Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Stop Consuming Energy Drinks! Exclaim Top Cardiologists in Mumbai

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) claim that the concoctions of caffeine and ginseng are irrational and impermissible, as per the health standards. Three companies from Mumbai, Gurgaon and Pune have been cracked down.

The food safety regulators have banned the sale of few other products that has similar combinations and are categorized or promoted as fatigue reliever, alertness improver, tension and stress reliever. These beverages, available in small bottles and sachets, are generally consumed by youth as a fashion statement or health beverage.

"Adversarial effects" of concoctions of caffeine and ginseng - a compound extracted from a herb used for making Chinese medicine in tradition form, was the main reason cited by scientific panel, said FSSAI. This panel also warned that the effects can be fatal when consumed along with alcohol, as claimed by Canadian Journal of Cardiology. It warns that opposing effects has potential to trigger sudden cardiac deaths, when combined with alcohol or other drugs. FSSAI started cracking down on the manufacturers by making these letters; it sent these companies, public on its own website.

There are concerns raised by health activists regarding the regulation of ingredients of energy drinks in India. Caffeine content is the main concern. Generally caffeine content is regulated in carbonated beverages - 145 parts per million (ppm); however, for energy drinks there are no such regulations. In some of them, the content was as high as 320 ppm. Activists claimed that such drinks have high doses of caffeine and it can lead to serious adverse effects on health in long term.

FSSAI crack down came when the health activists were raising strong voice regarding ingredients regulation in such beverages. This crack down led to immediate ban of - Monster and Absolutely Zero manufactured by Monster Energy of India; Cloud 9 in different flavors made by Pushpam Foods & Beverages; Tzinga Lemon Mint, Tzinga Tropal Trip and Tzinga Mango Strawberry manufactured by Hector Beverages. In the notices sent out to these three companies, the dictum stated immediate stoppage of manufacture, sale and distribution.

A team of researchers and doctors have cautioned the about effects of such drinks on heart. In the paper published researchers have told that it is important to consult cardiologists before consumption. Cardiologists in Mumbai strongly support the research results. They claim that mixing caffeine, ginseng and alcohol or drugs have lead to cardiac arrests in young and healthy individuals. They urge the people to understand the lack of regulations on these high caffiene level beverages; and insist that parents should advise their children against its consumption. Further, cardiologists in Mumbai insist that there should be warning on the labels that "Consumption of energy drinks is risk to life."

Credihealth is a healthcare startup helping patients find the best doctors, hospitals, diagnostic centres among other medical facilities. No wonder its tagline is 'the healthcare answer'. Like the WED, Credihealth likes to run campaigns on all significant health days. Another feature of the health website is the health blog.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

What Is a Flipped Class?

In the traditional class, teachers spend most of the class time lecturing. Maybe 90% of the class time is spent on delivery and review of content, while 10% is spent on application of content. Clearly this is not an effective way of teaching.

In most cases, the teacher finds in the classroom different groups of students: struggling learners, middle group of learners, and high level learners. The middle group of students could follow along while the teacher explains the content. But there is a group of high level students who are not challenged to move forward. And finally, there are the struggling learners who are not receiving enough effective help to understand the content; in fact, they depend on their effort outside the class for applying the concepts given on the class. But this is almost impossible for them since they are easily distracted. It is evident that there is not enough time for effective differentiation in the classroom.

How to overcome these difficulties which represent the general case and to transform teaching and learning?

American teachers believe that "flipped learning" is the model of instruction that permits the student to being able to apply more information and do collaborative learning in the classroom. Then how to flip the classroom? This teaching method refers to the use of teacher-created videos on a media device which permit the student to watch the lesson online outside the class, freeing the students to have more time on application when they come into class.

Since home work and teaching are flipped, this is a real shift in efficiency in the classroom. Students take notes at home before class and prepare to participate in class activities. In other words, students come to school more prepared to apply what they have learned. And the teacher is allowed more time to individuated attention in classroom. In doing so, the students receive feedback right in the moment they need it. This method also opens more opportunities for collaboration among the students. When students watch the lecture videos outside of class (or in class), there is only 10% of class time allocated to watching and going through the instructional material, while 90% of the class time is spent on application of content, to promote effective learning.

Now all students could be engaged and challenged. As we can see, the deployment of technology goes hand in hand with collaborative learning and individualized education.

Marco Antonio Bomfoco, Ph.D., a Language and Literature expert, advocates for quality public education in an environment in which imagination and lifelong learning flourish. Marco Antonio wants every Brazilian child to have access to the highest quality education. He lives in Porto Alegre, in southern Brazil.