The public doesn’t know obesity causes cancer, and that’s really worrying

In the three weeks since the Government released its disappointing children’s obesity plan, a lot has been said over who’s to blame for the nation’s obesity crisis. When it comes to children, some have claimed it’s down to parents to ensure kids maintain a healthy weight. But parents can only do so much, and without the right information, they are hard pressed to make healthy choices for their children. We believe it’s the Government’s responsibility to inform the public of health risks associated with being overweight or obese, and to ensure measures are in place to support parents and children. And we’re not the only ones that feel the Government has failed in attempting to tackle childhood obesity. Health experts, MPs and even the CEO of Sainsbury’s have criticised the plan as being ‘weak’ and ‘watered down’. But no matter who’s to blame, one thing that’s clear is that the message around the damage obesity causes, both in childhood and in adulthood, isn’t getting through – neither to the Government, nor the public. This worrying conclusion has been reinforced today as we published new data showing that three in four people aren’t aware that obesity causes cancer. And it raises some important questions over the Government’s long-term plans to tackle the biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking. Obesity and cancer Being overweight or obese can cause up to 10 types of cancer, including, breast, bowel, oesophageal and pancreatic tumours. We’ve written before about how obesity can cause cancer, and tips on how to control your weight. But are the public really aware of the health risks we are facing as a nation now that being overweight or obese is becoming the norm? With a recent study we funded showing that if trends continue, almost three quarters (72 per cent) of the UK population will be overweight or obese by 2035 this question becomes all the more important. Especially as these rising levels of obesity could cause a further 670,000 cases of cancer in the UK over the next 20 years. Public awareness of obesity and cancer Working with Professor Annie Anderson, public health nutrition expert at the University of Dundee, our in-house Policy Research Centre for Cancer Prevention asked 3293 people from the UK what they know about the health risks linked to obesity. And the results were concerning. When people were asked to name health conditions that could be caused by being overweight or obese, three in four didn’t know obesity caused cancer. Obesity cancer awareness Copy this link and share our graphic And when asked about which cancers can be caused by being overweight or obese, the answers were mostly focused on cancers of the digestive system, which makes sense, but not other organs, such as the reproductive organs. The graphic below shows the level of public awareness of obesity as a risk factor for the four most common cancers related to obesity in the UK. Twice as many people (60 per cent) associated obesity with bowel cancer than with breast cancer (31 per cent). Obesity causes cancer Copy this link and share our graphic But we also wanted to dig a little deeper and find out what was affecting public health knowledge, in particular people’s awareness of a link between obesity and cancer. We looked to see if there was a relationship between social demographics such as age, gender or social grade (a classification system based on occupation) and cancer as a health risk caused by obesity. It turns out that while the public were generally unaware of the link between obesity and cancer, there was a small but significant gap in awareness between the highest and lowest social grades. When asked which health conditions could result from being overweight or obese, only two in 10 people in the lowest two social grades listed cancer, compared to around three in 10 in the highest social grade. Social grade obesity Copy this link and share our graphic This is particularly concerning because those from the lowest social grade are more likely to be overweight or obese than those from the highest social grade. Health Survey for England data has shown that around a third of men and women with no qualifications (NVQ1/CSE or equivalent) are obese compared to around a fifth of men and women who have a degree or equivalent qualification. And when looking at childhood obesity, a quarter (24 per cent) of those from the most deprived group will leave primary school obese, compared to half as many (12 per cent) in the least deprived group. The Government needs to be doing more to help all children maintain a healthy weight. What can be done? Knowing that being overweight or obese can increase the risk of cancer is one of the first steps in making informed choices that lead to a healthier lifestyle. But to help bridge this gap, it’s important that public health messages and the ways that Government initiatives are targeted and tailored ensure equal access to health information for everyone. People need to understand the link between cancer and obesity so that they feel they have the information to make decisions about their health. But the knowledge of the risks isn’t always enough. To make good intentions reality, we need support from Government to promote healthy eating. Tackling unhealthy food marketing to children is one of the biggest omissions from the Government’s obesity plan – action here would help more families eat better. The evidence is clear – children who are exposed to junk food adverts are more likely to eat unhealthy food. Television channels in the UK aren’t allowed to show unhealthy adverts around children’s programmes. But we want the Government to extend this to include programmes that families watch together – this measure would more than halve children’s exposure to this advertising. The public need the information and support to make healthy choices. And it’s down to the Government to help them. Lucie Hooper is a researcher in the Policy Research Centre for Cancer Prevention at Cancer Research UK

New obesity strategy is a ‘landmark day for the nation’s health’ and our ambition to beat cancer

A raft of measures – including restricting junk food marketing on TV and online, and promotions in-store – have been announced to help people get healthy, protect themselves against COVID-19 and protect the NHS. Some of these will apply UK-wide, and others just to England. It’s been described as a ‘landmark day’ for the nation’s health, after years of campaigning by Cancer Research UK, our supporters, Obesity Health Alliance and the wider public health community. Why is this important for cancer? Overweight and obesity is the second biggest cause of cancer in the UK. Obesity is a complex issue with many causes, but one of the biggest influences is the world we live in. The less healthy choice has become the easier, cheaper choice for the consumer, while advertising and marketing have become more sophisticated – creating an ‘obesogenic environment’. Copy this link and share our graphic. Credit: Cancer Research UK Because of this, reducing obesity levels requires a comprehensive approach that addresses the environmental causes, improves availability of healthy options, empowers people to make and maintain healthier habits, and provides evidence-based treatment to those who need it. We have always maintained that such an approach is achievable, provided there is the political will to enact the necessary policies. Successive governments have taken steps in the right direction, but until now the aspiration for the UK to be ‘world-leading’ has remained just that. The size of the prize is significant. According to our estimates, around 1.3 million fewer children and teenagers in the UK would be overweight or obese if we matched the lowest overweight and obesity prevalence for these age groups in Europe. The latest measures One of the headline measures is a ban on TV and online adverts for food high in fat, sugar and salt before 9pm, something we’ve been campaigning on for many years. Endless adverts and promotions for junk food give us cravings and normalise bad diets. And young people, in particular, find this marketing pervasive. Over 40% feel “under pressure” by such marketing, according to a 2018 report. Read more: Our evidence on junk food marketing and childhood obesity And these little pressures add up. Excess weight is often caused by consuming as little as 47-73 excess calories daily. And food marketing could lead to 50 extra calories daily, which is why we’re thrilled that the Government has announced a TV watershed and online restrictions. This measure will also play an important role in helping to reduce health inequalities, as young people from more deprived backgrounds in UK are also more likely to be obese, consume a range of less healthy products and be exposed to junk food adverts. Encouragingly the new measures will also push industry to focus on promoting healthier products in their place. And we know they can do it: our research found that most brands advertising unhealthy food and drink before 9pm made a healthier product they could advertise instead. The success of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy in driving reformulation also shows what is possible when brands and retailers are incentivised to do that too. It may seem like a small change to some, but the 9pm watershed alone could lead to 160,000 healthier children in UK and a £7.4bn benefit to society. That’s a big incentive to hold the government to this commitment, and it’s supported by 74% of the public. It’s not over yet The Government will hold a consultation later this year on how to introduce a total advertising ban on foods high in fat, sugar or salt online. Their intention is to implement both TV and online measures at the same time, by the end of 2022 at the latest. But it isn’t quite a done deal. We know there will be a big push back from the advertising industry, but the evidence is strong. We need to maintain public and parliamentary pressure to make sure these measures don’t get watered down or forgotten. The same is true for many of the other measures the Government announced as part of its obesity plan. In particular, there is work to ensure that important legislation is passed to restrict the promotion of less healthy food and drink, such as through ‘buy one get one free’ offers. These offers encourage people to spend more and consume more foods high in fat, salt or sugar than they otherwise would have. We’ll also been keeping up pressure for these items to be removed from prominent locations in stores, such as at checkouts and entrances, and online. Initiatives to help people find healthier options are also welcome additions and we look forward to them being implemented. From front-of-pack ‘traffic light’ nutrition labelling, to calorie labelling for food sold in restaurants and takeaways, to alcohol calorie labelling – these measures will help make it easier for people to identify healthier food and drink. The Government’s pledge to expand weight management services available through the NHS is also positive. As well as preventing future obesity, we need to support people to lose weight too. Though we hope to hear more on how local authorities will be provided with sustainable public health funding that ensures important public health and preventative services, including effective weight management services, are available to those who need them. While there’s still a long way to go, this is a huge step forward from the Government and comes after years of campaigning from our supporters, e-campaigners and ambassadors, who have helped us make the case so effectively. Together we have positively changed the obesity policy landscape in the UK, and, if delivered, that should have a positive and lasting impact on cancers related to excess weight in years to come. Malcolm Clark is cancer prevention policy manager at Cancer

