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Long Term Australian Health Study Finds Increased Risk of Diabetes and Obesity

Posted: August 19th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Health, Medicated | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Long Term Australian Health Study Finds Increased Risk of Diabetes and Obesity

ObesityIt’s one of the most complex health issues facing the developed world in this 21st century, and it seems the harder we look into obesity, the more complex it becomes. Long gone is the simple ethos “food in = energy out.”

Researchers are battling to come to terms with what can only be described as an epidemic. A third of the world’s adult population is physically inactive, the couch-potato lifestyle kills about 5 million people every year, experts contributing to a special feature in the medical journal The Lancet say.

“Roughly three of every 10 individuals aged 15 years or older – about 1.5 billion people – do not reach present physical activity recommendations,” Dr Pedro Hallal and colleagues said in a report that described the problem as a pandemic.

Complicating an already complicated issue, a 2012 study by researchers at Georgetown University revealed how the mutation in a single gene can be responsible for the inability of neurons to effectively pass along appetite suppressing signals from the body to the right place in the brain.

Australian researchers have just undertaken one of the most comprehensive studies tracking the health of the nation. The findings paint a disturbing picture of the nation’s battle with diabetes and obesity. The AusDiab study was funded through a National Health and Medical Research Council grant and followed 11,000 Australians for 12 years ::::


Researchers found the incidence of diabetes remained very high, with almost 270 adult Australians diagnosed each day, and people aged 25-34 were gaining more weight than other age groups.

Patients with diabetes were also found more likely to suffer other conditions as well. Prevalence of depression in patients with diabetes was 65 per cent, which was much higher than those without diabetes.

Study leader Professor Jonathan Shaw says the link between diabetes and depression is complex.


“It appears there’s a bit of a two-way street here. People with depression are more likely to develop conditions like diabetes, partly because they feel less able to pursue healthy lifestyles,” Professor Shaw told ABC. “But partly because there are also some – not fully understood – metabolic pathways that link the two.”

Professor Shaw says people with diabetes also had twice the rate of cognitive impairment compared to those without diabetes.

“One of the biggest contradictions is that we are seeing people living longer but with higher rates of chronic diseases. So their quality of life is compromised by disease,” he said.

Professor Shaw says a person who is aged 80 in 2013 may have been living with diabetes or high blood pressure for 20 years, which has a damaging effect over time.

“As we get better at managing chronic disease, we’re seeing people living longer and with higher rates of frailty and cognitive impairment,” he said.

Women and Young at Greatest Risk

In line with previous trends, obesity levels continued to rise. The report found that the average gain in waist circumference over the 12 years of the study was 5.3 centimetres and it was greater in women than men.

“Younger people don’t seem to think about diseases in relation to their weight or their waist circumference, but that’s where most of the weight gain is occurring,” Professor Shaw said. “They’ve stopped doing exercise they did as a young single person – they’ve taken on a lot of family responsibilities – but they don’t yet feel any great connection or risk of developing diseases such as diabetes. That’s where we need to focus our efforts on preventing weight gain, because it’s much easier to prevent weight gain than it is to achieve weight loss.”

Despite public education campaigns, more than a third of people in the study were not meeting the physical activity guidelines of 30 minutes of exercise a day.

Obesity remains one of the biggest risk factors for type two diabetes, researchers measured how much exercise people do, and how much time they were sitting down every day.

Professor Shaw says from this, they found many people’s perceptions were inaccurate.

“People significantly overestimate the amount of exercise they’re doing by about 50 per cent, and they underestimate by about half the amount of time they’re spending sitting down.”

Professor Shaw says tools exist to help people live healthier lives.

“We need to be prepared to take some tough decisions but it’s not impossible. Look what we have achieved with gun control, smoking cessation and water restrictions,” he said.

Professor Shaw says a Preventative Health Task Force came up with a raft of recommendations designed to make Australia healthier.

“Many of those ideas are now sitting on shelves gathering dust. Everything should be on the table: taxation levers, town planning, office space layout needs to be reconsidered to tackle the growing personal and community impact of chronic disease,” he said.

source: abc


CHRONIC FAT OBESITYI’ve been wondering for a while just how long it would take for Obesity to move from being a medical issue to a social one, it seems we are right now on that cusp. Obesity has had so much bad publicity – deservingly so – over the past 5 years that the obese are striking back, no longer satisfied with the social stigma, and  often unable to lose the weight, the obese are becoming a large majority.

