Staying Alone! You Are Vulnerable To Malnourishment

M K Singh for BeyondHeadlines

Pune: Skipping breakfast every day, waking till late in the night and unhealthy lifestyle marked the life of 26-year-old Robin Sharma who was staying alone in Pune for the last two years. A software engineer by profession, Robin was unable to carry on a healthy lifestyle due to his hectic schedule and workload. But, things around him changed as soon he started feeling regular breathlessness and mild shacking of palms. He was later diagnosed with deficiency of Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D by his doctor.

Like Robin, there are many youngsters, either students or working professionals living alone in the city, who are unable to maintain a healthy lifestyle and thus are likely to lack essential nutrients in their food. Lack of resources and even easily availability of junk foods have compounded the menace.

Experts believe this section of the society is vulnerable to malnourishment. “These days I see many such patients and many of them, I find malnourished. Either their calorie intake is high due to consumption of fast foods or they lack essential nutrients. However, even consuming extra calories doesn’t ensure proper nourishment to the body,” says Pune-based Dr Kiranjit Singh, Senior Consultant (Internal Medicine), Jehangir Hospital.

Dr Singh also points of that these days deficiency of Vitamin D is rampant in the population due to people’s tendency to shun sunlight which largely affects growth of bones in human body.

Nevertheless, Dr Singh points out that many people these days undergo battery of blood tests to check their vitamin and mineral levels which could be avoidable. “Many people these days opt for several vitamin tests to check their health. I think this in unnecessary and should be avoided. Moreover, these tests are expensive and also not very indicative in nature. The best option would be to let your doctor decide what you need to do,” adds Dr Singh.

[box type=”info” ]  Tough to manage diet?

For many maintaining a healthy diet that can cover all nutrients seems like a Herculean task. Seeking advice from a dietician could be a good option in these cases. They can customize your diet chart according to your lifestyle and can make you tedious work easy. “Maintaining a healthy diet is not a big hurdle. With some simple changes in your habit, this could be easily achieved,” says Geeta Desai, a Pune-based dietician.

Desai also believes that people need to be conscious on the choice of food they consume. “These days, there are numerous ready to cook products available in the market. Many will show numerous colourful vegetables on their packet. But, they are of no use. After processing, all the nutrients in these packets are vanished. Moreover, the excess salts and spices blended to these products are of no good,” says Desai.

Desai also warns against excess consumption of tea which deters with absorption of nutrients from your food. “Many people including youngsters these days are addicted to tea/coffee which adversely affects absorption of nutrients in the body. Drinking tea or coffee more than 2 times a day is going to do more harm than good to your body. Moreover, intake of the same after food drastically kills the nutrients in the food you take,” adds Desai. [/box]

[box type=”warning” ] Vegetarians at a greater risk:

People who are strictly vegetarians are likely to lack Vitamin B12 and Iron in their food which are easily available in non-veg foods, say experts. However, they can compensate the loss by consuming milk and dairy products. [/box]

[box type=”note” ]  Exercise helpful in producing vitamins

Experts believe that moderate exercise everyday stimulates intestinal floras that are potent to produce essential vitamins in human gut which can compensate the loss. [/box]


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