Monthly Archives: January 2007

Premature ejaculation? Spray come to rescue

Here’s some good news for men suffering from one of the most common sexual disorders premature ejaculation. An anesthetic spray more than doubles the “lasting” time for the ‘patients’, according to a study by the company that makes the experimental drug.

The metered-dose of the aerosol spray is a mixture of the anesthetics lidocaine and prilocaine, and is spritzed onto the tip of the penis 15 minutes before sex.

Before using the spray, the 54 heterosexual men in the study ejaculated, on average, one minute after vaginal penetration. In the test, on four occasions, half the men used the anesthetic spray 15 minutes before sex, the other half a placebo with no active ingredients.

The men or their partners used a stopwatch to measure the time from vaginal penetration to ejaculation.

The results of the study states that lasting time increased to two minutes or more for 55% of the men who got the spray and 35% of the men who got the placebo.

Lasting time increased to three minutes or more for 40% of the men who got the spray and 13% of the men who got the placebo.

Lasting time increased to four minutes or more for 20% of the men who got the spray and 13% of the men who got the placebo.

About 60% of the female partners of men who used the spray, and about 30% of the partners of the men who used the placebo, said the men had better control over their ejaculation.

The spray is called TEMPE topical eutectic mixture for premature ejaculation by manufacturer Plethora Solutions Ltd London, which funded the study. It is not yet available on the market.

“TEMPE ‘as required’ has the potential to offer a convenient, novel treatment option for men with premature ejaculation,” conclude researchers Wallace C Dinsmore of Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, Northern Ireland, and colleagues.

The spray had few side effects. Four of the 26 men who used TEMPE did report side effects. Three had numbness of the penis, and one reported erectile dysfunctionerectile dysfunction.

Only one of the men’s sex partners reported a side effect: a mild burning sensation during intercourse.

Emla, from AstraZeneca, is also a mixture of lidocaine and prilocaine. It comes in a cream formulation and must be used with a condom. TEMPE does not require condom use.

Source:The Times Of India

Owning Your Emotions

Our feelings can sometimes present a very challenging aspect of our lives. We experience intense emotions without understanding precisely why and consequently find it difficult to identify the solutions that will soothe our distressed minds and hearts. Yet it is only when we are capable of naming our feelings that we can tame them by finding an appropriate resolution. We retake control of our personal power by becoming courageous enough to articulate, out loud and concisely, the essence of our emotions. Our assuming ownership of the challenges before us in this way empowers us to shift from one emotional state to another-we can let go of pain and upset because we have defined it, examined the effect it had on our lives, and then exerted our authority over it by making it our own. By naming our feelings, we claim the right to divest ourselves of them at will.

As you prepare to acknowledge your feelings aloud, gently remind yourself that being specific is an important part of exercising control. Whatever the nature of your feelings, carefully define the reaction taking place within you. If you are afraid of a situation or intimidated by an individual, try not to mince words while giving voice to your anxiety. The precision with which you express yourself is indicative of your overall willingness to stare your feelings in the face without flinching. Naming and claiming cannot always work in the vacuum of the soul. There may be times in which you will find the release you desire only by admitting your feelings before others. When this is the case, your ability to outline your feelings explicitly can help you ask for the support, aid, or guidance you need without becoming mired in the feelings that led you to make such an admission in the first place.

When you have moved past the apprehension associated with expressing your distressing feelings out loud, you may be surprised to discover that you feel liberated and lightened. This is because the act of making a clear connection between your circumstances and your feelings unravels the mystery that previously kept you from being in complete control of your emotional state. To give voice to your feelings, you must necessarily let them go. In the process, you naturally relax and rediscover your emotional equilibrium.

Source:Daily Om

Vanilla

Botanical Name:Vanulla planifolia

Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Vanilloideae
Tribe: Vanilleae
Subtribe: Vanillinae
Genus: Vanilla

Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales
Habitat :Central America, West Indies, Northern South America
Mostly Cultivated In:Madagascar, Comoros Islands, Reunion, French Polynesia, Tahiti, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mozambique, Seychelles, Uganda, Guatemala, Mexico.
Description:
For many people in countries where quality ice cream is readily available, vanilla is the most popular of the non-pungent spices. It has been regarded as one of the most expensive spices along with saffron, cardamon and green peppercorns. The cost of vanilla reflects its historic importance as a flavor used in the royal drinks of the Mayans and Aztecs that were based on chocolate. The Aztecs called vanilla tlilxochitl, and they used it with chile peppers to flavor their drink.

click to see the pictures…>….....(1).…(2).…(3)......(4).…..(5)….

