Story of Unlabeled drugs and Fraud In name of Ayurvedic treatment

         A myth, that any plant extracted drug is useful, free of side effects, is a belief ingrained deep in the minds of people. Such unscrupulous advice is followed blindly without even verifying the authenticity of the source. A hope of miracle is flashed to patients who have been given a “no hope” by scientific medicine, are an easy prey for such fraudsters.

   Another major problem is that medicines and syrups distributed in such manner are without name of drug, contents and doses. It is not uncommon to get lethal substances like steroids, hormones and heavy metals in dangerous doses.  

     Ayurvedic medicines and practitioners  belong to a  stream, also based on a  science. The medicines and treatment has to be  controlled and regulated in the same way, as for allopathic  stream.  So that criminals, who are not trained in ayurvedic stream can not play with lives of gullible people, giving them false hope.  Such acts  are  real crime to society, done with an intention to cheat rather than treating them.

   Any one distributing medicines or medical advice of any kind, has to be registered with a council, for those particular medicines. advertisement of such drugs or products should be on some scientific basis.

Regulating Ayurvedic medicines and practice will help  not only the genuine  Ayurvedic  doctors but also go a long way  in benefiting the ancient system of medicine and promote research.  

  Following may be just one of the cases, millions may remain unnoticed.

False ayurveda hopes to the hopeless

Tarun Mandal has spent almost all of his savings trying to get his son, suffering from acute jaundice since his birth, treated for the past one and a half years. A desperate Mandal recently paid a youth Rs 65,000 for an ayurvedic cure. However, his wife’s suspicion about the ‘gold ash’ tasting like churan led cops to an inter-state racket cheating terminally ill patients with a promise of cure. Mandal, who sells food items on a cart at the Sarojini Nagar market, was not the only one to fall in the trap. Cops have found at least 40 people who had been duped by the gang. Most of the victims are family members of children from different states getting treated in the capital’s top government hospitals.
“I gave away all my savings to them. They even guaranteed that all my money would be returned if the medicines failed. But when I went back to the same shop, they refused to recognise me,” said Mandal, who has already spent Rs 2 lakh and needs more money for a surgery.
The gang has also duped the grandfather of a seven-year-old thalessemia patient from Uttarakhand.

other incident dangerous chemicals in alternate medicines

The Story of Faulty Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Hip Implant

Govt to track patients with faulty J&J hip implant to ensure compensation

Close to 4,700 people with damaged hip joints in India received the implant before 2010, when it was recalled, of which only 1,080 were tracked and compensated.

   The Union health ministry will establish committees at the Central and state levels to track and compensate patients who received a faulty artificial hip implant that was recalled worldwide by the manufacturer Johnson & Johnson (J&J), in 2010.

Close to 4,700 people with damaged hip joints in India received the implant before 2010, when it was recalled, of which only 1,080 were tracked and compensated. Of them, 275 underwent revision surgeries.

Following complaints from patients, the health ministry set up an 11-member committee on February 7, 2017, to investigate patient complaints of adverse events against J&J’s metal-on-metal Articular Surface Replacement (ASR) hip implant devices — XL Acetabular Hip System and Hip Resurfacing System.

The committee  submitted its report on February 19, 2018. It said specialists must assess cases individually for treatment and compensation of at least Rs 20 lakh.

In November last year, the federal jury in Dallas had ordered J&J and its DePuy Orthopaedics unit to pay $247 million to six patients for not warning patients about the potential risks of the defective design of the metal-on-metal hip implants .

The committee at the state level will be tracking the affected patients. These cases are old and hospitals don’t have data available on them; close to 100 hospitals were approached but there was no data. State governments will be widely advertising the move to see that affected people approach them,” said a senior official, requesting anonymity.

Each case will be physically and clinically assessed by the state government committee to determine the degree of disability and refer to the central government committee to decide on the compensation amount.

In it response J&J said: “DePuy has fully cooperated with the expert committee in their investigation of the ASR matter. However, the Expert Committee Report has not been provided to the company for review to date, so it would be inappropriate for us to comment on it. We would like to reiterate that we have furnished full facts and data available with us to the expert committee.”

Metal on metal implants are rarely used now, say orthopaedic surgeons. “Metal-on-metal hip implants have been largely discontinued because of the associated complications. With other implants, the revision surgery rate would be around 3-5%, but with this particular brand, it was a higher 10-12 percent.

