People who spend 5 hours a day scrolling on phone have 43% higher risk of obesity

Spending hours each day glued to a smartphone could greatly increase your risk of obesity, a new study says.

Researchers found that college students who spent five hours or more on their cell phones were 43 percent more likely to be obese than their peers who had less screen time.

That’s because the phone-addicted students were twice as likely to drink sugary beverages and eat fast food and candy, and two times less likely to exercise.

The study, by Simón Bolívar University in Barranquilla, Colombia, is the latest in a field of research that suggests phone usage can disrupt your metabolism at night, cause sleep deprivation and impact self-control – all of which could drive obesity.
According to lead author Professor Mirary Mantilla-Morrón, the study provides enough evidence for doctors to see cell phones as a serious factor when assessing a patient’s health.

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‘The results of this study allow us to highlight one of the main causes of physical obesity, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease,’ Professor Mantilla-Morrón, a cardiac pulmonary and vascular rehabilitation specialist at Simón Bolívar University, said.

For the study, the team looked at more than 1,000 male and female college students at the university between June 2018 and December 2018.

They tracked daily smartphone usage, almost all on Androids.

Their results, shared today at the American College of Cardiology Latin America Conference, showed that the students were 43 percent more likely to be obese if a smartphone was used five or more hours a day.

Those who used their cellphone that often were also more likely to consume sugary drinks and fast food, and not participate in physical activity.

About 25 percent of the participants who were overweight and nearly five percent who were obese spent more than five hours using their device.

Women who used their smartphones more than five hours were almost twice as likely to overweight as men and just slightly more likely to be obese.
‘It is important that the general population knows…that, although mobile technology is undoubtedly attractive for its multiple purposes…it should also be used to improve habits and healthy behaviors,’ said Professor Mantilla-Morrón.

‘Spending too much time in front of [a] smartphone facilitates sedentary behaviors, reduces the time of physical activity, which increases the risk of premature death, diabetes, heart disease, different types of cancer, osteoarticular discomfort and musculoskeletal symptoms.’

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In recent years, a field of research has emerged about how smartphones can negatively effect our health.

This study comes on the heels of several others that have linked phone or tablet usage to being dangerously overweight.

A 2016 study from Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health found that teens who spent more than five hours a day in front of a screen were more than 40 percent more likely to be obese and twice as likely to drink a sugary beverage every day.

And a study earlier this year from Rice University in Texas found that multitasking on smartphones led to decreased self-control when it came to fast food.

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Children born to obese mothers are 57% more likely to develop cancer – study

Children born to obese mothers are up to 57 percent more likely to develop cancer, according to new research.

The researchers, who analyzed more than 2 million births and 3,000 cancer cases in Pennsylvania, believe disruptions to insulin levels at crucial points in the fetus’s development could set in motion dangerous cell changes that lead to disease years down the line.

The connection is so strong, they said, that it should deter any expectant mothers from fast food and excess sugar, which could derail her insulin control.

‘Right now, we don’t know of many avoidable risk factors for childhood cancer,’ lead author Dr Shaina Stacy, an epidemiologist at the University of Pittsburgh, said.

‘My hope is that this study can be, in a way, empowering and also motivating for weight loss.’Her team pored through birth and cancer registry records filed in the state of Pennsylvania between 2003 and 2016.

They found children born to severely obese mothers – with a BMI (body mass index) above 40 – had a 57 percent higher risk of leukemia before the age of five.

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This reduces steadily as the mother’s BMI falls – meaning cutting down on burgers, cakes and chips during pregnancy may save a child’s life.

Dr Stacy said: ‘Our intent isn’t to shame women or make them feel guilty.

‘But instead, we are hoping these findings point to one more reason for weight loss.’

She said they are important, because there aren’t many known preventable risk factors for childhood cancer.

Dr Stacy said: ‘This is hopefully one avoidable risk factor, [and] it’s healthy for both the moms and the kids.’

