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Mon, 25 May 2020
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Attention

Taunting may affect health of obese youths

Remember that time in third grade when you called the pudgy boy in gym class "fatso?"

It wasn't just mean. It might have inflicted lasting wounds, according to a Yale University study released yesterday that found that overweight and obese children who are subjected to verbal taunts and physical bullying are substantially more prone during childhood to suicidal thoughts, eating disorders, and high blood pressure than their peers.

Yale clinical psychologist Rebecca M. Puhl and a colleague from the University of Hawaii at Manoa reviewed four decades' worth of psychological, social and medical research on childhood obesity -- more than 100 studies. They discovered that taunts, shoves, and social isolation can wreak emotional and physical harm in childhood and possibly beyond that is distinct from the health consequences of being overweight.

Magnify

Blood test can spot hidden body fat

A blood test could be used to detect dangerous hidden belly fat, - even if it is buried so deep within the abdomen that a person outwardly appears lean. Scientists say new research indicates that a diagnostic test could be developed to help identify these individuals, who have a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes.

For most people, a simple tape measure can indicate if they are winning the battle of the bulge. But while doctors acknowledge that waist circumference generally correlates with fitness, some seek more sophisticated methods of assessing patients' health.

"Waist circumference correlates to some extent, but it's really a crude measure," explains Barbara Kahn at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, US.

Attention

Obesity Rates Continue to Climb in the United States

The U.S. obesity prevalence increased from 13 percent to 32 percent between the 1960s and 2004, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Human Nutrition. The prevalence of obesity and overweight has increased at an average rate of 0.3 - 0.8 percentage points across different sociodemographic groups over the past three decades. Some minority and low socioeconomic status groups - such as non-Hispanic black women and children, Mexican-American women and children, low socioeconomic status black men and white women and children, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders - are disproportionately affected. The meta-analysis was published online on May 17, 2007, in advance of the 2007 issue of the journal Epidemiologic Reviews.

Light Saber

I told the truth all along, says doctor at heart of autism row

In his only interview before he appears in front of the General Medical Council to face serious charges of malpractice, the campaigner against the MMR vaccine tells Denis Campbell that he has no regrets

Health

Medics Continue To Push Psychotropic Drugs Like There Is No Tomorrow

Dr. Ronald Dworkin tells the story of a woman who didn't like the way her husband was handling the family finances. She wanted to start keeping the books herself but didn't want to insult her husband.

The doctor suggested she try an antidepressant to make herself feel better.

Comment: And that was supposed to SOLVE the problem!? Whatever happened to the Hippocratic oath?

She got the antidepressant, and she did feel better, said Dr. Dworkin, a Maryland anesthesiologist and senior fellow at Washington's Hudson Institute, who told the story in his book "Artificial Unhappiness: The Dark Side of the New Happy Class." But in the meantime, Dworkin says, the woman's husband led the family into financial ruin.

"Doctors are now medicating unhappiness," said Dworkin. "Too many people take drugs when they really need to be making changes in their lives."

Antidepressants are America's most-prescribed drugs.

Comment: It should be obvious to anyone with any shred of conscience or empathy combined with a competent understanding of human psychology, that the reactions of discomfort, unhappiness and depression are normal healthy responses to the traumatic stimuli provided by the ponerized world that surrounds us.


Coffee

Joke comprehension may decrease with age

It's no laughing matter: a new study suggests older adults have a harder time getting jokes as they age. The research indicates that because older adults may have greater difficulty with cognitive flexibility, abstract reasoning and short-term memory, they also have greater difficulty with tests of humor comprehension.

Evil Rays

Female Circumcision a Problem in Britain

LONDON - Female genital mutilation, commonly associated with parts of Africa and the Middle East, is becoming a growing problem in Britain despite efforts to stamp it out. London's Metropolitan Police, Britain's largest police force, hopes a campaign beginning on Wednesday will highlight that the practice is a crime here.

USA

Being born in the USA may not be good for Hispanic health

Mexicans-Americans born and raised in the United States are more likely to suffer from conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol than those who emigrate from Mexico, according to a new study from the University of Southern California.

The difference may be due to poor nutrition and less physical activity among native-born Mexican-Americans. Also individuals who leave Mexico for the United States may be fitter than the ones who stay behind.

"One possible explanation is that people who immigrate are healthy to begin with and they may also have come here with better health habits," said Eileen Crimmins, lead author of the study and professor of gerontology at USC. "The generation born here has adopted American traits such as smoking and eating at fast food restaurants that were not as accessible in more traditional parts of Mexico."

In a comparison of risk factors across ethnic groups, researchers from the USC Davis School of Gerontology and the UCLA School of Medicine found that U.S. born Mexican-Americans are significantly worse off not just than whites but also Mexican-born immigrants. The only group at greater risk for disease than the U.S.-born Mexican-American community is the black population.

The research appears in the current issue of the American Journal of Public Health and addresses a contradiction found in other studies known as the "Hispanic Paradox" - a claim that Hispanics in the United States are healthier than whites despite being poorer and less educated.

Red Flag

Singapore, Dengue cases hit 432 last week, a record for the year

The number of dengue victims in Singapore last week hit a record 432 for the year - well into epidemic levels - and the infection shows no signs of letting up.

With this new peak, the number of cases of the viral infection now stands at 4,029 for the year.

This is the third time this year that the disease, spread through the bite of the Aedes mosquito, has hit epidemic levels.

Health

Parkinson's Disease: Nicotine Could Help; Pesticides Harm

The Parkinson's Institute recently announced new findings concerning the role of environmental factors in the development of Parkinson's disease.

Highlights of the research include:

The role of pesticides (eg. Paraquat and Dieldrin) as potential risk factors for Parkinson's disease, a role suggested by both epidemiological statistics and laboratory evidence.

The threat of toxic agents to damage neurons by causing the accumulation of harmful proteins.

Intraneuronal protein aggregates as markers of Parkinson's pathology, based on work carried out at The Parkinson's Institute indicating that these aggregates could be formed as a consequence of toxic exposure.

The importance of targeting a specific protein, alpha-synuclein, in order to achieve neuroprotection in Parkinson's
The role of inflammation in the development of Parkinson's disease and the possibility that anti-inflammatory drugs could be beneficial to patients.

The possibility that nicotine may act as a neuroprotective agent.