Wednesday October 18, 2017

Children at Risk: Obesity is not limited to the Urban Rich of India

The average increase in BMI is 3.5 percent in which men accounts for just 2 percent increase in BMI while women for 4.3 percent

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Yogita, Harsh and Anisha are the three obese siblings with the staggering weight of 34 kgs (5.3st), 15 kgs (2.5st)and 48 Kgs (7.5st)respectively at their residence in Gujarat, India. Photography by: Tanzeel Ur Rehman/ Cover Asia Press
  • Obesity attracts cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Barker Hypothesis states that if an individual who are undernourished at time of foetal period suffers the problem in adult stage after becoming obese
  • Women between 25- 34 years of age are more prone to obesity as compared to all other ages

Obesity, commonly known as ‘Overweight’ has become a matter of concern in rural India. What’s worse? It has affected the children in particular that is not limited to the urban rich. Obesity is thought to be a disease by many but actually it is a symptom of several diseases and attracts numerous ailments like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Recent studies show that, rural India faced 8.6 fold increments in terms of obesity as compared to just 1.7 fold increment in urban India. To rate people healthy or unhealthy, BMI index is calculated. BMI index is the ratio of an individual’s height to his weight, mentions the Scroll.in report.

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An obese child in India. Image Source: Barcroft

A research by National Institute of Epidemiology in Tamil Nadu showed that young women are more prone to obesity than men. The average increase in BMI is 3.5 percent in which men accounts for just a 2 percent increase in BMI while women for 4.3 percent. Women between 25 to 34 years of age are more prone to obesity as compared to all other ages.

An obese girl in rural India. Image Source: Barcroft india

According to Scroll.in, a research in a village of Andhra Pradesh shows that 40 percent of its population is suffering from obesity while the number of underweight remains one third of the number of obese. The percentage of obese people is higher than that of prevalent in Punjab.

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Representational Image. Woman smoking. Image source: www.dailyjoint.com
Representational Image. Woman smoking. Image source: www.dailyjoint.com

One of the reasons of being obese is known as ‘thrifty phenotype’ or Barker hypothesis. It states that if an individual is undernourished at the time of foetal period, suffers the problem in adult stage after becoming obese. The other reasons that can be linked to obesity are frequent consumption of- alcohol, smoking, tobacco, sweets, food items including lots of fats, increment in the number of fast food shops, etc.

Obesity foundation of India. Image Source: obesityfoundationindia.com

To curb the problem of obesity, Government of India had come up with several campaigns to reduce weight and to aware people of its causes. One of the organization working towards it is, ‘Obesity foundation of India’ and is non profit in nature. It tries to curb influence of obesity by encouraging people to stop smoking.

Coke had recently launched ‘Live like Grandpa’ campaign. In March, it also came out with two other campaigns- ‘coming together’ which draws attention towards its low calorie drinks and ‘be Okay’, that makes people aware of the amount of calories contained in a can of Coca Cola.

-This report is compiled by a staff-writer at NewsGram.

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WHO Releases New Guidelines to Fight Global Childhood Obesity

India ranks second in the number of obese children in the world with China taking the first spot

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Obesity exposes an individual to multiple health problems. VOA

New Delhi, October 12, 2017:  In 2016, an Official data in had revealed that over 41 million children below the age of 5 were affected by obesity. Without due attention and efficient treatment, they are likely to remain obese throughout their lives, with an increased risk of developing a host of diseases and physical and psychological consequences like anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and even premature death.

In view of an escalating number of people constantly coming under the ambush of obesity, and with childhood obesity becoming a cause of worry globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) released new guidelines on October 4, emphasizing the growing importance of healthcare experts and professionals, underlining their positive role in helping kids and teenagers fight the global menace.

What is Obesity?

Obesity is defined as ‘excess adipose tissue’. In other words, it is a body-weight disorder involving excessive body fat that exposes an individual to multiple health problems.  In case a person’s body-weight is nearly 20 per cent higher than it should be, he is considered obese.

obesity
Excessive body fat that exposes an individual to multiple health problems. Pixabay

There are different ways to calculate excess adipose tissue, the most common one being the Body Mass Index.

Index :

Overweight – BMI greater than or equal to 25

Obesity – BMI greater than or equal to 30

Global Data

According to data obtained by WHO, one half of all overweight children or obese children lived in Asia, and one-quarter of the total obese children lived in Africa.

According to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine in June, India ranks second in the number of obese children in the world with China taking the first spot.

The global menace continues to rise rapidly in low and middle-income countries.

Also Read: Obesity leads to 13 types of Cancer, including that of Pancreas and Esophagus: Study

WHO Guidelines

The new report released by WHO on October 4 is titled ‘Assessing and Managing Children at Primary Healthcare Facilities to Prevent Overweight and Obesity in the Context of the Double Burden of Malnutrition’.

The report provides guidelines and updates for the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI). The guidelines attempt to confine the spread of childhood obesity from expanding further, and prescribe undertaking proper assessment of dietary habits along with weight and height measurements. It also recommends dieting and proper counseling by healthcare experts.

Recommendations by WHO

  • WHO has recommended that primary healthcare facilities should be made available to all children below the age of 5 years and infants. These should include measurement of both weight and height of the children to determine their weight-for height and nutritional status as previously defined by WHO child growth standards.
  • For children and infants identified as overweight, healthcare experts should provide counseling to parents and caregivers on nutrition and physical activity, which includes creating awareness about healthy practices like exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months and continuing the practice until 2 years or more.
  • WHO also prescribes that an appropriate management plan should be devised to counter the menace in obese children. This can be developed by a trained health worker at primary healthcare facilities, or local hospitals.