People complain of pain, which is largely due to loosening of the implant and wear and tear of the metal that would cause collection of metal in the body that it would react to. Another  available implant is ceramic cross-linked with plastic polyethylene socket, where head ball is of ceramic and socket of polyethylene.

After years of testing, ASR was imported and marketed in India and in various countries around the world, with all regulatory approval and permissions as were then applicable. After it was on the market, DePuy continued studying and closely watching how the device was performing and in August 2010.  DePuy issued a voluntary recall of the ASR Hip System after receiving new information from the UK National Joint Registry.

It immediately informed the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) about the voluntary recall. Since then, we have kept the DCGI informed of all key actions and worked to provide Indian patients and surgeons with the information and support they need, in line with government requirements.”

Report finds hazardous chemicals in crayons: may cause breathing difficulties and cancer in kids

The innocuous looking items of daily use may contain hazardous chemicals. Unless these items are honestly checked and contents known, any of these can be dangerous. Users are usually unaware of the complex risks associated with simple items. Here are examples of crayon and water bottles containing dangerous chemicals.

  • The US Public Interest Research Group has just released its annual back-to-school report 
  • It found trace amounts of asbestos in Dollar Tree’s Playskool crayons
  • Asbestos has been linked to mesothelioma, a potentially deadly cancer of the lungs’ lining
  • Scientists are unsure if the chemical is in the crayons’ wax or paper wrappers
  • Carcinogenic chemicals were also found in one brand of binder and two kinds of dry erase markers 
  • Lead was once again found in two previously recalled water bottles  


Researchers found trace amounts of the toxic mineral in Dollar Tree’s Playskool crayons, and toxins in at least three other products.

Asbestos is a well-known carcinogen that has been blamed for thousands of cases of mesothelioma.

Just three years ago, low levels of the harmful substance were found on not one but several major brands of crayons – including Crayola and Rose Art – but one brand still could pose a risk to young children.

The US Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), which just released its report of toys and school supplies, says that finding asbestos in only one crayon brand is progress – but several other back-to-school basics may still be unsafe.

Playschool crayons, were found to contain trace amounts of asbestos, a chemical known to cause mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs

Mass production and plastic help to keep back-to-school expenses to a minimum, but parents still need to be cautious of what products end up in their children’s backpacks.

Without fail, a number of products make it onto the PIRG’s naughty list each year.

Crayons are chief among these.

Trace amounts of asbestos fibers frequently find their way into the coloring tools, which are marketed as being made for small children.

Waxy crayons are not sharp and break easily, so they pose a somewhat lesser risk of stabbing, scratching and choking incidents when in the hands of tots.

But somehow, asbestos commonly finds its way into the products, though the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (USPSC) has yet to work out whether that danger comes from the wax itself or crayons’ paper wrappers.

Tiny, fine asbestos fibers can get lodged in the lining of the lungs, where they corrupt cells and can lead to breathing problems and cause a high-fatality cancer, mesothelioma.

The naturally occurring mineral is fire resistant and impervious to damage from many chemicals.

This discovery led to its inclusion in household insulation and many products beginning in the 1850s. But as early as the 1920s, scientists noticed a trend in early cancer deaths among those who were frequently exposed to the material.

By the 1980s and 1990s it was solidly linked to mesothelioma and banned in many countries, including the UK.

The US stopped short of outlawing asbestos, however, and trace amounts of the tightly controlled chemical still appear periodically in certain products and places, though it is now disallowed from school buildings.

But the new report suggest that while the school structures may be certifiably safe, asbestos could be sneaking in with school supplies.

Crayons are in many ways ideal implements for young children because children under-fives who tend to use their entire arm when they color.

Public Interest Research Group also found phthalates – chemicals linked to asthma, obesity and reproduction issues – in Jot Binders and carcinogens in Expo white board markers

And, worst comes to worst, if a child does decide to turn his artistic instrument into a snack, crayons are fairly non-toxic.

That is, when they don’t contain asbestos.

Dollar Tree spokesperson Randy Guiler told Daily Mail Online that the company was ‘aware of the report,’ and has since’re-verified that each of the listed products successfully passed inspection and testing.’

The product safety group also found worrisome chemicals in three ring binders, dry erase markers and two water bottles that had previously been recalled by the USCPS.

Phthalates were found in Jot binders, also sold at Dollar Tree. This set of chemicals helps to give plastic products their flexibility.

