Type 1 Diabetes

Obese children are more likely to have heart attacks or strokes

Researchers say obese children with high BMIs may already have up to 40% higher chance of heart disease.Obese children are more likely to have heart attacks or strokesObese children have a far higher risk of having a stroke or heart attack when they grow up than peers who have a normal weight, according to new research.

Children who are dangerously overweight may already have a 30%-40% higher chance of either suffering a stroke or developing heart disease in later life, Oxford University researchers found.

They end up with a range of risk factors for either disease, such as a thickening of the heart muscle known as left ventricular mass, which is often a sign of emerging heart disease.

“Weight, and especially obesity, has a significant effect on the risk parameters for cardiovascular disease that are present in children from age five years”, say the six academics in a paper published online in the British Medical Journal. “This effect could give them a head start on their normal and even overweight classmates for future cardiovascular disease, diabetes and stroke”, they conclude.

The findings are the latest graphic illustration of the medical problems associated with the sharp rise in childhood obesity in recent years. They prompted calls for GPs and practice nurses to measure children’s Body Mass Index (BMI) levels so that those who are worryingly heavy can be helped.

It is already known that obese adults are more likely to have a stroke or heart attack. The Oxford researchers sought to measure the extent of the same association for children with a BMI of at least 30. They analysed 63 previous studies published between 2000 and 2011, which examined key health indicators among 49,220 children aged between five and 15 in a number of highly developed countries.

They found that both obese and overweight children had “significantly higher” blood pressure and cholesterol levels than classmates who were of a healthy weight, especially those whose BMI was 30 or more.

Obese pupils also had much higher fasting insulin levels and insulin resistance, which often indicate diabetes, which is closely associated with obesity.

“Having a body mass index outside the normal range significantly worsens risk parameters for cardiovascular disease in school-aged children. This effect, already substantial in overweight children, increases in obesity and could be large than previously thought”, say the authors, who include Matthew Thompson, a GP.

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Only one in six baby boomers retiring in good health

Only one in six ‘baby boomers’ is retiring in good health- with most succumbing to a range of conditions and diseases including high cholesterol, osteoporosis or cancer.Only one in six baby boomers retiring in good healthEven though today’s 60-somethings have benefited from the NHS and welfare state pretty much from birth, most still have at least one health problem, say Government scientists.

They found the average baby boomer – referring to those born in the years just after the Second World War – has two medical conditions.

Just over half have high blood pressure, a third are obese, and a quarter have high cholesterol.

A quarter have Type 2 diabetes or ‘pre-diabetes’, meaning they are on the cusp of fully developing the condition.

Almost one in five suffer from a mental health problem, while 12 per cent have chronic lung or throat disease.

Eleven per cent have cancer, the same proportion that has osteoporosis. In addition, 11 per cent have suffered from cardiovascular disease such as a heart attack, stroke or heart failure.

One in six have three or more health problems.

The results are from a study of 2,661 people born in 1946, from every walk of life, whose health has been followed from birth. For this, the latest study, they were assessed between 60 and 64 years of age for 15 conditions.

The study found the origins of poor health in one’s 60s could usually be traced back to early middle age.

Dr Mary Pierce, of the MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing, the GP who led the report Clinical Disorders in a Post War British Cohort Reaching Retirement: Evidence from the First National Birth Cohort Study said: “The babies born in the post-war period were the first generation to enjoy the lifelong benefits of the NHS and the welfare state, and have an extended life expectancy.”

Writing in the report, published in the journal PLoS One, she warned: “The health of the baby boomers as they age will dominate the work of the health and social care systems for the next three decade.”

“We might, therefore, expect this generation to be in pretty good health at retirement age.  But our research shows that medical conditions – some of which could lead to serious disability or even death ­– are common among baby boomers.”

Professor Diana Kuh, director of the unit, said some of the conditions shared “common root causes related to poor diet and inactive lifestyles”.

They argued GPs would become more and more stretched as the baby boomer generation aged, with Dr Pierce saying it made “a compelling case to invest in primary care to ease the burden on an already stretched service”.

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New York bans large sugary drinks

New York City’s health board has passed a law prohibiting the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces- an act which Mayor Michael Bloomberg says will save lives by reducing obesity.New York bans large sugary drinksNew York City passed the first US ban of oversized sugary drinks in its latest controversial step to reduce obesity and its deadly complications in a nation with a weight problem.

The mayoral appointed city health board outlawed sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces (one pint) nearly everywhere they are sold, except grocery and convenience stores.

Violators of the ban, which does not include diet sodas, face a $200 (£125) fine.

At a news conference at City Hall, Bloomberg heralded the measure’s passage as “the single biggest step any city I think has ever taken to curb obesity.

“We believe that it will help save lives,” he added.

About one third of Americans are obese, and about 10 per cent of the nation’s healthcare bill is tied to obesity related diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and hypertension, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development .