‘Junk food is the new tobacco’: experts call for restrictions to tackle obesity

The Observer Obesity ‘Junk food is the new tobacco’: experts call for restrictions to tackle obesity Scientists and health campaigners want bans on outlets near schools and an advertising watershed James Tapper and Robin McKie Sun 19 Jul 2020 06.45 BST Shares 298 Pile of cheeseburgers and chips It is very difficult for people to resist relentless images of calorific foods, says the Obesity Health Alliance. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Ministers should regulate processed food as heavily as tobacco to tackle the “massive national challenge” of the UK’s obesity crisis, health experts have warned. They have urged severe restrictions on supermarket promotions of processed foods, and bans on fast food outlets near schools, and TV adverts for pizzas, burgers and similar foods before 9pm. One campaign group even urged the government to consider plain packaging for processed food. The calls come as Boris Johnson prepares to unveil a “war on obesity”, after weight was identified as a major factor in deaths from Covid-19. In England, 64% of adults are overweight or obese and Johnson has said his time in intensive care after contracting the virus – when he weighed more than 17 stone – has changed his “libertarian” views on food and obesity. The government is now preparing measures – likely to be announced before the end of the month – to tackle obesity in Britain before a possible second wave of coronavirus infections. A range of health experts told the Observer that every possible method of tackling the crisis should be included in the package. Human beings like high-calorie, high-salt, high-fat items. You are fighting against 5 million years of evolution Richard Murray, King’s Fund “Think what was done with tobacco,” said Richard Murray, chief executive of the King’s Fund. “Don’t let it brand, limit how much can be sold, tax it – use every possible route. You’re not going to find the magic bullet right away, but there’s got to be a genuine recognition that this is a massive national challenge.” Caroline Cerny, of the Obesity Health Alliance, a coalition of over 40 charities, medical royal colleges and campaign groups, warned that it has now become difficult for people to resist the relentless bombardment of adverts for sugary, calorific foods on TV and online. Advertisement “The plan must address the environmental drivers of obesity, with a 9pm watershed on junk food adverts on TV and online, and controls on how and where unhealthy food can be marketed. We have to take junk food out of the spotlight.” Other proposals put forward by health experts include closing down fast food outlets near schools, the creation of more cycle lanes, banning sweets at checkouts, outlawing discount deals on alcohol; making restaurants publish the calorific content of items in their menus and extending sugar taxes to milky drinks. Campaigners also point to the success of past efforts such as the 2018 levy on soft drinks, which forced manufacturers to either pay a levy or reduce sugar levels, and resulted in a 28.8% fall in the amount of sugar in fizzy drinks. “The sugar tax was an innovation – it worked well,” Murray said. “You’ve just got to do a lot more of it, and that could include controlling, through taxation, the calorific content of food and the quality of the food itself. So a tax could be levied on saturated fat or calories.” Celebrities join call for UK ban on junk food ads on TV before 9pm Read more Income is also an issue, health experts warned last week. “Healthy foods are not necessarily more expensive than processed food,” said Emma Boyland of Liverpool University. “You can buy frozen fruit and vegetables quite cheaply. However you need the facilities to keep them frozen and to cook them, and that is not always possible.” Murray agreed: “You don’t want lower-income people having to pay more, so that might argue for a subsidy. The market is not going to do this. Human beings like high-calorie, high-salt, high-fat items. You are fighting against 5 million years of evolution, after all. So you cannot expect each supermarket or food manufacturer to have a go on their own. The law of the market is going to punish them. We need everybody to do it, and that argues for central government action.” Susan Jebb, professor of diet and population health at Oxford University, said the time had come to start treating obesity as a problem akin to smoking. “GPs are now quite happy to urge people to stop smoking and offer support services that could help them quit. They need to do the same for the obese and the overweight and offer support for people to lose weight. And patients need to know this is an issue they can raise with doctors and can expect to get help.” Amsterdam’s experience Advertisement Amsterdam set up a scheme in 2012 to tackle obesity after a fifth of its children were found to be overweight. Within three years, the number of overweight and obese children had dropped by 12%. Measures included: Banning fruit juice from schools and only allowing water and milk. No sponsorship from fast-food firms. Parents asked to stop using pushchairs and start putting children on pedal-less balance bikes. A team of 100 focusing on the first 1,000 days of every child’s life Subsidised gym and sports centre membership for low-income families Cooking classes to create healthier versions of traditional recipes Fast food outlets asked not to serve children without an adult present UK obesity policies Sign up for Word of Mouth: the best of Guardian Food every week Read more David Cameron In 2015, after lobbying from Jamie Oliver, Cameron looked at creating a sugar tax on soft drinks, banning TV advertising of junk food before 9pm and limiting supermarket promotions. But he only had time to create the Soft Drinks Industry Levy before the EU referendum forced his resignation. Theresa May May was persuaded to press ahead with the sugar tax, and drew up plans for a ban on the sale of high energy drinks to under 16s. That was also left on the shelf after her resignation last year. Boris Johnson The prime minister decried “sin stealth taxes” when he entered number 10 and hinted that he would repeal the sugar tax. Now, shaken by his own covid-19 experience, Johnson is now considering major changes to food regulations.

Anti-obesity campaigners say Boris Johnson's plan to ban junk food deals in anti-obesity drive 'defies belief' as it comes just DAYS after Rishi Sunak's 'Eat Out' scheme that lets the whole country gorge on unlimited cut-price meals

