Saturday July 20, 2019

Obesity Can Result in Early Onset of Puberty: Study

Controlling the obesity epidemic in children could be useful in decreasing these risks, Mericq noted

0
//
Obesity
An overweight woman sits on a chair in Times Square in New York, May 8, 2012. VOA

Obese boys and girls are likely to enter puberty at an early age, which can result in stunted growth or depression, finds a new study.

The study showed total body obesity and excess belly fat in boys aged four-seven years were associated with greater odds of starting puberty before age nine.

“With the increase in childhood obesity worldwide, there has been an advance in the age at which puberty begins in girls. But in boys the evidence has been controversial,” said lead researcher, Maria Veronica Mericq, Professor from the University of Chile.

The study that will be presented at the ongoing ENDO 2019, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in New Orleans, the US.

For the study, the researchers included 527 Chilean boys.

Obesity can now be cured by our body's natural weighing scales.
Obesity can now be cured by our body’s natural weighing scales.

Among boys aged five or six, those with obesity had nearly 2.7 times the odds of starting puberty early. Whereas those with excess belly fat had almost 6.4 higher odds of puberty before age nine, said Mericq.

She said excess belly fat more closely related to fat mass, because a higher BMI may reflected increased muscle, especially in athletes.

Precocious or early puberty has been linked to possible problems, including stunted growth, emotional-social problems like increased risks of depression and substance abuse.

Also Read- Social Media Giant Facebook Hiring Experts For its Blockchain Division

In addition, in boys, it could lead to higher incidence of testicular cancer in adulthood, said Mericq.

Controlling the obesity epidemic in children could be useful in decreasing these risks, Mericq noted. (IANS)

Next Story

UN: Global Hunger Levels Stabilizing, While Obesity Rates are Skyrocketing

For the first time, the U.N. agencies were able to gather data on world obesity rates, which are hitting record levels

0
hunger, obesity
A man waits to receive food aid outside a camp for displaced survivors of cyclone Idai in Dombe, Mozambique, April 4, 2019. VOA

The United Nations says more than 820 million people around the world are hungry, while at same time, obesity is hitting record levels.

A report released Monday by five U.N. agencies dealing with food, nutrition and health says that while hunger levels have mostly stabilized, more people around the world are anxious about where their family’s next meal will come from.

“People that feel insecure  insecure because they are in areas under conflict, insecure because they are in countries with high levels of inflation, insecure because they are very low paid that they will not have money to buy their food — this number reached 2 billion people around the world,” José Graziano da Silva, director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said at the report’s launch. “This is really a big, big number. We were surprised when we found this figure.”

obesity, hunger
FILE – Jose Graziano da Silva, director-general of the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). VOA

The report notes the highest hunger rates are in Africa and growing steadily in almost all parts of the subcontinent, where climate and conflict, economic slowdowns and downturns have driven more than 256 million people into a state of food insecurity.

In Asia, more than 500 million people, primarily in the southern part of the continent, are suffering from malnutrition. This sort of hunger has lasting impacts on its victims, especially children, who suffer from stunting and wasting.

“So the question is what are we going to do about it?” asked World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley. “Because if these were your little girls and your little boys, I guarantee you, you’d be doing everything you could to do something about it.”

Beasley said the problem of world hunger is solvable, but is not achievable without ending war and conflicts, which consume a huge portion of the global economy that could be used for development.

obesity, hunger
David Beasley, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) executive director, speaks during a press conference in Seoul, May 15, 2018, after his visit to North Korea. VOA

Obesity a global epidemic

For the first time, the U.N. agencies were able to gather data on world obesity rates, which are skyrocketing. “We have about 830 million obese people in the world,” said the FAO’s Graziano da Silva. “That’s happening in most continents except Africa and Asia.”

He said trends indicate that the numbers of overweight and obese people in Africa and Asia would soon exceed those who are hungry.  Graziano da Silva said obesity rates are rising by 6.3% and 7.5% per year respectively in Africa and Asia, while the global average is 4.8%.

ALSO READ: Scientists Closing in on Blood Test to Screen People for Possible Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

“It’s really a global epidemic issue the way obesity is rising and how fast it is rising,” Graziano da Silva added. The cost of obesity is very high, some $2 trillion a year in related illnesses and other side effects.

Graziano da Silva urged better labeling of foods, reducing the levels of salt, fats and sugars in processed foods and restricting advertising for some products geared toward children. He noted healthy and fresh foods also need to be promoted and access to them needs to be increased for some populations. (VOA)