There is still some uncertainty surrounding the health effects of phthalates, but scientists have found possible links between the chemicals and everything from asthma to obesity, low IQ to reproduction issues.

Both the LL Bean GSI Outdoors Children’s Water Bottle and the Reduce Hydro Pro Furry Friends bottles, had previously recalled for their high lead contents. The PIRG’s report warned that they still do, and can still be purchased.

The health effects of phthalates are still not entirely clear, and exposure happens when people drink or eat something out of a plastic container that contains the chemicals, so as long as children are not licking their binders, the risk is probably low.

In addition to these products, Expo’s dry erase markers, as well as those made by The Board Dudes were found to contain several carcinogenic chemicals, including benzene, xylene and toluene. 

Two children’s water bottles were found to still be on the market and still contain dangerously lead, even after the USCPS recalled the two products.

Though the notion of toxins in products made specifically to be safe for children is unsettling, this year’s list of dangerous back-to-school products is encouragingly short.



Viagra & anaesthetic drug sold as herbal alternative medicines

This news in Times of India  is just an tip of the iceberg, the reality  of alternative medicine  industry. Toxic substances being sold at exorbitant prices  labelled as herbal substances can be unmasked only if checked  and controlled strictly.  Gullible masses consume these substances without knowing the right dose or right drugs thinking them as herbal products . Assumptions that they are free from side effects is another myth, that goes unsaid.

MUMBAI: The Aurangabad division of FDA has found sildenafil citrate, commonly known as Viagra, and a short-acting anaesthetic drug in two alternative  medicines meant to increase sexual desire and potency that were randomly tested for quality recently. The worrying finding has prompted the drug regulatory body to issue a statewide circular asking its officials to seize any available stock of these drugs- Power up capsules and Tiger king cream. The containers of both the alternative medicines didn’t mention the allopathic components sildenafil and anaesthetic drug (lignocaine hydrochloride), giving rise to fear of serious health consequences in people who might consume them unknowingly. Viagra, in particular, which is given for erectile dysfunction, is supposed to be taken only when prescribed by a specialist as it can react with other ongoing medications and give rise to life-threatening complications. In July, FDA officials raided the office of Srishti Unani Medicine Agency in Aurangabad and found stocks worth Rs 16,000 that had arrived from Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh. Tests revealed each Power up capsule contained 49.45mg of Viagra, while Tiger king cream had a significant amount of lignocaine hydrochloride, though only the herbal components were mentioned in the packing material.

The spurious drugs were manufactured in violation of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. “We will lodge an FIR against Naman India, the UP-based manufacturer, that has been selling these drugs in the name of herbal medicine to gullible consumers,”, joint commissioner, FDA, Aurangabad. He said the department is yet to establish where these drugs were supposed to be distributed, but there is demand from across the state. It was during a raid in the city sometime in 2015 when the department woke up to rampant adulteration of so-called alternative  medicines with allopathic drugs. An official said it was an “industry worth millions” that clandestinely ran out of Tier-2 and 3 cities or slums in metros. “Under the Act, manufacturing of alternative  drugs needs a licence, but there are no legal provisions for distribution and supply. So monitoring becomes a challenge,” said an FDA official. Medically, doctors say, such rackets are not just about making spurious drugs and making a quick buck but messing with people’s lives. “It’s a menace that has existed for years unchecked. Alternative  practitioners charge exorbitant sums for these  medicines that illegally contain sildenafil, which otherwise costs just Rs 30-40 when sold as an allopathy drug.

Homosexuality not a psychiatric disorder:Indian Psychiatry Society (IPS) . criminalization affects mental health: Supreme court


The Indian Psychiatry Society (IPS) said homosexuality was not a psychiatric disorder. Coming out in support of decriminalising homosexuality, the IPS said in a statement on Saturday that it recognised “same- sex sexuality as a normal variant of human sexuality much like heterosexuality and bisexuality”. “There is no scientific evidence that sexual orientation can be altered by any treatment and any such attempts may, in fact, lead to low self-esteem and stigmatisation of the person,” the society added. The IPS had, in 2017, constituted a task force on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. The task force, now partially reconstituted, continues its work to endorse the stance that homosexuality “should not be considered a mental illness, much less a crime”. It also said its position was in line with that of the American Psychiatric Association and the International Classification of 7/12/2018 Homosexuality not a crime, says Indian Psychiatry Society . Diseases of the World Health Organisation which removed homosexuality from the list of psychiatric disorders in 1973 and 1992 respectively. In 2009, the Delhi High Court had decriminalised Section 377, an order that was set aside by the SC in 2013. In January, the apex court said it would revisit the constitutional validity of Section 377 and referred the matter to a constitution bench.


