Thursday, April 26, 2007


Everytime I meet my friend’s who are working women, they complain about their food habits. They either don’t have time to eat, or eat junk food. Most of them complain that they don’t have time to eat. Those who live alone, don’t even bother cooking for themselves. They just grab a bite of whatever they find and that is invariably junk food. As a result of these bad eating habits they are all obese and were facing different kinds of health problems.
My urge to find a solution to this problem of working women took me to the office of Mrs Dharini Krishnan, a dietician who is the president of the Indian dietitics association. Dharini has done her bit of research on the diet of working women and has classified these working women into 3 classes-

1) School teachers- school teachers work from 8 to 3. They leave home as early as 7 in the morning. They therefore don’t have time to cook in the morning. They prepare the food at night and only boil rice or make chapathi’s in the morning. They grab a cup of coffee in the morning and head to work without having breakfast. They carry a tiffin with them. But they are hungry by about 11 and that is when they head to the canteen to eat a samosa or a puff and gulp another coffee. They have lunch at school and once they get home at 3 or 4 PM have a heavy snack. They cook dinner late, have a heavy dinner and go to bed directly. Eating a heavy dinner is not good according to Dharini and it is even worse to go to bed right after a heavy dinner.

2) The next category of working women are those who work 8 to 6 and travel far to reach their offices. These women too don’t have time to cook in the morning and leave home after having a cup of tea or coffee. They carry a small meal with them. But their mid morning snack is often an acidity causing samosa or a puff. They again get home and have a late dinner which is bad for health.

3) The last category of working women are those of work against the biological clock in BPO’s. according to Dharini these women have the worst life style ever. They leave for work at 8 in the night an return at 8 in the morning. To keep themselves awake all night they gulp several cups of tea and coffee. Since these are all young women who work in BPO’s, and they are earning big money every night is a party. Somebody or the other is treating the rest. So they have all junk food like pizza’s, burgers, cokes etc. they come home in the morning and sleep. They wake up at 2 in the afternoon and eat lunch. Again in the evening they are snacking before having dinner and heading to work. These women are prone to gaining weight easily.

According to Dharini, she has patients who have gained 6 to 10 kilos in a span of a few weeks because of wrong eating habits. She has a few useful tips to offer these working women-

1) DO NOT skip breakfast. It has been proved that those who skip breakfast have lower levels of performance at work place. Make sure you have a healthy breakfast. Even if you don’t have time make sure you have at least a cup of multi grain porridge or oats.
2) The mid morning snack should consists of fruits and vegetables or sprouts. If you are allergic to fruits, have a tomato cucumber salad or sprouted greens. NO samosa’s and puffs.
3) Lunch should be wholesome and consist of a cereal, 2 vegetables, rice and a gravy.
4) Limit the tea and coffee intake. Too much of caffeine is bad for health. Have tender coconut, butter milk etc instead of that.
5) Dinner should be light and consist of roti’s and vegetables. Those who can’t eat roti’s should have red rice or daliya.
6) NO junk food everyday. NO eating out everyday. Eating out once in a way is fine. But everyday, no way, you are ruining your health.

All you working ladies, if you think you can do away with eating junk just because you are working and have no time to cook, you are wrong. These little tips should help you improve and your eating habits and your health in turn.

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