Monday, May 2, 2016

Obesity On Rise In Rural China: Study

BEIJING:  A new study has highlighted rising obesity rates among children in rural China.

The study, published in the latest issue of the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, found children and adolescents in the countryside of Shandong province to be much fatter in 2014 than they were in 1985.

It was based on a survey tracking nearly 28,000 students from rural schools in Shandong, a predominantly agricultural area, over 29 years. The students were aged from seven to 18 when they were surveyed.

Some 17.2 per cent of the boys surveyed in 2014 were obese, while the rate was only 0.03 per cent in 1985, according to the thesis, reports Xinhua.

The obesity rate among girls was 9.11 per cent in 2014, while in 1985 the percentage was 0.12 per cent.

Meanwhile, the proportions of overweight boys and girls climbed to 16.35 per cent and 13.91 per cent respectively in 2014.

In 1985, the proportions were 0.74 per cent and 1.45 per cent, said Zhang Yingxiu, one of the co-authors of the thesis.

He said the increase was even more apparent among children aged from seven to 12.

The study used a cut-off of Body Mass Index (BMI) -- the ratio of weight-to-height squared -- to define overweight and obesity.

Thousands of hospital admissions in York due to obesity

NEARLY twice as many women than men from York have been admitted to hospital with problems related to obesity, figures have revealed.

Over the last year there were 3,155 incidents where people from the Vale of York were taken into hospital where obesity was the main or secondary reason - of these 2,035 were female patients and 1,120 were male.

This represents 896 admissions per 100,000 of the population in the York area.

There were 440,288 admissions to England's hospitals in 2014/15 where obesity was the main reason for a person being admitted or was a secondary factor. The figure is the highest on record and is more than ten times higher than the 40,741 recorded in 2004/5.

The report, from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), also showed that the proportion of adults now regarded as morbidly obese is growing.

Those who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more has more than tripled since 1993, affecting two per cent of men and four per cent of women in 2014.

Izzi Seccombe, community well-being spokeswoman for the Local Government Association, which represents councils that have a responsibility for public health, said: "These are extremely worrying figures that illustrate the scale of the challenge we face in the fight against obesity.

"But the problem will only get worse unless we take urgent action, with the number of obese adults in the country forecast to soar by a staggering 73 per cent to 26 million people over the next 20 years.

"The fact that the number of admissions for children has more than doubled since 2004/5 underlines why it is vital that the Government uses its forthcoming childhood obesity strategy to address what is now one of the major health dangers of the 21st century.

"Obesity leads to serious health conditions later on in life, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, and is costing the NHS around £5 billion a year.

"Councils have long been calling for action to tackle obesity, such as clearer labelling of sugar content, calorie counts on menus, and sugar reduction in soft drinks. We cannot delay tackling this issue any longer."

In the East Riding of Yorkshire there were 1,557 incidents when obesity was a factor in a person being admitted to hospital, in Harrogate there were 1,245, in Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby there were 446 and in Scarborough there were 695.

In each instance more women were admitted than men.

Nationally, the majority of hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis of obesity were for female patients with 6,630 incidents, equating to 73 per cent, compared to 2,500 for men.

Women underwent 76 per cent of bariatric surgery procedures performed by the NHS during 2014-15, according to the latest figures released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

During 2014-15, 6,030 bariatric surgery procedures were recorded in total with 4,590 procedures carried out on women, compared to 1,440 for men.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Obesity a new threat to South Africa

Durban - South Africa has an obesity epidemic on its hands - and it is women who are most at risk to develop diseases associated with carrying too much weight.

Researchers at Priceless (Priority Cost Effective Lessons for System Strengthening South Africa) SA, a research unit hosted by Wits University School of Public Health, have warned that obesity-related diseases now rival HIV/Aids as the biggest killer of South Africans.

According to Professor Karen Hofman, director at Priceless, 13.8 percent of deaths in South Africa are caused by Aids complications, while 13.1 percent of deaths are now caused by “non-communicative lifestyle diseases” such as heart disease and diabetes.

“South Africa has the highest prevalence of obesity in sub-Saharan Africa,” Hofman said.

According to the 2012 SA National Health and Nutrition Examination, 39 percent of women are obese, compared to 11 percent of the male population.

KZN Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo said: “Being obese is detrimental to good health.”

Dhlomo said the country faced a danger as current efforts were concentrated on fighting HIV and tuberculosis, while non-communicable diseases were the new threat.

“Already in this country some 66 percent of women and 33 percent of men are overweight and our health care facilities are observing an increase of relatively young people suffering from high blood pressure, coronary heart diseases, diabetes and several types of cancer,” he said.

KZN MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha said the government was concerned about the scourge of obesity in the country.

“A study conducted last year by the University of North West School of Biokinetics, Recreation and Sport Science, revealed that nearly two-thirds of the South African population is overweight.

“The study further revealed that 70 percent of women are overweight. It also highlighted the fact that South African children have the third-highest obesity rate in the world,” she said.

Combating obesity was one of the department’s aims because obesity contributed significantly to the decline of the country’s health status, Sibhidla-Saphetha said.

To help residents get healthy, the department would be investing R41.3 million in two core programmes that promote active and healthy lifestyles.

“Over the last four years, the department has installed 44 outdoor gyms in local municipalities. In 2016/17, the department will install a further 11 outdoor gyms,” she said.

