LATEST ARTICLES

Indiana middle of pack for childhood obesity rate | Heraldrepublican

[ad_1]

Indiana ranks in the middle of the U.S. when it comes to childhood obesity rates for those 10-17 years old, with about 2-in-13 youth being dangerously overweight.

Along with the physical dangers of being obese, obesity in youth can also be damaging to a child’s mental health as they make their way through adolescence and into adulthood, health officials said.

As has been shown in annual studies, obesity in children also shows disparities by race and income, with low-income children more likely to be seriously overweight and with Black and Hispanic children having much higher rates of obesity.

The new numbers from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s newest annual report, which draws data from the 2019-2020 National Survey of Children’s Health, along with analysis conducted by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

Indiana’s obesity rate for youth 10-17 years old was 15.6%, which put it slightly behind the national average of 16.2%.

Obesity is defined as having a Body Mass Index of 30 or above, a ratio of a person’s weight against their height. A person is considered underweight with a BMI lower than 18.5, overweight at 25-30 and obese at 30-plus.

Indiana is actually best in the local region, lower than Illinois at 17.4% and Ohio at 17.2%, with Michigan one slot ahead of the Hoosier start at 15.7%. To the south, Kentucky is worst in the nation at 23.8%.

Although Indiana is slightly better than the national average when it comes to youth age 10 and older, Indiana’s adult obesity rate is 35.3%, above the national average and one of the worst in the nation.

“The state of childhood obesity in America is an urgent call to action for leaders at all levels and across all sectors,” said Jamie Bussel, senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation who leads the Foundation’s efforts to prevent childhood obesity. “Obesity is a symptom of deep-rooted challenges that have only been made worse by the pandemic and are a warning sign that our nation’s policies are failing our kids. We must make real, systemic change to set kids on a path to better health.”

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s study shows continuing disparities by income and race.

High-income youth have the lowest obesity rate at 8.6%, while the lowest income bracket has the highest obesity rate at 23.1%.

Obesity was also higher among Black and Hispanic children, at 23.8% and 21.4%, respectively, sharply higher than white children at 12.1% and Asian children at 8.1%.

Obesity in children brings many of the same dangers as obesity in adults, said Dr. Duane Hougendobler, chief of pediatrics for Parkview Physicians Group.

While children won’t have the same risk factors of things like heart attack or stroke that adults would have as they age — obesity is a long-term chronic problem that bogs down and strains the body and its organs — it can present short-term complications to kids, too, he said.

“The risk of obesity is with the whole glucose and fat metabolism. You have high cholesterol and high lipids. For kids, more unique to kids, is much more lower self-esteem, depression,” Hougendobler said.

Children can also potentially suffer some orthopedic issues if their weight causes discs to slip, fat deposits on their liver can cause liver damage at a young age and breathing issues include obstructive sleep apnea can impact a child and their ability to rest, which then impacts growth, metabolism and brain function.

“A lot of stress on the system that you can’t undo,” Hougendobler said.

Mental health is also a risk factor, as being overweight as a child can lead to teasing, bullying and lower self-esteem in youth, which may open the door to conditions including anxiety and depression.

“Part of what we’re doing in PPG now, anyone 11 or older kind of gets a quick mental health screen for anxiety and depression. It helps us kind of cue into when these kids are having issues. I would say weekly I have a conversation or more about bullying and all the stuff that happens around their life, then you get the self-esteem issues especially with the young ladies. That is not the style you see in the magazine and movies and stuff so they really feel it. It’s a big issue and we tell parents to watch for that,” Hougendobler said.

Obesity can impact anyone, but childhood obesity can often be a familial issue. Children with obese parents may be more likely to become obese themselves.

There can be genetic components that play into that, but often the impact on children can be attributed to lifestyle factors in their home, such as how active the family is and what kind of food is being consumed in the house.

Children do have some ability to control how active they are, whether they actively play or get exercise during their day, but diet is often dependent on their parents because kids don’t get to do the grocery shopping.

Low-income families tend to have higher obesity rates because many low-income families also consume higher quantities of low-quality food that’s high in fats, carbohydrates and sugars. With less nutritional value and more filler, families may find their waistlines expanding faster.

“We’re really coming down on sugars are the big culprit, so trying to stay as low-carb a diet as they can,” Hougendobler said. “It just means instead of having snacks that are high in sugar, let’s have fruits or vegetables or things like that, pushing more to fruits, vegetables, whole grains.”

Sugar doesn’t mean candies and baked goods and sodas. Other high-carbohydrate foods including breads and pastas can cause weight gain, so finding substitutes to those starchy foods can be helpful.

Hougendobler said families who want to change their diet should do so slowly. Extreme changes are likely to fail, so households should aim to improve one thing at a time, a month at a time, until eventually their diet is better.

He also advised parents to cut down on their kids ability to snack. Setting up one place in the house to eat, like the kitchen table, and not allowing food elsewhere helps to cut back on snacking. If children have to get up and go to a boring place to eat, they often won’t, as opposed to chomping chips in front of the TV.

Physical activity is also key to fighting obesity, and kids should be active at least an hour a day. Playing outside, going for walks, even doing chores can also help kids stay active.

Screen time is a risk factor — children that spend more than four hours a day in front of screens are much more likely to be overweight than kids who get less than two hours of screen time per day. Hougendobler also advised to not put a TV in a child’s room, as it’s been shown to greatly increase their screen time as opposed to TVs located in communal parts of the house.

COVID-19 has likely exacerbated the problem, as stay-at-home orders and advice kept youth at home where it’s likely they were less active. Now that students are back to school, playing at recess, taking part of physical education class and staying active are key, Hougendobler said.