What is more, weight and height were individually linked – suggesting babies of bigger or taller mothers are more prone.The results, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, were based on the pre pregnancy BMI in mothers and subsequent cancer diagnosis in their offspring.

They held after taking into account other known risk factors for childhood cancer, such as newborn size and maternal age.

The further analysis showed it was not simply larger women were giving birth to bigger infants or that heavier women tended to be older.

Type 2 diabetes 3 TIMES more likely in babies whose mothers were obese while pregnant

Instead, a mother’s size independently contributed to her child’s risk – which she herself can control.

The researchers don’t know why there is such a considerable association between maternal obesity and childhood cancer, but they have some theories.

Dr Stacy said: ‘We can speculate it could have something to do with disruptions in insulin levels in the mother’s body during fetal development, or that the mother’s DNA expression could be altered in some way and passed to her offspring.’

She added: ‘But we would need additional studies to glean why that might be the case.’

Crucially, not all levels of obesity carry the same risk. Among the obese women, higher BMI came with greater cancer prevalence in their children.

Dr Stacy said: ‘So, even small amounts of weight loss can translate to a real reduction in risk.’

Senior author Professor Jian-Min Yuan, co-leader of a prevention program at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, added: ‘We are dealing with an obesity epidemic in this country.

‘From a prevention point-of-view, maintaining a healthy weight is not only good for the mother, but also for the children, too.’

Daily Mail

Doctors have a responsibility to tell you if you are fat

Obesity causes misery. It’s linked to a host of diseases, from type 2 diabetes to high blood pressure — and this week we learned it’s responsible for more cases of bowel, kidney, ovarian and liver cancer than smoking.

Cancer Research UK backed up these alarming statistics with a hard-hitting advertising campaign featuring cigarette packets branded with the word ‘Obesity’ in an effort to kickstart awareness of the problem.

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Yes, smoking is still the biggest cause of preventable cancer in the UK, but since obese people now outnumber those who smoke two to one, and 63 per cent of the population is classed as overweight, we face a terrifying obesity time bomb.

So what was the response to the ad? Were people appalled at the toll that over-eating takes on their health and the pressure it puts on the NHS? Did it prompt a national vow to start losing weight?Unfortunately not. Instead, Cancer Research UK was accused of ‘fat-shaming’.

Because, nowadays, being fat is celebrated. Woman should cherish their curves, while men must fondly pat their pot bellies. Young women verging on the obese flaunt their bodies in fashion and beauty advertisements, and we’re supposed to praise it as a sign of ‘body positivity’.

Making someone feel embarrassed about their size and shape is verboten. Anyone who does, even accidentally, is hounded on social media.

But it’s not ‘fat-shaming’ to tell people about the myriad health problems that obesity causes and the cost. Overweight people might like to kid themselves they can be fat and healthy, but the evidence shows this isn’t the case.

As a doctor, I would be in breach of my duty of care if I didn’t advise overweight patients about the risks — just as I would be if I didn’t tell them about the dangers of smoking or taking drugs.But now we have the ridiculous situation in which patients complain when doctors point out that they’d be better off dropping a few pounds.

Obesity in pregnancy puts child at diabetes risk

A Freedom of Information request confirmed this week that the NHS receives hundreds of such complaints annually.

Some fat people do accept that their weight is a consequence of their lifestyle — too many calories and too little exercise.

But others argue that being overweight is not a lifestyle choice or due to any lack of self-restraint; they are victims of their metabolism, their appetite, big bones, genes or whatever other excuse they can conjure up.

They are lying to themselves. Being fat is a choice. While I accept there might be complex reasons for obesity, it doesn’t absolve an individual of responsibility.We don’t have the same attitude to smoking. There are genetic aspects that make it more likely that someone will become hooked on nicotine, while social factors such as poverty and low education may play a part in why someone smokes.

But ultimately people choose to light up, just as people choose to eat more food than their body needs, or persist in indulging in a fat and sugar-laden diet.

