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Fakhra Hassan, for Tetra Pak Spirit Magazine, December 2009
The World Health Organization, WHO, estimates that over 1.6 million hip and spine fractures occur each year worldwide due to early aging, waning bone mass, and bone fragility because we are not taking enough of hygienic milk in our daily diets. The weakening bone condition, also known as Osteoporosis, could become a growing global health concern if not dealt with strategically. Researchers at the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) say that nearly all countries in Asia including Pakistan fall far below the WHO and FAO recommendations for Calcium intake of 1000 1300mg/day. The median dietary Calcium intake is approximately 450mg/day that could have a detrimental effect on bone health in the region.
The advent of Osteoporosis
The truth is especially alarming for women in Pakistan where a woman according to WHO is mothering about four children on the average in addition to taking care of other household responsibilities. Women in Pakistan represent nearly half of the 165 million people. Novartis Pharma, makers and suppliers of the leading Calcium supplements brand Novartis Calcium Sandoz in Pakistan in a recent survey state that already 49 per cent of women in Pakistan are experiencing Osteopenia or pain of bones and bone joints. About 17 per cent of Pakistani women have been diagnosed with Osteoporosis. The reasons are fairly simple, says Madeeha Anwar, Clinical Nutritionist based in Lahore while giving a seminar for Tetra Pak Pakistan s Women Awareness Campaign (WAC) at the Fatima Jinnah College for Women. The awareness is missing on such ailments related to the lack of milk-rich diets, she says. Echoing the IOF concern, Anwar further says Osteoporosis is an undertreated and under-diagnosed ailment in Asian countries.
Tetra Pak WACs em!
In the wake of these alarming facts, Tetra Pak Pakistan four years ago initiated a nationwide campaign targeting two major cities Karachi and Lahore to create awareness on the health benefits of safe and hygienic milk consumption for women targeting the age group of 18-50 years. The aim of the programme is to engage in an interactive dialogue with over 20,000 women from various walks of life such as colleges, universities, corporate sector and vocational centres across the major cities on dietary and beauty advantages of having safe, hygienic and packaged milk. I am really not a beauty conscious person and rarely drink packaged milk, said a student of commerce at the Fatima Jinnah College, but to know that I can keep it in my fridge and sip on it from time to time without the fear of the milk getting sour makes me want to try, she added. The Women Awareness Campaign was well-received at the college. Anwar presented the students with case studies of children and women belonging to different age groups and informed them of the appropriate amount of calcium they should be taking and how many glasses of milk would make up for that. The seminar was also helpful in removing some misconceptions about milk that it is only a rich source of calcium and has no other benefits for the human body. One of the engineering students commented: A drink that is known for only one ingredient can become very boring after a while but hair, nails, muscles, eyebrows, skin beauty all in a glass of milk, no one ever told me about that! I am very happy
to have participated in this seminar today. The students were engaged in a couple of quiz competitions based on the seminar and discussion. The winners were awarded prizes. The role of a clinical nutritionist is essential, says Anwar, it is important to work with the medical professionals to encourage their clients to drink safe and healthy milk. They should be able to prescribe to their patients on their dietary needs based on their Body Mass Index (BMI), she added.
Body Mass Index
It is simply defined as the amount of body fat measured against your height and weight. BMI is a useful tool to calculate whether one is underweight, overweight, normal or obese. Nutritionists have indicated BMI to be a reliable indicator of body mass for most people in terms of screening for health problems
associated with unhealthy diets. The students at Fatima Jinnah college availed the information shared at the session with great intent. A number of students also took turns to get their BMIs calculated at the Tetra Pak nutrition counter set up at the campus. Not surprisingly, many of the students could not hit that perfect BMI. At the conclusion of the seminar, each student was handed a goody bag that included one litre of safe, hygienic, packaged milk and a booklet on health benefits of milk.
How can milk be essentially good for you?
For help with hair, skin and nails Milk has known to be Cleopatra s beauty aid of choice. Milk is one of the vital sources of nutrients that help promote external beauty. For example, proteins, lipids, calcium, Vitamin A, B6, biotin and potassium work together to keep hair soft and shiny all is found in a glass of milk. Women who are
beauty conscious ought to make note of these crucial facts.
Get help with re-building muscles Dr Peter Lemon, Nutrition Researcher at the University of Western Ontario contends that recent scientific information collected on physically active individuals tends to indicate that regular exercise increases daily protein requirement. Based on laboratory measures, daily protein requirements are increased by perhaps as much as 100 per cent (1.6g 1.8g/kg) as compared to what is recommended for sedentary individuals (0.8g/kg). Milk contains certain proteins such as casein and whey that may help rebuild muscles after physical activity as well as minerals that are essential to prevent muscle cramping. Try drinking chocolate milk for even more delicious post-exercise delight!
Help with Pre Menstrual Stress (PMS) Susan Jacobs, Clinical Director at Columbia University, says that about half of the world s population of menstruating women admits to suffering from moderate to severe PMS each month. Research indicates
that milk could reduce the physical and emotional symptoms of PMS in half. A majority of women who took 1200 mg of Calcium a day for three months reported to be less irritable, weepy and depressed, and suffering from fewer backaches. Each glass of milk contains 300 mgs of calcium; it is the perfect comfort drink for PMS! Why WAC? y y y y y Maintaining healthy diet Women, their health and prevention of osteoporosis Steps to wholesome living Safe milk awareness Maintaining Body Mass Index (BMI)
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT! Scholar Jane Austen may have died of unpasteurized milk, says report Delight of women s hearts in literature in Pakistan for her novels such as Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility, British novelist Jane Austen most likely died of tuberculosis, not Addison s disease according to a report released by the Times of London in early December. The report says that Austen could have contracted the bovine tuberculosis by consuming unpasteurized milk. Katherine White, a scholar from the Addison disease Self Help Group says that this would not only be the simpler explanation for the symptoms. However, she adds, it better fits the available evidence for Austen s final illness. Austen was diagnosed of Addison s disease by Sir Zachary Cope, who declared her to be the world s first documented sufferer from Addison s disease. His diagnosis was challenged for the first time in 1997 by Claire Tomalin, who wrote Austen s biography. Austen died at the age of 41. Although healthy for most of her life, Austen s last two years were marked by a decline in health that had left her bedridden and exhausted, suffering bilious attacks and rheumatic pains and with skin that she herself described as black and white and every wrong colour.
Ms White says that although many of Austen s symptoms could be linked to Addison s she did not appear to have suffered the chronic pain and mental confusion associated with the sufferers. My head was always clear, and I scarcely had any pain, wrote Austen to a close friend in a letter found two weeks before her death.
CALCIUM CHART AGE 4-8 years 19-50 51-70 DAILY INTAKE 400-800 mg/day 1000 mg/day 1200 mg/day