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Obesity rates around the world reviewed

Approximately 1.6 billion of the planet’s population are now overweight.Obesity rates around the world reviewed

Last November the United Nations announced that obesity was one of the biggest preventable issues facing the planet.

Here’s a guide to the countries crushing the scales:

America (70.8 per cent overweight)

According to a study from Yale University, five per cent of Americans would rather lose a limb than be obese. The majority, however, don’t appear to have a choice, and their country is becoming increasingly adept at making life comfortable for them. Boston Emergency Services in 2011 unveiled an ambulance for the obese. The vehicle is equipped with a stretcher that can hold 850lb and a hydraulic lift with a 1,000lb capacity to ensure the safety of the sick and stem back injuries among crews hoisting hefty patients. Brylane Home, a US retailer, offers an extensive selection of extra-wide and reinforced chairs, along with high-capacity scales and extra-large “Big John” loo seats. Police officers are now trained how to body search obese suspects “up in the folds”. The obese even have their own advocacy group, the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, whose recent objections to an “offensive” Disneyland exhibit on childhood obesity led to its closure.

Australia (63.7 per cent overweight)

Royal Adelaide Hospital recently announced a refurbishment to help staff cope with an influx of obese patients: bigger rooms with ceiling-mounted lifting apparatus, reinforced wheelchairs and beds, and larger CAT scanning machines. Staff are 19 times more likely to strain themselves moving obese patients than others.

Brazil (51.7 per cent overweight)

Along with an expanding economy comes expanding waistlines. Brazil is currently on track to be as obese as the US by 2022. Brazilians’ natural sweet tooth certainly doesn’t help – they lather sugar on already-sweet fruits like pineapple, and cafezinho, the national espresso-like coffee, is more sugar than liquid – and nor do their ideas on body image. As one commentator put it: “American men may focus on breasts, but the Brazilian man has always wanted something to grab on to.”

China (24.5 per cent overweight)

More than 325?million Chinese are now overweight or obese, a figure that could double in the next two decades. Fitness and slimming is a £700 million industry. Sales of weight-loss teas are rising sharply, and traditional Chinese treatments like acupuncture and fire-cupping are more popular than ever. Not that this makes things any easier for a Western brand like Weight Watchers, which has great difficultly assigning nutritional ”points” to dishes like “desert boat sails on green” (camel’s foot simmered with hearts of rape).

Colombia (48.3 per cent overweight) Perhaps the most exercise-friendly country in the world. Every Sunday morning in Bogotá, the roads are closed to cars to allow free reign for cyclists, roller bladers and joggers to safely exercise across the 120km of the ciclovía.

Finland (58 per cent overweight) 72 per cent of the country exercises regularly, helped by a government initiative that awards cash prizes to towns that lose the most weight. As part of the same programme, the Finnish government also encouraged shoe companies to make non-slip soles standard, so people wouldn’t be deterred from walking in icy weather.

France (50.7 per cent overweight) Contrary to the bestselling book, French women do get fat. Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig weight loss centres are signing new members in France in far greater numbers than in other markets, and offer such Gallic advice as “remember to have either dessert or cheese – but not both”.

Jamaica (55.3 per cent overweight) In Jamaican culture, a skinny – or “meagre” – woman is considered unattractive, while heaviness is a sign of happiness and social harmony. Which is why many women bulk up with black-market “chicken pills”, i.e. chicken feed with appetite-boosting arsenic. Side effects include diarrhoea, dermatitis and – eventually – cancer.

Malaysia (44.2 per cent overweight) Schoolchildren have had their body mass index printed on their report cards since 2011, to help parents keep track of their children’s weight.

Mauritania (36 per cent overweight) A local saying goes, “The glory of a man is measured by the fatness of his woman.”A third of women over 40 have said they were force-fed as children, to fall into local standards of beauty. The process is called gavage, a French word that describes the fattening up of geese to produce foie gras. A quarter of the 1.5 million women in the country are obese, contrasting sharply with most sub-Saharan countries. The government ran a television and radio campaign highlighting the health risks of obesity; because most Mauritanian love songs describe the ideal woman as fat, the health ministry commissioned catchy odes to thin women.

Mexico (68.1 per cent overweight) Since 1980, the percentage of overweight or obese Mexicans has tripled, and diabetes has become the leading cause of death. In some areas of the country, it’s easier to get a soft drink than a clean glass of water. The vast majority of Mexico City’s public schools, and many private schools, lack drinkable water; the consumption of soft drinks has increased 60 per cent over the past 14 years. Mexicans drink the most Coca-Cola per capita in the world. Since it enacted the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, imports of processed food and drinks have soared. The average Mexican eats 433lb of bakery goods per year, compared with only 156lb of vegetables.