Vanilla is found in the seeds of the orchid vine, Vanilla planifolia (V. fragrans), which is native to Mexico. The Spaniards likened the bean pods to a little sheath or vaina, which is derived from the similar Latin word, vagina! Obtaining the flavor can be a several month long process, resulting from slowly fermenting the beans, which contain many small seeds; the ground-up bean is then used in similar fashion to coffee. People who enjoy the strong vanilla taste want to use freshly cured bean, while others accept the commercial extract. True vanilla in ice cream contains tiny dark flecks resulting from the presence of the seeds. However, the vanilla flavor, which is mainly due to vanillin, can be readily chemically synthesized from eugenol or guaiacol, or from lignin derived from tar, wood, or tonka beans. This product lacks the quality of the natural vanilla flavor that develops during the curing of the best beans when glucosides are converted to vanillic aldehyde, which is vanillin, since other aromatic chemicals are also produced.

Vanilla trees are grown in Mexico, Central America (Guatemala and especially Costa Rica), and in some Caribbean islands (especially Jamaica). However, it is difficult to grow since it is only pollinated by native bees and hummingbirds. It requires artificial fertilization outside its natural habitat, but it can be cultivated through the use of cuttings. Following its introduction to the French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean, a method of hand pollination was introduced in 1841. Reunion is still an important site of vanilla production; the variety is called Bourbon vanilla, after the former name of the island. Madagascar is now the major producer of Bourbon vanilla.

When vanilla became popular in 17th century Europe, it was used for many indications, varying from stomach ulcers to sedation. As was the case with many spices, it was extolled as an aphrodisiac. Today, it may fulfill its latter function when used in high quality baked goods, confectionary and desserts, although most users regard it more prosaically as a delicious flavor that may help digestion. Vanilla is used to flavor tobacco and as a fragrance in the cosmetic industry. It is of interest that sensitive workers in the vanilla industry may develop vanillism, resulting in headaches and skin rashes.

Artificial vanilla (containing vanillin and ethylvanillin) is acceptable to most tastes, and therefore the export of true vanilla may continue to decline, since the culture and manufacture of the quality product is expensive and relatively non-competitive. Moreover, its value as an exotic medicine is no longer accepted. Thus the role of the vanilla bean has declined in significance, with over 95% of the world’s supply of vanilla flavor being synthetic.
Useful Parts:
The cured, dried fruits of the plant impart the flavor.
Medicinal Properties:
Vanillin is in the class of vanilloids, that includes – surprisingly – capsaicin (8-methy-N-vanillyl noneamide) from chile pepper and eugenol from cloves, cinnamon and other spices, and zingerone from ginger. The vanilloid receptors of the central and peripheral nervous systems bind with these compounds, resulting in different sensory effects. Thus, capsaicin can cause a burning sensation while eugenol results in mild anesthesia; vanillin itself is neutral.

Historical View :
“Vanilla is an aromatic stimulant, with a tendency towards the nervous system. It has also been regarded as an aphrodisiac. It has been employed as a remedy in hysteria, low fevers, impotency, etc. But its use as a medicine is obsolete in this country, although still sometimes employed on the Continent and elsewhere.”

You may click to see :Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia Andrews)

Source:Medicinal Spices

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanilla_(genus)

Enhanced by Zemanta

Eating Close To The Earth

You Must Know Your Food

The food we eat is a multidimensional aspect of our lives. Food provides us with the energy that enables us to grow and prosper. Yet it can be, and frequently is, much, much more. Our food can be an experience in and of itself if we allow it to be. The dishes we remember from childhood offer unmatched comfort. The act of preparing meals can be an art form of the highest caliber. And the nourishment we derive from this fare promotes wellness within us. But many of us, distracted by daily affairs, forget that the profound pleasures of eating go beyond simple sustenance. We eat foods that are convenient or we eat unconsciously, snacking on whatever happens to be on hand. To understand the true value of food and the impact it can have on our lives, we should acknowledge and honor it by eating close to the earth.

If you have ever shelled and eaten garden-grown peas or bitten into a sun-warmed apple freshly plucked from its tree, you likely understand that there is a marked difference between these foods and those that are processed and stacked on supermarket shelves. Food recently picked contains more of its original life force and thus has a greater store of energy and nutrients. You can ensure you are eating close to the earth-and enjoying the many benefits of doing so-by shopping at a local farmers market and getting to know the individuals who grow your food. If you make the experience of shopping in this way enjoyable, you will be more apt to reject more convenient canned, packaged, and frozen foods in favor of the real delight you feel while browsing stalls of fresh foods nourished by the same soil you can find in your own backyard. You will soon learn what foods are in season in your area and how to prepare them.