No10 will ban buy-one-get-one-free deals on junk food, according to reports Sources say ministers will also stop supermarkets from selling sweets near tills Obesity campaigners today said the PM's plans to fight obesity were 'sensible' But they said it 'defies belief' that it comes just days after the 'Eat Out' scheme Experts yesterday savaged Rishi Sunak's plan as a 'green light for junk food' By STEPHEN MATTHEWS HEALTH EDITOR FOR MAILONLINE PUBLISHED: 10:18, 10 July 2020 | UPDATED: 11:10, 10 July 2020 e-mail 27 shares 284 View comments Boris Johnson was today accused of hypocrisy over plans to get Britain into shape by banning buy-one-get-one-free deals on junk food and stopping supermarkets from selling sweets near tills in his war on obesity. In an attempt to make the nation slimmer, Number 10 is also expected to re-consider making it mandatory to put calorie counts on all restaurant and takeaway menus and are in discussion with workout star Joe Wicks over a fitness drive. But furious obesity campaigners today told MailOnline it 'defies belief' that ministers are considering to adopt the 'sensible' plans to help millions lose weight just a day after they announced a 'stupid' move to offer cut-price meals. Experts yesterday savaged Chancellor Rishi Sunak's 'Eat Out' scheme, branding it a 'green light for junk food' for allowing up to £10-a-head discounts for Britons eating out in August at chains including Burger King. It came on the same day England's deputy chief medical officer urged people to lose weight ahead of another potential Covid-19 wave this winter. The UK has the second highest obesity rate in Europe, with two-thirds of adults and a third of children overweight. The Prime Minister himself has already warned Britain needs to slim down to protect themselves from the coronavirus, after he reportedly blamed his own weight on his near-death battle with Covid-19 which left him in intensive care. In an attempt to make Britain slimmer, Boris Johnson is also expected to re-consider making it mandatory to put calorie counts on restaurant and takeaway menus +4 In an attempt to make Britain slimmer, Boris Johnson is also expected to re-consider making it mandatory to put calorie counts on restaurant and takeaway menus Campaigners today attacked the plans. Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, told MailOnline it is 'high time' the PM gets his 'strategy sorted out' +4 Campaigners today attacked the plans. Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, told MailOnline it is 'high time' the PM gets his 'strategy sorted out' RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next Covid-19 pandemic is 'getting worse' as number of cases has... Revealed: The 43 local authorities in England where Covid-19... Britain records 85 more Covid-19 deaths as infection rate... England's coronavirus outbreak IS shrinking as official data... SHARE THIS ARTICLE Share 27 shares WHY DOES OBESITY RAISE THE RISK OF DYING FROM COVID? Those who are overweight and unfit have lower lung capacity than healthy people, which makes it hard to get oxygen and blood around the body. When COVID-19 strikes it makes it more difficult to breath and blocks the flow of oxygen even more, which eventually overwhelms the bodies of obese people. This is the reason why overweight and obese people in intensive care are more likely to need assistance with breathing and support with kidney function, experts say. Being severely overweight leads to larger quantities of ACE2 in the body, the enzyme hijacked by the virus to enter the body. The more viral load that invades the body, the worse the severity of the illness and harder it is for the immune system to fend off. Doctors say the immune systems of fat people are constantly ramped up as they try to protect and repair the damage inflammation causes to cells. Using all its energy fending off inflammation means the body's defence system has few resources left to defend against a new infection like Covid-19. Obese people also tend to eat a diet with very little fiber and antioxidants - which keep the immune system healthy - such as fruit and vegetables. Efforts to crack down on Britons' excess weight have been given new impetus after it emerged that fat people are more at risk of death and serious ill health from Covid-19. Officials are drawing up plans that include greater use of bariatric surgery - such as gastric bands - as part of a wider fitness programme that includes diet advice and family exercise plans. Obesity campaigners have for years argued that junk food adverts should be banned before 9pm to curb spiralling childhood obesity rates. But among the measures set to be rolled out to fight obesity, Mr Johnson is not expected to implement any watershed on marketing for foods high in sugar and fat, The Times reports. Whitehall sources claim that ministers aren't as convinced by the scientific evidence on banning junk food adverts in the fight against obesity. However, studies have shown that watching one extra advertisement a week leads to children eating up to 18,000 extra calories each year. The newspaper also claimed the measures Downing Street is set to take are just the first set of interventions to tackle obesity. Mr Wicks reportedly visited Downing St this week to discuss a fitness drive, The Times said. Mr Johnson prompted criticism when he declared a war on 'sin taxes' last summer, promising to review the flagship sugar levy on fizzy drinks. His pledge - made during the Tory leadership race - sparked fury from campaigners who accused Mr Johnson of 'turning back the clock'. Campaigners today attacked the plans. Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, told MailOnline it is 'high time' the PM gets his 'strategy sorted out'. He said: 'It defies belief that, within just 24 hours, Downing St has both given permission for restaurants to profit from selling junk meals yet announce that supermarkets will be banned from including junk food in BOGOF promotion deals.' He added: 'In terms of tackling obesity the former measure is as stupid as the latter is sensible.

Chocolate and sweet sales face further curbs in No 10 obesity drive Supermarkets in England may be stopped from displaying unhealthy food at end of aisles

Supermarkets in England could be stopped from placing chocolate and sweets as impulse purchases at the end of aisles as part of a government drive to improve the health of the nation in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, it has emerged. Measures to try to nudge the public into healthier food-buying habits are among policies being considered in what has been billed a “war against obesity” being drawn up by Downing Street. No 10 also confirmed on Friday that it had held a meeting this week with Joe Wicks, the celebrity fitness coach and healthy eating guru, although there were no details given about what was discussed. One plan being considered, it is understood, is stopping supermarkets from displaying unhealthy foods at the ends of aisles, a common sales-boosting tactic to tempt shoppers as they wait in a checkout queue. Advertisement While reports have said other possible ideas include an end to “buy one, get one free” supermarket promotions on unhealthy food, it is less clear if this will happen, with no policy announcement on the issue expected for some weeks. Less likely to form part of the plan would be further curbs on the advertising of unhealthy foods, or new taxes making them more expensive, with Downing Street having already denied plans to increase the tax on sugary drinks. No 10 said in May it wanted to launch a new, more interventionist public health drive, billed as a campaign against obesity, but potentially also including measures to encourage more healthy living. Get Society Weekly: our newsletter for public service professionals Read more The idea followed Boris Johnson’s experience with coronavirus, in which the prime minister fell seriously ill and required treatment in intensive care. After he recovered, aides said Johnson was both badly shaken by the experience and convinced that his weight played a role in the illness. Reports about the apparent new health drive first emerged in May, several weeks after Johnson left hospital. Asked about the plans on Friday, a Downing Street spokesman refused to give any details. “The prime minister has talked a few times about obesity, and the fact that he views it as a serious national issue, and one that he is determined to tackle,” he said. The Department of Health had consulted on protecting children from the advertising of fatty and sugary foods, the spokesman said, adding: “The response to that consultation will be published in due course.” No 10 has previously denied that Johnson is considering increasing the “sugar tax” imposed by George Osborne to encourage food companies to reformulate their products. During the Conservative leadership contest last year, Johnson had spoken out against what he called “sin taxes”. A number of initial studies have indicated that people who are overweight or obese are disproportionately likely to have worse Covid-19 outcomes than those who are not. Obesity is also closely connected to other co-morbidities that appear to worsen the symptoms of the virus, such as type 2 diabetes, the lifestyle-related version of the condition, and high blood pressure. The UK has one of the highest levels of excess weight and obesity in Europe. As measured by body mass index, 64% of adults in England are classed as overweight or obese, and 29% are obese. Other studies have indicated that regular physical activity is also a key factor in better coronavirus outcomes. It remains to be seen whether the No 10 health plan would also include measures to help people be more active, although ministers are trying to encourage people to walk or cycle to work where possible.

Are global coronavirus death rates linked to a country's obesity levels? UK is set to face raft of measures to limit obesity in wake of coronavirus crisis - but can weight be blamed for

