Lose weight the right way

As a nutritionist, I always try to read health-related reports. Gulf News has been publishing reports on obesity and how to “cut the fat”. Congratulations on your efforts at helping to create awareness amongst the general public. The cases that you published, however, highlight people who subscribe to crash diets coupled with rigorous exercise regimes. While this allows them to drastically lose weight over a short period of time it is not necessarily the healthiest way to lose weight. People who are of less than strong constitution or who have health risks may find themselves harmed rather than helped by the risks involved in reducing fat in such a manner. As a practising nutritionist, my suggestion would be to shed excess weight through low calorie diets and regular exercise routines, both done under professional supervision. Always lose weight slowly and steadily as this constitutes a more stable weight loss. Consuming only one or two food groups, for example, fruits only, during the whole day in meagre amounts, can put a person at severe nutritional risks. All the food groups in appropriate quantities should be included in meals to achieve a healthy and balanced diet. Individuals, especially youngsters, who are looking for a quick fix will be fascinated by the success stories that you have published. They may end up adopting the sort of regime described and this could be detrimental to their health, growth and development.

From Ms Nafeesa Ahmad

Closing time

I recently read about the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) shutting down villa schools by 2013. Some of the best schools in the US and the UK are housed in old palaces. A building is only one part of the equation. Not all villa schools are housed in old or unsafe buildings. Some are in facilities that utilise best practices and meet all health and safety requirements. Some are fully accredited and use new innovative programmes that many larger schools have yet to adopt. Why are these schools being targeted? Each school should be judged individually and not as part of a group. Closing down all villa schools will create a tremendous void in the market. Many families cannot afford the cost of larger schools. Villa schools were educating students at a time when very few choices were available. Thousands of students will be affected by this. Yet not many seem overly concerned. I do not understand why this is happening. Villa schools are not the enemy but actually play an important role. Closing good schools is not the answer.

From Ms Yohanna Al Hassan
Abu Dhabi

Enough suffering

My heart goes out to the people of Japan (“Japan begins to dig for dead amid nuclear crisis”, Gulf News, March 14). I haven’t been able to erase the horrifying images of the tsunami and the earthquake and its aftermath from my mind. It is all the more frightening now to think of the risks posed by radiation. The Japanese have suffered enough due to the ravages wreaked by the Second World War bombings and now they are being tested by Nature. Japan has contributed immensely to the realms of science, technology, industry and many more. It is time for the rest of the world to unite and come to the aid of our Japanese brethren. My prayers are with the people of Japan and hope they overcome this calamity and rebuild their nation once again.

From Ms Shiuli Dutt


My prayers are with the people of Japan. Only God can help, comfort and heal them during these difficult times. This is heart-breaking. May God shield us and protect us from any danger that may come our way.

From Ms Leah Ferrer

All the help is needed

I believe that all countries need to come to the rescue when this type of catastrophe happens to any country. Surely, as human beings, we can only have the utmost sympathy for Japan and anyone who is involved in this catastrophe. What is needed now is whatever assistance that the US can provide. One of the most powerful governments will probably have to launch a big spending round to make up for the damage. My heart goes out to the Japanese people and I deeply respect their resolve and calm in these incredibly difficult times.

From Mr Deepak Lall

All it takes is respect

It is the general attitude and civic-mindedness of the drivers that need to change in order to decrease the number of accidents (“Traffic accident rates drop by more than 10%”, Gulf News, March 14). I have 18 years’ worth of driving experience in the UK and I am thankful for it as I use everything that I have learned to stay safe on the roads. As a motorist, defensive driving, anticipation and general awareness of what is happening around you is very important. Consideration and respect to fellow drivers, which I think is lacking amongst most drivers, always help.

From Ms Mala Yousuf
Abu Dhabi

Don’t speed

I am glad to read that the accident rate has dropped by more than 10 per cent and the fatality rate fell by 14.49 per cent. I am really proud to say that during the past five years of driving in Dubai I have not caused an accident. However, my car was hit by another driver while I was waiting at a traffic signal. This brings me to my point that all drivers should slow down when coming close to a traffic signal. Many of the drivers accelerate to cross the intersection before it turns red. Then there is reckless driving on highways like Shaikh Zayed Road, where motorists change lanes without giving a signal. This is another cause of accidents. If all drivers adhere to the speed limit and have lane discipline, I am sure the accident rates would drop further.

From Mr Vinay Mahadevan