The Supreme Court said  “Once the criminality of consensual gay sex goes away, then related issues like social stigma and discrimination against the LGBTQ community will also go” . Observing that an environment has been created in the Indian society over the years that has led to deep-rooted discrimination against the community, a five-judge constitution bench, hearing petitions seeking decriminalisation of 158-year-old colonial law under Section 377 of the IPC, said discrimination against such people has also adversely impacted their mental health.

The bench then said the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) community faced the stigma because of the criminality attached to consensual same-sex relationship. “Once the criminality (under section 377) goes, then everything will go (all the bars, social stigma and others),” the benchsaid. “Over the years, we have created an environment in the Indian society which has led to deep-rooted discrimination against people of same sex involved in a consensual relationship and this has impacted their mental health also,” the bench said on the third day of crucial hearing to decide the constitutional validity of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).


Section 377 refers to ‘unnatural offences’ and says whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to pay a fine. Referring to the provision of the Mental Health Care Act, the bench said, “it also recognises the fact that such persons cannot be discriminated against on the ground of sexual orientation”.


On Wednesday, the government had left it to the apex court to test the constitutional validity of section 377 of the IPC which criminalises “consensual acts of adults in private”, urging that issues like gay marriages, adoption and ancillary civil rights of LGBTQ should not be dealt by it.  Govt leaves it to SC’ wisdom to decriminalise gay sex Taking note of the Centre’s submission that other issues like gay marriages, adoption and ancillary civil rights of LGBTQ community should not be dealt, the court said it was not considering all these issues. The bench had said it would test the validity of the law in relation to the consensual sexual acts of two adults and if it decides to strike down the penal provision then it would remove “ancillary disqualification” of LGBTQ community members who can join services, contest elections and form associations. There are  reports of Indian and American psychiatric bodies and said homosexuality was a normal sexual orientation.


India expenditure on health 1 %, of GDP, Lower than Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka

  •  India’s per capita public expenditure on health increased from Rs 621 in 2009-10 to Rs 1,112 (around $16 at current exchange rate) in 2015-16
  • According to National Health Profile (2018), around 43 crore individuals or 34% of the population were covered under any health insurance in 2016-17

It is not difficult to diagnose the ailments of health system. System that requires more input, is suffering  due to  decades of neglect.  It  reflects  a lower priority to health sector.

India’s public health expenditure — 1% of its gross domestic product (GDP) — may have witnessed a marginal improvement from 0.98% in 2014, but it is still way behind even the low-income countries that spend 1.4% on an average, shows National Health Profile 2018.

India is spending even less than some of its neighbors countries such as Bhutan (2.5%), Sri Lanka (1.6%) and Nepal (1.1%), according to the annual report released on Tuesday by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence, the health intelligence wing of the directorate general of health services in the Union ministry of health and family welfare.

In World Health Organization’s South-East Asian Region, which includes 10 countries, India finishes second last, above only Bangladesh (0.4%), when their health expenditure is compared. Maldives spends 9.4% of its GDP to claim the top spot in the list, followed by Thailand (2.9%).

India’s National Health Policy 2017 proposes raising the public health expenditure to 2.5% of the GDP by 2025.

India currently spends a little over 1% of GDP on health, far below Singapore which has the lowest public spend on health at 2.2% of GDP among countries with significant universal health coverage (UHC) service, according latest National Health Profile (NHP) data.

India’s per capita public expenditure on health increased from Rs 621 in 2009-10 to Rs 1,112 (around $16 at current exchange rate) in 2015-16. However, it is still “nominal”, compared to other countries. Switzerland spends $6944 on health per capita, whereas the US spends $4802 and UK spends$3500.

Government  plans to launch its ambitious National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS)- Ayushman Bharat – to cover over 10 crore poor families with an annual health cover of Rs 5 lakh per family. A successful implementation may bring some positive change to the ailing system.

Real challenge is to provide basic health facilities to remote areas.  Even good preventive care and primary care to under privileged can also  bring a significant change.