Some children will grow out weight problems as they enter high school. Children sometimes develop a “pre-puberty pudge,” Hougendobler said, but then as they hit their growth spurt will reach a more healthy weight and weight distribution.

Hougendobler expressed the importance of annual physicals with a doctor, because then a primary care physician can continue to monitor a child’s weight and height to determine whether they are seeing improvement or at risk of carrying obesity into adulthood.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation also offered some national policy suggestions for fighting childhood obesity.

Those include making free school meals for all students — which has been available during the pandemic — a permanent feature in public schools to ensure students have access to healthy meals if they need them; extending eligibility of the low-income WIC food program from 2 years old to 6 years old; continuing programs that can reduce poverty for low-income families such as the expanded Child Tax Credit; and closing the Medicaid gap for low-income families to ensure they maintain access to health care services.

[ad_2]

Source link

Indiana middle of pack for childhood obesity rate | Heraldrepublican

0

[ad_1]

Indiana ranks in the middle of the U.S. when it comes to childhood obesity rates for those 10-17 years old, with about 2-in-13 youth being dangerously overweight.

Along with the physical dangers of being obese, obesity in youth can also be damaging to a child’s mental health as they make their way through adolescence and into adulthood, health officials said.

As has been shown in annual studies, obesity in children also shows disparities by race and income, with low-income children more likely to be seriously overweight and with Black and Hispanic children having much higher rates of obesity.

The new numbers from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s newest annual report, which draws data from the 2019-2020 National Survey of Children’s Health, along with analysis conducted by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

Indiana’s obesity rate for youth 10-17 years old was 15.6%, which put it slightly behind the national average of 16.2%.

Obesity is defined as having a Body Mass Index of 30 or above, a ratio of a person’s weight against their height. A person is considered underweight with a BMI lower than 18.5, overweight at 25-30 and obese at 30-plus.

Indiana is actually best in the local region, lower than Illinois at 17.4% and Ohio at 17.2%, with Michigan one slot ahead of the Hoosier start at 15.7%. To the south, Kentucky is worst in the nation at 23.8%.

Although Indiana is slightly better than the national average when it comes to youth age 10 and older, Indiana’s adult obesity rate is 35.3%, above the national average and one of the worst in the nation.

“The state of childhood obesity in America is an urgent call to action for leaders at all levels and across all sectors,” said Jamie Bussel, senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation who leads the Foundation’s efforts to prevent childhood obesity. “Obesity is a symptom of deep-rooted challenges that have only been made worse by the pandemic and are a warning sign that our nation’s policies are failing our kids. We must make real, systemic change to set kids on a path to better health.”

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s study shows continuing disparities by income and race.

High-income youth have the lowest obesity rate at 8.6%, while the lowest income bracket has the highest obesity rate at 23.1%.

Obesity was also higher among Black and Hispanic children, at 23.8% and 21.4%, respectively, sharply higher than white children at 12.1% and Asian children at 8.1%.

Obesity in children brings many of the same dangers as obesity in adults, said Dr. Duane Hougendobler, chief of pediatrics for Parkview Physicians Group.

While children won’t have the same risk factors of things like heart attack or stroke that adults would have as they age — obesity is a long-term chronic problem that bogs down and strains the body and its organs — it can present short-term complications to kids, too, he said.

“The risk of obesity is with the whole glucose and fat metabolism. You have high cholesterol and high lipids. For kids, more unique to kids, is much more lower self-esteem, depression,” Hougendobler said.

Children can also potentially suffer some orthopedic issues if their weight causes discs to slip, fat deposits on their liver can cause liver damage at a young age and breathing issues include obstructive sleep apnea can impact a child and their ability to rest, which then impacts growth, metabolism and brain function.

“A lot of stress on the system that you can’t undo,” Hougendobler said.

Mental health is also a risk factor, as being overweight as a child can lead to teasing, bullying and lower self-esteem in youth, which may open the door to conditions including anxiety and depression.

“Part of what we’re doing in PPG now, anyone 11 or older kind of gets a quick mental health screen for anxiety and depression. It helps us kind of cue into when these kids are having issues. I would say weekly I have a conversation or more about bullying and all the stuff that happens around their life, then you get the self-esteem issues especially with the young ladies. That is not the style you see in the magazine and movies and stuff so they really feel it. It’s a big issue and we tell parents to watch for that,” Hougendobler said.

Obesity can impact anyone, but childhood obesity can often be a familial issue. Children with obese parents may be more likely to become obese themselves.

There can be genetic components that play into that, but often the impact on children can be attributed to lifestyle factors in their home, such as how active the family is and what kind of food is being consumed in the house.

Children do have some ability to control how active they are, whether they actively play or get exercise during their day, but diet is often dependent on their parents because kids don’t get to do the grocery shopping.

Low-income families tend to have higher obesity rates because many low-income families also consume higher quantities of low-quality food that’s high in fats, carbohydrates and sugars. With less nutritional value and more filler, families may find their waistlines expanding faster.

“We’re really coming down on sugars are the big culprit, so trying to stay as low-carb a diet as they can,” Hougendobler said. “It just means instead of having snacks that are high in sugar, let’s have fruits or vegetables or things like that, pushing more to fruits, vegetables, whole grains.”

Sugar doesn’t mean candies and baked goods and sodas. Other high-carbohydrate foods including breads and pastas can cause weight gain, so finding substitutes to those starchy foods can be helpful.

Hougendobler said families who want to change their diet should do so slowly. Extreme changes are likely to fail, so households should aim to improve one thing at a time, a month at a time, until eventually their diet is better.

