7th April is World Health Day, and this year the World Health Organization has chosen the theme of “Universal Health Coverage for All”. It is a known fact that mankind has come a long way in the world of health care and medicine through research, science and growing technology. However, the real struggle lies in providing quality health care to every person on our planet, and not just to those who can afford it comfortably.
According to World Health Department’s latest reports, globally, about 100 million people are being pushed into ‘extreme poverty’ because they have to pay for health care services. Terminal illness like cancer can be a drain on your mental, physical and financial resources. The backup of a cancer insurance policy or medical health insurance can make this difficult time, easier to deal with.
Have you ever experienced that feeling when you fall sick, every person around you magically and tragically transforms into a doctor? Or that every food and beverage consumption has a set protocol, if not followed, will make you ill! For example, skipping breakfasts is unhealthy. It is absolutely accurate that skipping any meal is unhealthy and eating a full breakfast reduces the unhealthy munching habit, but one can easily skip it and have a heavier meal around noon time. At the end of the day, every person’s body and their needs differ, so it is best to figure what suits your own requirements.
Health For All also means the right information dissemination about health care and household remedies. Sometimes, to promote a product, a brand might advertise partial information to sell their goods, albeit with a disclaimer to discover more. However, what sticks in the mind of the consumer is the half-baked knowledge and becomes a myth.
Following are some of the common myths related to consumption and certain studies that prove them wrong :
- The more milk you drink, the better it is for your bones – The excess consumption of milk can lead to higher risk of prostate cancer and possibly ovarian cancer. (1) Clinical research proves that milk has no real significance on bone health in children. (2)
- If you drop your food, pick it up in 5 seconds! Alas, even then, it isn’t safe to consume. A study done by Jillian Clarke, that won the Ig Nobel Award in 2004, studied that harmful micro-organisms passed on dropped food faster than 5 seconds.(3) So, next time you drop a cookie, let it go.
- 3. Honey is better than sugar when you want to lose weight – This isn’t true as one tablespoon of honey contains 64 calories as opposed to 49 calories of sugar in a tablespoon.(4) Honey, like sugar, affects the blood sugar levels in the same fashion.
- Microwave can cause cancer because of its radiation– According, to the World Health Organization, microwaves are safe and do not turn your food into “radioactive” elements.(5) Badly maintained microwaves might lead to leakage, therefore buy a good quality microwave and make sure it is clean and in top condition.
- Egg yolks are bad cholesterol – A study done at the University of Connecticut, observed young adults to discover that increased consumption of eggs led to increase in large-sized LDL particles, and enhanced HDL composition, making it easier to remove cholesterol from cells, contrary to popular belief. (6).
- Canned food is not highly nutritive – This is a false notion, as most food are usually canned when they are the peak of their freshness. Whereas, fresh foods might make it to your local supermarket after a few days, considerably lowering their nutritive values. (7) Several studies have found that, canned food is more wholesome than fresh food.
- Light from the computer screens damages your eyes – Fortunately for most us, who have no option but to use our phones and computers; no study proves long term damage to the eyes because of light from our screens. Please just remember to blink often, and take breaks from the reading or it may cause short-term fatigue related issues like headaches and your eyes watering. (8)
This World Health Day, choose yourself and your own bodily needs. Have a wholesome day ahead, and for the rest of the year.
- Lanou AJ, Berkow SE, Barnard ND. Calcium, dairy products, and bone health in children and young adults: a reevaluation of the evidence. Pediatrics. 2005;115:736–743.