The coronavirus has spread steadily among the world’s wealthiest nations with some of the worst hit – including the UK and the the US – also struggling with widespread obesity problems. Now prime minister Boris Johnson is expected to introduce measures to limit supermarket deals on junk foods in a bid to reduce rates of obesity – a U-turn on his previous opposition to the government interfering with people’s diets, according to The Times. The PM is said to be privately convinced his weight led to the severity of his own near-death experience with the virus. SPONSORED | 4K WiFi Ultra HD 1080P 16X ZOOM Digital Video Camera DV Camcorder w... Specifications:Image Sensor: CMOS 12 Million Pixel Sensor, the Highest Interpolation Value of 48 Million Pixels; Support Infrared PhotographyStorage Media: External SD Card/HCSD Card to 128GBSensi... See More Meanwhile an editorial written by researchers at Queen Mary University of London and published in the British Medical Journal last month argued the food industry must take its share of the blame “not only for the obesity pandemic but also for the severity of Covid-19 disease and its devastating consequences”. But can a national obesity problem go some way towards explaining a high coronavirus death rate? The science While scientists have had to work rapidly to respond to the pandemic since Covid-19 emerged, the links between obesity and a severe Covid-19 infection have been well established over the past nine months. In one French study looking at patients at Lyon University Hospital which was published in The Lancet, those with a severe case of the virus were 1.89 times likely to be obese than the general population. Read more Johnson moves to ban junk food deals to fight obesity A US study published in the same journal found an average BMI among test subjects of 29·3 – just on the edge of the classification for obesity. There was also a trend – the younger a person hospitalised with Covid-19 was, the more likely they were to be obese. Meanwhile those who are obese are more likely to have a number of underlying health conditions that have proven particularly dangerous for a coronavirus sufferer – such as diabetes and chronic heart, kidney and liver diseases. However it starts to get more difficult when comparing fatalities in different countries. The global picture While obese people are disproportionately affected by the virus – and 44 per cent more likely to have a critical case in the UK according to a letter published in the British Medical Journal – the amount of other mitigating factors make it hard to pin weight down as a definite culprit. According to the latest WHO data from 2016, around 39 per cent of the global population is overweight and 13 per cent are obese. And the 30 worst afflicted nations when looking at deaths per 100,000 as assessed by Johns Hopkins University all have a population where more than 50 per cent of the population is classified overweight. DAILY CORONAVIRUS BRIEFING No hype, just the advice and analysis you need Enter your email address Continue Meanwhile nations with lower rates of death per 100,000, such as Japan, Bangladesh and South Korea, are all less overweight nations than the global average. Overall those nations where more than 50 per cent of people are overweight carry an average death per 100,000 figure of 12.58 – compared to a rate of 1.14 in nations where fewer than 50 per cent are overweight. But there are plenty of outliers – and while the way virus deaths and cases are recorded has impacted comparisons between nations, the way individual nations have responded to the virus, the age of its population and the strength of its healthcare system also make it hard to spot trends. New Zealand is among the world’s most obese nations, but managed to limit the spread of infection through an early lockdown and has now emerged almost entirely with stringent border controls and double digit case numbers. And while the rate of obesity in India is steadily growing, it still remains low with only 19.7 per cent of population classified as overweight – however the country has seen 1.6 deaths per 100,000 as a result of Covid-19 – putting it in the middle of the pack when it comes to fatalities by the metric. 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On 23 March 2020, the government introduced restrictions on which businesses and venues were required to close in order to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). A number of businesses providing essential goods and services were and continue to be permitted to remain open. Though there has been tragic loss of life, thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of the British people, the UK slowed the spread of Coronavirus.  Following earlier easements in May and June, from Saturday 4 July, further businesses and venues will be allowed to open. Thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of the British people, and despite a tragic loss of life, the UK slowed the spread of coronavirus.  Following earlier easements in May and June, from the 4 July, further businesses and venues will be allowed to open. 1. Re-opening of businesses and venues from 4 July On 23 June 2020, the Prime Minister announced further easements of the coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions as part of step 3 of the government’s plan to return life to as near normal as we can. As part of step 3, all businesses and venues can reopen from 4 July, except for the list below, which will remain closed in law or will be required to close in law: Nightclubs, dance halls, discotheques Casinos Sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars Bowling alleys Indoor skating rinks Indoor play areas including soft-play areas Spas Nail bars and salons and beauty salons Tanning booths and salons Massage parlours Tattoo parlours Body and skin piercing services Indoor fitness and dance studios Indoor gyms and sports courts and facilities Indoor and outdoor swimming pools, including water parks Exhibition halls or conference centres must remain closed for events such as exhibitions or conferences, other than for those who work for the business or organisation who run the venue. All shops, including cafes, restaurants and gift shops, which are part of the premises of a business or venue which is itself allowed to reopen from 4 July, or was already permitted to be open, can also be open. However, the shop, restaurant or café cannot carry on any business or provide any service listed above. For example, a café on the premises of a museum, can re-open from 4 July. However, a soft play area within a restaurant which is on the premises of a museum, cannot re-open from 4 July. We continue to phase reopening and we hope to reopen other close-contact businesses as soon as possible. As above, all businesses and venues other than those specifically listed above can reopen from 4 July. Examples are shown below of those businesses that will be open, including links to guidance to ensure their safe-reopening. Business or venue Guidance for re-opening safely Food and drink All indoor and outdoor hospitality including, cafes, bars, pubs, and restaurants, can open unless: They are a part of the premises of a business or venue which must be or remain closed from 4 July, and are not in self-contained units that can be accessed from the outside. Please see the list above for businesses and venues that must remain be or remain closed. People should only visit a restaurant in their household groups (or support bubbles where an adult who lives alone or with dependent children, can spend time with one other household indoors), or with one other household, or with up to 5 other people outdoors. Venues should not allow standing drinking and eating. Tables and remote or server ordering are strongly advised. At this time, venues should not permit live performances, including drama, comedy and music, to take place in front of a live audience. All food and drink establishments are strongly advised to follow guidance on how to open and operate safely. Those operating restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services are strongly advised to follow guidance on how to do so safely. Guidance on weddings should also be followed. Accommodation Hotels, hostels, bed and breakfast accommodation, holiday apartments or homes, cottages or bungalows, campsites, caravan parks or boarding houses Shared sleeping spaces (eg. dormitory rooms) should not open to any groups, except those travelling in accordance with the current government guidance on social mixing outside of household groups/outside of the home. Other shared facilities (including shared showers and kitchens, but not toilets) should not open, except on campsites (and only in accordance with government guidelines for cleaning and usage) All accommodation providers are strongly advised to follow guidance on opening accommodation safely. Guidance can also be found on safely operating services in the visitor economy. Non-residential institutions Places of worship All places of worship are strongly advised to follow guidance on their safe use. Guidance on weddings should also be followed. Community centres Libraries The government strongly advises against community centres opening for indoor fitness and sport activity. Those managing community centres, village halls and other community facilities are strongly advised to follow guidance on re-opening safely. Personal care Hair salons and barbers, including mobile hair businesses These businesses must not provide services which remain prohibited in regulations including nail, beauty and tanning services. All close contact service providers are strongly advised to follow guidance on how to work safely. Recreation and leisure Cinemas, theatres and concert halls Funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities Outdoor gyms and playgrounds Museums and galleries Bingo halls Outdoor skating rinks Amusement arcades and other entertainment centres Model villages Social clubs Indoor attractions at aquariums, zoos, safari parks, farms, wildlife centres and any place where animals are exhibited to the public as an attraction Indoor and outdoor areas of visitor attractions including, gardens, heritage sites, film studios and landmarks All recreation and leisure businesses and facilities are strongly advised to follow guidance on operating within the visitor economy. Owners and operators responsible for playgrounds and outdoor gyms are strongly advised to follow guidance for managing playgrounds and outdoor gyms. All operators of heritage locations are strongly advised to follow guidance on operating heritage locations. • Certain activities that take place in these venues, including indoor sports and fitness must not take place. • At this time, venues should not permit live performances, including drama, comedy and music, to take place in front of a live audience. This is important to mitigate the risks of aerosol transmission - from either the performer(s) or their audience. There will be further guidance setting out how performing arts activity can be managed safely in other settings, for instance rehearsing or broadcast without an audience. • Close contact activity such as visiting an entertainment centre should only be conducted within a household group/bubble or with one other household/bubble. 2. Track and trace The opening up of the economy following the COVID-19 outbreak is being supported by NHS Test and Trace. You should assist this service by keeping a temporary record of your customers and visitors for 21 days, in a way that is manageable for your business, and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed. This could help contain clusters or outbreaks. Many businesses that take bookings already have systems for recording their customers and visitors – including restaurants, hotels, and hair salons. If you do not already do this, you should do so to help fight the virus. We will work with industry and relevant bodies to design this system in line with data protection legislation, and set out details shortly. 3. Gatherings People should continue to socially distance from those they do not live with wherever possible. Social interactions should be limited to a group of no more than two households (indoors and out) or up to six people from different households (if outdoors). It is against the law for gatherings of more than 30 people to take place in private homes (including gardens and other outdoor spaces). Businesses and venues following COVID-19 Secure guidelines can host larger groups. This is also the case for events in public outdoor spaces that are organised by businesses, charitable or political organisations, and public bodies, provided they take reasonable steps to mitigate the risk of transmission, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidance and including completion of a risk assessment. Any other gathering in an outdoor space must not be any larger than 30 people. In particular, those operating venues or running events following COVID-19 Secure guidelines should take additional steps to ensure the safety of the public and prevent large gatherings or mass events from taking place. At this time, venues should not permit live performances, including drama, comedy and music, to take place in front of a live audience; and should not permit indoor grassroots sport to take place. Individual businesses or venues should also consider the cumulative impact of many venues re-opening in a small area. This means working with local authorities, neighbouring businesses and travel operators to assess this risk and applying additional mitigations. These could include: further lowering capacity - even if it is possible to safely seat a number of people inside a venue, it may not be safe for them all to travel or enter that venue staggering entry times with other venues and taking steps to avoid queues building up in surrounding areas arranging one-way travel routes between transport hubs and venues advising patrons to avoid particular forms of transport or routes and to avoid crowded areas when in transit to the venue Local authorities should avoid issuing licenses for events that could lead to larger gatherings forming and provide advice to businesses on how to manage events of this type. If appropriate, the Government has powers under schedule 22 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 to close venues hosting large gatherings or prohibit certain events (or types of event) from taking place, and a power under Regulation 6 of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020 to restrict access to a public place. 4. Compliance As of 26 March 2020 these restrictions became enforceable by law in England. These Regulations are reviewed regularly to ensure they are effective and proportionate to the risk to public health. The England Regulations can be found here. Everyone is required to comply with these Regulations issued by the government in relation to coronavirus, in order to protect both themselves and others. An owner, proprietor or manager carrying out a business (or a person responsible for other premises) who contravenes the Regulations, without reasonable excuse, commits an offence. In England, Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers will monitor compliance with these regulations, with police support provided if appropriate. Businesses and venues that breach them will be subject to prohibition notices, and a person who is 18 or over, carrying on a business in contravention of the Regulations may be issued with a fixed penalty. With the support of the police, prohibition notices can be used to require compliance with the Regulations including requiring that an activity ceases. It is also an offence, without reasonable excuse, to fail to comply with a prohibition notice. If prohibition notices are not complied with, or fixed penalty notice not paid, you may also be taken to court, with magistrates able to impose potentially unlimited fines. 5. Closing public spaces The Regulations give a power for the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to direct the closure of, or to restrict access to, a specific public outdoor place where this is necessary and proportionate to manage a serious and imminent threat to public health relating to coronavirus in England. Exercise of this power is subject to a right of appeal by the owner or occupier to the Magistrates Court. Where this power is used by the Secretary of State, people will not be allowed to enter or remain in the place without reasonable excuse. Local authorities must advertise the extent of the restriction and they and owners/operators of the place subject to the restriction must take reasonable steps to prevent people visiting it. Failure to comply can be a criminal offence. 6. Business support In England, under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant measures announced on Monday March 16, businesses and venues in England in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will be eligible for cash grants of up to £25,000 per property. Eligible businesses and venues in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000. Eligible businesses and venues in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000. Businesses and venues with a rateable value of over £51,000 are not included in this scheme. For more information please visit the government’s business support page. 7. Business rates In England, as announced on Monday 16 March, the government will provide a business rates holiday for businesses and venues in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector. This includes the businesses and venues in scope for closure listed above. The relief will apply to business rates bills for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. 8. Further information This guidance will be updated regularly as the situation develops and to reflect frequently asked questions. For information about support for business, please go to the government’s business support page or visit GOV.UK.