He also advised parents to cut down on their kids ability to snack. Setting up one place in the house to eat, like the kitchen table, and not allowing food elsewhere helps to cut back on snacking. If children have to get up and go to a boring place to eat, they often won’t, as opposed to chomping chips in front of the TV.

Physical activity is also key to fighting obesity, and kids should be active at least an hour a day. Playing outside, going for walks, even doing chores can also help kids stay active.

Screen time is a risk factor — children that spend more than four hours a day in front of screens are much more likely to be overweight than kids who get less than two hours of screen time per day. Hougendobler also advised to not put a TV in a child’s room, as it’s been shown to greatly increase their screen time as opposed to TVs located in communal parts of the house.

COVID-19 has likely exacerbated the problem, as stay-at-home orders and advice kept youth at home where it’s likely they were less active. Now that students are back to school, playing at recess, taking part of physical education class and staying active are key, Hougendobler said.

Some children will grow out weight problems as they enter high school. Children sometimes develop a “pre-puberty pudge,” Hougendobler said, but then as they hit their growth spurt will reach a more healthy weight and weight distribution.

Hougendobler expressed the importance of annual physicals with a doctor, because then a primary care physician can continue to monitor a child’s weight and height to determine whether they are seeing improvement or at risk of carrying obesity into adulthood.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation also offered some national policy suggestions for fighting childhood obesity.

Those include making free school meals for all students — which has been available during the pandemic — a permanent feature in public schools to ensure students have access to healthy meals if they need them; extending eligibility of the low-income WIC food program from 2 years old to 6 years old; continuing programs that can reduce poverty for low-income families such as the expanded Child Tax Credit; and closing the Medicaid gap for low-income families to ensure they maintain access to health care services.

[ad_2]

Source link

Obesity in COVID-19 Patients: Study Links the Condition to Longer ICU Stay, Increased Risk of Death

[ad_1]

Research recently showed a link between obesity in COVID-19 patients and a longer time of stay in the intensive care unit.

Specifically, as specified in a The Daily Star report, in a patient who has COVID-19, a high body mass index or BMI is linked to no juts prolonged stay in ICU but an increased risk of death, as well, according to the new study carried out by researchers at the Sweden-based University of Gothenburg and colleagues.

Past studies have shown that a high BMI is considered a risk factor for severe conditions of COVID-19. Besides, obesity heightens the risk of comorbidities like hypertension and type 2 diabetes.

In addition, it has been found to increase the necessity for mechanical ventilation inked to other respiratory infectious diseases like pneumonia and influenza.

ALSO READ: COVID-19 Can Cause Terrible Damage To The Brain, Autopsies Reveal

Science Times - Obesity in COVID-19 Patients: Study Links the Condition to Longer ICY Stay, Increased Risk of Death

(Photo: Navy Medicine from Washington, DC, the USA on Wikimedia Commons)
A chest tube was placed for a patient in the intensive care unit aboard the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20). Comfort cares for critical and noncritical patients without regard to their COVID-19 status.

Increased Risk of Death and Longer ICU Stay

Data from a national quality registry, the Swedish Intensive Care Registry that covers all ICUs in Sweden, were utilized to analyze the findings of this new study published in PLOS ONE.

As a result, the said data showed that each patient was above 18 years of age and had existing weight and height data.

Furthermore, the study involved patients admitted to ICUs Between March 6 and August 30 last year who tested positive for COVID-19.

Of these patients, 78.3 percent of the study group was obese or overweight. Increasing BMI was linked to a higher composite result of fatality in intensive care or a 14-day stay in the ICU among survivors.

Meanwhile, a BMI of 35 kg/m2 or higher doubled the risk of death or a longer ICU stay, adjusted for age and gender. The link persisted even after correcting for certain conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, renal or liver disease, hypertension, and severity of illness at intensive care admission.

Study Findings

A related Medical Xpress report said the study investigators concluded that “obesity is an independent risk factor” for the severe outcome from ICU in patients with COVID-19 and proposed that BMI be part of the severity scoring for ICU patients with COVID-19 ICU.

Commenting on their study, the researchers also said based on their research findings; they suggest that people with obesity need to be more closely monitored and observed when admitted to the hospital for COVID-19.

Obesity and Overweight Associated with COVID-19

The result of earlier research published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology suggested that people with obesity and who are overweight should be a priority in terms of vaccination in the fight against COVID-19, instead of carrying on with age approach.

Additionally, an assessment of almost seven million anonymized health records of people living in England showed that over 13,500 COVID-19 patients needed hospital care from January 24 to April 30 in 2020.

Researchers at the University of Oxford compared the patients’ BMI with their battle against COVID-19 and found that the danger of severe infection increased along with bodyweight.

Past research showed that obese people are more at risk of severe infection from COVID-19 and death from the illness, even though this was the first research to investigate the BMI range.

Related information about the link between obesity and COVID-19 is shown on WION’s YouTube video below:

RELATED ARTICLE: Severe COVID-19: How Does Bodyweight Contribute to Risk of Contracting the Virus?

Check out more news and information on COVID-19 on Science Times.



[ad_2]

Source link

It’s possible for men, women to boost fertility with these natural ways

[ad_1]

Infertility is a serious health problem, affecting 8% to 10% of couples worldwide. This percentage translates to 60 to 80 million couples across the world suffering from infertility every year and around 20 million or 25% live in India.

Before we deep dive into understanding the best nutrition to support fertility, we should understand that complicated issues related to infertility such as physiological malfunction cannot be addressed by nutritional intervention and need medical attention. That said, eating a nutritious diet is one among many other natural ways to boost fertility in both men and women. The influence of healthy eating is crucial to overall wellbeing and not just the reproductive system.

