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‘Onus on parents to prevent children from eating junk food’
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‘Onus on parents to prevent children from eating junk food’

Post by on Tuesday, July 6, 2021

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The balance between mind and body are prerequisite towards enabling yourself to work at full capacity. In this regard, diet plays a pivotal role. For an individual, it is essential to know what to eat in order to meet correct nutrition requirements. And more importantly, an array of health issues is corrected by proper diet. To address what should be consumed and how, we have a nutritionist Beenish Zohra, on board who spoke to reporter Lubna Reshi about varied issues viz health, lifestyle and nutrition. 
Tell our readers about yourself? 
Well, I'm from Srinagar currently based in Noida. I have done my masters in food and nutrition from Noida and currently I'm pursuing Phd in the same stream. I'm quite a sporty person who goes paragliding whenever I get a chance to. I read a lot and keep myself updated about nutritional guidelines and knowledge. 
What made you consider a career in nutrition?
I have always been fascinated with science, though I didn't want to be a doctor but I was interested in how food is affecting our body at molecular level, how our metabolism works, how we react to food and everything about food and body would fascinate me so that's how I landed up here. 
I have been practicing in different hospitals and with people from all over the world since 2015. Till recently, I was associated with Max hospital in Saket, Delhi and right now I'm focusing on giving online consultations, in addition to working on my thesis. 
What aspects of nutrition do you feel are most important to address?
Food is very important for everyone. In the pandemic, it became important since food helps you in the recuperating process. Whatever a person eats affects his health and mind. My focus has always been prescribing right food to the people because you are whatever you eat. 
How do you deal with clients of different age groups? 
People from all ages and fields are my clients. I design the nutritional needs of people in a way that will modify their life. I look for ways where they lead a disease free life. Prevention of disease is one the most important factors of my dealing with people. I have clients who suffer from terminal illness but they want to minimise their symptoms with proper food so that is where I help them. There are people who come for weight loss then there are those for example who want to get rid or keep themselves safe from cardiovascular diseases. People want to go for better food choices so that their lives are not at stake anyhow. I have been dealing with pediatrics health, onco nutrition, hypertension etc. 
What regimen should one follow to lead a healthy life? 
Over the years there have been a lot of lifestyle changes, people have been eating all kinds of food - good or bad etc but now there is a gradual shift. People now want to be active and fit plus lead a stress free life. There is competition at every level; everyone wants to be mentally and physically attractive but if you have a good lifestyle, you will be disease free and will have a good life to lead. One thing I prefer to everyone is morning exercise, it has an immense effect on your overall well-being. We should go for a healthy choice of meals and watch whatever we are eating. In addition to planning your diet, you should also plan your diet with your nutritionist. 
What's your take on Kashmiri diet? 
Kashmiris should include a variety of food in their diet; it's not if we are eating rice so we should eat rice only. We usually have a habit of consuming over cooked vegetables in small quantities, which should be otherwise. We must and must consume a lot of vegetables. The ratio for rice and vegetables should be 1:1. Besides that education is very important, we need to educate people about proper nutrition. 
Are you finding any change in Kashmiri lifestyle? 
Times are changing, people are coming forward to seek nutritional suggestions. People ask me how to get in touch and seek consultations. Initially there were just a handful of dieticians but today there are so many and everybody is doing good. People in Kashmir are moving towards a better future. 
How should one get rid of junk addiction, mostly in children? 
I have been dealing with parents whose child are addicted to junk and have gone obese. Parents should eradicate junk from the lives of their child and for that matter everyone should. We should always try not to give junk to kids. From early days only a habit of eating homemade food should be inculcated in kids. Junk is prepared in bad oils and has a high amount of sugar in it, leading to obesity. Make your own snacks, prepare burgers at home. Educate your child about what's good for health and what's bad. You should avoid the 'once in a while won't affect my child' rule for even single consumption as it has its repercussions. 
Lastly, what are your future plans? 
Well after finishing my Phd, I want to return to my land and serve my people. 
Have you been associated with social work? 
Yes. I am associated with a lot of NGOs where we work on food, nutrition, awareness or pregnant ladies. I teach underprivileged kids. 

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