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Overweight kids likelier to become obese adults

A new study suggests that development of childhood obesity cases or incidence is largely established in kindergarten.

The study, by researchers from Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health, showed that overweight kindergarteners were four times as likely as normal-weight children to become obese by the 8th grade.

Led by Solveig A Cunningham, PhD, assistant professor in the Hubert Department of Global Health at Rollins School of Public Health, the team analysed data on children who participated in an Early Childhood Longitudinal Study of the US Kindergarten Class of 1998-1999.

With appropriate survey adjustments the data sample represents all US children enrolled in kindergarten during that time (approximately 3.8 million). Cunningham and team focused their findings on the rate of incidence of obesity in overweight and normal weight children entering kindergarten.

“Examining incidence may provide insight into the nature of the epidemic, the critically vulnerable ages, and the groups who are at greater risk for obesity,” the researcher said.

Using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Growth Charts to calculate each child’s body-mass index (BMI), the team determined cutoffs for normal weight, overweight (85th percentile BMI), and obesity (95th percentile BMI).

According to findings, over 12 percent of children enter kindergarten obese.

It found that over 14 percent of children enter kindergarten overweight and are four times more likely than normal weight children to become obese by the eighth grade. Children who were large at birth and are overweight by kindergarten are at the highest risk of becoming obese before age 14.

New breakthrough could help cure children of peanut allergy

Scientists believe that children, suffering from peanut allergy, can be cured of the problem by giving them small daily doses of peanut protein.

The new trial showed that allergic kids were able to tolerate small daily doses of peanut protein in the form of flour mixed in with their food, the Guardian reported.
50 per cent of kids, aged between seven and 16, were randomly chosen to be given peanut flour mixed with their food, starting with small amounts and gradually raising to 800mg daily. The other group avoided peanuts, as they normally would.

In six months, 84 per cent kids given peanut protein were able to tolerate 800mg a day without suffering a significant reaction.

All the kids were then given a peanut allergy test, and most of the kids (62 per cent) given peanut protein tolerated the equivalent of five peanuts, but none in the control group did.

The control group were then given daily peanut protein for six months and had similar results.

Running lowers breast cancer mortality risk than walking

Previous studies have shown that breast cancer survivors who meet the current exercise recommendations, which is 2.5 hours of moderate intensity physical activity per week, are at 25 percent lower risk for dying from breast cancer.

However, new research from the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), suggests that exceeding the recommendations may provide greater protection, and that running may be better than walking.

The study, by Berkeley Lab’s Paul Williams of the lab’s Life Sciences Division, followed 986 breast cancer survivors as part of the National Runners’ and Walkers’ Health Study.

Thirty-three of the 714 walkers and 13 of the 272 runners died from breast cancer over 9 years.

When analysed together, their risk for breast cancer mortality decreased an average of 24 percent per metabolic equivalent (MET) hours per day of exercise, where one MET hour equals a little less than a mile of brisk walking or about two-thirds of a mile of running.

When the runners and walkers were looked at separately, there was significantly less mortality in those who ran than walked. The runners’ risk for breast cancer mortality decreased over 40 percent per MET hour per day.

Runners that averaged over 2 and a quarter miles per day were at 95 percent lower risk for breast cancer mortality than those that did not meet the current exercise recommendations.

In contrast, the walkers’ risk for breast cancer mortality decreased a non-significant 5 percent per MET hour per day.

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