Fat activist Jackie Wykes recently posted a volatile question via theconversation.edu.au, asking How Anti Obesity Campaigns Re-inforce Stigma. Ms Wykes says “By focusing on weight as the problem and weight loss as the solution, social and economic inequalities are made invisible.” I’d reckon that in this country at least – and the world generally –  supermarkets would disagree entirely, never have groceries – fresh included – ever been so inexpensive, there is literally NO excuse today for BAD EATING HABITS!

According to Ms Wykes, health disparities between groups are blamed on individuals for not makinghealthy choices, ignoring the ways that the choices available to comfortably middle-class white Australians are often very different to those available to people on low incomes, to recent immigrants, or to Indigenous Australians.

This rhetoric clearly scirts the issue – yes obese people have rights, more rights than drug addicts, less than breast cancer patients, and about the same as rights as smokers –  in my mind the formula is pretty simple, EAT LESS! If you wish to make the argument complicated – it’s still diet based for the majority of obesity – then EAT CAREFULLY! :: Read the full article »»»»

Chronic Obesity Killing 5 Million+ Each Year

Chronic Obesity Killing 5 Million+ Each YearA third of the world’s adult population is physically inactive, the couch-potato lifestyle kills about 5 million people every year, experts contributing to a special feature in the medical journal The Lancet say.

“Roughly three of every 10 individuals aged 15 years or older – about 1.5 billion people – do not reach present physical activity recommendations,” Dr Pedro Hallal and colleagues said in a report that described the problem as a pandemic.

The Lancet Physical Activity Series Working Grouppaints an even grimmer picture for adolescents, with four out of five 13 to 15-year-olds not moving enough, the report said.

Inactivity was described for the study as failing to do 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five times a week, 20 minutes of vigorous activity three times a week, or a combination of the two :: Read the full article »»»»

Single Gene Mutation Leads to Uncontrolled Obesity

Researchers Reveal How a Single Gene Mutation Leads to Uncontrolled ObesityResearchers at Georgetown University Medical Center have revealed how a mutation in a single gene is responsible for the inability of neurons to effectively pass along appetite suppressing signals from the body to the right place in the brain. What results is obesity caused by a voracious appetite.

Their study, published March 18th on Nature Medicine‘s website, suggests there might be a way to stimulate expression of that gene to treat obesity caused by uncontrolled eating.

The research team specifically found that a mutation in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) gene in mice does not allow brain neurons to effectively pass leptin and insulin chemical signals through the brain.

In humans, these hormones, which are released in the body after a person eats, are designed to “tell” the body to stop eating. But if the signals fail to reach correct locations in the hypothalamus, the area in the brain that signals satiety, eating continues :: Read the full article »»»»

Obesity Epidemic Affecting Autopsies

Australia - Obesity Epidemic Affecting AutopsiesAustralians are getting more obese by the day, with experts warning body fat is masking the diagnosis of other illnesses. It is causing stress on Australia’s public health system and the people who have to examine the grossly overweight bodies. South Australian forensic pathologist Roger Byard says the problem is so bad he cannot get some of his clients onto his examination tables, reports Rebecca Brice from abc.net.au.

Dr Byard says obesity is one of the most frightening epidemics he has seen in his four decades in medicine. ”We have antibiotics for infections, we have chemotherapy for cancer, so we take two steps forward but with the obesity problem we’re almost taking three steps back,” Dr Byard said.

Dr Byard says since 1986 the rate of morbidly obese bodies entering his Adelaide mortuary has risen from just over 1 per cent to almost 5 per cent. At times the bodies are so big he has to dissect them on the floor. ”We try to avoid this obviously, but if a body is so large that we can’t safely put the body on a trolley then we have to perform the autopsy on the floor, which is terribly difficult.”

The bigger the bodies, he says, the harder it is to dissect them and the harder it is to find the cause of death. ”Obesity comes with so many diseases – it’s almost how do you choose which is the problem,” he said. ”As well as the fact that they have to carry this excess weight around, their heart’s being compressed and this adipose tissue material is secreting toxins that people think actually cause death of heart cells. So they’re being attacked on all fronts.” Dr Byard said.

The problems are not confined to the morgue. Some obese hospital patients do not fit into CT scanning machines and excess fat can hinder the taking of blood using syringes, which impedes diagnosis in both the dead and the living.