Stopping ‘buy one get one free’ deals in supermarkets could help tackle obesity, experts say

When is the last time you saw a “buy one, get one free” deal on broccoli? They’re more usually seen on crisps, soft drinks and chocolate. Curbing the number of deals on junk food is one of the ways that the Government in Westminster is considering tackling obesity, which has doubled over the last 20 years and now affects 13 million people in England alone. The Scottish Government has recently “paused” a bill that would ban multi-buy offers, to reassess in light of the coronavirus pandemic, but the idea is now also gaining support for use in England and Wales. The i newsletter cut through the noise Enter your email ADVERTISING “We have recently consulted on how to better protect children from advertising of fatty and sugary food on TV and online,” the Department of Health tells i, “and on how to restrict promotions of these foods, aiming to help families get better deals on healthier food.” ‘Making an impact’ The idea, says the Department, is not to increase the cost of food – as that would penalise families with less money – but to restrict multibuy promotions which have been to shown to “specifically encourage and stimulate over-purchasing” more than single items do. Dr Jean Adams, a senior lecturer working at Cambridge University’s Centre for Diet and Activity Research agrees this could “make an impact”. “Less healthy food on different offers are more likely to be on promotion than healthier foods. We also know that promotions work.” There is “no magic bullet,” she makes clear. “We have to think of it as a complicated problem that needs many solutions. And restricting price promotions on less healthy foods could certainly be a sensible part of a wider plan.” Read More - Featured Image Read More Boris Johnson to launch drive to tackle obesity in battle against coronavirus Sugar reduction A 2015 Public Health England report into sugar reduction found that price promotions such as multi-buy offers increase the amount of sugary food and drink people buy by 22 per cent. Which? also found in 2016 that of the 77,165 special offers from Asda, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose between April and June that year, 53 per cent involved less healthy foods – and 52 per cent of confectionery was on offer compared with only about a third of fresh fruit and vegetables. Kate Oldridge-Turner, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at World Cancer Research Fund, agrees that restricting multibuys could be one of a variety of changes that would help. “A 9pm watershed on junk food marketing, stopping buy-one-get-one-free deals on unhealthy food, and urban planning that encourages cycling and walking, would make our community’s environments healthier and encourage healthier choices,” she says. Increased concern over childhood obesity has already led to calls for children to be given healthy alternatives for school meals by replacing the chips and chocolate with pasta, salads and fruit options (Photo: Bruno Vincent/Getty) Increased concern over childhood obesity has already led to calls for children to be given healthy alternatives for school meals by replacing the chips and chocolate with pasta, salads and fruit options (Photo: Bruno Vincent/Getty) “Obesity increases the probability of a worse outcome from Covid-19, and it is well documented that obesity and overweight increases the risk of at least 12 different types of cancer.” The main opponents of a ban tend to come from an ideological perspective of protecting consumer freedom rather than on evidence-based health grounds. Speaking about the idea in 2018, the Conservative MP Philip Davies said: “Families will be appalled by this unnecessary interference. It’s a nanny-state proposal.” This wouldn’t be the first policy in recent years to combat obesity, with the 2017 sugar tax on soft drinks leading to a 28.8 per cent fall in the amount of sugar contained in such beverages. Overall, however, the amount of sugar consumed by Brits has increased, with experts calling for the Government to do more. “Rather than saving money,” says Caroline Cerny from the Obesity Health Alliance, “multi-buy deals encourage us to buy more in the long-term. She supports “regulations to stem the tide of unhealthy food marketing that overwhelms families”. Andrew Opie, Director of Food & Sustainability at the British Retail Consortium says shops want to help and realise that “the current approach is not enough. There is evidence to suggest that tackling volume promotions, if properly targeted, could help reduce obesity.”

