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Docs caution WC watchers
Published on 24 Jun. 2010 12:15 AM IST
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As the country’s soccer crazy fans get hooked to the FIFA World Cup, medical practitioners have cautioned that a balanced diet and adequate sleep are a must to cope with the rigours of the late night schedule of the globe’s biggest gala.
With many of the matches - particularly those involving the big teams - scheduled for a midnight start as per Indian time, football fans are cutting short their sleeping hours and even skipping dinners to watch their favourite teams and players in action. With the biological clock disturbed, health is becoming a casualty.
“That football fans will watch the World Cup this is quite natural. But at the same time, they should maintain a proper diet and ensure adequate sleep, so that the late night schedules don’t affect their health,” Bani Prasad Chatterjee, a general physician, told IANS.
The sudden change in the normal food habits have already led to complaints of stomach ailments and indigestion.
“It’s really exciting to watch Lionel Messi and Kaka in action. But after staying up late every night for the past 10 days I am now having stomach problems and indigestion,” said Prasenjit Adhikary, a sales executive.
“Persons who suffer from stomach ailments should try to avoid watching late night matches. And whoever suffers acidity should not skip or delay dinner in the excitement of watching the matches,” said Sujoy Maitro, a gastroentologist.
Cardiologists and endocrinologists recommend that elderly people who either have cardiac problems or diabetes should stay away from watching the late night matches. And if at all they cannot but stay up till the wee hours, they should make up for the lost rest in the daytime.
“Elderly cardiac patients should also avoid fatty foods, and should have proper amount of rest. Have light food,” said Prabir Kumar Banerjee, a cardiologist.
Swapan Kundu (65), a diabetic residing in central Kolkata, found Sunday that his sugar level had shot up.
“For the last few days I am watching the late night games. It has taken a toll on my regular sleeping hours and in turn has increased my sugar level,” said Kundu, a great admirer of Messi.
In Kolkata, the most soccer crazy city in India, bleary-eyed people are now a common sight in the morning hours at markets and offices. Even lot of shops also open late with their owners trying to catch up with a couple of hours of extra sleep in the morning. At street corners and malls, the main topic of conversation is also the World Cup.
Spandan Bhaduri, a diabetologist, echoes Banerjee in advising patients that they should take adequate rest in the daytime. Dieticians warn that staying away for long hours at night may lead to dehydration.
“Lots of water, homemade fruit juice and coconut water should be taken in large quantities to prevent dehydration.
“At the same time, hard drinks and junk food should be avoided. Dinner should be taken in time and before going to sleep a glass of skimmed milk is good for health,” said Somwrita Mitra, a dietician.

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