Read more at ABC


Simply Standing Up Helps Avoid Diabetes

Diabetes Blue CircleResearch has revealed that interrupting sitting time with short bouts of light exercise can lower glucose and insulin levels by as much as 30 per cent, helping people avoid diabetes. The research was published online today in Diabetes Care, a publication of the American Diabetes Association. Associate Professor David Dunstan, from the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, was the study’s lead researcher.

“What this study is showing is that people who sit for long periods, like office workers and call centre staff and drivers, could improve their health by simply breaking up their sitting time with frequent activity breaks,” Dunstan said. ”Inside this study we used breaks every 20 minutes, just for two-minute activity bouts, and showed that it was, it substantially improved the body’s response to a glucose challenge.”

Sixty per cent of Australians are either overweight or obese with the risk of developing diabetes. Professor Dunstan says people who work sitting at their desks should stand up at least every every 30 minutes :: Read the full article »»»»

Nicotines Anorexic Effect

If your a filthy fagger, you’ve no doubt said to yourself  ‘fluff it — quitting puts on 2 dress sizes!’ Just for a change, your right.

Researchers have discovered that nicotine decreases the want of food via the activation of Pro-opiomelanocortin – POMC – neurons. (Mutations in the POMC gene have been associated with early onset obesity, adrenal insufficiency, and red hair-pigmentation)

 Importantly, the researchers have shown that nicotine causes a dip in appetite via a different pathway to the one that it triggers addiction through.

This means that it’s possible to make a drug that isn’t addictive, but still has nicotine’s goodly appetite-suppressing powers.

We don’t usually cut and paste posts, we have to make an exception here, the abstract for this study is overtly clever :: Read the full article »»»»

Nicotinamide Mononucleotide Helps Reverse Diabetes in Female Mice

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have restored normal blood sugar metabolism in diabetic mice using a compound the body makes naturally. The finding suggests that it may one day be possible for people to take the compound in pill form to treat or even prevent type 2 diabetes. The naturally occurring enzyme, Nicotinamide Mononucleotide  – NMN – plays an important role in how cells use energy. Researcher Shin-ichiro Imai says this discovery holds promise for people because the mechanisms that NMN influences are largely the same in mice and humans.

“After giving NMN, glucose tolerance goes completely back to normal in female diabetic mice,” says Shin-ichiro Imai, MD, PhD, associate professor of developmental biology. “In males, we see a milder effect compared to females, but we still see an effect. These are really remarkable results. NMN improves diabetic symptoms, at least in mice.”

Kathryn F. Mills, research lab supervisor said, “We also injected older healthy mice and found that they weren’t adversely affected. It’s good to know that even if the mice are not diabetic, giving NMN is not going to harm them.” Read the full article »»»»

COUCH-POTATOES! Each Hour of TV Cuts 22 Minutes OFF Your Life

Couch PotatoIf estimates are correct, then TV viewing is in the same league as smoking and obesity! In a new study into the healthy habits of couch potatoes, a University of Queensland study has compared watching television to smoking and similar unhealthy habits.

This comes on the back of a study last year with similar findings, do we sense a theme? Dr Veerman from Queensland Universitys School of Population Health says that the small proportion of people who watch six – or more – hours of television a day would reduce their lifespan by almost 5 years.

Each hour of TV you watch could cut 22 minutes from your lifespan,Veerman’s study has found.

Dr Lennert Veerman, from the School of Population Health at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, and colleagues, report their findings today in the British Journal of Sports Medicine :: Read the full article »»»»

Wiki! GOUT

GOUTGout, also known as podagra when it involves the big toe, is a medical condition usually characterized by recurrent attacks of acute inflammatory arthritis, a red, tender, hot, swollen joint. The metatarsal-phalangeal joint at the base of the big toe is the most commonly affected (approximately 50per cent of cases).

However, it may also present as tophi, kidney stones, or urate nephropathy. It is caused by elevated levels of uric acid in the blood which crystallize, and the crystals are deposited in joints, tendons, and surrounding tissues.

A clinical diagnosis is confirmed by the visualization of the characteristic crystals in joint fluid. Treatment with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, or colchicine improves symptoms.

Once the acute attack has subsided, levels of uric acid are usually lowered via lifestyle changes, and in those with frequent attacks, allopurinol or probenecid provide long-term prevention.

Gout has increased in frequency in recent decades, affecting about 2 per cent of the western population at some point in their lives. The increase is believed to be due to increasing risk factors in the population, such as metabolic syndrome, longer life expectancyand changes in diet. Gout was historically known as “the disease of kings” or “rich man’s disease” :: Read the full article »»»»

source: sociallyengineered

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