Thursday May 23, 2019

Air Pollution Kills Around 6 Lakh Children Every Year, Claims UN

Boyd emphasised that air pollution is a preventable problem and gave a call to abide by their legal obligations to ensure clean air

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air pollution, Pollution, pollutants
In this Sept. 19, 2018 photo steam and cooling towers of a lignite power plant are reflected in a pond in Peitz, eastern Germany. VOA

Air pollution, both outside and inside home, is a silent and invisible prolific killer responsible for premature death of 7 million people each year, including 600,000 children, according to a UN expert on environment and human rights.

According to David R. Boyd, UN Special Rapporteur, more than 6 billion people, one-third of them children, are regularly inhaling air so polluted that it puts their life, health and well-being at risk.

“Every hour, 800 people are dying, many after years of suffering, from cancer, respiratory illnesses or heart disease directly caused by breathing polluted air. Yet, this pandemic receives inadequate attention as these deaths are not as dramatic as those caused by other disasters or epidemics,” Boyd said during the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Delhi. air pollution
A man rides his bicycle in front of the India Gate shrouded in smog in New Delhi, Dec. 26, 2018. VOA

Boyd emphasised that air pollution is a preventable problem and gave a call to abide by their legal obligations to ensure clean air, which is essential for fulfilling the rights to life, health, water and sanitation, adequate housing, and a healthy environment.

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“There are many examples of good practices, such as programmes in India and Indonesia, that have helped millions of poor families switch to cleaner cooking technologies that are successfully eliminating the use of coal-fired power plants,” said Boyd. (IANS)

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Walking, Cycling Reduce Obesity Risk in Kids: Study

For the study, the researchers included over 2,000 primary school children

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Walking
Walk your way to good health.

Do your children go to school walking or riding a bicycle? If your anser is in affirmative, then they are less likely to be obese than those who use car or public transport, suggests a new study.

The study’s findings suggested children who actively commuted to school had lower body fat and were less likely to be overweight or obese.

In the study, published in the BMC Public Health journal, the researchers assessed the impact of extra-curricular physical activities — daily commuting to school and participation in sports — on overweight and obesity levels among primary school children.

The researchers observed that physical activity was better predictor of obesity level in children than commonly-used body-mass index (BMI) as it looked at total weight, including “healthy” muscle mass, rather than fat mass alone.

“Both BMI itself and the points at which high BMI is associated with poor health vary with age, sex and ethnicity,” said the study’s first author Lander Bosch, a Ph.D scholar at University of Cambridge.

“While adjustments have been made in recent years to account for these variations, BMI remains a flawed way to measure the health risks associated with obesity,” Bosch said.

CyclingStress, meditation, PTSD
Cycling, walking in nature may also improve your mental health. Pixabay

For the study, the researchers included over 2,000 primary school children.

Likewise, the researchers also used BMI to check obesity risk in children. Surprisingly, children who participated in sports daily appeared more likely to be overweight compared with those who engaged in sports less than once a week.

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“The link between frequent participation in sport and obesity levels has generated inconsistent findings in previous research, but many of these studies were looking at BMI only,” asserted Bosch.

“However, when looking at body fat instead, we showed there was a trend whereby children who were not active were more likely to be overweight or obese. It’s likely that when looking at the BMI, some inactive children aren’t classified as obese due to reduced muscle mass,” he noted.

The researchers maintained that active commuting to school could be “promising” for combating childhood obesity. “It’s something so easy to implement and it makes such a big difference,” said Bosch. (IANS)