Researchers have found that obese adolescents are not only significantly more likely to experience bullying, but chances of them being perpetrators are also higher, compared to their healthy weight peers.
Overweight or obese adolescents who are either victims or perpetrators of bullying or both have significantly greater odds of having depression, behavioural problems and difficulty making friends, said the study published in the journal Childhood Obesity.
“While it is clear that as a group, the obese have been more involved in bullying than other groups, it is not clear the extent to which the obese are the victims of bullying or the source? In a large nationally representative sample, it was determined that the obese were both victims and perpetrators,” said Tom Baranowski from Baylor College of Medicine in the US.
The study involved more than 31,000 adolescents aged between 10-17.
During the study, the researchers compared bullying behaviour among obese and healthy weight teenagers and found significant differences for bullying victimisation and being both a victim and a perpetrator.
Adolescents with obesity involved in bullying behaviours had significantly higher odds of behavioural conduct problems, depression, arguing excessively and having difficulty making friends compared to obese adolescents who were neither a bully perpetrator nor victim, according to the researchers. (IANS)
Early exposure to anaesthetics in life may make adolescents more susceptible to developing alcohol use disorder (AUD), warn researchers. Anaesthetics are commonly used drugs in the healthcare field and are often administered to children to induce unconsciousness and immobility during surgeries.
For the findings, published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, the research team examined whether exposure to anesthetics during adolescence could affect a person’s response to alcohol in adulthood, especially the development of AUD.
Researchers discovered that anaesthetic exposure during adolescence may be an environmental risk factor that leads to an increased susceptibility to developing AUD later in life. Although not all adolescents who drink alcohol develop AUDs, the research team said it’s important to identify risk factors that contribute to an increased susceptibility to alcohol abuse
“This is highly concerning. Given that although the age of initiation and subsequent binging during adolescence are linked to alcoholism later in life, apart from stress, it was not clear what other environmental factors may play a role,” said study author David Werner from Binghamton University, New York in the US. During the study, researchers exposed early-adolescent male rats to isoflurane, a general anaesthetic, in short durations and tested them on various alcohol-induced behaviours later in adolescence or adulthood.
The team found that exposure to anaesthetics in adolescence had extremely similar behavioural and neural effects as adolescent chronic alcohol exposure. In the study, the adolescent rats exposed to isoflurane had a decreased sensitivity to the negative effects of alcohol, such as its aversive, sedative and socially suppressive effects. These rats also showed an increase in voluntary alcohol consumption and cognitive impairment, and certain behaviours continued into adulthood after their initial anaesthetic exposure.
These results further suggest that exposure to anaesthetics during adolescence, while in some cases is necessary, may have unintended consequences that incubate over time. “Apart from infancy to early childhood, adolescence can be considered the most critical developmental stage following birth,” Werner said. (IANS)
Drinking coffee may help reduce the risk of certain digestive disorders, including gallstone disease and pancreatitis, a new study has suggested.
The study from the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC) also highlighted other beneficial effects that coffee consumption may have on the process of digestion, including supporting gut microflora and promoting gut motility. “Data indicates benefits against common digestive complaints such as constipation, as well as a potential reduction in the risk of more serious conditions like chronic liver diseases,” said study author Carlo La Vecchia from the University of Milan in Italy.
Gallstone disease is a common digestive disorder, caused by the accumulation of gallstones in the gallbladder or bile duct, which affects approximately 10-15 per cent of the adult population. While the mechanism by which coffee may protect against gallstone disease is not yet known, it has been observed that the risk for the condition declines with increasing daily consumption of coffee, the researchers said. Caffeine is thought to play a role in these associations, as the same effect is not observed with decaffeinated coffee.
A common question among consumers and focus area for research is whether coffee is associated with heartburn or gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD). While a small number of studies have suggested an association between coffee drinking and GORD, the majority of studies reviewed suggest that coffee is not a major trigger of these conditions.
The report also reviewed a growing area of health and nutrition research, namely: the effect of coffee on the gut microflora (microorganism populations). Recent studies suggest that populations of the beneficial gut bacteria Bifidobacterium spp, increase after drinking coffee. The findings showed the dietary fibre and polyphenols found in coffee, support the healthy growth of microflora populations.
Additional research findings highlighted that coffee consumption is thought to stimulate digestion by encouraging the release of gastric acid, bile and pancreatic secretions. Coffee is one of the most widely researched components of the diet, and its effect on digestion remains a growing area of research, the researchers noted. (IANS)
Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have revealed that children, teenagers and young adults are at greater risk for severe complications from COVID-19 and those with underlying health conditions are at even greater risk of death.
“This study provides a baseline understanding of the early disease burden of COVID-19 in pediatric patients,” said study researcher Hariprem Rajasekhar from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Department of Pediatrics in the US. “The findings confirm that this emerging disease was already widespread in March and that it is not universally benign among children,” Rajasekhar added.
Published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, the study followed 48 children and young adults – from newborns to 21 years old — who were admitted to pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) in the US and Canada for COVID-19 in March and April.
More than 80 per cent had chronic underlying conditions, such as immune suppression, obesity, diabetes, seizures or chronic lung disease. Of those, 40 per cent depended on technological support due to developmental delays or genetic anomalies. More than 20 per cent experienced failure of two or more organ systems due to COVID-19, and nearly 40 per cent required a breathing tube and ventilator.
At the end of the follow-up period, nearly 33 percent of the children were still hospitalised due to COVID-19, with three still requiring ventilator support and one on life support. Two of the children admitted during the three-week study period died.
The researchers said they were “cautiously encouraged” by hospital outcomes for the children studied, citing the 4.2 per cent mortality rate for PICU patients compared with published mortality rates of up to 62 per cent among adults admitted to ICUs, as well as lower incidences of respiratory failure.
The study noted that doctors in the New York metropolitan area are seeing what appears to be a new COVID-related syndrome in children. “The idea that COVID-19 is sparing of young people is just false,” said study co-author Lawrence C Kleinman from Rutgers University in the US.
“While children are more likely to get very sick if they have other chronic conditions, including obesity, it is important to note that children without chronic illness are also at risk. Parents need to continue to take the virus seriously,” Kleinman added.
Recently, another study, published in the journal Frontiers in Pediatrics, also revealed that gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhoea, coupled with a fever or history of exposure to COVID-19, could indicate coronavirus infection in children.