Healthy Eating Tips to Fight Obesity

Here are a few healthy eating tips that will not only help you maintain a healthy weight but will also prove be be beneficial for your metabolism, physical strength and general well-being,

  • Refrain from unnecessary indulgences or random snacking and encourage healthy snacking choices like popcorns, yogurt, fruits, etc.
  • Reduce your sugar intake to less than 10 per cent of the total calories for an individual with normal weight.

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Obese and binge eating junk food? Red Flag! Pixabay

  • Consume a gracious serving of seasonal vegetables and fruits everyday that are rich in soluble and insoluble fibres, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
  • Make healthy food selections- include whole grain products, avoid excessive use of oil and salt and refrain from processed or packaged food.
  • A balanced diet must be complimented with regular exercise to counter unnecessary weight gain

– prepared by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter @SohaKala

 

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Is Your Child Not Getting Enough Sleep Due to Early School Hours? He is at risk of Developing Depression and Anxiety, Says New Study

School timings not only affect the sleeping habits but also the daily functioning of the body, which can harm the child's physical and mental health

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Unhealthy sleeping patterns can lead to major health problems like obesity, heart disease and others in adulthood, Wikimedia

New York, October 9, 2017 : Is your child not getting ample sleep due to early school hours? Beware, your kid is more likely to develop depression and anxiety, warns a new study. The study reveals that children, who start schooling before 8:30 a.m., get insufficient sleep or barely meet the minimum amount of sleep, that is 8-10 hours, needed for healthy functioning of the body.

“Even when a student is doing everything else right to get a good night’s sleep, early school start times put more pressure on the sleep process and increase mental health symptoms, while later school start times appear to be a strong protective factor for teenager,” said Jack Peltz, Professor at the University of Rochester in the US.

School timings not only affect the sleeping habits but also the daily functioning of the body. It aggravates major health problems like obesity, heart disease and others in adulthood. The study, published in the journal Sleep Health, suggested that maintaining a consistent bedtime, getting between eight and 10 hours of sleep, limiting caffeine, turning off the television, cell phone and video games before bed may boost sleep quality as well as mental health.

ALSO READ Prolonged Depression Can Change Structure of Your Brain

The researchers used an online tool to collect data from 197 students across the country between the ages of 14 and 17. The results showed that good sleep hygiene was directly associated with lower average daily depressive or anxiety symptoms across all students.

The risk of depression was even lower in the students who started school after 8:30 a.m. in comparison to those who started early. “One possible explanation for the difference may be that earlier starting students have more pressure on them to get high quality sleep,” Peltz stressed. (IANS)

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Is Vaping Safer Than Smoking? New Research Suggests Why You Should Switch

While the best approach for a healthy life is to entirely quit smoking, but the most critical thought is that smoker stop smoking tobacco in the first place

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E-cigarettes and other vaping devices do not contain tobacco and can in turn add years to a smoker's life. Pixabay

Washington, October 6, 2017 : In present day societies, smoking is considered ‘cool’. Unfortunately, in this race to look trendy, the practice has become one of the biggest man-made killers. Today, tobacco consumption is among the world’s leading causes of preventable death and takes as many as six million lives every year.

While quitting smoking is difficult, a new research suggests e-cigarettes are far safer than smoking and can add multiple years to anyone who switches.

According to a new cancer research team, if all smokers switch to e-cigarettes and similar vaping devices exclusively, they could live for 86.7 million years in total.

The study has been carried out by Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The Research 

According to David Levy, the lead author of the study and a professor of oncology at Georgetown Lombardi, the study has been carried out to encourage “replacing cigarette smoking with vaping to yield substantial life year gains,”

The study is the first ever theoretical piece to trace the health outcomes of people who are choosing to quit smoking and shift to different vaping devices.

The study relied upon multiple factors like,

  • When a subject began smoking
  • when they quit smoking
  • when they switched from smoking a cigarette to vaping

Studying the responses, the researchers anticipated both a hopeful result and a negative result.

Pessimistic Result : 1.6 million would add a 20.8 million years to their lives.

Optimistic Result : 6.6 million cigarette smokers would include 86.7 million years from switching.

These results suggest that even in the grimmest outcome, vapors live more instead of those who inhale deadly measures of toxicants with cigarette smoke.

A switch from smoking to vaping will not only add years to an individuals’ life, but will also have multiple benefits on general health. According to Professor Levy, “There would be tremendous health benefits including reduced disease disability to smokers, reduced pain and suffering, and reduced exposure to secondhand smoke”

Is Vaping Safer Than Smoking?

E-cigarettes and other vaping devices do not contain tobacco. Instead, they contain a nicotine-filled liquid which is heated to produce vapor, which in turn is inhaled. This satisfies the cravings known to be associated with cigarette addiction.

While it will be wrong to say that these devices are completely harmless, it can be said that these devices to not cause life-threatening diseases like cancer- which tobacco does.

In this way, e-cigarettes are far safer than smoking.

While the best approach for a healthy life is to entirely quit smoking, but the most critical thought is that smoker stop smoking tobacco in the first place.

The study has been published in a global journal that studies and analyses the effect of tobacco abuse called Tobacco Control.

– prepared by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter @SohaKala