during a press conference organized by the Miss World Organisation in Pune. The event, hosted at the Ritz-Carlton, Pune, welcomed the delegates of Miss World 2023.

Building on the triumphant rollout of Covishield, Poonawalla proudly shared that SII is on the cusp of launching a revolutionary malaria vaccine – a pioneering achievement on a global scale. His words resonated through various media outlets, capturing the excitement surrounding this ground-breaking endeavor.

Furthermore, Poonawalla disclosed that SII is concurrently engaged in crafting a vaccine for dengue, an additional stride towards bolstering public health defences. During the press briefing, he assured that the dengue vaccine would be attainable within a year’s time.

The significance of these advancements cannot be understated, especially within the context of India’s healthcare landscape. As of 2020, India accounted for a staggering 82 percent of global malaria-related deaths, along with a high number of cases in the South-East Asian region. Recent government statistics underline the prevalence of vector-borne diseases in the country, with dengue and malaria leading the chart in 2021.

SII’s dedication to innovation marks a remarkable stride forward in combating these health challenges, raising hopes for a healthier and more resilient nation.

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