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)
Researchers have found that intake of some vitamins, minerals and other dietary supplements may not benefit the heart and, in some cases, may even prove to be injurious.
According to the study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, supplements combining calcium and vitamin D may be linked to a slightly increased stroke risk. However, there was no evidence that calcium or vitamin D taken alone had any health risks or benefits.
“Our analysis carries a simple message that although there may be some evidence that a few interventions have an impact on death and cardiovascular health, the vast majority of multivitamins, minerals and different types of diets had no measurable effect on survival or cardiovascular disease risk reduction,” said study lead author Safi U. Khan, Assistant Professor at the West Virginia University.
For the study, the researchers used data from 277 randomised clinical trials that evaluated 16 vitamins or other supplements and eight diets for their association with mortality or heart conditions including coronary heart disease, stroke and heart attack.
They included data gathered on 992,129 research participants worldwide. The analysis showed possible health benefits only from a low-salt diet, omega-3 fatty acid supplements and possibly folic acid supplements for some people.
“The panacea or magic bullet that people keep searching for in dietary supplements isn’t there,” said senior author of the study Erin Michos from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the US.
“People should focus on getting their nutrients from a heart-healthy diet, because the data increasingly show that the majority of healthy adults don’t need to take supplements,” Michos said.
According to Abhishek Singh, Consultant Cardiologist at Columbia Asia Hospital in Ghaziabad, dietary supplements do not have a measurably positive impact on cardiac health.
“It’s more important to follow a healthy dietary regimen and avoid foods that are bad for the heart. Trans fatty acids are harmful and have to be curtailed. Refined sugars and simple carbohydrates are to be kept at a minimum,” Singh told IANS.
The doctor suggested that people should include more green vegetables in their diet. They are rich in vitamin K and dietary nitrates, which help protect the arteries and reduce blood pressure, he said.
“Studies like this raise concerns about harm from calcium and Vitamin D supplement use. As far as Vitamin D supplements (without calcium) are concerned, there has been no evidence on whether it has any impact on cardiovascular disease risk reduction,” Anupama Singh, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine at Vimhans Nayati Super Specialty Hospital in Delhi, told IANS.
“The quality of the evidence base of these various nutritional supplements and dietary interventions still needs to be evaluated to ascertain the effectiveness of the study,” she added. (IANS)