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Teenagers now-a-days are the most weight conscious people. They prefer going on various weird diets eating shells to salads to just shakes, either inspired by the models and actors or because of pressure from friends. But in order to achieve this so called perfect figure they end up starving their body of the required nutritious food. They don’t have proper guidance for taking up healthy diets. Basically it is because of the lack of knowledge of healthy lifestyle and needs of the body.
            I myself have been through this period of achieving a perfect figure and ended on bed in a hospital room on IV liquid. I followed a complete vegan diet, high protein diet or on no carb diet etc. The end resultsrsults were acceptable but have weakened my body as a complete balanced diet was something I never had. Recently I’ve encountered a few incidents where in I have seen both girls and boys vying with too for looking perfect. In my view it is totally wrong because firstly I believe that looking good is not important but being healthy is and moreover if one takes a properly balanced diet, they anyhow end up looking good too. And secondly the body’s requirements of nutritional needs differs from one individual to other. It also varies between boys and girls, and among girls too.
        So here I’ve come up with a few tips and guidelines for healthy lifestyle of teenagers especially, as they are the most nutrition deprived bunch of people. This article includes
                2.Nutritional Requirements.
                3.Food habits.
                              According to WHO, individuals between 10 & 19 years are considered as adolescents or teenagers. The period of transition from childhood to adulthood is called adolescence (teen years) wherein rapid physical, biochemical and emotional development occurs. There are many physical and mental changes which result due to the influence of hormones. It is during this period that the growth occurs rapidly with increase in height and weight. The growth rate of boys is slower than that of girls. However growth rate in boys maximum between 12-15 years and for girls it is 10-13 years.
                                                        Nutritional requirements can be basically discussed as energy, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals requirements.
                Energy needs increase with the metabolic demands of growth and energy expenditure. It is calculated in kilocalories. The calories requirement of both boys and girls from the age group 1-3 years and 7-9 years remains the same. But from 10 years the requirement changes for botj boys and girls. Boys require 2750-3020 kcal a day. Whereas girls require 2230-2330 kcal a day. This variation in requirement is because of growth and physical activity.
                 Protein needs represent 11-12% of energy intake. It is usually calculated as 1.2gm/kg of body weight separately for every individual. Due to maturation and puberty changes in both sexes the requirement of protein for both boys and girls. Boys require 55-60 gms a day and for girls it is 50-52 gms a day. In boys protein requirement increases for the building of body mass.
        Total fat intake should be less than 25%. Consumption of fat should be in moderate quantities be it saturated or not. For both boys and girls only 35-40 gms a day of fat consumption is recommended.
                   For the development of bones Vit.D is required and for the development of newly formed cells Vit.A, C & E are required. The expert committee recommended daily intake of 600ug of Vit.A and 400ug of Vit.D. (Ug=micro grams)
                    During teenage 800mg each of calcium and phosphorus are required daily. To avoid osteoporosis at later stages in life Ca and P in ratio of 1:1 should be maintained in the body. They are important for the proper development and growth of bones. In addition to this, in girls specifically an intake of 27ug of Iron a day is required. It is required to overcome the loss of iron in blood during menstrual cycle. Iron is needed for boys as well for muscle growth.
                          Teenagers have the reputation of having the worst eating habits. They tend to skip their meals especially breakfast. It is mostly girls who skip their meals more than boys. Due to physical and psychosocial pressure of friends especially girls show this bad eating habits. They infact follow unwise, self imposed crash diets to look good. By this they end up depriving the body of its required nutrients. Either they skip food or eat fast foods which are generally inadequate in Ca and Vit.A but high in calories, fat and sodium. The consumption of fast foods leads to several disorders in an individual.
             I thereby conclude that teenagers should wakeup out of their dream land where they look up at models, actors and aspire to become like them. But let me tell you, even they are human and for achieving those perfect results they work hard and most importantly consult best nutritionists to customise a perfect diet plan as per their body type and accordingly gain or lose weight by eating healthy.
            Check out my blog for the next edition wherein I am going to deal with the dieting guidelines for the proper diet of teenagers and also regarding the disorders which may occur if a healthy lifestyle is not maintained.
           Until then EAT HEALTHY,STAY HEALTHY!!

Tolerance gives Strength to The Society

         Being tolerant towards the rude and insensitive people of the society?? Argh!! This thought itself of enduring others seems so unimaginable. Although we ourselves are a part of the society. We together constitute the society, but the thought of changing our lifestyle, our way of living and behaving in the society so as to avoid any sort of inconvenience to the fellow beings never appeals to us. We are so full of ourselves that we never find any fault within us, rather we love to pinpoint the minutest mistakes of others. We don’t feel the need to help someone in bettering themselves. This makes them commit even more mistakes, mistakes which after sometime may become huge blunders which may prove to be fatal for the society as well.
                 In general terminology endurance means tolerance and fortitude means power. But how can the society gain power if its people become tolerant towards others?? This still remains a big question mark in the eyes of people from all walks of life. Some may consider it to be an useless thought, whereas some may not even be interested in sparing a thought at it. And henceforth,  all the individuals step back by being inconsiderate of it and the society drawns again in its inundated state. Later when the society sets back in its gloomy state we shamelessly make fun of it I.e., we make fun of the imperfect, uncivilised, illiterate people . While doing this we forget that in turn we are actually being hypocrites and making fun of ourselves. This hypocrisy prevails not only at workplaces, college campuses but also at schools, markets and sometimes across the borders too. It prevails between the classes of people, amongst the political parties, business tycoons and in short it is commonly witnessed in the high classes of society where the well educated, well mannered, sophisticated literates behave worse than the lower class illiterates. In today’s world they are the most immoral hypocrites of the society.
