Did you know you’re addicted?

There are many habits that we develop, not realising when they turn into addictions. Not as fatal as drugs or alcohol, they can still play havoc with your system.


Are you always quick to pop a painkiller? Do you keep a stack of Disprin or Ibuprofen handy? You are not alone. This is growing addiction, especially amongst the youth. The composition of these drugs is such that they provide instant relief. Psychologist Varsha Pathak says, “People addicted to pain killers are stressed and resort to quick fixes, not wanting to face bigger issues.”

Harmful effects I Physician Dr Mukesh Sharma says, “Strong painkillers can cause serious stomach damage, irritable bowel or liver failure.”

Chewing gum

Do you chew gum constantly? Is it fast becoming an integral part of your workouts and official meetings? Chewing gum is a common addiction.

Harmful effects I The habit is especially harmful for growing kids as it affects their developing facial muscles. For adults too, nutritionist Shikha Sharma warns, “Chewing on something constantly activates saliva and gastric juices without really providing food to the body. The jawline is affected and your mouth feels dry after regular intervals.”

Flavoured milk additives/ Chocolate breakfast cereals

Is your kid lured to ‘health’ food by flashy commercials? Nutritionist Aishwarya Rajan says, “Kids have these food products for breakfast with milk and then tend to snack on them too.”

Harmful effects I She adds, “They contain preservatives. These tend to fill up their stomachs fast, giving them excess energy and then making them feel hungry soon.”

Aerated drinks (especially colas/lemon drinks)

Are your meals incomplete without a glass of cola?

Harmful effects I Diet consultant Shikha Sharma warns, “Contrary to popular perception, aerated drinks hamper digestion. It also leads to tooth decay.”

Dietary supplements

Do you start your day with dietary supplements, from proteins, high quality carbohydrates to creatine and amino mass? Dietary supplements are used especially by men to get that perfectly pumped up body.

Harmful effects I Dr Chitra Singh says, “Men don’t even see it as drug abuse. There are no health experts consulted either, apart from the gym instructor. Precautions are overlooked, for instance, consuming water to nullify its adverse effect on the liver.”

Coffee & tea

Can you imagine starting your day without bed tea? Tea and coffee are necessary evils in our life.

Harmful effects I Dr Veena Agarwal says, “Tea and coffee instantly stimulate the nervous system, heighten alertness and alleviate fatigue. People believe that these beverages activate the bowel system. But, caffeine dehydrates the body, causing loss of essential minerals.” Should this habit be kicked instantly? Nutritionist Aishwarya says, “Wean it off or it may lead to withdrawal symptoms like headaches, irritability and nausea. Move on from coffee to tea, then to green tea and eventually hot water.”

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