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Session on Identifying, Preventing and Managing Lifestyle Diseases of the teenagers

Dr Hiten Sheth, a postgraduate in Preventive and Promotive Healthcare, has been

successfully running a program on Prevention and Reversal of Lifestyle diseases since
last two decades. Having conducted many sessions and workshops for diverse age groups
from grade 5 to senior citizens for the last 20 years, session conducted on 11th November
2017, in Pawar Public School was aimed at identifying, preventing and managing
lifestyle diseases of the teenagers.

The session was conducted in the school auditorium on the ground floor from 9 a.m. to
11 a.m.

The session began with a prayer by the students and welcoming the speaker.

The speaker played the song “We will, we will….rock it” to grab the attention of the
young audience. After a break discussion on importance of Namaste, he began with the
session. Following were the important points discussed during the two hour interactive

Health: As defined by World Health Organization (WHO), it is a "State of complete

physical, mental, and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or

Lifestyle Diseases: Diseases occurring due to the way a person lives (lifestyle)
The lifestyle diseases are preventable and also reversible if they are identified early.
Physical lifestyle diseases- Incorrect posture, asthma, heart attack, etc.
Mental lifestyle disease- Depression, stress, anxiety, etc.

There are 10 Principles of Health, if followed can prevent lifestyle diseases. These
principles need to be practised, merely being aware of them will not help.

1.Habits- Even though there is a family history of a particular

disease, it can be prevented in that individual with correct
habits. This is referred to as “methylation”.
(DNA methylation is a process by which methyl groups are
added to the DNA molecule. Methylation can change the
activity of a DNA segment without changing the sequence.
When located in a gene promoter, DNA methylation typically acts to repress gene
2.Hydration- We breathe out around 8 glasses of water.
We need to keep our body hydrated as many metabolic
functions require water. The largest organ, skin is
maintained healthy if the body is well hydrated.

The colour of the urine is an indicator of our hydration status.

The water should be “cooked” i.e. boiled for 20 minutes to effectively kill most of the
germs in it.
Disadvantages of not drinking adequate water:
Body odour, dehydration

3.Hair- around 200 hair falling a day is normal. Hair loss is a problem if hair falls but
new hair does not grow.
Balanced diet and hygiene is the only magic mantra for healthy hair.
Do not fall prey to the marketing gimmicks. Shampoo has a
chemical, sodium laurosulphate also present in floor cleaner.
So excessive use of shampoo will only damage the hair.
Grey hair requires no treatment. It is greying of the follicle
and stress or malnutrition plays no role in greying.
Dandruff is normal. It is body’s way of getting rid of worn
out dead epidermal cells. No shampoos or creams are helpful. It becomes a concern only
when fungus is trapped in it because of poor hygiene.
Actors who promote these products are paid for it and we as consumers are paying for it.
So need to be extra careful.

4.Pimple/Acne- It is normal, not to burst/pop them. It is common

during teenage because of active sweat glands and hormonal
changes. Washing face with plain water is enough. Scrubs, face
wash, etc. are not recommended. The anti-pimple cream advertised
again is a marketing gimmick.

5.Sun light- Source of Vitamin D which helps in calcium absorption,
increases immunity, aids digestion, etc. Exposing to early morning
sun rays is good for infants but for all others exposure for 20 minutes
between 11a.m. to 1p.m. is advisable.

6.Screentime- Cases of Entertainment blindness and

entertainment blindness if on rise due to over use of
gadgets. The speaker used the metaphor of ghosts for
gadgets, stating it’s up to us whether to allow the ghosts to
control us or we should control the ghosts to our benefit.

7.Food habits- Healthy breakfast is the must. Children having nutritious breakfast
perform better in school. Junk food is food which provides
high calories but no nutrients.
Excess consumption of salt and sugar can lead to several
health problems.
There is lot of salt in processed foods and bakery items like
bread and biscuits.

8.Physical activity- It not only increases metabolic rate

but also provides oxygen to the cells. It also releases
chemicals which alter the negative state of mind into

9.Sleep- Adequate and sound sleep is essential. Not only having 8
hours sleep is essential but sleeping at the correct time is equally
important. The Growth Hormone is secreted between 11 p.m. to 1
a.m. but for the hormone to be released a deep sleep of at least 2
hours prior to it is essential. So the advisable bed time is around
10.30 p.m.

10.Anger management- Anger leads to disturbed state of mind

which adversely affects the normal functioning of our body. The
three causes of anger:
Expectation- When the expectation does not match the reality.
Reaction- Most of the problems can be avoided if we take action
and not show reaction.
No respect for individuals- Don’t hold on to anger. Celebrate anger. Be grateful for
people and things in your life.

Dr. Hiten also asked the students to focus on the larger picture in life by giving example
of a worker on a labour site (dirt and ghamela). He also by way of a game and example of
ski-diving explained students that exams, discipline, etc. are all the rubber band of the
parachute. When the students will be out in the world on their own these rubber bands
will unfold, opening the parachute and landing them safely. So instead of taking stress
enjoy the process.

It was indeed an insightful session, made lively and interactive by the speaker. We are
grateful to our Principal and the management for having such an amazing session for our
school teenagers.