Tuesday April 7, 2020
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Rising BMI levels: Are we the fatter generation?

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London: A new study in the country revealed a significantly greater increase in the Body Mass Index (BMI) in those who already have the highest BMIs. This disturbing fact is found  to be rising across both sexes and within all social groups.

However, when the researchers looked at the figures for those participants in the top and bottom of the study they found that there were marked differences, with much greater increases at the top end of BMI values.

“The results confirm that the median – that is the average figure for the BMI isn’t increasing much, but there are big increases at the top end of the scale – for men, women and each level of social class – which aren’t being accounted for,” said Mark Green, lecturer Health Geography at the University of Liverpool in Britain.

Researchers analysed data from the Health Survey for England, an annual health survey that captures health information including height and weight measurements for adults aged over 20 and examined trends in BMI distribution over a period of 21 years.

The data, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, was evaluated in a more detailed way to see if there were any trends in peoples’ BMI according to their sex and social group by looking at the respondents’ education level.

BMI is a widely used method for assessing a person’s weight and is calculated by dividing a person’s weight by their height. Currently, 66 percent of men and 57 percent of women are classified as overweight or obese. (IANS)

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Physical Abuse During Childhood May Lead To Heavy Cigarette Use: Study

The researchers used their responses about smoking between the ages of 12 and 18 to identify three patterns of cigarette use

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Cigarettes
Adolescent cigarette smoking is a really serious social problem and public health concern. Pixabay

Researchers have found that children who have been abused, mistreated or neglected at home are more likely to start smoking cigarette and other substances.

The study, published in the journal Substance Use & Misuse, showed that physical abuse of children in high-risk homes, especially when they’re toddlers or teens, dramatically increases the odds that their adolescent experimentation with cigarettes will lead to a heavy smoking habit.

For the findings, the study examined data on children who were at high risk for abuse and neglect — either because they had been referred to a child protective service or lived in conditions associated with the likelihood of maltreatment or both. “I wanted to look at different types of maltreatment and whether they have an impact on cigarette smoking,” said study lead author Susan Yoon, Assistant Professor at Ohio State University in the US.

“Adolescent cigarette smoking is a really serious social problem and public health concern. Brain development is not complete until late adolescence or during young adulthood, and cigarette smoking is associated with damage in brain development,” Yoon said.

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“We also know that those who start smoking cigarettes during adolescence are more likely to continue smoking into adulthood,” Yoon added. For the results, the research team used data on 903 adolescents, who were assessed at age 12, 16 and 18.

A breakdown of different types of abuse and neglect experienced by the sample population during three different time periods (early childhood, school age and adolescence) confirmed how vulnerable these kids were.

The researchers used their responses about smoking between the ages of 12 and 18 to identify three patterns of cigarette use: stable low/no use (61 per cent of respondents), gradually increasing use (30 per cent) and sharply increasing cigarette use (nine per cent).

“It was almost shocking how the pattern of cigarette use over time went up so drastically in the sharply increasing use class,” Yoon said.

Smoking
Researchers have found that children who have been abused, mistreated or neglected at home are more likely to start smoking cigarettes and other substances. Pixabay

“They were pretty similar to the others at age 12 — almost 80 percent didn’t smoke. At age 16, we saw that almost 60 per cent had used cigarettes more than 20 days in the past year and by 18, every single kid in this group reported heavy use of cigarettes,” Yoon added.

A statistical analysis showed that adolescents who experienced early childhood physical abuse were 2.3 times more likely to be in the sharply increasing cigarette use group compared with the stable no/low group. Physical abuse during adolescence had an even stronger effect — this type of mistreatment at that point in life was linked to 3.7 times higher odds for sharply increased cigarette use. Adolescents who had been neglected during early childhood were 1.89 times more likely to be in the gradually increasing cigarette use group than in the stable no/low use group.

ALSO READ: Uranus Got Unusual Properties Because of Ancient Icy Impact: Study

About 40 per cent of these smokers had reported using cigarettes at age 16, and by age 18, more than 80 per cent were smokers, and about 40 per cent had smoked on more than 20 days in the previous year, the study said. (IANS)