As you savor the vivid flavors of juicy ripe fruits and the hearty crunch of unprocessed vegetables, you can also take pleasure in the fact that, by eating close to the earth, you are supporting farmers in your region, connecting with your local ecosystem, discouraging those who would waste precious fossil fuels by carting produce cross-country, and helping to preserve healthy culinary traditions that have existed for centuries.

Source:Daily Om

Researchers find key to treating insomnia

WASHINGTON: Researchers studying a disease that causes people to suddenly drop off to sleep are trying to turn what they have learnt into a new way to help insomniacs get some shut-eye.

They found that blocking brain receptors for orexin, a blood peptide, promoted sleep in rats, dogs and people, according to a paper in Sunday’s online issue of the journal Nature Medicine.

Orexin, also known as hypocretin, is important in maintaining wakefulness. It is absent in the brains of people who suffer from narcolepsy, a chronic disorder in which people cannot regulate sleep-wake cycles normally.

It is estimated to affect more than 135,000 people in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The research team, led by Francois Jenck of the Swiss drug company Actelion Pharmaceuticals, reasoned that they might be able to induce sleep if they could block orexin.

They developed a drug that can block the receptors in the brain that respond to orexin-hypocretin. The researchers reported successful testing in rodents, dogs and men.

The first tests were proof of the concept and the drug is now being evaluated to establish the correct dosage, said Roland Haefeli, an Actelion spokesman.

Researchers hope to decide this year whether to conduct a phase-three study, a detailed assessment of the drug that would be the final step before seeking US government approval for its use. Such studies can take a few years.

Narcolepsy victims often also experience cataplexy, a condition in which they lose control of muscle tone for a few seconds to minutes. Jenck said in a telephone interview that the drug tests did not prompt indications of cataplexy.

Thomas Scammell, an assistant professor of neurology at Harvard University, said the work was “promising, with a certain amount of caution”.

“I think it may be the beginning of something quite exciting,” said Scammell, who was not part of the research team.

Source:The Times Of India

TIPS FOR RAISING HEALTHY GIRLS

Adolescence is a time of change and upheaval. This can be a challenging time as you watch your daughter grow independent, make decisions and develop into a young adult. Some risks that are unique to teen girls, such as decreased self-confidence, depression and early puberty, can lead to drug and alcohol abuse. Even during this difficult time, parents are the most important influence in their child’s life. You can help your daughter navigate this exciting, but stressful time. Below are tips on how to raise healthy, drug-free daughters.

MAXIMIZE time together to build a strong bond with your daughter.
Spend time just listening to your daughter’s thoughts and feelings, fears and concerns. Teens who spend time, talk and have a close relationship with their parents are much less likely to drink, take drugs or have sex.

Really listen to what your daughter is saying. Make the time to ask your daughter about her school, friends and activities and interests.
Talk to your daughter about tough issues, such as the dangers of drug and alcohol use.
Make special time each week to talk and enjoy each other’s company.

MODEL coping skills to manage stress and pressure.
Adolescence can be a stressful process for teens. You can be a more supportive parent by understanding where the stress is coming from and model positive, healthy behavior and coping skills.

Set positive examples on how to cope with stress, such as setting realistic goals, learning to prioritize, getting enough sleep and engaging in physical activity.
Teach your daughter skills to handle negative peer pressure, such as how to say no.

MOTIVATE your daughter’s self-confidence by recognizing her strengths, skills, and interests.
Research shows that many girls experience a sharp decline in their self-esteem and self-confidence during early adolescence. Parents can help their daughter develop a healthy sense of worth.

Provide meaningful roles for your daughter in the family. Treat your daughter as a unique individual, distinct from siblings or stereotypes.
Encourage your daughter to develop an identity based on her talents and interests; downplay appearance and weight, and tell her a beautiful body is a healthy and strong one.
Promote healthy activities, such as exercising or doing community service. Teenagers enjoy giving to others, but they need your support.

MONITOR your daughter’s activities and behaviors with love and limits.
Show your unconditional love, but don’t be afraid of setting rules. Parental disapproval of drug use plays a strong role in keeping teens drug-free. Parental monitoring has been shown to be effective in reducing risky behaviors among teens.