Digital Gaming addiction defined as a mental disorder by World Health Organisation

  • WHO described the addiction as a “pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour” that becomes so extensive it “takes precedence over other life interests”
  • Gaming disorder can lead to disturbed sleep patterns, diet problems and deficiency in physical activities


Digital Gaming  Addiction

Although   substance addiction with  drugs or alcohol is well recognized, newer  addictive behaviors are now being realized as well. As  digital and vedio gaming has been quite popular now, compulsive gaming and  severe withdrawal symptoms in game addicts are getting commoner. A child/ adult needs more of a  game  to keep him going. If the child does not get more of the game, he becomes irritable and miserable.

If parent try to prohibit gaming, children exhibit  anger, violence, or depression. The children cry, sit in the corner and cries, refuses meals or sleep.

For  compulsive gamers, it is  the fantasy world that makes them feel better.

The lure of a fantasy world is especially pertinent to online role-playing games. These are games in which a player assumes the role of a fictional character and interacts with other players in a virtual world. As  A child can  show his dominance in the game. There fore virtual life becomes more appealing than real life.

possibility of harm: gaming addiction can ruin lives. Children who play few hours per day have  no time left for socializing, studies, or sports. Social development is poor.

In older people or adults  it can have effect on professional life and relationships.


Warning signs for  gaming  addiction include:  The important  issue here is  whether one is  able to control  gaming activity or not:

  • Playing for increasing amounts of time
  • Thinking about gaming during other activities
  • to choose gaming to escape from real-life problems, anxiety,  depression
  • Lying to friends and family to conceal gaming
  • Feeling irritable when trying to cut down on gaming

Gaming addicts tend to become isolated, giving up other hobbies and  withdrawn from other activities.

Parents need to be careful

Parents need to be careful and not take it as another routine phase of childhood.  Keep  track of  child’s gaming behavior, including:

  • for how long and frequently  the child plays.
  • Problems resulting from gaming
  • How the child reacts to time limits

to get rid of the game addiction, these children need to be taught about the advantages of real life excitement as opposed to online achievements.

Addiction to digital and video gaming has been classified as a mental health disorder by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in its new International Classification of Diseases (ICD).

The agency described the addiction as a “pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour” that becomes so extensive it “takes precedence over other life interests

The classification is aimed at alerting health professionals and systems to the existence of this condition and ensuring that people suffering from these conditions can get appropriate help.

Gaming disorder” has three main characteristics. One, that the gaming behaviour takes precedence over other activities to the extent that other activities are pushed to the periphery.


If the condition leads to significant distress and impairment in personal, familial, social, educational or occupational functioning.

Gaming disorder can lead to disturbed sleep patterns, diet problems and deficiency in physical activities.

The 11th edition of ICD covers 55,000 injuries, diseases and causes of death. Researchers across the world use it as reference for data, whereas doctors and other medical practitioners use it to diagnose disease and other conditions. The ICD is also used by health insurers in some countries to claim reimbursements based on ICD coding.

Besides, the classification is used by national health program managers; data collection specialists; and others. The new ICD-11 also reflects progress in medicine and advances in scientific understanding.

Smoking in moderation also carries significant risk: World No Tobacco Day

Tobacco and heart disease

Every year, on 31 May, WHO and partners mark World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), highlighting the health and other risks associated with tobacco use, and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.

The focus of World No Tobacco Day 2018 is “Tobacco and heart disease.” The campaign will increase awareness on the:

  • link between tobacco and heart and other cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including stroke, which combined are the world’s leading causes of death;
  • feasible actions and measures that key audiences, including governments and the public, can take to reduce the risks to heart health posed by tobacco.

World No Tobacco Day 2018 coincides with a range of global initiatives and opportunities aimed at addressing the tobacco epidemic and its impact of public health, particularly in causing the death and suffering of millions of people globally

 Tobacco endangers the heart health of people worldwide

Tobacco use is an important risk factor for the development of coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.

Despite the known harms of tobacco to heart health, and the availability of solutions to reduce related death and disease, knowledge among large sections of the public that tobacco is one of the leading causes of CVD is low.

Facts about tobacco, heart and other cardiovascular diseases

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) kill more people than any other cause of death worldwide, and tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure contribute to approximately 17% of all heart disease deaths. Tobacco use is the second leading cause of CVD, after high blood pressure.