boris Johnson declares war on fat

.UK has one of the highest rates of obesity in the world: nearly one in three adults are obese Coronavirus crisis has persuaded prime minister that obesity is a major health issue Boris Johnson made an uncharacteristic apology on Monday; he confessed that in the past he had taken a too “libertarian” attitude to obesity and the government’s role in preventing it and vowed to wage a national war on fat. The prime minister’s nutritional epiphany comes after a that led him close to death. Weighing more than 110kg when he was admitted to hospital two months ago, Johnson blamed his susceptibility to the virus on his own poor body mass index score. In an interview with the former journalist gave a photo opportunity by doing a press-ups, to show he was “as fit as a butcher’s dog” and personally serious about getting in shape. “Everybody knows that this is a tough one, but I think it’s something we all need to address,” he said in a radio interview Monday. “I think that we certainly must have a care for the health of our population and we will be happier and fitter and more resistant to diseases like Covid if we can tackle obesity.” Obesity is seen as a major risk factor for severe Covid-19, and the chances of recovery from intensive care are greatly reduced, especially with a common comorbidity of diabetes. Johnson says he wants action now to get the nation in better shape in case of a second wave of the pandemic later this year. According to the World Health Organisation, in 2018 the only European Union country with a bigger obesity problem than the UK was Malta. A 2017 report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, found obesity to be growing at an epidemic rate with the rate almost doubling since the early 1990s. In 2015, 26.9 per cent of the UK population were considered obese. A government survey found 28.7 per cent of adults in the country were clinically obese with a further 35.6 per cent classified as overweight. Of particular alarm in the UK is the rise in child obesity. Experts say the lockdown lifestyle has exacerbated the problem with children exercising less, more screen time and eating more snacks and junk food at home. Even before the pandemic, one in five British children were overweight. Anti-obesity campaigners said however that the UK prime minister’s approach, public awareness campaigns on the role of healthy eating and exercise is not enough. If he really wants to tackle the problem, he needs to take on the constant bombardment of advertising by the major food conglomerates. “Our genetic make-up hasn’t changed in 30 years” said Caroline Cerny, of the Obesity Health Alliance of doctors and charities. “Now we live in an environment to get high calorie food – it’s as easy as pressing a button on your phone and it’s delivered to your door.” The OHA has listed 10 actions it believes the government should take to tackle obesity, of which one of the most urgent is to hit at the time, content and distribution channels of fast and processed food advertising, especially when directed at children. “Obesity policy always tends to focus on eating healthy foods but it’s very hard to do that when your environment pushes you towards highly calorific food,” said Cerny, who said with social media the bombardment has increased. Healthy food producers tend not to advertise and done have the marketing budgets of the global corporations like McDonald’s, said Cerny. Although Johnson says it was his own brush with death that made him decide to go against his “libertarian” instincts, critics point out only a couple of weeks ago Johnson was singing the praises of Tim Tams, the popular Australian chocolate biscuit. Halting the extension of a tax on salt and fat similar to an existing levy on sugar was one of Johnson’s electoral promises in the Conservative Party leadership race. In an interview on the launch day of media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s new radio station Monday, Johnson referred to an article he had written in 2004 when he was a journalist on saying it was people’s “own fat fault” if they were obese and “the more the state tries to take responsibility for the problem, the less soluble the problem will become”. He said as well as a public information campaign he would also encourage greater use of gastric band surgery for sever cases. A health ministry spokesperson the government was also looking at introducing “sin” taxes, like the sugar tax on other foods. Although the growing obesity problem in the UK is a cause for concern, the UK is way down the list of countries where a large proportion of the population is overweight. Pacific island nations populate all of the top 10 in global obesity rankings, with the US, Australia and Saudi Arabia all having higher adult obesity rates than the UK in 2016, according to . China is near the bottom of the list just above Vietnam, the world’s slimmest nation. Original source: South China Morning Post

Talking weight with your doctor: How to work together, part 1

"I felt really great going into that appointment and left feeling bad about myself," said Shelly after a recent visit to her primary care doctor. In this case, Shelly -- whose name has been changed for privacy --- had gained eight pounds since her last visit; but her weight was well within the healthy range. Her experience discussing weight with her doctor, and the fact that she felt "weight shamed," led her to change doctors. "Do your clothes still fit from last year?" a primary care physician asked another patient during her yearly checkup; That question left her feeling "really uncomfortable," the patient said. Talking about weight with your doctor can be uncomfortable for many patients. But it's not just patients who can struggle with discussing weight. A 2017 study showed that the majority of doctors either aren't talking about weight with their patients or feel embarrassed doing so. Doctors may not like talking about weight either With this in mind, how can primary care physicians have more effective conversations with their patients about weight? I spoke with Megan Mahoney, MD, chief of staff at Stanford Health Care, to learn more. Obesity is a problem, she emphasizes. "We are, in the United States, confronted with an obesity epidemic; and unfortunately, we're seeing the highest rates of diabetes and hypertension that we've ever seen. And the problem is only getting worse... Obesity is something that we do have evidence-based interventions for, and they're woefully underutilized." For Mahoney, talking about weight starts with building a relationship with her patients. Megan Mahoney Megan Mahoney, MD, says that a trusting relationship between a physician and patient is key to address tough topics like weight. "A skilled clinician will be able to discuss difficult, stigmatized topics in a skillful way if they're adequately trained and experienced," she told me. "Our interaction with our patient will determine whether the message is heard, and that is based on our ability to create a trusting relationship with our patients." A recent study showed that the language used to discuss weight plays an important role in the conversation, with words like 'obese' or 'fat' being disliked by patients. Mahoney's approach echoes this. "I strictly use 'increased BMI,'" she said. "I do not talk about 'obesity' or 'overweight' precisely because, unfortunately, there's a lot of stigma associated with obesity in our society. I believe that when I use a term that is not as charged, I'm more effective in engaging with my patients." Build a relationship based on trust Mahoney also suggests setting small and realistic goals in partnership with the patient. "If the patient is engaged around the goal then there's a higher likelihood that they'll be effective in achieving the goal -- whatever that goal is. If the goal is weight loss and the patient is able to identify a small, achievable change that they can work on, then there's a higher likelihood that they'll be able to be successful." Mahoney believes that a non-judgmental attitude on the part of the clinician can go a long way. "When I enter into a situation where I feel like I'm being judged then, yes, I'm definitely going to be looking for a different doctor," she told me. Lastly, Mahoney encourages patients to advocate for themselves in these discussions. "There should be an awareness that you're entitled to have your needs met and your concerns addressed in a visit," she emphasized. "This is what we're all about -- providing patient-centered care." The second part of this series addresses what doctors can do to have more effective conversations with patients about weight.

Cadbury reduces Curly Wurly and Chomp calories to fight childhood obesity

Curly Wurlys and Chomps are a mainstay of any British childhood. Now, in a bid to tackle the growing problem of childhood obesity, Cadbury's parent company Mondelez has said it will cut the calories of its Curly Wurly, Chomp and Fudge bars. The confectioner revealed that these three bars, along with Barny sponge bears, will all be brought to under 100 calories over the ‘next few months’. Mondelez has said the move is part of its pledge to introduce a 100 calorie cap on all of its products that are commonly targeted at children - Cadbury mini fingers and Cadbury Animals have seen reduced calories already. ADVERTISING Ads by Teads READ MORE M&S launches burrata cheese - and it’s under £3 Mondelez MD Louise Stigant told The Grocer that limiting calories was, “the right approach in terms of helping parents control calories when wanting to treat their children. “We feel strongly about playing our part in tackling childhood obesity and are focusing on the areas where we can make the greatest impact.” Earlier this year, the confectionery giant confirmed chocolate should not be stored in the fridge, with Cadbury’s Australia branch clarifying on Twitter: "Chocolate should always be stored in a slightly cool, dry, dark place such as cupboard or pantry at temperatures less than 21C to ensure the quality isn’t compromised." More about: | Cadbury | Chomp | Curly Wurly Show comments Reuse content The biggest pub beer gardens in London reopening in July EVENING STANDARD The new browser recommended by Microsoft, download now ft MICROSOFT EDGE | Sponsored People Born 1951-1979 Are In For A Treat REASSURED | Sponsored This Pan Will Change How You Cook Forever JEAN PATRIQUE COOKWARE | Sponsored Play this new game for 1 Minute and see why everyone is addicted PANZER RUSH | Sponsored Best new cars for 2020 AUTO EXPRESS | Sponsored What are air bridges and which holiday destinations could be included? EVENING STANDARD Keir Starmer would be better Prime Minister than Boris Johnson – poll EVENING STANDARD Lidl is selling a 12-foot swimming pool for under £100 Best weighted blankets to cope with anxiety PROMOTED BY THE EVENING STANDARD | Sponsored PayPal Has 300 Million Members — Yet Few Know This Tool HONEY | Sponsored COMMENTS Log in or register to comment 0 Comments Refresh• Subscribe• RSS There are no comments yet Unsold Car Clearance Sale Going On In Devon NEW CARS | SEARCH ADS | Sponsored New Chelsea home shirt leaked as fans are split over 2020/21 design EVENING STANDARD Britons will be able to go on European holidays from July 6 EVENING STANDARD Devon: This Little Known Solar Technology Is Genius SOLAR QUOTE TODAY | Sponsored Surge in Covid-19 cases fuels second wave of panic buying in Australia EVENING STANDARD