“Fitness instructors trained by the department will service the centres with daily programmes of aerobics, jogging, walking, nutritional tips as well as assistance on the use of the gym equipment,” she said.

Shane Norris, researcher professor at Wits who works for the African Centre on Obesity Prevention, has spent 26 years studying the root causes of obesity.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

For poor children, two healthy meals a day can keep obesity away

Schoolchildren who receive a nutritious lunchtime meal are less likely to be overweight or suffer from childhood obesity. And those who receive both breakfast and lunch are three times less likely to suffer this fate.

Tackling childhood obesity is important because it may result in adult obesity and these children developing non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease later in life.

Obesity is not necessarily driven by overeating, as is commonly thought. Children can also develop obesity when they are eating poor quality and inexpensive food that may be high in fats and refined carbohydrates.

Globally, about 44 million children are overweight or obese. In South Africa, about 28% of children between the ages of two and 14 are overweight or obese.

Lizzy Buchan: Stop blame and get back to basics to fix obesity

These are words no parent wants to hear, as no one wants to be told that they are responsible for their child suffering from a plethora of health problems as well as pervasive social stigmas.

It was the implication earlier this week, when Glasgow University published an interesting piece of research exploring the link between certain parenting practices and child obesity levels.

The scientists found mothers with lower levels of formal education were more likely to have children with a higher Body Mass Index (BMI), as their families were more likely to eat in front of the TV or to have less formally structured meal times.

While this might not be shocking to some, it shows we have gone so far in the wrong direction that we need to learn the basics all over again.

Obesity is the new cancer, the buzz issue that everyone is talking about.

Scientists have uncovered links to a threatening list of illnesses, including cancer, heart disease, and neurological and psychological conditions such as dementia and depression.

We know that Scotland has a major problem with expanding waistlines, as around 65 per cent of adults were found to be overweight or obese in 2014.

Link between obesity, kidney cancer identified

Receptors for leptin, a protein hormone, may be associated with tumor recurrence in patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC), providing further understanding about molecular links between obesity and RCC tumor formation and prognosis, according to a study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The findings are being presented April 18 at the annual meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) in New Orleans.

The leptin receptors, called LEPR, were found to be hypermethylated in tumors in a study involving 240 newly diagnosed and previously untreated Caucasian RCC patients. Methylation is a mechanism by which cells control gene expression and both hypomethylation and hypermethylation are known to play roles in silencing of tumor suppressor genes or over-expression of oncogenes in cancer cells. LEPR was one of 20 obesity-related genes that the research team examined.

"Obesity is an established risk factor for RCC with more than 40 percent of these cases attributed to excessive body weight," said Xifeng Wu, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Epidemiology and principal investigator for the study. "Growing evidence suggests that obesity also may be associated with the prognosis of RCC. The molecular mechanism LEPR and two other genes, NPY and LEP, are involved in RCC tumorigenesis. LEPR methylation in tumors is associated with recurrence in RCC patients and thus, LEPR may provide a functional link between obesity and RCC."

The study evaluated the association between methylation of 20 obesity-related genes and RCC. For the discovery portion of the study, 63 tissue pairs of RCC tumors and normal adjacent tissues from the surrounding kidney were used. An additional 177 pairs were included for the validation component of the study.

The patients were mostly males with an average age of 59 years who had never smoked. Most of the patients had clear cell RCC and were at the earliest stage of disease.

"Patients were classified into high- and low-LEPR methylation groups," said Julia Mendoza-Perez, Ph.D., a visiting scientist of Epidemiology at MD Anderson who presented the findings at AACR. "We found that high LEPR methylation was associated with a significantly higher risk of tumor recurrence."

The results were adjusted by age, gender, pathologic stage of disease, grade, smoking status, body mass index, hypertension and histology.

"In addition, high LEPR methylation in tumors was associated with more advanced tumor features, such as high pathologic stage, high grade, and clear cell RCC histology," said Wu.

The researchers add that future studies are needed to further understand the biology underlying the ties between LEPR methylation and RCC recurrence.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Soaring obesity in women causes womb cancer cases to DOUBLE in just 20 years

Obesity is fuelling a massive jump in the number of women suffering womb cancer.
The number of patients diagnosed with the disease has almost doubled in 20 years, correlating alongside a spike in womb cancer rates, Cancer Research UK warned.
From 1993 to 1995, around 19 women in every 100,000 developed womb cancer in the UK, rising to 29 women in every 100,000 by 2011-13 (the most recent figures available).
Around 9,000 women are now diagnosed with womb cancer every year in the UK - up from around 4,800 new cases a year 20 years ago.
It kills around 2,000 women every year.
Professor Jonathan Ledermann, director of the Cancer Research UK and UCL Cancer Trials Centre, said: 'It's worrying that womb cancer cases are going up so sharply.
'We don't know all the reasons why. But we do know that about a third of cases are linked to being overweight so it's no surprise to see the increases in womb cancer cases echo rising obesity levels.
'The good news is that thanks to research and improved treatments, survival has improved.
'In the 1970s, almost six in 10 women diagnosed with the disease survived for at least 10 years. Now almost eight in 10 women survive.
'But we need more research to understand the biology of the disease better and to know more about how it is caused so that we can improve the treatment of these women as well as preventing more cases.'
In January, Cancer Research UK warned that almost 700,000 more people could develop cancer in the next 20 years due to being overweight or obese.