Nauru (94.5 per cent overweight) A 21 sq m island in the Pacific that qualifies as the world’s fattest nation, Nauru’s life expectancy for men is 59 years old and for women 64 years old. Phosphate mining, long a source of wealth, has left the island virtually incapable of growing vegetables. So islanders rely on processed Western imports – and a lot of them. “People [in Nauru] might only eat once a day,” says Professor Clive Moore of the University of Queensland, “but the plate could be 4in high.” As part of a recent government initiative, every Wednesday locals are encouraged to walk around the three mile airport perimeter, but it’s an uphill struggle. The islanders have, says Professor Moore, “a biological propensity to gain weight”.

Nigeria (26.8 per cent overweight) “Fattening rooms”, where women are encouraged to eat large amounts throughout the day, are popular in Nigeria, especially before weddings. A key ingredient is garri, a porridge made from cassava tubers.

Qatar (72.3 per cent overweight) With a GDP of $181.7 billion and a population of just under two million, per capita, Qatar is the richest nation on Earth. And it’s fast becoming the fattest, too. Sweltering temperatures of up to 41C make walking – or any kind of outdoor activity – unbearable. Social and family life revolves around five large meals, interspersed with snacks of tea and cake. The final meal of the day invariably comes from McDonald’s – delivered, of course. It’s predicted that within five years, 73 per cent of Qatari women and 69 per cent of the men will qualify as obese.

Saudi Arabia (69 per cent overweight) Girls are banned from participating in sports in Saudi state schools. The stance of the official Supreme Council of Religious Scholars is best summed up by Sheikh Abdullah al-Maneea, who said in 2009 that the excessive “movement and jumping” needed in football and basketball might cause girls to tear their hymens and lose their virginity. One third of women in Saudi Arabia are obese.

Sweden (53.3 per cent overweight) Obesity is on the rise in Sweden, but at a markedly slower rate than in other countries. In fact, the Swedes are now on track to overtake the Swiss as Europe’s slimmest people, thanks to a recent craze for high fat, low carb dieting. Endorsed by health authorities in 2008, the diet is now followed by one in four Swedes and its popularity was partly to blame for neighbouring Norway’s GreatButter Shortage of 2011. (Several resourceful Swedes were arrested attempting to smuggle butter across the border.)

Tonga (90.8 per cent overweight) Poor health and obesity are blamed on imported food like Spam, corned beef and “turkey tails” (a ban on the latter was recently lifted to ease membership of the World Trade Organisation). Tonga’s late king, Taufa’ahau Tupou IV, who died in 2006, was once the world’s heaviest monarch, weighing 440lb. He tried to persuade Tongans to get fit by offering cash incentives and taking up – in his seventies – bicycle rides around the island. (He shed 154lb.)

UAE (68.3 per cent overweight) When the UAE football team failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, defender Saleh Obaid blamed the team’s addiction to fast food. “We eat from McDonald’s. Everyone eats from McDonald’s. No good food.” McDonald’s was a sponsor of the 2010 World Cup.

UK (64.2 per cent overweight) Despite the Government’s three year old Change4Life campaign (latest recruit, television chef Ainsley Harriott) and Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s call for the population to cut 5 billioncalories from its diet, obesity in the UK is getting worse. It causes an estimated 9,000 premature deaths a year, and if current trends continue, 90 per cent of British children will be obese by 2050.

Zimbabwe (25.5 per cent overweight) In 2004, the Zimbabwean government came up with what they called the “Obesity Tourism Strategy”. As Zimbabweans starve, overweight tourists would be encouraged to visit the country and work on farms seized from white farmers, losing weight in the process. “Tour organisers may promote this programme internationally and bring in tourists, while agriculturalists can employ the tourists as free farm labour. The tourists can then top it all by flaunting their slim bodies on a sundowner cruise.”

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Eating white rice raises diabetes risk warn academics

Regularly eating white rice could increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, Harvard academics have claimed in the British Medical Journal.Eating white rice raises diabetes risk warn academicsEvery large bowl (5.6oz / 158g) eaten a day is associated with an 11 per cent increased risk, they concluded from a review of four studies, two in Western countries and two in Asian ones.

White rice tends to be converted rapidly in the body into sugars, a characteristic known as having a high glycaemic index (GI).

This causes blood glucose levels to spike quickly and then fall off, which can cause problems in those who are already diabetic.

It also means one is left feeling hungry sooner than if one had eaten a low GI food like porridge. That could prompt people to overeat and become overweight, which is known to raise the risk of developing T2 diabetes.

The researchers also speculated that white rice could contribute to developing diabetes as it was lower than brown rice in fibre, magnesium and vitamins, some of which are thought to protect against the disease.

People in the Chinese and Japanese studies ate lots of white rice – typically three or four portions a day – while those in the Australian and American ones tended to eat a few portions a week.

However, the academics found higher consumption was related to higher diabetes incidence in both settings.

In conclusion, they stated that “higher white rice intake is associated with a significantly elevated risk of type 2 diabetes”, although they did concede the four studies had “mixed results”.

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