First step is to watch your body weight

Overweight or obesity reduces the chance of fertility for a couple. Excess body weight and fertility is linked in numerous ways. A 2016 review explained the connection between excess body weight and leptin hormone regulation. According to the study, overweight and/or obese women have higher levels of leptin circulating in their blood that may affect the hormonal balance and lead to disrupted fertility.

Being overweight or obesity increases the risk of an irregular menstrual cycle which further reduces fertility. One study found 66.4% of women who were living with obesity conceived within a year compared to 81.4% of women of normal weight. The probability of spontaneous pregnancy was found to be reduced in women with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 29 kg/m² in a 2008 study. The study also mentioned women with a high BMI had a 4% lower pregnancy rate per kg/m² increase.

The development and progression of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common cause of women infertility is characterised by irregular menstrual cycles and inconclusive ovulation, are also associated with excess body weight. Symptoms of PCOS, including infertility, can be improved by losing just 10% to 15% of your body weight.

Excess body weight was associated with lower fertility in men too. A combination of factors such as obesity-induced diabetes and sleep apnoea is associated with reduced testosterone levels and erectile problems.

Dos and don’ts in daily diet

A diverse range of food groups with essential nutrients can boost your fertility. Additionally, staying away from ultra-processed, high-refined carbs containing trans-fat-rich foods leads to obesity, inflammation, and reduced fertility.

  • Eat antioxidant-rich foods such as colourful vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds to ensure folate, zinc, vitamin E, vitamin A and vitamin C. The nutrients help reduce oxidative stress and prevent sperm and egg damage in men and women.

  • Fruits and vegetables have a special role in boosting fertility. Loading your plate with varieties of fruits and vegetables can improve the egg quality. Harvard School of Public Health researchers studied nearly 19,000 women and found that those who consumed more trans fats, sugars from carbohydrates, and animal proteins had a higher incidence of ovulatory disorder. However, chose low-sugary whole fruits; fruits in liquid form cause more harm than good.

  • Cut down total carbohydrates in your daily diet if you have PCOS. Consuming a low-carb diet with no more than 150 grams carbohydrate is recommended for women with PCOS. The benefit of a low carbohydrate eating pattern in PCOS is proven by several research studies. Moreover, a low-carb diets is proven to be beneficial in maintaining a healthy body weight, lower insulin resistance and enhance fat loss in both men and women.

  • The quality of carbohydrates is important too. Refined carbohydrate-containing foods such as white bread, white pasta, sugary snacks, desserts, and beverages are especially problematic. These carbs have a very high glycemic index, so they raise the blood sugar level quickly and also lead to insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone closely linked to the onset and worsening of PCOS.

  • Include full-fat dairy products – Two to four servings a day is recommended. High intake of low-fat dairy foods was found to increase the risk of infertility, whereas high-fat dairy foods consumption was reported to reduce the risk of infertility.

  • Eat a mix of plant and fish-based protein. An interesting study involving around 18,500 married women found that consuming 5% of total energy intake as vegetable protein instead of animal protein was linked to more than 50% lower risk of ovulatory infertility. At the same time, consuming more fish instead of meat was associated to a higher chance of live birth following infertility treatment. Get your daily protein from beans, pulses, soy, and dairy.

To summarise

Along with a wholesome nutritious diet, moderate physical activity daily is important for better health including fertility. However, don’t overdo as intense exercise may lead to decreased fertility. Managing stress, taking time out to relax and quality sleep are also important for optimal reproductive function. Make positive changes in your lifestyle starting by losing excess body weight. A healthy diet and other lifestyle measures will help you prepare your body for pregnancy. If you are thinking of getting pregnant, begin to eat healthy today without taking too much stress and worry. Take help of a team of healthcare professionals to set the best choices for you.

(Subhasree Ray, Doctoral Scholar, Clinical and Public Health Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator. She can be followed on her Twitter @DrSubhasree)

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper’s PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Published on: Sunday, October 17, 2021, 07:00 AM IST

[ad_2]

Source link

Why are heart ailments more prevalent in young adults?

[ad_1]

Of late, there are more cases of heart attacks being reported in those who are in their 40s. While 40 is not the age to bid adieu to this world, many a promising life being nipped in the bud by the cruel fate of destiny has become quite the unfortunate reality. There are certain factors that lead to the accumulation of fatty deposits which narrows the coronary arteries. This blockage, called coronary artery disease, causes most heart attacks. The foremost reasons that are causing widespread heart attacks among the young include:

Deteriorating mental health: Decades of research has shown an intriguing relationship between coronary heart disease and mental health. In fact, studies show that both may cause one another. Good mental health is imperative in such stressing times. It comprises our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Youngsters should resort to integrating yoga like pranayama, shavasana, meditation etc., in their workout routine as it relieves stress, sharpens attention and concentration, relaxes the muscles, and has a calming effect on the nervous system.

Hypertension: High blood pressure or hypertension is yet another factor for the young generation to get cardiovascular disease. Hypertension thickens the heart muscles, damages the blood vessels, and enhances the risk of a heart attack.

Smoking: Studies show that out of every five fatalities from a heart attack, one is caused or is directly related to smoking. The nicotine in cigarettes raises the blood pressure, lowers the amount of oxygen the heart is getting, forms blood clots, which can spur heart attacks, strokes, and damage to the inner part of the blood vessels. So, if you want to live longer, cut out smoking from your life.

Diabetes: This disease is undoubtedly one of the biggest killers. The uncontrolled levels of sugar damage the blood vessels, which ameliorates the incidence of accumulating fats in the arteries thus causing atherosclerosis.

Obesity: Obesity is the mother of all diseases. Eliminate it before it eliminates you.

(The author is a life coach.) 