Obesity in middle age linked to increased risk for dementia

f you've been looking for a good reason to slim down, consider this: Being obese at midlife appears to increase your odds for dementia. That's the takeaway from a large study just published by British researchers, and it echoes similar findings published in December. ADVERTISEMENT Dorina Cadar, lead researcher on the new study, said the goal is to identify risk factors that are influenced by lifestyle so steps can be taken to prevent mental decline. "We hope that a substantial portion, but admittedly not all, of dementia cases can be prevented through public health interventions," she said. Cadar is a senior research fellow at University College London. RELATED 37% of U.S. adults have dangerous metabolic syndrome, analysis finds Her team found that people who are obese at midlife have a 31 percent higher risk for dementia than middle-aged people whose weight is normal -- and the risk is especially high for women. The good news: Losing weight may significantly lower the odds, the researchers said. For the study, Cadar and her colleagues analyzed data from nearly 6,600 people aged 50 and older who were part of a British study on aging. The researchers used three sources to ascertain dementia: doctor diagnosis, informant reports and hospital statistics. RELATED Asthma isn't a risk factor for hospitalization due to COVID-19, study shows While obesity was a risk for both men and women, the risk of dementia was even higher for women with abdominal obesity -- a condition measured by their waist size. Over an average follow-up of 11 years, they were 39 percent more likely to develop dementia, the study found. This higher risk was independent of other factors, such as age, education, marital status, smoking, genetics, diabetes and high blood pressure. No association between abdominal obesity and dementia was found among men, the study authors said. But when the researchers considered both weight and waist size together, obese men and women alike had 28 percent higher odds of developing dementia. RELATED Study examines why eating before bedtime might pack on the pounds A study published in December of women only uncovered similar risks. Dr. Sam Gandy, associate director of the Mount Sinai Alzheimer's Disease Research Center in New York City, reviewed the new findings. "This new paper is entirely consistent with both the field in general and with our own work in particular," he said. RELATED Obese children 3 times more likely to need a ventilator with COVID-19, study finds Gandy said proteins implicated in inflammation, cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes -- all of which are risk factors for Alzheimer's -- may contribute to the links between obesity and dementia. Keith Fargo, director of scientific programs and outreach at the Alzheimer's Association, said links between underlying causes of chronic physical conditions and dementia are well known. "The association between heart health risk factors -- such as diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure -- and cognitive decline and dementia is well established in Alzheimer's research," Fargo said. These new findings add to the overall body of evidence that links obesity to higher dementia risk, he noted. The sex-based differences identified in the latest study are intriguing, Fargo said. But, "it's too early to know whether this finding is valid based on just one study," he explained. The Alzheimer's Association is running a two-year clinical trial to see if healthy lifestyle interventions that target risk factors can protect cognitive function in a diverse group of older adults. "What's really interesting is the possibility that living more healthfully can reduce dementia risk," Fargo said. The latest findings were published online June 23 in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

Why Are Obesity Levels Rising?

have battled with my weight most of my life and thankfully as I have aged, I have learnt more about improving my health through food and exercise. When I changed my profession about 20 years ago because I had a huge passion for health and fitness which became stronger after I lost my father. There was an increased need for me to help others and my own family to lead better and more prolonged lives. Changing people’s lifestyles is difficult and all I want is to give people all the facts and education to allow them to make the right choices to lead a longer and disease free life. So why are obesity levels rising and what can you do to ensure you look after the health your children and yourself. Let me share with you some of my findings in an effort to help you. 63% of Adults and a third of children are obese or overweight according to Public Health England. Obesity causes 30,000 deaths every year and increases the risk of health conditions such as high blood pressure and Type II diabetes. This currently costs the NHS £6bn per year and estimated to increase to £10bn by 2050. Cancer Research UK projections calculate that in 25 years excess weight will cause more cancers than women who smoke. It is seriously important that we do more to raise awareness about the link between obesity and cancer and I am not to sure that currently we are not doing enough. The ban on advertising “junk food” was introduced by the London Mayor Sadiq Khan this weekend on London’s Public Transport and it asks if this is enough considering the issues with health that this country is facing. The Fast Food Market is worth £14bn in the UK. Organic food sales whilst seeing an increase YOY of 6% is currently only £2.2bn. The data from Public Health England shows that deprived areas’ have five times more fast food outlets around them than affluent areas’. With 1 in 3 children by the age of 11 are now considered obese. Children exposed to junk food outlets to and from school are more likely to eat unhealthily. Adults living close to a larger number of fast food outlets are also twice as likely to be obese. Statistics Of Our Obesity Levels 11, 117 – Hospital admissions in 2018 to 2019 attributable to obesity in the UK only. This was an increase on 2017 to 2018 by 4% which had 10,660. 63% of the adult population in 2018 was categorized as overweight or obese. This relates to 67% of men and 60% of women classified as overweight. Morbid obesity however was deemed to be more prevalent in women at 29% against those of men at 26%.obesity Man The obesity levels were put into regions with London being the lowest and the North East and West Midlands having the largest rates. Age is also a huge factor with being overweight or obese and the older adult population appear to be more at risk. Men aged between 45 to 54 saw an obese level at 36% and for women levels aged 55 to 64 were shown to be at 37%. The UK shows an adult obesity level of 26% an opposed to the USA which is the highest in the world at 40% of the population. Japan and Korea reported an obesity level of only 10% of their adult population. 20% of Year 6 Children were classified as obese in the UK. The obesity prevalence was higher in boys than it was in girls. For children living in the most deprived areas’ obesity was double that of the least deprived areas’. 26% of obese children came from families whose mothers were also overweight. It is also 58% more likely that you will be overweight if your family are. You can find out more detail by visiting the Dietary Choices That Lead To Weight Increases A Kentucky Fried Chicken Breast will give you 390 Calories, 23grams of Fat, 870 milligrams of sodium. As hydrogenated oil is used in fried foods which are used over and over again the food cooked this way has no nutritional value whatsoever (not even protein) and the calories will generally go straight to your fat stores. Grilled Chicken In 100 grams of Chicken Breast you get 140 calories of which 2 grams are fat, 74mg sodium and 63% of protein. Grill or roast with vegetables makes this dish extremely tasty and full of goodness. Why is it that we would rather go for the Kentucky Fried Chicken option which is also the most expensive? History Of The Fast Food Chain Wimpy was the first fast food chain to exist in the UK and I know I remember eating in them when I was young. I especially remember the tomato shaped tomato sauce bottles on the tables. Burger, Chips, and a Cola drink was a special treat for me and my brother and usually followed an outing to the cinema. Wimpy started in Chicago America in 1934 and twenty years later came to the UK being the biggest food chains in the 1970’s with over 500 restaurants. It was not until 1974 when McDonald’s first opened in the UK that things changed for Wimpy.Wimpy In the 1950’s the first of the Chinese Fast Food Chains started to come into the UK with the influx of immigrants coming from Hong Kong. Indian restaurants started in the 1960’s especially in London and The South East which rose after rationing finished. Indian spices prior to this time were difficult to get hold of. The 1960’s saw a boom in the British economy and with that people started to travel a little more and bring new and innovative eating styles back with them. By the 1970’s alcohol was easier to get hold of so beer and wines such as Mateus Rose was used widely at dinner parties to accompany Spaghetti Bolognese, black forest gateau, tinned pineapple and cheese on a stick. The Fast Food Market was set to rocket with new companies opening everywhere Kentucky Fried Chicken Burger King Domino’s Pizza Pizza Hut Dunkin Donuts As the fast food chain increased in their presence so too did our waistlines and serious health risks. Heart disease remains the biggest killer in the UK this day which is linked in the main to poor health and stress. Food Industry Must Share Responsibility For Our Obesity Levels In my opinion the food industry is to blame for the high obesity levels that exist in the UK and the rest of the world. According to the FDF (Food and Drink Federation) the industry turns over £105 billion accounting for more than 20% of the whole of UK manufacturing industry. More details available here We also export about £23bn of food and drink to over 220 countries in the world. The top 3 countries being Ireland, USA, and France. Added to this the industry employs the largest amount of people equating to 430,000 people across the nation. According to figures produced by the FDF their members are selling less than 22.6 billion teaspoons of sugar than they did back in 2015. Thankfully, they are clearly trying to do something about the obesity levels that exist, but is it enough? There are 8 Fast Food Millionaires who are making a fortune out of the world’s appetite and our addiction to food loaded with calories. These include well-known outlets such as McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Dunkin Donuts to name but a few. Supermarket What about Supermarkets and the food displayed on our shop shelves. Only 25% of the food that is displayed in the mainstream supermarkets are healthy and fresh with the rest made up of highly processed and quite frankly simply add to the obesity levels that currently exist. Organic food which is the safest and healthiest way to eat is so expensive and exceedingly difficult to purchase occupying small areas’ of supermarkets if you are lucky. How do we change this obesity epidemic that exists when everywhere we turn are pictures of food that is bad for us? What is the government doing to change this? What Are The Government Doing? Whilst I can appreciate that the obesity rate and how we change our eating habits is a very complexed one but we cannot continue at this rate. On 14 January 2019 the Department of Health and Social Care Secretary Rt Hon Matt Hancock published an article based on his speech “Tackling obesity is a shared responsibility for society” In his speech he talks about the concerns surrounding current obesity levels not just in the UK but in the Western World. He talked about the fact that globally obesity is now a bigger problem to tackle than starvation. His obesity strategy sets out a few areas’ that the government will be working towards. The biggest area is to cut childhood obesity to halve by 2030. How? Cutting Sugar in soft drinks – Sugar levy introduced in 2016 Calorie labeling on all food Restriction in the promotion of “junk food” Doubling the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme over the next 5 years Curb retailers fueling promotion of unhealthy foods New Obesity Strategy Long Term Plan across the health serviceObesity Disease GP’s to identify and support overweight families Hospitals increasing support to those hospitalized by obesity Public Health England to lead the way in new strategies through thorough data analysis He then went on to talk about society and the role expected of them to help the obesity levels that exist in our communities. Large and small companies were urged to reformulate food to make them healthier and welcomed new science that is coming to the forefront. He also thanked those people responsible for educating the population to stay healthy and bringing about the changes to government policy. Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall have done a huge piece about sugar and the manufacturers and continue to raise the bar with healthier eating habits. He linked trying to create better lifestyles to incorporate both diet and exercise into our daily lives. He spoke about those people more vulnerable mentioning alcohol. To many, alcohol is a natural release from the day or used for celebration. However, for about 5% of people who are responsible for a third of the consumed alcohol who suffer the serious effects and often end up hospitalized or worse. He mentioned the need for a different approach to how you tackle the changes in their life together with the 60-year-old man who has long termed habits. He went on to talk about the effects of not creating a nanny state and that we all need to take responsibility for our own health. The speech was really in depth and I truly hope that the measures they are talking about really do come to fruition. Conclusion Obesity Obesity is a serious issue and each one of us has a responsibility to look after ourselves and our families. Shockingly the devastation left with Covid-19 shows that those people suffering with obesity are at an increased risk of getting this horrendous disease. As a country gets richer the poorer suffer with increased obesity levels and have been the ones at the forefront of this pandemic. I want to do what I can to help others change their lifestyle and make the right choices to save their lives. Leave your comments and any questions below so that I can help.

