Monday December 16, 2019

Research Reveals: It’s Your Friend’s Company That Can Turn You Obese

Social contagion in obesity means if more people around you are obese, then that may increase your own chances of becoming obese.

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Unhealthy food promotes obesity. pixabay

Besides genes and an unhealthy diet, your friends can also play a role in making you overweight, says a study, which found that obesity can spread through communities like a ‘social contagion’.

The study showed social circles can influence a person to become obese, suggesting the risk of becoming overweight increases if one moves to an area with a high rate of obesity, the Daily Mail reported.

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On the other hand, the risk of the parent becoming obese or overweight went up five per cent for increase in every one per cent of obesity in the area. Pixabay

“Social contagion in obesity means if more people around you are obese, then that may increase your own chances of becoming obese. Subconsciously, you are affected by what people around you are doing,” said Ashlesha Datar at the University of Southern California.

“If you move to a community where a sedentary lifestyle is the norm, you join that. There is this social influence,” Datar said.

For the study, the team included 1,314 parents and 1,111 children of US Army personnel at 38 bases.

The chances of becoming overweight or obese for a teenager increased four-six per cent for rise in every one per cent in the obesity.

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If you move to a community where a sedentary lifestyle is the norm, you join that. There is this social influence,” Datar said. Pixabay

On the other hand, the risk of the parent becoming obese or overweight went up five per cent for increase in every one per cent of obesity in the area.

Also Read: Authorities Scroll Through Social Media Violations Of Laws Restricting Political Parties, As It Forms Thailand’s Election “War Room”

The longer the families lived there, the more likely they put on weight, the report said.

Obesity can be caused by many variables, and previous research has shown living in certain communities carries a higher risk of obesity than living in other communities. (IANS)

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People in LMICs Face Obesity and Undernutrition: Study

Low income countries facing both obesity, malnutrition

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Due to unhealthy lifestyle, people in LMICs face highest risks of obesity as well as malnutrition. Lifetime Stock

Low-and middle-income countries have high levels of overweight and obesity along with undernutrition, say researchers, adding that these two issues have become increasingly connected.

“Our research shows that overweight and obesity levels of at least 20 per cent among adults are found in all low-income countries. Furthermore, the double burden of high levels of both undernutrition and overweight occur primarily in the lowest-income countries — a reality that is driven by the modern food system,” said study lead author Barry M. Popkin from University of North Carolina in US.

“This system has a global reach and is preventing low- and even moderate-income countries and households from consuming safe, affordable and healthy diets in a sustainable way,” Popkin added.

Globally, estimates suggest that almost 2.3 billion children and adults are overweight, and more than 150 million children are stunted.

In low- and middle-income countries, however, these emerging issues overlap in individuals, families and communities.

For the findings, the research team used survey data from low- and middle-income countries in the 1990s and 2010s to estimate which countries faced a double burden of malnutrition, meaning that, in the population, more than 15 per cent of people had wasting, more than 30 per cent were stunted, more than 20 per cent of women had thinness and more than 20 per cent of people were overweight.

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Overweight and obesity levels of at least 20 per cent among adults are found in all low-income countries. Pixabay

The results, published in the journal The Lancet, showed that more than a third of low- and middle-income countries had overlapping forms of malnutrition, 45 of 123 countries in the 1990s and 48 of 126 countries in the 2010s.

The problem was particularly common in sub-Saharan Africa, south Asia, and east Asia and the Pacific, where 29, seven and nine countries were affected, respectively.

In the 2010s, 14 countries with some of the lowest incomes in the world had newly developed a double burden of malnutrition compared with the 1990s, said the study.

However, fewer low- and middle-income countries with the highest incomes, relative to others in that category, were affected.

The authors said this reflects the increasing prevalence of people being overweight in the poorest countries, even as segments of the population still face stunting, wasting and thinness.

“The poorest low- and middle-income countries are seeing a rapid transformation in the way people eat, drink and move at work, home, in transport and in leisure,” Popkin said.

Also Read- Delhi Citizens Try out Oxygen Bar as Pollution Chokes them

According to the researchers, the new nutrition reality is driven by changes to the food system, which have increased the global availability of ultra-processed foods that are linked to weight gain while also adversely affecting infant and preschooler diets.

“These changes include disappearing fresh food markets, increasing numbers of supermarkets, and the control of the food chain by supermarkets and global food, catering and agriculture companies in many countries,” Popkin said. (IANS)