[ad_2]

Source link

Unsaturated facts about Omega 3 fats

[ad_1]

Have you ever thought about what flax seeds, sardines, soya bean oil, etc., have in common? These are all rich sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fats are a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids, that the body doesn’t make, but are essential for survival and hence have to be provided through our diet.

Omega 3 fatty acids are found in non-vegetarian sources of two kinds: Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA), and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA); and in vegetarian sources, it is in the form of Alpha-linolenic Acid (ALA). Sources of Omega 3 fatty acids include:
i) Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA): As mentioned ALA comes from vegetarian sources like flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, canola oil, and other fortified foods.
ii) Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA): DHA and EPA are mainly found in non-vegetarian foods such as cold-water fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, etc., as well as fortified eggs, etc.
iii) Oral supplements:
Oral supplements can be taken on the advice of your doctor and as prescribed.

Ways to incorporate Omega 3 fatty acids

i) Vegetarian sources:

As part of a trail mix, or with dried fruits.

As part of a smoothie bowl

In salads.

Fortified oils can be used in small amounts for cooking and also as a salad dressing.

Fortified cereals and foods can also be had plain or in combination with other foods as well.

ii) Non-vegetarian sources:

As grilled fish or a fish curry.

As a soup or a stew.

Boiled eggs are a great way to also incorporate proteins and good essential fats into your diet.
 

Omega 3 fatty acids have been seen to

i) Reduce cardiovascular disease.
ii) Reduce blood pressure, lower triglycerides, and increase HDL cholesterol.
iii) Boost fertility.
iv) Improve brain function and output.
v) Help in weight loss, etc.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS or PCOD as it’s commonly known is a condition that is typically seen in girls and ladies between 12 and 45 years.

It is a condition that has hallmarks of polycystic ovaries (the ovaries have multiple cysts in them), infertility (or difficulty getting pregnant, and hyperandrogenism (high levels of the male hormones androgens).

When you are diagnosed with PCOS, one of the main things that your doctor will tell you, especially if you are planning to conceive, is that you need to manage your weight (gain or lose weight) and keep it at or around your ideal body weight; you need to manage your stress levels and eat healthily. Following this, most doctors will refer you to a nutritionist for her expert advice on ways to manage your diet, to control your weight and hormone levels.

Yes, you read that right. PCOS is a condition of unknown aetiology, meaning that we don’t exactly know what causes it, what we do know, however, is how to manage it and control your hormone levels, so that this condition does not affect you too adversely. 

Many people with such a diagnosis, very often go on to lead normal lives just by taking care of a few things in their diet.

Omega 3 fatty acids have been found to reduce inflammation, since in the natural form it is also a good antioxidant, along with helping to manage blood pressure, and blood glucose levels, and ultimately helping in reducing body weight (if overweight), followed by helping to regularise hormone levels and thereby improving your fertility prospects.

Along with helping with these, it helps in relieving stress, and it could also have beneficial outcomes on mental disorders, along with PCOS.

Omega 3 fatty acids can help

i) Mood control: Due to highly fluctuating levels of hormones, you could end up having mood swings which can be regulated with Omega 3 fatty acids.
ii) Reduce inflammation and fatty liver: Most people who have PCOS are seen to be overweight with fatty liver (at various grades). Since Omega 3 fatty acids are antioxidants, it is known to reduce inflammation in the liver, and the accompanying discomforts of the condition.
iii) Lower triglycerides: When combined with eating healthy, and daily exercise, it can not only help in lowering your triglyceride levels, as well as LDL (bad cholesterol) levels but also help to increase your HDL (good cholesterol) levels.
iv) Lower androgen levels: This can help reduce acne, and scalp hair loss, additionally reduce facial hair growth and increase sex drive.
v) Improve fertility: A good amount of Omega-3 fatty acids can help in improving egg quality, and ovulation, which could have better results in overall fertility.
vi) Essential: Omega 3 fatty acids are extremely essential during pregnancy, because in addition to the above-mentioned benefits; it also helps with brain and eye development for the baby, as well as having numerous benefits.

In short Omega 3 fats are essential for our body functions. It has numerous roles and functions in daily life, especially with regard to fertility. 

(The author is the executive nutritionist at a leading chain of hospitals in Bengaluru.)

[ad_2]

Source link

Essential Physical & Mental Health Issues of Truck Drivers : South Florida Caribbean News

[ad_1]

Essential Physical & Mental Health Issues of Truck Drivers

Suppose you are seriously thinking about getting into the trucking business as a truck driver or a fleet owner. In that case, there are certain things that you should know, such as the North Carolina DOT Number, the laws and regulations related to truck driving of your intended regions/ states, and the physical and mental health issues of people that are in the trucking occupation.

When it comes to the health of truck drivers, especially the long-haul truckers, there are certain physical illnesses that this occupation causes, such as obesity, illnesses related to health, respiratory issues since truckers are more likely to smoke, etc. Often, physical illnesses can be a root cause of the physical inactiveness of truckers as compared to other professions in the USA.

Here are some essential physical health problems of truckers:

Obesity

Various reports have proven that potential truckers are more likely to be obese and overweight, which is quite alarming compared to other professions. Besides, obesity is also the root cause of other illnesses, such as diabetes (type 1 and 2), a high cholesterol level, heart disease, high blood pressure/ hypertension, and sleep apnea.

Diabetes (Type 1 & 2)

Diabetes is another illness prevalent in truck drivers, which develops in the body in high blood sugar. The primary source of energy, after food consumption, is derived from blood glucose, which is helped into your cells with the help of insulin. When you suffer from diabetes, you either make less or no insulin, which causes the glucose to remain in the blood instead of reaching the cells.