                 These high class people have an air of their own. They believe that money can fetch them everything. They consider themselves to be superior to others. Thereby never pay importance to learn the skill of being tolerant and patient towards others. In my opinion they are the impediments in the development of the nation.
                   If the people of upper class put forward their hand of friendship towards the lower class people and try to sympathize with them, then the people of lower class who are to be honest very humble and polite by narure, mostly return this gesture with their loyalty and thereby brotherhood prevails with peace in the nation. And if there is peace in the atmosphere automatically things fall in place, system gets organised and the development of the nation will reach new heights.
                     Basically this skill of being tolerant and patient towards others and being considerate of their wellbeing is to be instilled in children at young age either at their home or at school. Because it is a proven fact that things learnt or taught to the children at young age remains with them till their end. If these basic tips and importance of being tolerant towards others is taught to children, it not only proves to be beneficial for the children but also to the society, to the nation. As we believe that today’s children are the future citizens of the nation. And if these children are well educated and mannered then the development of the nation is guaranteed. Instead if they are not given proper provision of food, clothing, education and development, then the future coming society will remain in its doom state forever.
             Tolerance, patience, understanding and perseverance are all interrelated and if they are followed religiously then the success of each and every individual is possible. But ego comes in between and the people do not compromise or make adjustments to live accordingly with unity. Rather they end up throwing their own set of tantrums and fits leading to an even more vulnerable situation. Recollect the thought which we have been taught in our primary school that “united we stand, divided we fall.” Exactly this egotistical feelings bring about a set of differences leading to the division amongst ourselves. Therefore when we are divided it becomes easy for the opponent group or party to defeat us without much efforts . Hereby if we want our nation to stand strong, if we want our community to stand strong and lastly if we want our family to remain strong during the difficult times against the opponents, then we need to build up brotherhood and unity among ourselves so that we fight with more fortitude and expertise. And this unity can be achieved only if peace and love exists among the society. And how will the peace and love exist in the society?? Only when we are forgiving of others mistakes and learn to be tolerant of sometimes their rude, insensitive and immature behaviour.
                The thought of developing the fortitude of resisting the tantrums and fits of the society caused restless days and sleepless nights to me back when I was a young, immature kid. But now as time has passed, with every passing moment of my life, life has taught me various experiences which taught me the tactics of dealing with people and understanding the true meaning of tolerance.
                   If we start inculcating the skill of being tolerant towards our fellow beings be it at home, school or at office, we actually end up many problems and fits from arising . This in turn creates a peaceful atmosphere in the society and people can lead a life of tranquility.
                 Do remember my words,”How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic towards the starving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because one day you will, have or been all of these.”
               To provide a more clear and lucid picture of how tolerance strengthens the society. Let me quote an example from my life. It dates back to when I was a teenager, a high school student who loved playing cricket all day long just like any other normal teenager.
                I along with my group of friends used to play at a nearby ground. It was like a routine for us to play there daily. But once it so happened that a group of five boys came towards us. They mustn’t have been more than three to four years elder to us, but they were having heavily built up bodies. They used to take advantage of their strong personality and bully us for no reason. But I never fought with them, not because I was scared of them but because I was taught by my mother the importance of being tolerant towards the weak and strong as well. She explained to me how tolerance was strengthening for the society and preached in our religion.
                  I clearly remember my mother’s words, she narrated to me an incident witnessed by the Prophet (PBUH). The Prophet (PBUH) on his way used to pass by the house of a non Muslim lady. She used to throw thrash at him daily. But the Prophet (PBUH)  never objected or created a fuss about it. Rather it so happened that one day while he was passing by the lady’s house, no one threw thrash at him. This incident made him curious to know the reason behind the lady’s changed behaviour. So the Prophet (PBUH) made his way to the lady’s house and inquired about her, and came to know about her illness. Inspite of her ill behaviour the Prophet (PBUH) went and spoke to her politely about her health. This made the woman embarrassed of her acts, she apologised to the Prophet (PBUH) and converted to Islam. She was so moved when she learned about the teachings of tolerance in Islam. Therefore tolerance is an important aspect of our life even spiritually.
            One day while we were playing at our usual spot, l noticed that one of the elder boy’s was sitting out of the court and looking very sad and disappointed. When I required about the reason for his change in behaviour, I came to know that he had a fight with the remaining members of his group. They boycotted him from playing along with them. Hence he was sitting all alone sulking in pain.
            I felt bad for him and thought of going and offering him to play with us. Although he has always been rude and mean to me but I remembered the incident of the Prophet (PBUH) narrated by my mother. So, I went to him and offered to play with us. Initially he was perplexed to hear it coming from me, a boy to whom he has always been mean. But after a lot of insisting he finally gave in. He was embarrassed and apologised to us for his mistake. Later on he joined our group and started playing with us. He soon became a dear friend of mine and continues to be one till date.
               This incident clearly taught me that by tolerating the people of the society, we bring not only strength to the society but also peace and happiness to oneself.
  I truly believe and suggest that you should  do too, learn the skill of being tolerant towards the people of society and strengthening it for making a better place to live in. This would even bring about in the development of the nation, where all brothers and sisters live with unity.
        So start being tolerant and strengthen the society. Because until you have learned to be tolerant with those who do not always agree with you, you will be neither successful nor happy.
(Award Winning Article by Zeeshan Shams
(Preston University-Malir Campus)