Praise your daughter as often as possible. Show love, warmth and interest in your teen, but set clear “no-drug” rules, limit time spent watching TV and using the Internet.
Always know where your daughter is, whom she is with and what she is doing. Know her friends and the parents of those friends. Have regular check-in times.
Attend your daughter’s school events and recreational activities. It will make your teen feel loved, help her maintain good grades and increase her enjoyment of school.

Source:The New York Times

Unexpected Enlightenment

You Never Know Who You Will Meet

Our individual journeys take us into many unexpected situations where we encounter a wide variety of people-some quite like ourselves and some very different. We cannot anticipate these meetings, but we can make the most of them when they take place. When we are courteous as a matter of course and open-minded in our assessment of the individuals whose lives briefly touch our own, we are more apt to stumble upon surprising gems of wisdom that open our eyes to new worlds of possibility. Every person we meet can affect us profoundly, just as every situation we find ourselves in can teach us something new.

To fully embrace this fact, it is essential that we acknowledge that everyone is valuable in their own way and capable of expanding our horizons. Since we never know when we will happen upon those individuals who will unveil truths before us, we should extend to all people the same generous level of kindness, care, compassion, and understanding. When we assume everyone we meet is special and treat them as such, we can develop a strong rapport quickly. By making an effort to adopt a positive attitude toward others at all times, we ensure that our emotions do not blind us to wisdom that may be lurking in difficult or distressing situations. We are accordingly receptive to knowledge that comes to us in the form of examples, advice, and direct teaching.

These brief relationships ultimately have the potential to enrich our lives in a very concrete way. But the wisdom we gain is proportional to the attention we pay to the world around us. The responsibility is on us to maintain a state of awareness that allows us to recognize when we are in the presence of someone consciously or unconsciously in possession of knowledge that will change us significantly. When we are cognizant of the potential for unexpected enlightenment, we make a habit of turning strangers into friends, thus ensuring that we are never without a font of wisdom from which to draw.

Source:Daily Om

Gallstones

Some 20 million Americans have gallstones, crystallized pellets in the gallbladder that can suddenly cause painful spasms a few hours after eating a rich meal. A high-fiber diet, along with certain supplements, can help prevent, relieve, or even dissolve these troublesome stones.

click & see

Symptoms
Intermittent pain on the right side of the upper abdomen. The pain typically develops after a meal, lasts from 30 minutes to 4 hours, and may move to the back, chest, or right shoulder.
Nausea and vomiting may accompany pain. Heartburn, gas, or bloating may also be present.

When to Call Your Doctor
If you develop severe abdominal pain, or pain with nausea, vomiting, or fever. Either symptom may signal gallbladder inflammation or a blockage of the bile duct. Both are medical emergencies.
If you have upper right abdominal pain and nausea with shortness of breath and sweating — this may be a heart attack. Call an ambulance right away.
Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.

What It Is
Gallstones are rocklike clumps of cholesterol or other digestive substances that form in the gallbladder, the pear-shaped organ that sits in the upper right section of the abdomen, just under the liver. The gallbladder stores and concentrates bile — a thick greenish yellow fluid that’s produced by the liver — and eventually releases it through the bile duct into the small intestine to aid in the digestion of fats. Gallstones can develop if the bile contains very high levels of cholesterol, bile acids, pigments, or other substances. Whether they’re really tiny or as big as a golf ball, gallstones often produce no symptoms and need no special care. Sometimes, though, they can block the bile duct or inflame the gallbladder, causing intense abdominal pain and requiring prompt treatment.

What Causes It
Though the exact cause of gallstones is not known, several factors may contribute to their formation, including a low-fiber, high-fat diet; intestinal surgery; inflammatory bowel disease; or other disorders of the digestive tract. Gallstones tend to occur in people over age 40 and are three times more common in women than in men. Obesity is also strongly linked to gallstones, as is rapid weight loss. There may be a genetic component as well: Among Arizona’s Pima Indians, nearly 70% of women over age 30 have gallstones.

How Supplements Can Help
The supplements recommended in the list may all aid in preventing or dissolving gallstones. Three months of treatment may be effective in dissolving small existing stones, though Vitamin C, liotropic combination, lecithin, and flaxseed oil can also be used long term to help prevent gallstone attacks.

What Else You Can Do
Eat a diet high in fiber and low in refined carbohydrates, sugar, and fat. Fruits and vegetables, oat bran, and pectin (found in apples, bananas, cabbage, carrots, oranges, peas, and okra) may be especially important in preventing and dissolving gallstones.
Keep your weight down and drink plenty of water daily.