Diabetes is also the cause of other physical illnesses, such as kidney failure, heart issues, and even blindness. It has been analyzed that truck drivers are twice at risk of developing diabetes as compared to other professions in the USA.

Lack of Physical Activity

Different research has also proven that potential truck drivers don’t get to be physically active or don’t go for the recommended amount of physical activity, which is why many truckers are obese, have hypertension, and are prone to develop heart problems.

According to a survey, only one out of five female truckers reported working out thirty minutes each day. According to physicists, getting at least 2-hours of vigorous workout once a week not only improves one’s sleep cycle but also reduces hypertension and boosts alertness while decreasing the risks of a car crash. That said, as a potential truck driver, you ought to pay extra attention to your sleep cycle and include a regular schedule of intense workouts, at least once a week.

Mental Health Problems of Truckers
Chronic Loneliness

It doesn’t matter whether we are a self-employed truck driver or a trucker working under a contract. Constant competition with one another leads to various physical and mental vulnerabilities, such as chronic loneliness, which is particularly evident amongst long-haul truckers.

Long-haul truckers remain separated from their friends and family for a longer period, and they also have little time to socialize because of their tight deadlines and tough routines. The resulting chronic loneliness harms their mental health, which can cause depression and social anxiety.

Depression

Amongst the most common mental health problems of truckers is depression, and several factors are the underlying reason for this aspect. Firstly, the tight schedules and deadlines cause sleep deprivation, long periods of loneliness, and solitude, leading to a sense of gloom and eventually depression. Sometimes, the truck drivers develop bad health habits, such as excessive drinking, smoking, and illegal drugs, which ultimately lead to obesity, and depression.

Anxiety

Typically, anxiety is more common amongst newbie truckers. Many newbie truckers are prone to random anxiety and panic attacks at their job. However, experienced truckers are also prone to anxiety and stress, which is typically triggered by work pressure, workload, and other job requirements, causing them (truckers) to feel overwhelmed.

Final Thoughts

While much of the physical and mental health problems amongst truck drivers arise because this profession is highly competitive, especially when we talk about a trucking area that has several shipping and container ports, resultantly, the wok culture that is created in the face of such competencies prompts drivers to be tired, overworked and battling physical and mental health issues.

 

 



[ad_2]

Source link

Should you get a microbiome test?

[ad_1]

Companies can tell you the kinds of microbes that live in your gut, but the results may not help you lose weight or fend off disease.

Q: How do I know if my gut microbiome is healthy? Is there a test I can take to see what’s going on?

A growing number of companies offer tests that provide a glimpse into our gut microbiome, the community of trillions of microbes that live in our digestive tract. Scientists increasingly recognize that these microorganisms play a crucial role in our health, influencing everything from how successfully we age or fight off infections to our risks of developing obesity, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

Direct-to-consumer microbiome tests require little more than filling out a form online, paying a fee and sending in a stool sample. Two to three weeks later, you’ll get a report that provides an overview of the microorganisms in your gut and whether they’re associated with various diseases and disorders. A few companies claim they can even tell you which foods are best for you to eat based on the composition of your microbiome and other personal data.

But some experts say that while the science looks very promising, the evidence behind such claims is still in its infancy. “I think in five or 10 years we’ll be able to have reliable and valid consumer offerings that health care practitioners could in good faith recommend,” said Amy Loughman, a senior research fellow who leads the microbiome research stream at the Food & Mood Centre at Deakin University in Australia. “But I don’t think we’re at that point right now. I think the promises are greater than what the science can realistically offer.”

microbes A growing number of companies offer tests that provide a glimpse into our gut microbiome, the community of trillions of microbes that live in our digestive tract. (Aileen Son for The New York Times)

There’s no doubt the microbiome plays an important role in our overall health, converting the food we eat into a range of compounds that have benefits throughout our body. The microbes in our gut produce a variety of vitamins; synthesize hormones like serotonin, which influences metabolic health and mood; and ferment the fiber that we eat, turning it into short chain fatty acids that can lower inflammation. The composition of our microbiomes is shaped by our genetics, our environment and the foods, drugs and beverages we consume.

Scientists have identified gut microbes that are linked to insulin resistance, obesity and metabolic diseases. They have also found that having large numbers of a wide variety of bacterial species generally seems to be a good thing. People who have high degrees of microbial diversity in their guts tend to have lower rates of obesity, depression and diabetes, and they are less likely to show early signs of frailty as they get older.

But microbiomes are as unique as fingerprints. Even identical twins do not have identical microbiomes. And with so much variation between individuals, there is no consensus on precisely what constitutes a “healthy” microbiome. Nor is it always clear whether specific strains of bacteria and low levels of microbial diversity promote obesity and metabolic diseases, or vice versa. Some gut microbes appear to be beneficial in some people and detrimental in others.

“The field has progressed a lot, and we are finding out which bacteria are generally on the good and bad guys rosters,” said Justin Sonnenburg, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford University who studies the microbiome. “But bacteria are complex and rapidly evolving organisms, so they’re difficult to pin down in terms of only-ever-good or only-ever-bad.”

Even if you know how a particular strain of bacteria responds to certain foods, it can be difficult to know what will happen when it’s combined with a vast array of other microbes. “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts,” said Sean Gibbons, a microbiome specialist and assistant professor at the Institute for Systems Biology, a nonprofit research organization in Seattle. “Predicting how a community of microbes will respond to a certain input is more difficult than predicting what a single bug will do.”

Despite how much scientists have learned in recent years, there remains a lot that we still don’t know about the thousands of different microbial species that can inhabit the gut.