The global tobacco epidemic kills more than 7 million people each year, of which close to 900 000 are non-smokers dying from breathing second-hand smoke. Nearly 80% of the more than 1 billion smokers worldwide live in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is heaviest.

  • Of the nearly 7 million who die each year due to tobacco-related causes, 6 million die from direct tobacco use
  • Another 890,000 are victims of second-hand smoke
  • Roughly half of those who lose their lives to tobacco each year succumb to cardio vascular diseases

Tobacco kills almost 7 million people across the world every year and nearly a million of them are not even smokers. It also costs the world about $1.4 trillion annually in healthcare costs related to tobacco-attributable diseases and in lost productivity due to death and illness.

Of the nearly 7 million who die each year due to tobacco related causes, 6 million die from direct tobacco use while another 890,000 are victims of second-hand smoke, according to the WHO estimates. Roughly half of those who lose their lives to tobacco each year succumb to cardio vascular diseases. In fact, tobacco is one of the major causes for heart diseases accounting for about 17% of all deaths due to them.

This is also true of non-smokers who die from exposure to tobacco smoke. Of the economic costs, around $400 billion is in direct medical care costs and nearly $1 trillion is in indirect costs, representing the value of lost productivity due to premature death and morbidity from exposure to second-hand smoke, the study estimated. The WHO material on tobacco has findings that may come as a surprise to many, particularly to those who use tobacco. For instance, it says that while there is some relationship between how much tobacco you smoke each day and the risk of heart diseases, it is not a linear one.

Thus, smoking even just one cigarette a day incurs half the risk of developing heart disease and stroke incurred by smoking a pack of 20 each day. In short, the idea of smoking in moderation is largely a myth. Similarly, the WHO concludes that there is no evidence to show that electronic nicotine delivery systems like e-cigarettes or vape pens are less harmful than smoking cigarettes in terms of the risk of heart disease.

This is despite the fact that on the whole such devices do contain fewer toxicants. The same caveats hold also for what are called heat-not-burn tobacco products. Another sobering fact is that despite tobacco being a major cause of heart attacks and stroke, a significant proportion of adults in several countries surveyed either do not know this or do not believe it. In India, for instance, 36% did not know or believe that smoking can cause heart attacks while 51% had similar disbelief or ignorance when it came to strokes. China was even worse with 61% of adults disclaiming knowledge of or belief in the connection between smoking and heart attacks and 73% in the connection with stroke. Like smoking, smokeless tobacco too is harmful and carries similar risk of cardio vascular diseases and stroke.
While smokeless tobacco is not a major issue in most parts of the globe, it is a widely prevalent form of tobacco use in parts of the sub-continent, like India and Bangladesh. Thus, while the prevalence of tobacco smoking is lower in India (particularly among women) than in many other large countries, those countries have virtually no use of smokeless tobacco. In India, in contrast, over a quarter of the adult population uses some form of smokeless tobacco.

Eating alone is Important cause of sadness?

As part of Sainsbury’s Living Well Index, developed in partnership with leading researchers Oxford Economics and the National Centre for Social Research, the retailer surveyed more than 8,000 British adults to investigate how people can live better day-to-day.

However, the data gathered inadvertently revealed that the mood of the nation has declined over the last six months with a drop of 0.5 points to an average of 60.7. While much of the drop appears to be linked to seasonal factors such as extreme weather and public transport chaos, the index discovered more surprising reasons for people’s unhappiness.

Interestingly, it found that eating meals alone is strongly associated with unhappiness  other  than having a mental illness. In this case, people who ate by themselves scored 7.9 points lower than the national average, compared with someone who always eats in company.
Mental health was found to have the strongest negative association with wellbeing, with those who reported conditions such as anxiety, depression, panic attacks or compulsive behaviour scoring 8.5 points below the average figure. Other issues associated with unhappiness included limited physical mobility where participants scored 5.4 points lower, while people with a learning disability scored 3.7 points lower.
Conversely, eating with others had one of the highest positive associations with wellbeing with a score 0.22 points higher, alongside having enough time to do enough time to things (0.36),a satisfactory sex life (0.44 higher) and sleeping well (0.93 points higher).
As such, the researchers say their findings highlight the importance of face-to-face contact with improved happiness. This is because other forms of social contact, including talking to neighbors and meeting with friends, were associated with higher happiness scores, while digital interactions such as social media, showed no association at all.


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