This may sound harsh, but I’m not advocating that we abandon fat people to their plight. Support and compassion are crucial to helping them understand why they have piled on pounds. And for those whose problems are rooted in emotional issues, better access to counselling is required.

But let’s not play along with this alarming trend — promoted by the misguided body positivity movement — of pretending that it’s fine to be fat.

Of course, any individual has the right to ignore medical advice, but the NHS shouldn’t have to pick up the pieces. Obesity cost the NHS more than £6 billion in 2015, which will rise to £9.7 billion by 2050.

We must understand there are finite resources and that we must take responsibility for our health. So let’s stop talking about people ‘battling’ with their weight, as though it involved a malignant force beyond their control, and start talking about people battling with their lack of self-control.

Daily Mail

Type 2 diabetes 3 TIMES more likely in babies whose mothers were obese while pregnant

Women who are obese while pregnant have triple the risk of having a baby who develops type 2 diabetes later in life, research says.

The study of almost 120,000 women found pregnant woman who are overweight face a 40 per cent greater risk.

However, for expectant mothers who were obese while they were carrying their child, the risk was 3.5 times higher.

Scientists believe high blood sugar levels while the baby is in the womb may ‘programme’ them to develop the condition.

The researchers warn the findings are concerning, given one in two women of childbearing age in the UK tips the scales.
The data for the Edinburgh University study covered more than 60 years, in which time the level of obese mothers increased five-fold.

Lead researcher Professor Rebecca Reynolds said the study ‘showed a significant association’ between maternal BMI and children having diabetes.

Strategies to reduce obesity and overweight in women of childbearing age are urgently required, the team wrote in Diabetologia.

Professor Reynolds and colleagues analysed birth records of 118,201 children from 1950 to 2011.

These were compared to data from the national Scottish Care Information (SCI) – a diabetes register that covers every diagnosis in the entire population.

The reason for why a high BMI may lead to diabetes in unknown, and more studies are needed to explain the relationship, researchers said.

One theory is obesity in the mother produces an environment in the womb that is bad for the unborn baby’s health.

This includes high levels of glucose, insulin and other chemicals leading to a ‘programming’ of adverse metabolic outcomes for the child.

In addition, there are complex hormonal, metabolic and inflammatory changes linked to obesity in pregnancy.Professor Reynolds and her colleagues suggested these are likely to impact on hormonal exposure and nutrient supply to the foetus.

Metabolic changes that switch certain genes on or off – epigenetics – in the wombs of obese mothers may also play a part.

It could cause stress on the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas of the unborn child, which can then lead to earlier onset of type 2 diabetes.

While the study took other factors that can affect the babies’ health into account, it did not include data on the BMI of the child or the lifestyle factors.

It is plausible, the authors suggest, that the link between high maternal BMI and offspring diabetes may be caused by increased BMI in the child.

Professor Reynolds said: ‘With the rising prevalence of being overweight or obese in women of childbearing age… our findings have profound public health implications.

‘There is an urgent need to establish effective approaches to prevention of obesity and diabetes among mothers and their offspring.

‘Pregnancy represents a potential time to intervene with health advice for the family.’

The data showed 25 per cent of the pregnant women were overweight and 10 per cent were obese across all years studied.

But the proportion of obese mothers has increased five-fold from the years 1950-1959 (three per cent) to the years 2000-2011 (16 per cent).

The short-term complications of maternal obesity are well recognised – including gestational diabetes that develops in the mother during pregnancy.

It also raises the risk of the dangerous complication pre-eclampsia, having larger infants and needing a C-section.

In a previous study, Professor Reynolds and colleagues found children born to obese and overweight mothers are more likely to die early of heart disease.

It showed a 35 per cent higher risk of dying before the age of 55 in adults whose mothers were obese in pregnancy.

The analysis included 28,540 Scottish women whose weight was recorded at their first antenatal check-up and their 37,709 now grown up children.

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