Supplement Recommendations
Vitamin C
Lipotropic Combination
Taurine
Lecithin
Flaxseed Oil
Peppermint Oil
Psyllium


Vitamin C

Dosage: 1,000 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: Reduce dose if diarrhea develops.

Lipotropic Combination
Dosage: 1 or 2 pills twice a day.
Comments: Need 250 mg milk thistle (take extra if needed); may also include choline, inositol, methionine, and dandelion.

Taurine
Dosage: 1,000 mg L-taurine twice a day for up to 3 months.
Comments:After 6 weeks, add a mixed amino acid complex.

Lecithin
Dosage: 2 capsules of 19 grains (1,200 mg) each twice a day.
Comments: Or 2 tsp. granular form twice a day before meals.

Flaxseed Oil
Dosage: 1 tbsp. (14 grams) a day in liquid or pill form.
Comments: Can be mixed with food; take in the morning.

Peppermint Oil

Dosage: 2 capsules (containing 0.2 ml of oil each) twice a day.
Comments: Buy enteric-coated capsules. Take between meals.

Psyllium
Dosage: 1 tbsp. powder dissolved in water or juice twice a day.
Comments: Be sure to drink extra water throughout the day.

Source:Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs (Reader’s Digest)

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Allspice

Botanical Name  :Pimenta officinalis
Family  : MYRTACEAE Myrtle family
Common Names  :Allspice , Pimento, Jamaica Peppe.

 

Allspice takes its name from its aroma, which smells like a combination of spices, especially cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg. In much of the world, allspice is called pimento because the Spanish mistook the fruit for black pepper, which the Spanish called pimienta. This is especially confusing since the Spanish had already called chillies pimientos. Lets also thank the Spanish for centuries of linguistic confusion created by naming all the natives they met ‘Indians’.
Allspice is the only spice that is grown exclusively in the Western Hemisphere. The evergreen tree that produces the allspice berries is indigenous to the rainforests of South and Central America where it grows wild. Unfortunately the wild trees were cut down to harvest the berries and few remain today. There are plantations in Mexico and parts of Central America but the finest allspice comes from Jamaica where the climate and soil are best suited to producing the aromatic berries.
Allspice was used by the Mayans as an embalming agent and by other South American Indians to flavour chocolate. The name ‘Jamaica’ comes from Xamayca, meaning ‘land of wood and water’ in the language of the Arawaks. These natives used allspice to help cure and preserve meats, sometimes animals, sometimes their enemies. The allspice cured meat was known in Arawak as boucan and so later Europeans who cured meat this way came to be known as boucaniers, which ultimately became ‘buccaneers’.
The spice was imported to Europe soon after the discovery of the new world. There were several attempts made to transplant it to spice producing regions of the east, but these trees produced little fruit. Despite its rich fragrance and a strong flavour resembling other more coveted spices, allspice never had the same caché in Europe as cinnamon or pepper. The English started making regular shipments to England in 1737, but by that time the lust for spices been eclipsed by other New-World products like sugar and coffee. It was quite popular in England though, where it came to be known as ‘English Spice”.
In the Napoleonic war of 1812, Russian soldiers put allspice in their boots to keep their feet warm and the resultant improvement in odours is carried into today’s cosmetic industries, where pimento oil is usually associated with men’s toiletries (especially products with the word ‘spice’ on the label).

Description

cloick to see the pictures...(1)..…...(2)……..(3)....…(4).….….
Dried allspice berries resemble large brown peppercorns. Unripe berries are harvested and sun dried until the seeds in them rattle. They vary in size between 4 to 7 mm (1/8 – 1/4 in) in diameter and are dark brown with wrinkled skins. The outer case contains two dark, hard kidney-shaped seeds. Allspice is available whole or ground. Sometimes the whole berry will be called ‘pimento’.
Bouquet: pungent and aromatic, like a combination of nutmeg, clove , ginger and cinnamon.
Flavour: warm and sweetly pungent like the combination described above with peppery overtones.
Hotness Scale: 4

How to make and Storage
Whole dried allspice will keep indefinitely when kept out of light in airtight jars. It can be ground in a spice mill or an electric coffee grinder. The ground spice loses flavour quickly.

