Saturday September 22, 2018

Obesity may affect a child’s liver

Children with a bigger waist circumference (a measure of abdominal obesity) at age three and those with greater gains in obesity measures

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Obesity, Asthma
Asthma may up obesity risk. Pixabay
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Parents take note. If your child is obese or overweight, it may have negative impact on his or her liver, a new study suggests. The study found that bigger waist circumference at the age of three raises the likelihood that by the time the child is eight years old, he or she will have markers for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease occurs when too much fat accumulates in the liver and triggers inflammation, causing liver damage.

“With the rise in childhood obesity, we are seeing more kids with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in our paediatric weight management practice,” said lead author Jennifer Woo Baidal, Assistant Professor at Columbia University.

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Children are falling prey to obesity. Wikimedia Commons

“Many parents know that obesity can lead to Type 2 diabetes and other metabolic conditions, but there is far less awareness that obesity, even in young children, can lead to serious liver disease,” Baidal added. For the study, published in the Journal of Paediatrics, the researchers looked for fatty liver risk factors in younger children.

The researchers measured blood levels of a liver enzyme called ALT — elevated ALT is a marker for liver damage and can occur in individuals with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and other conditions that affect the liver — in 635 children. The researchers found that by the age eight, 23 per cent of children in the study had elevated ALT levels. Children with a bigger waist circumference (a measure of abdominal obesity) at age three and those with greater gains in obesity measures between ages three and eight were more likely to have elevated ALT. Approximately 35 per cent of eight-year-olds with obesity had elevated ALT versus 20 per cent of those with normal weight, the researcher said.

Also Read: How Gut Bacteria May Increase Obesity Risk

“Some clinicians measure ALT levels in at-risk children starting at around 10 years old, but our findings underscore the importance of acting earlier in a child’s life to prevent excess weight gain and subsequent liver inflammation,” Baidal said. IANS

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OrchKids- Bringing Joy To Underprivileged Kids Through Music

Nema was accepted into the Baltimore School for the Arts where she now studies music.

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Jazz
Jazz is like the first dance music. Free dancing, where you show free expression. You throw your body but nobody is doing the same two steps

In Baltimore, a free after school music program called OrchKids is being used as an instrument of change for children in underprivileged neighborhoods. In the past 10 years, more than 1,300 children have received free group music lessons, and free instruments, from flutes to trumpets to violins.

The program was started by Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, who said OrchKids also aims to create social change in a city where about 40 percent of the population live in poverty. She hopes that if more children of color learn an instrument that “orchestras will better reflect the diversity of our communities.”

For 15 year old Nema Robinson, OrchKids has given her more opportunities than she ever imagined. Four years ago, the quiet teenager started taking the group violin lessons and quickly progressed.

Her teacher, Ahreum Kim, grew up in Korea and studied at the prestigious Peabody Institute in Baltimore.

“Nema’s determination has helped make her a top violin student” Kim said. “OrchKids is doing a lot for Nema, by giving her confidence, the practice of being in front of an audience, and musical skills she can be proud of,” she added.

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Producing the Tanzania Albinism Collective Project allowed Ian Brennan to work with people who are not identified as musicians and are just waiting for a chance to be heard. VOA

Nema’s musical journey began when she and her mother, Susan Johnson, saw an OrchKids concert. Johnson was amazed to see black kids performing classical and opera music. “You just don’t see that,” she recalled thinking, “And I’m elbowing Nema and telling her, ‘This is what you should be doing.”

Nema enthusiastically agreed, and soon after started taking violin lessons that have given her the opportunity to play all kinds of music. She is especially proud of being a violinist in the Orchkids jazz band.

OrchKids has been instrumental in guiding many students, some from difficult backgrounds, by providing a place where they feel respected and safe.

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Google Doodle celebrating musician Clara Rockmore’s 105th birthday. Google

“Some of the students come into the class with baggage,” said Kim. “That could be due to poverty, or trouble at home. It is helpful when I learn about their families.”

Nema had a rough start in life as a drug addicted baby. With both her parents in prison, her aunt became her guardian and mother.

“She’s my number one supporter and has helped me a lot,” said Nema appreciatively. She pushes me. If it wasn’t for my mom I don’t think I would really be this good at playing the violin.”

Music
OrchKids has been instrumental in guiding many students.

Aside from the camaraderie and the encouragement that OrchKids provides, Nema also enjoys performing. I like seeing the audience, and their clapping and standing up after the performance,” she said. “It just makes my day.”

Thanks to her free violin lessons, Nema was accepted into the Baltimore School for the Arts where she now studies music.

Also Read: China Set To Spend Billionaire on ‘One Belt One Road’s, But Some Focus on Poverty

She hopes to earn a college degree in music so she can teach other black children, like herself, how to live their lives on a high note.

“It doesn’t matter what race you are, you can play music. If it’s your passion then it’s your passion,” Nema said with a smile. (VOA)