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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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Avoid Smoking During Pregnancy To Prevent Premature Births

The negative health impacts of cigarette smoking during pregnancy, including low birth weight, delayed intrauterine development, pre-term birth, infant mortality, and long-term developmental delays, are well known. 

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The researcher plans to look at quit rates and smoking intensity and their impact on the risk of infant mortality. Pixabay

Expecting mothers, take note. As smoking during pregnancy is linked with negative health outcomes, a team of researchers has found that smoking cessation during pregnancy may reduce the risk of pre-term birth.

The findings, published in the JAMA Network Open journal, showed that the probability of pre-term birth decreased with earlier smoking cessation in pregnancy — up to a 20 per cent relative decrease if cessation occurred at the beginning of pregnancy.

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If we determine quitting, and quitting early, reduces the risk of infant mortality, then that may speak to mothers even more saliently about the importance of smoking cessation. Pixabay

“Of concern, though, given the substantial benefits of smoking cessation during pregnancy is that the proportion of pre-pregnancy smokers who quit smoking during pregnancy has remained essentially stagnant since 2011,” said lead author Samir Soneji from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in the US.

For the study, the researchers conducted a cross-sectional study of more than 25 million pregnant women who gave birth to live neonates during a six-year period — measuring their smoking frequency three months prior to pregnancy and for each trimester during pregnancy.

The negative health impacts of cigarette smoking during pregnancy, including low birth weight, delayed intrauterine development, pre-term birth, infant mortality, and long-term developmental delays, are well known.

But the good news is that the proportion of women who start their pregnancy as smokers has been declining in recent years, the researchers said.

smoking

The findings, published in the JAMA Network Open journal, showed that the probability of pre-term birth decreased with earlier smoking cessation in pregnancy — up to a 20 per cent relative decrease if cessation occurred at the beginning of pregnancy. Pixabay

However, the study also found that only about 25 per cent of women who smoked prior to pregnancy were able to quit throughout their pregnancy, and approximately 50 per cent of women who smoked during their pregnancy did so with high frequency (more than 10 cigarettes per day).

The researcher plans to look at quit rates and smoking intensity and their impact on the risk of infant mortality.

Also Read: How Netflix Binge-Watching Can Lead You The “Mean World Syndrome”

“Thankfully most premature babies end up doing well,” he said.

“But premature birth is strongly linked to infant mortality. If we determine quitting, and quitting early, reduces the risk of infant mortality, then that may speak to mothers even more saliently about the importance of smoking cessation,” he added. (IANS)