Uses
Jerked meats like pork, chicken and kid reflect the Spanish/Jamaican background of Allspice. It is a particularly popular spice in European cooking, an important ingredient in many marinades, pickling and mulling spices. Many patés, terrines, smoked and canned meats include allspice. A few allspice berries are added to Scandinavian pickled herring, to Sauerkraut , pickles, soups, game dishes and English spiced beef. Traditionally, allspice has been used in cakes, fruit pies, puddings ice cream and pumpkin pie. Some Indian curries and pilaus contain allspice and in the Middle East it is used in meat and rice dishes. It is also used in liqueurs, notably Benedictine and Chartreuse.
Allspice can be used as a substitute, measure, for measure, for cinnamon, cloves or nutmeg. Conversely to make a substitution for allspice, combine one part nutmeg with two parts each of cinnamon and cloves.

Medicinal Properties
Because of its eugenol content, allspice has attributes similar to clove. It is a digestive and carminative. The oil is classed as rubefacient, meaning that it irritates the skin and expands the blood vessels, increasing the flow of blood to make the skin feel warmer. The tannins in allspice provide a mild anesthetic that, with its warming effect, make it a popular home remedy for arthritis and sore muscles, used either as a poultice or in hot baths.

Plant Details and Cultivation
A tropical evergreen tree, growing 7 -13m (22-43 ft) in height. It has smooth grey bark, with elliptic, glossy leaves, dark green and glossy, up to 15 cm (6 in) long. It has small white flowers appearing in mid summer followed by green berries that turn purple when ripe. Trees are planted about 10m (30 ft ) apart, allowing room for a full canopy of fruit-bearing branches. Fruit starts to develop after about five years, and becomes full-bearing after twenty years.
These plantations are not called orchards, but ‘walks” and in the summer, when whole trees are blanketed in aromatic flowers, the ‘pimento walk’ was a stroll through the grounds. The botanist Patrick Browne wrote in 1755: “nothing can be more delicious than the odour of these walks, when the trees are in bloom, as well as other times; the friction of the leaves and small branches even in a gentle breeze diffusing a most exhilarating scent.
Berries are picked when they have reached full size, but before they can ripen. The height of the trees makes mechanizing the process difficult, so hand picking or pulling off branches is still common. Berries are then ‘sweat’ for a few days, then they are spread out on a concrete platform called a ‘barbeque’ where they are dried. Leaves from the male trees are also harvested for eugenol oil.

Various Different Names
English Spice, Jamaica Pepper, Clove Pepper, Myrtle Pepper, Pimenta, Pimento
French: pimenta, tout-épice
German: Jamikapfefer
Italian: pimento
Spanish: pimiento de Jamaica
Indian: kabab cheene, seetful

Click to learn more about Allspice ………………….(1).……...(2)..…..(3)

Source:encyclopedia of spices & http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail1.php

Enhanced by Zemanta

Your weight can affect earning power

LONDON: Piling on the pounds is not only bad for health it can have a negative impact on earning power. Just a 10% increase in body mass index, a measure of weight relative to height, can cut a man’s real earnings by 3.3% and a woman’s by 1.8%, economists said on Wednesday.

Research from nine European countries shows the negative impact of weight on wages is stronger in the “oil belt”nations which include Spain, Greece, Italy and Portugal.

But in the so-called “beer belt” countries of Austria, Ireland, Denmark, Belgium and Finland gaining weight does not have a significant effect on salary.

“We find that BMI affects wages negatively in Europe, and that the size of this effect is larger for males than for females,”said Giorgio Brunello, an economist at the University of Padova in Italy.

But he does not know whether it is due to discrimination against the overweight and obese or to health problems or depression that may limit their productivity.

BMI is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared. A BMI between 20-25 in normal, 25-30 is pre-obese and more than 30 is obese.

Public health experts have warned that Europe is facing an obesity epidemic that will increase health costs and hamper economic development.

Up to 23% of men and as many as 36% of women in Europe are obese. It is also a growing problem in children.

Brunello and Beatrice D’Hombres of the European Commission, Joint Research Center in Ispra, Italy used information from the European Community House Panel, which is a comparative dataset, in the study published in the journal Economics and Human Biology.

“Our results point out that heavier European workers experience a wage penalty in the labor market,”Brunello said.
The researchers said their findings are in line with the results of a recent survey of Europeans that shows Southern Europeans place a higher concern on gaining weight.

Neville Rigby, the director of Policy and Public Affairs at the International Obesity TaskForce in London, said the findings need to be looked at more closely.

“What is being shown is that there is an income gradient which relates to obesity in the same way that other factors do,”he added.

“If it is perceived that people are more concerned about overweight and obesity in certain areas it may well relate to the fact that they are becoming more aware of the health consequences,”he added.

Source:The Times Of India