Diet drinks, sugar free food more harmful, say PGI dieticians

Exhibition had several charts on display to educate people about the link between dietary habits and the heart.

Chandigarh | Updated: February 6, 2014 3:44 pm
Exhibition had several charts on display to educate people about the link between dietary habits and the heart. (Reuters) Exhibition had several charts on display to educate people about the link between dietary habits and the heart. (Reuters)

Sugar free food and aerated and diet drinks are the worst for your health, said dieticians at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical  Education and Research (PGIMER), on Dietetics Day.

Guiding people to stay healthy on the occasion, PGI’s dietetics department organised an exhibition ‘Health Healthy Living — The Dietary Way’ in the reception area of the Advanced Cardiac Centre.

Inaugurated by PGI Director Professor Y K Chawla, the exhibition had several charts on display to educate people about the link between dietary habits and the heart. While some depicted the role of breast feeding as the foundation for a healthy heart, others showed ways to avoid childhood obesity including emphasis on avoiding junk food and parental guidance for healthy eating.

Talking to Newsline, Mridula Wattas, a dietician at PGI said, “People choose diet drinks, aerated and energy drinks, but they are unaware that these are harmful for health. They have high caffeine content which causes high blood pressure.”

“Similarly, many people go for sugar substitutes that are equally harmful. One should not consume sugar substitutes or sugar-free diets popular in markets. Several studies conducted worldwide show that sugar substitutes have neurological side-effects,” she added.

Also, handouts for healthy school tiffins were distributed among parents.

“The foundation of a healthy heart begins from at birth itself. Breast feeding for six months after birth reduces the risk of heart diseases,” said Mridula Wattas.

Dieticians present at the occasion counselled parents to make sure that their children were not obese.

“Parents should not allow children to skip breakfast and should give them home-made food. They should ensure kids indulge in outdoor games instead of sitting in front of the TV,” a dietician added.

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