Obesity and extreme obesity can reduce life expectancy by up to eight years and deprive people of as much as 19 years of good health, according to a study published.
In a decade-long diabetes study, researchers from Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) found that among those with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM), Malays and Indians are at higher risk of cardiovascular diseases compared to Chinese patients.Malay patients had two times higher risk while Indians had 1.7 times higher risk of diseases such as heart attacks and strokes, compared to Chinese patients with T2DM, according to findings of a study released by the healthcare cluster that manages KTPH, Alexandra Health.
Geneticists said on Wednesday they had pinpointed the most important obesity gene yet, and its functioning may explain why some people are more prone to obesity than others. It is worthwhile remembering that besides genes, obesity is a culmination of multiple other factors including lack of exercise and poor dietary habits. So rather than putting all the blame on your genes, an active lifestyle and good dietary choices still remain the most important interventions in mitigating obesity.
Obesity and related diseases like diabetes have gained epidemic proportions in many developed countries. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), obesity nearly doubled worldwide from 1980 to 2008.
The Health Promotion Board (HPB), Singapore, has launched a first-of-its-kind nationwide challenge to encourage Singaporeans who are overweight and at risk of becoming obese to battle the bulge.
According to the National Health Survey 2010, 1.7 million Singaporeans have a body mass index (BMI) of 23 or above, and they are at risk of obesity-related diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases and stroke. HPB says one million Singaporeans with BMI of 23 or more are either already pre-diabetic, or suffer at least one or more chronic condition such as diabetes. The One Million KG Challenge aims to get Singapore residents to collectively lose one million kilogrammes by 2016.
These community initiatives reflect a greater awareness of the need to combat obesity in order to curb the increasing prevalence of diabetes, amongst other lifestyle diseases. While community initiatives like this are highly commendable in their efforts to inspire the general public to lose weight and improve their health, the bigger challenge lies in how to maintain the weight lost and to persist in living a healthy lifestyle after the challenge is over.
Half of parents with an overweight or obese child think their kids are slimmer than they actually are, according to a new review of past studies. Recent studies show children who are over weight as a child will most likely remain obese in later life. Parents play a very crucial role in preventing childhood obesity, and interventions are most successful if they involve parents. If the parents do not recognise their child is overweight or are not concerned, they are not going to take steps to address it. An insightful parent is paramount to the successful management of childhood obesity.
A study shows that children who are overweight in pre-school are likely to stay obese for the rest of their lives. In recent years, not only the incidence of type 2 diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate, a worrying proportion of diabetics are in young people. Given that obesity in childhood predisposes to later life obesity and diabetes, it may be important to start intervening in childhood to curb the risk of developing diabetes in later life. However a well balanced diet is imperative in a growing child. Attempts to restrict calories and lose weight in a young growing child should be done under proper medical supervision.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), in short, is a condition in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance. The condition is frequently associated with weight gain in a young women. This results in androgenization (acne, excessive facial and body hair), menstrual irregularities and infertility. PCOS is common, affecting as many as 1 out of 10 women. It is thought to be one of the leading causes of female subfertility and the most frequent endocrine problem in women of reproductive age.
Besides the disturbances in the sex hormones, the sinister feature of the syndrome is insulin resistance and obesity, which lead to diabetes. In fact, as many as 1 in 4 women with PCOS has diabetes. As a result of these metabolic disturbances, women with PCOS have a higher risk of cardiovascular event in their lifetime. Although termed as an ‘ovarian’ syndrome, the underlying pathology is not restricted to the ovaries. Often, there is a conglomeration of endocrine and metabolic problems in a woman with PCOS. These hormonal and metabolic disturbances can be amenable to treatment, with restoration of menstrual cycles and fertility in many instances.
Experts have opined that fad diet can be effective in reducing weight, at least in the short term. This is not a surprising conclusion considering that fad diet often consists of some form of calories restriction, and calories restriction does reduce weight, regardless of the proportion of macronutrients. The concern is whether this weight lost induced by fad dieting can be sustainable. There are also concerns that many fad diets have little consideration that a well-balanced, nutritious diet is critical for our bodies to function properly. Besides, there are really no good evidence to suggest that one fad diet is better than the other in inducing sustained weight loss. So think again before you embark on a certain fad diet. Not that they don’t work. But sometimes a well balanced diet, with some calories restriction and an active lifestyle with adequate exercise are all that it takes.
Overweight and obese men in a new study showed diminished quantity and quality of semen, suggesting that a weight problem might also affect fertility.This finding is not surprising considering it is well established that obese men tend to be at higher risk of having hypogonadism (condition characterized by low testosterone state). Exercise and weight loss in obese men have been found to improve erectile dysfunction. It remains to be proven whether the same intervention of exercise and weight loss would improve fertility in these men.