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Inactivity may be as deadly as smoking

Lack of exercise is now causing as many deaths as smoking across the world, a new study has revealed. The report, published in the Lancet, claims that about a third of adults are not doing enough physical activity, causing 5.3million deaths a year.
That accounts to about one in 10 deaths from diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and breast and colon cancer.

Researchers said that the problem was now so severe that it should be treated as a pandemic, the BBC reported. And they said that tackling it required a new way of thinking, suggesting the public needed to be warned about the dangers of inactivity rather than just being reminded of the benefits of it.


  The team comprising 3 researchers, drawn from centres across the world, also said that governments needed to look at ways to make physical activity more convenient, affordable and safer.

It is recommended that adults exercise moderately for 150 minutes, by brisk walking, cycling or gardening, each week.  The Lancet study found that people in higher income countries were the least active with those in the UK among the worst as nearly two thirds of adults were judged not to be doing enough. They said that they remained confident that their overall conclusion was valid.

“The global challenge is clear - make physical activity a public health priority throughout the world to improve health and reduce the burden of disease.” lead researcher Pedro Hallal said.

Low birth weight, poor diet impairs girl’s learning ability     
Lower birth weight and poor diet in childhood can lead to poor learning and behaviour in children, particularly girls, according to a new study.

Researchers from Australia’s Monash University and Taiwan’s National Defence Medical Centre as well as the National Health Research Institute, found girls with lower birth weight experienced a greater inability to learn and weaker overall competence than girls of normal birth weight. The study linked the national birth registry to Taiwan’s Nutrition and Health Survey to examine possible relationships between lower birth weight, childhood diet and learning outcomes in children between six and 13 years old, the journal Research in  Developmental Disabilities reports.

Co-author Mark Wahlqvist, emeritus professor from Monash University’s Asia Pacific Health, said the findings suggested girls’ cognitive and social development was susceptible to birth weight and quality of diet, according to a Monash statement. “We found girls with a birth weight less than 2,700 grams were more likely to show an inability to learn, have relationship problems, were unhappy and socially impaired,” Wahlqvist said.
“It is not only the diet during childhood, but also that of the mother and probably the father, reflected in birth weight that may affect a child’s learning ability,” he added.

Moderate drinking lowers risk of arthritis in women
Moderate consumption of alcohol is associated with a reduced risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, a new study has suggested.
The results of the new study shows that women who regularly consume more than three alcoholic drinks a week for at least 10 years have about half the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis compared with non-drinkers.
 After adjusting for factors such as age, smoking and dietary habits, women who reported drinking more than three glasses of alcohol per week in both 1987 and 1997 had a 52 percent reduced risk of rheumatoid arthritis compared with never drinkers at both assessments. These findings add to a growing body of evidence that long term moderate alcohol consumption is not harmful and may protect against a chronic disease like rheumatoid arthritis, say the authors.

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