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Health and Future of Every Child Under Threat Due to Climate Change: Report

Every child's future under threat from climate change, says environmentalists

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Climate Change
The health and future of every child and adolescent worldwide is under immediate threat from climate change. Pixabay

The health and future of every child and adolescent worldwide is under immediate threat from ecological degradation, climate change and exploitative marketing practices that push fast food, sugary drinks, alcohol and tobacco at children, said a new report on Wednesday.

No single country is adequately protecting children’s health, their environment and their futures, according to the report by a commission of over 40 child and adolescent health experts from around the world.

The commission, convened by the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations children’s agency, Unicef, and medical journal the Lancet, found that while the poorest countries need to do more to support their children’s ability to live healthy lives, excessive carbon emissions –disproportionately from wealthier countries — threaten the future of all children.

Climate Change
Climate change can have ill-effects on the health of children and may push them to consume unhealthy food. Pixabay

“Despite improvements in child and adolescent health over the past 20 years, progress has stalled, and is set to reverse,” said former Prime Minister of New Zealand and Co-Chair of the Commission, Helen Clark.

“It has been estimated that around 250 million children under five years old in low- and middle-income countries are at risk of not reaching their developmental potential, based on proxy measures of stunting and poverty. But of even greater concern, every child worldwide now faces existential threats from climate change and commercial pressures,” Clark said.

The report, titled “A Future for the World’s Children?”, includes a new global index of 180 countries, comparing performance on child flourishing and sustainability, with a proxy for greenhouse gas emissions, and equity, or income gaps.

India ranked 131 among the 180 countries in the index.

The index shows that children in Norway, the Republic of Korea, and the Netherlands have the best chance at survival and well-being, while children in the Central African Republic, Chad, Somalia, Niger and Mali face the worst odds.

However, when the authors took per capita CO2 emissions into account, the top countries trail behind: Norway ranked 156, the Republic of Korea 166, and the Netherlands 160.

Each of the three emits 210 per cent more CO2 per capita than their 2030 target.

Climate Change
Every child worldwide now faces existential threats from climate change and commercial pressures. Pixabay

The US, Australia, and Saudi Arabia are among the ten worst emitters.

If global warming exceeds 4 degree Celsius by the year 2100 in line with current projections, this would lead to devastating health consequences for children, due to rising ocean levels, heatwaves, proliferation of diseases like malaria and dengue, and malnutrition, said the report.

The only countries on track to beat CO2 emission per capita targets by 2030, while also performing fairly (within the top 70) on child flourishing measures are: Albania, Armenia, Grenada, Jordan, Moldova, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Uruguay and Vietnam.

The report also revealed the distinct threat posed to children from harmful marketing. Evidence suggests that children in some countries see as many as 30,000 advertisements on television alone in a single year, while youth exposure to vaping (e-cigarettes) advertisements increased by more than 250 per cent in the US over two years, reaching more than 24 million young people.

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Children’s exposure to commercial marketing of junk food and sugary beverages is associated with purchase of unhealthy foods and overweight and obesity, linking predatory marketing to the alarming rise in childhood obesity, said the report.

The number of obese children and adolescents increased from 11 million in 1975 to 124 million in 2016 – an 11-fold increase, with dire individual and societal costs. (IANS)

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Here Are Some Health Benefits of Going Vegan

Veganism is a lifestyle that tries to bar, as far as possible and practicable, all kinds of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, or any other purpose

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Vegan
Veganism is a lifestyle that tries to bar, as far as possible and practicable, all kinds of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, or any other purpose. Pixabay

Vegan people follow a plant-based diet and do not eat animal products including dairy, meat, eggs, honey, and gelatin. But, veganism goes beyond the diet.

Veganism is a lifestyle that tries to bar, as far as possible and practicable, all kinds of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, or any other purpose.

Nutritionist and founder of Diet Podium, Shikha Mahajan, shares these five benefits going vegan has on your health.

Reduced risk of cancer

In 2015, the Worle Health Organisation named red meat a Group 2 Carcinogen, which means it probably causes cancer in humans. WHO placed processed meat in the Group 1 category, which means it is carcinogenic to humans.

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Even small amounts of meat can increase the risk of cancer. A study from Oxford University study also found that eating just 3 rashers of bacon a day can increase cancer risk by 20 percent.

Reduced risk Of diabetes

More and more research is concluding that a plant-based diet can reduce the risk of developing diabetes or even reverse the disease completely.

A study, that included more than 2,000 adults, found those people who increased the number of fruit, vegetables, and nuts in their diet over the duration of 20 years reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 60 percent more than those who did not.

Enhanced mood

A study done by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) shows a study on its website that looks at the eating patterns and moods of 3,486 people over a five-year period. The study showed that participants who consumed whole, plant foods reported fewer signs of depression.

Vegan
Vegan people follow a plant-based diet and do not eat animal products including dairy, meat, eggs, honey, and gelatin. But, veganism goes beyond the diet. Pixabay

A different study showed that vegetarians usually experience more positive moods than meat-eaters.

Healthy skin

A plant-based diet might boost your beauty regime by assisting your skin in staying healthy. An increasing number of studies are associating dairy to skin problems such as acne. Dairy products have growth hormones and are also sometimes infused with artificial hormones, which can disrupt the human body’s hormone system.

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Fewer cardiovascular diseases

Meat generally contains a high quantity of saturated and trans-fats which can increase blood cholesterol. Cholesterol can create fatty deposits in the blood vessels that increase the risk of stroke, peripheral artery disease, and heart disease. Plant-based foods, by nature, have no dietary cholesterol. A diet high in fat and cholesterol can also lead to high blood pressure. (IANS)