“The known unknowns of the microbiome are staggering: Approximately 20 percent of bacterial gene sequences have not been identified,” and the function of 40 percent of the estimated 10 million total of bacterial genes remains unknown, Dr. Loughman and a colleague wrote in a recent review paper published in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology.

Studies have shown that there is no one-size-fits-all diet that has consistent effects on such factors as metabolic health or weight loss for everyone, and the microbiome is part of the reason for this. As a result, some companies are combining microbiome analyses with other data to give people customized diet recommendations.

One large international study of personalized nutrition, called Predict, has followed 1,100 people in the United States and Britain, including hundreds of identical and nonidentical twins. It found that people can have dramatically different metabolic responses to the same foods and that unique factors, such as a person’s genetics, sleep, stress and exercise levels, and the diversity and types of microbes in their guts, all influence how they metabolize food.

This research formed the basis of a company called Zoe, which provides personalized food recommendations. To do that, the company analyzes its customers’ gut microbiomes and collects a wealth of other health data from them. Zoe has its customers wear continuous glucose monitors, and it takes blood samples from them to see how different meals affect the levels of fat and glucose in their circulations. Prices for the company’s programs start at $354, paid in six monthly installments of $59.

In 2015, a group of researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel published a study involving 800 participants that also showed that people had wildly different glucose responses, an indicator of diabetes risk, to the same foods. The researchers developed an algorithm using data from the participants’ glucose responses, gut microbiomes, family histories and lifestyles, which allowed them to predict how a person’s glucose levels would respond to different foods. The research gave rise to a company called DayTwo, which provides personalized nutrition advice to people with diabetes to help them manage their condition.

Using the company’s app, customers can see if a meal they’re thinking of having is likely to spike their glucose levels, and they are guided toward food choices that might be better for them, said Eran Segal, a computer scientist at the Weizmann Institute and a co-founder of DayTwo. “We’ll almost never tell you that you can’t eat something,” said Dr. Segal. “But we’re going to tell you that we may change the quantity a bit or change the food combinations.”

DayTwo’s customers are paired with dietitians and provided continuous glucose monitors. A study sponsored by DayTwo and published last month in Diabetes Care showed that people who followed its program for a year had greater improvements in their blood sugar control than a control group. The company currently only offers its program through employers and health plans and would not disclose its prices.

Dr. Loughman at Deakin University said that while the microbiome studies behind companies like Zoe and DayTwo are exciting, more research is needed. She does not necessarily discourage people who want to get their microbiomes sequenced to learn about their health. But she added that people can take simple steps to nourish their gut microbes by eating plenty of fiber-rich plants and fermented foods, which will also benefit their overall health.

“If you have $300 to spare, feel free,” she said. “But would your health be much better than if a doctor just saw your name and said, ‘OK, you’re a 40-year-old person with an underlying health condition — therefore you should eat more vegetables’? It’s debatable.”

📣 For more lifestyle news, follow us on Instagram | Twitter | Facebook and don’t miss out on the latest updates!



[ad_2]

Source link

Failing public health is killing Americans, unequally

[ad_1]

Geography tells us important stories. The states that have suffered the most cases of COVID-19 (mostly in the Southeast and Southwest) also have the highest rates of food insecurity, meaning that people can’t always afford sufficient food, according to data recently released by USDA. These same states also have the highest rates of obesity.

Why?

It’s not an issue of climate or soil or mere coincidence.

It’s about failed public policies.  

The top reasons for disproportionate COVID-19 cases in these regions are pretty obvious: resistance to mask mandates, low rates of vaccination and little promotion of social distancing throughout the pandemic.   

Their reasons for high levels of hunger and diet-related chronic diseases should be equally obvious: public policies that ensure low wages, high taxes on food, inadequate government safety nets and widespread food desserts (where healthier food is scarce). These states also have the country’s highest rates of poverty. And — while systemic racism is still a serious problem in every state — it’s likely no coincidence that the three maps also overlap heavily with many states in the former southern Confederacy, where racial disparities in all these maladies remain particularly pronounced.

These drivers of poor health are deeply interconnected, and each makes the other worse. Humans who are malnourished are more likely to have compromised immune systems and poor metabolic health, making them more likely to contract and transmit diseases such as COVID-19. Indeed, nearly two-thirds of COVID-19 hospitalizations may be related to common diet-related conditions. In communities with more COVID-19 cases, businesses (where workers earn money to purchase food), schools, senior centers and food charities (where people obtain free meals) have been more likely to be closed. The nutrition insecurity crisis fuels the pandemic, and vice versa.

Take Mississippi, for example. Per 100,000 people, Mississippi ranks in the top 10 states for COVID-19 cases endured since the onset of the pandemic. It also has the nation’s single highest rates of food insecurity, poverty, obesity, and (just behind West Virginia) diabetes. It is a grim irony that Mississippi also has the steepest sales tax on groceries, 7 percent.

While obesity rates are high among Americans of all incomes due to complex physiological, emotional, genetic and cultural causes, people suffering from nutrition insecurity and poverty have even higher rates. Since healthier food is often more expensive, more time consuming to prepare and harder to find in low-income communities than junk food, hunger and obesity are flip sides of the same malnutrition coin. When low-income humans are forced to skip meals, they are more likely to overeat when they do eat again. 

Obesity — as well as other diet-related diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease — also make it more likely for people who get COVID-19 to die from it. Even before the pandemic, diet-related diseases were the top reason why this generation is the first in U.S. history to die earlier of natural causes than their parents.

While these problems are most pronounced in certain regions, nutrition insecurity, poverty and diet-caused diseases are a serious problem in every state — significantly harming wide swaths of suburban, rural and urban America across every racial, ethnic, education, political and income subgroup. 

