Thursday December 13, 2018

Excessive Drinking May Affect Teenage Girls’ Bone Mass, Up Risk of Osteoporosis In Adulthood

Binge drinking in teenage may affect girls' bone mass

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In the experiments, rats were trained to drink alcohol in a way that mimics human binge-drinking behaviour. Pixabay
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Girls who binge on alcohol may fail to reach their peak bone mass, increasing their risk of fractures in adulthood as well as osteoporosis — a condition in which bones become weak and brittle, according to researchers.

Up to 90 per cent of peak bone mass is acquired by age 18 in girls and by 20 in boys, which makes youth the best time to “invest” in one’s bone health.

However, the findings showed that regularly binge drinking lowered bone mass in girls’ spine.

This was true even when researchers accounted for other factors that affect bone density — such as exercise, nutrition and smoking habits.

“When we consider bone health, we always talk about things like exercise, calcium and vitamin D, and not smoking. We may also need to talk about avoiding binge drinking,” said lead researcher Joseph LaBrie, Professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, US.

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Representational image.

LaBrie noted that anything that keeps a young woman from reaching her peak bone mass will probably raise her odds of developing osteoporosis years down the road.

Osteoporosis is a costly bone disease characterised by low bone mineral density (BMD) that primarily affects postmenopausal women and failure to reach peak bone mass in early adulthood might be one reason for the condition.

“This study identifies a potential lifetime consequence of binge drinking in young women,” LaBrie noted.

Also Read: Dieting May Spike up Smoking, Binge Drinking in Teenaged Girls, Claims Study

For the study, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, the team included nearly 100 college women, aged between 18 to 20 years.

The study expands previous research linking heavy drinking to lower bone mass and higher fracture risk in older adults, suggesting that later in life bone issues may be linked to drinking early in life.

Previous animal research has suggested that alcohol hinders the healthy development of young bones. (IANS)

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Teenage Girls Being Urged To Befriend ‘Middle-Aged Men’ On Facebook: Report

In October, Facebook had removed 8.7 million user images of child nudity

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Fake News, Facebook, dating
This photo shows the logo for Facebook on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York's Times Square. VOA

Facebook is encouraging grooming by offering teenage girls middle-aged men as ‘friend suggestions’, the media reported.

Teenage girls, as young as 13-year-olds, who join the social network are given up to 300 suggestions for who they can add as friends, some of which include middle-aged men who are topless in their profile photos, The Telegraph reported late on Saturday.

Facebook has said that was not a typical experience for teenagers for signing up for the service and that it has safeguards built into its recommendation system.

Following the findings, UK-based charity the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) has called for friend recommendations to be suspended for children on the social networking giant’s platform.

Facebook, myanmar
A cellphone user looks at a Facebook page at a shop in Latha street, Yangon, Myanmar. VOA

‘Groomers are seeking to infiltrate children’s friendship groups on social networks, often with the intention to move children to live streaming or encrypted sites where it is easier for them to commit sexual abuse,” Andy Burrows, NSPCC Associate Head of Child Safety Online, was quoted as saying.

“Social media algorithms risk making it easier for groomers to find and contact children and ‘friend of friend’ or ‘new follower’ recommendations can add legitimacy to their requests, which is why we are calling for these features to be blocked for children.

“For too long social networks have failed to make their platforms safe for children, and that is why the Home Secretary must commit to strong and effective regulation to finally ensure that children’s safety is non-negotiable,” she said.

According to Facebook, the company has safeguards to protect children. However, the campaigners warn that the networking giant must do more to stop groomers who use the site to become friendly with children.

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This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

“Grooming is incredibly serious, and we have teams specifically focused on keeping children safe, informed by extensive research and outside experts,” said a spokesman for Facebook, the Daily Mail reported on Saturday.

“We use artificial intelligence to proactively identify cases of inappropriate interactions with minors and we refer potential abuse to law enforcement.

“We limit how children can be found in search, we remind them to only accept friend requests from people they know and we caution them before making public posts.”

Also Read: Twitter Giving Its Users More Freedom To Report Fake, Suspicious Accounts

In October, Facebook had removed 8.7 million user images of child nudity with the help of previously undisclosed machine learning software that automatically flagged such photos during the last quarter.

The company has said that it is also considering rolling out systems for spotting child nudity and grooming to Instagram. (IANS)