Tuesday July 16, 2019

Lower BMI in Children Can Raise Risk of Eating Order

For the study, the researchers analysed 1,502 individuals

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The research has found that family dinners are a great way to improve the dietary intake of the whole family, regardless of how well the family functions together. Pixabay

Is your toddler underweight or malnourished? If yes, he or she could be at risk for developing anorexia nervosa in adolescence, warns a new study.

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that makes people obsessive about their weight.

The findings, led by researchers from the University of North Carolina in the US, showed that persistent low body mass index (BMI) in children — starting as young as age two for boys and four for girls — may be a risk factor for developing anorexia nervosa in adolescence.

In addition, a persistent high BMI in childhood may be a risk factor for later development of bulimia nervosa characterised by binge-eating and purging disorder.

According to Zeynep Yilmaz, Assistant Professor, although eating disorders are psychiatric in nature, the study highlights the need to also consider metabolic risk factors alongside psychological, sociocultural, and environmental components.

Health
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that makes people obsessive about their weight. Pixabay

“The differences in childhood body weight of adolescents who later developed eating disorders started to emerge at a very early age — way too early to be caused by social pressures to be thin or dieting,” Yilmaz said.

The reason could be that underlying metabolic factors that are driven by genetics, could predispose these individuals to weight dysregulation, said the study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

There is a need to develop early detection tools that could be used as part of routine checks by all paediatricians.

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Indeed, the earlier the problem is identified, the better it can be managed, especially if support is provided to the family as a whole, rather than just the individual, the researchers suggested.

For the study, the researchers analysed 1,502 individuals. (IANS)

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Depression, Anxiety Main Reasons Why Children Think About Suicide

The risk of suicide was determined in a personal interview

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In boys it is previous depressive symptoms which determine subsequent suicidal ideation. Pixabay

Parents, take note. Depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) are the main reasons why children think about suicide, warn researchers.

The study, published in the journal Archives of Suicide Research, reveals the factors that can trigger ideas of suicide in pre-adolescent age group.

“In boys it is previous depressive symptoms which determine subsequent suicidal ideation, while in girls it is a combination of anxiety symptoms, OCD and the family’s socioeconomic situation,” said Nuria Voltas from Rovira I Virgili University in Spain.

The researchers studied a group of 720 boys and 794 girls who studied in 13 schools in Reus. They were monitored during three developmental periods according to age groups of 10 years, 11 years and 13 years.

Depression, Anxiety, Children
Depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) are the main reasons why children think about suicide, warn researchers. Pixabay

At the beginning of the study, the students answered a series of psychological tests that were used to detect which of them presented emotional symptoms related to depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

From their responses, two groups were created: one group at risk of emotional problems and a control group.

Accpording to the researchers, the figures were quite stable. During the first period, 16 per cent of the students stated that they had thought about suicide, of whom 33 per cent stated the same one year later. In both the second and the third period, ideas of suicide were expressed by 18 per cent of the students surveyed.

The risk of suicide was determined in a personal interview and was present in 12.2 per cent of the children with an average age of 11 years old. Although there were no differences between the sexes, the severity of the suicidal behaviour was greater in boys.

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“Our results will enable us to have greater control over this particular aspect and take preventive measures in pre-adolescents, who are going through a period of considerable vulnerability,” she concluded. (IANS)