Almost half the entire adult population — more than 100 million adults — have pre-diabetes or diabetes. Fully 122 million Americans have cardiovascular disease, resulting in roughly 840,000 deaths each year. 

Not only are the human costs devastating, but so too are the economic losses. The total cost to the U.S. of obesity is estimated at $1.72 trillion per year, or 9.3 percent of gross domestic product. As a nation, we spend about $1.1 trillion on direct costs for food — and another $2.1 trillion on additional, external costs of food from poor health, wasted natural resources and lost livelihoods. In other words, for every $1 we spend on food, our nation and economy lose an additional $2. 

House Rules Committee Chairman Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and many other public and private food leaders are right to be calling on the White House to convene a 2022 Conference on Food, Nutrition, Hunger and Health to draw together all key stakeholders (including federal, state and local officials and the food industry) to comprehensively address these grave threats.

But states, cities, counties and the private sector should also take concrete, meaningful actions now on all these fronts. They should immediately increase vaccination campaigns and encourage mask-wearing and social distancing in indoor public spaces.

They should ensure that all jobs pay a living wage so that families can afford to buy the healthiest food — and when wages aren’t enough to do so, they need to help as many eligible families as possible obtain healthy foods through federally-funded nutrition programs such as SNAP, WIC and school meals. 

States and cities should also incentivize farmers markets and grocery stores to deliver to food deserts, build healthier foods into their administration of Medicaid, and promote community gardens, urban farms and food entrepreneurship.  

The intertwined challenges of COVID-19, hunger, and obesity graphically demonstrate our national geography of failed public health. Smart public policies can move American states and communities from the bottom to the top of key national rankings. Geography doesn’t need to equal destiny.

Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian is a cardiologist and dean of the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. Follow him on Twitter: @Dmozaffarian

Joel Berg is CEO of Hunger Free America, a national direct service and advocacy nonprofit group. Follow him on Twitter: @Joelsberg



[ad_2]

Source link

SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: The many pluses of flu vaccination | Columns

[ad_1]

Flu season is upon us. The timing of flu is very unpredictable and can vary in different parts of the country and from season to season. Most seasonal flu activity typically occurs between October and May. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the United States between December and February.

It’s not possible to predict what this flu season will be like. While flu spreads every year, the timing, severity and length of the season varies from one year to another. Flu viruses are constantly changing so it’s not unusual for new ones to appear each year.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. People should begin getting vaccinated soon after flu vaccine becomes available, if possible by October, to ensure that as many people as possible are protected before flu season begins. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating in the community, it’s not too late to get vaccinated.

An annual flu vaccine is recommended for almost everyone 6 months and older. It is one of the best ways to reduce flu illnesses, hospitalizations and death from flu. This fall and winter, the flu virus and the virus that causes COVID-19 may both be spreading. Vaccination is the best defense against both COVID-19 and the flu. Both vaccines are necessary to help people stay healthy and to avoid added stress to our health care system.

The CDC says it’s safe to get the flu vaccine and a Covid vaccine at the same time, whether it’s your first Covid vaccine or, for those who are eligible, your booster shot. The body’s immune response and any possible side effects are generally the same as when getting one vaccine alone. Consider getting each vaccine in a different arm to help reduce any pain and swelling that might occur.

The flu is not just a really bad cold. It’s a contagious illness that affects the nose, throat, lungs and other parts of the body. It can spread quickly from one person to another. It can cause mild to severe illness and at times can lead to death.

Unlike a cold, flu symptoms start suddenly. They appear about one to four days after a person is exposed to the flu. Symptoms may include: fever or feeling feverish or chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headache, tiredness and, in some cases, particularly involving children, vomiting or diarrhea.

Symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to flu symptoms. If you think you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 talk to your health care provider and get tested.

Anyone can get the flu and serious complications can develop at any age. According to the CDC, the people who are at highest risk for complications and should receive the flu vaccine early in the flu season, usually in September or October, are: children younger than 5; adults 65 years of age and older; pregnant women; residents of long-term care facilities; and people who have a medical condition such as asthma, neurological or neurodevelopmental disorder, chronic lung disease, heart disease, blood disorder, endocrine disorder, metabolic disorder, kidney or liver disorder. Also more susceptible are people with a weakened immune system due to disease or medication, people younger than 19 years old who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy, and people who are morbidly obese (Body Mass Index, or BMI, of 40 or greater).

In addition, people who come in contact with high-risk patients should receive the flu vaccine early. These include household contacts of high-risk patients (especially contacts of an infant younger than six months), health care workers, and daycare and preschool workers. Those who live or work with people who are at high risk of flu complications should get a flu vaccine to keep from spreading the flu to them.

Getting a flu vaccine has many benefits. It can keep you from getting the flu, can help make your illness less severe if you do get sick and, for both children and adults, can reduce the risk of being hospitalized with the flu or dying from it.

The flu vaccine does not give you the flu. It stimulates your body to produce antibodies. These antibodies protect you from flu viruses. Once you get the vaccine, it takes about two weeks for it to be fully effective. You should not wait to get vaccinated.

In addition to getting a seasonal flu vaccine, you can take everyday precautions like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu.

A flu shot clinic will be held at The Dale Association, 33 Ontario St., Lockport, on Monday (Oct. 18) from 2 to 4 p.m. Walgreens is dispensing the vaccine. Advance registration is preferred. To make an appointment, call (716) 433-1886. Please bring your insurance card.

Maureen A. Wendt is president and CEO of The Dale Association, a non-profit organization that provides senior, mental health, in-home care, caregiver support services and enrichment activities for adults. For more information, call 433-1937 or visit www.daleassociation.com .

[ad_2]

Source link