Lifestyle changes in youngsters involving skipping meals are making them diabetic.
Contrary to popular belief, skipping meals can actually make a person put on weight.
People with diabetes have higher chances of developing long-term ailments affecting the eyes, kidneys, heart, brain, feet and nerves.
Modern lifestyle brings with a shortage of time and working people often skip their meals in order to keep up with their hectic lifestyle. It is also a popular belief that not having food promotes weight loss. However, the truth is that in order to lose weight, a reduction in the amount of calories consumed in day is required. Skipping meals altogether can result in tiredness and poor nutrition.
“As opposed to popular belief, skipping meals can actually make a person put on weight, rather than shed it. Not having food, causes the liver cells to stop responding to insulin, the hormone responsible for breaking down sugar. This leads to an excess of glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream, which gets stored in the body as fat. It damages organs and can trigger diabetes over time. People, especially youngsters are letting go of one or even two meals a day with the objective of losing weight or due to hectic schedules. This is taking a heavy toll on their health”, says Dr. Wasim Ahmed, Consultant Internal Medicine, Columbia Asia Hospital, Ahmedabad.
The human body uses a series of metabolic processes to maintain normal blood sugar levels. When a person skips a meal, the body thinks it is in starvation mode, which signals the body to slow down metabolism. Also, lower blood sugar levels signal the brain that the body is hungry, increasing hunger levels. As a result, the next meal makes the person eat even more, which rapidly increases the blood sugar levels. Moreover, as the metabolism was already slower, the body will take longer to digest the larger meal. This metabolic up and down along with unbalanced blood sugar levels, lead to the risk of developing diabetes over time.
People with diabetes have higher chances of developing long-term ailments affecting the eyes, kidneys, heart, brain, feet and nerves. The best way to prevent or delay these problems is to control blood sugar levels and preventing the occurrence of diabetes itself. Diabetes can be curbed at the initial level by introducing simple lifestyle changes. A well balanced diet, including whole grains, pulses, fruits, vegetables and low fat dairy, should be opted for. Eating small meals at regular intervals rather than complete skip of a meal is the most basic lifestyle change that goes a long way in keeping diabetes at bay.
Recent report by World Health Organization (WHO) reveals that India currently has as many as 5 crore people suffering from Diabetes, with the numbers increasing at an alarming rate each year. The report stated India as the Diabetes capital of the world, with an estimated 34 lakh deaths in the country, due to high blood sugar. Health experts suggest that modern lifestyle, with a habit of skipping meals becoming common among individuals and a lack of balanced diet pose as the biggest causative agents for the rising epidemic.