Hormone involved in obesity is a risk factor for sepsis

A group of scientists from Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC), led by Luís Moita, discovered that a hormone that has been pointed out as a treatment for obesity reduces the resistance to infection caused by bacteria and is a risk factor for sepsis. The work developed in collaboration with researchers from France, Germany and South Korea was recently published in the scientific journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences). Sepsis is a potentially fatal illness that derives from a deregulated response of an organism to an infection, leading to organ malfunction. A study recently published in the scientific journal The Lancet estimated that in 2017 sepsis affected 49 million people and 11 million people worldwide have died. With the aim of expanding knowledge about this disease, Luis Moita's team at IGC investigated whether the hormone known as GDF15 (growth and differentiation factor 15) could play a role in sepsis. This hormone has the specificity of being widely studied by several laboratories and pharmaceuticals as a treatment for obesity. "We've discovered a critical effect of GDF15 on infection, which is relevant because this hormone increases in many common diseases, like obesity, and pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases," explains Luís Moita. IGC researchers measured GDF15 levels in blood samples from patients with sepsis, under treatment in intensive care units, and compared these levels with the ones of healthy individuals and of patients diagnosed with appendicitis. Results have shown that sepsis patients had increased levels of GDF15 when compared with the other groups, and that the high levels of the hormone were correlated with mortality. The research proceeded with the study in mice that didn't had the GDF15 gene. The results obtained revealed that mice survived better to a bacterial abdominal infection that resembles sepsis in human patients, suggesting that the hormone plays a role in sepsis. Subsequently researchers studied what was causing the increased survival rate in mice that didn't had GDF15. They noted that these mice were able to substantially recruit more white blood cells for the abdomen, specially neutrophils, better controlling locally the infection and preventing it from spreading rapidly to the rest of body. "At a time when many pharmaceutical companies and groups are considering using GDF15 as a complementary therapy for obesity, it's important to have in mind that this therapeutic strategy could increase the risk of severe infection, including sepsis," Luís Moita warns. Regarding the results of this research work, IGC researcher says that "they raise the possibility that the inhibition of GDF15's action, perhaps using a blocking monoclonal antibody, could work as a new complementary therapy for sepsis, helping to control severe local infections and preventing it to become systemic and life-threatening." Finding new therapeutic strategies to fight sepsis is essential for saving lives.

Obesity is a major risk factor for dying of Covid-19. We need to take it more seriously Health officials need to emphasize the relation between obesity and Covid-19, and we need to treat it like other chronic diseases

By now, most people understand that the elderly are especially vulnerable to Covid-19. But studies of Covid-19 patients in France, Italy, China and the United States have also identified chronic conditions that place even younger patients at risk. Near the top of the list: obesity. As we work to protect ourselves during this pandemic – and prepare ourselves for the next one – health officials need to be clear about the connection between obesity and Covid-19. Obesity increases the risk of respiratory failure, alters the immune system and may cause chronic inflammation that can rapidly escalate out of control with coronavirus infection. In the wake of Covid-19, we need to treat obesity not just as a disease, but also as a public health emergency. As an internist, I know how hard it can be for some patients to adopt healthier lifestyles. But the road to a healthier lifestyle requires a change in the doctor-patient relationship itself – and perhaps a radical one. The truth is, most of my patients know what they need before they set foot in my office. By then, they’ve been told countless times to lose weight. The question is how. They often wonder: what should I eat? What kind of exercises should I do and how often? Should I try supplements? Unfortunately, and more often than not, patients leave many of our primary care appointments without answers because we simply don’t have enough time to give them. It doesn’t matter if you’re the best doctor in the world: a 20-minute interaction once or twice a year probably isn’t enough to change a patient’s life, let alone save it. Coronavirus: the week explained - sign up for our email newsletter Read more As a result, doctors and patients take a Hail Mary approach to chronic disease management. After years of general discussions about needed lifestyle changes, the patient is diagnosed with a chronic disease, and then there is an intensive effort to prevent its irreversible consequences. But even then, doctors tend to offer generic advice which is too little, and too late, to make much difference. But in light of the connection between obesity and deadly contagions like Covid-19, we all need to do better. Doctors need enough quality time with patients for them to develop together lifetime health strategies with detailed interventions on how to implement them. If that sounds too good to be true, consider the current doctor-patient strategy for relatively complex chronic diseases, like type-two diabetes. A patient whose blood glucose level is far above target may see his or her provider as often as every three months. And since these patients are frequently considered complex, managing their chronic conditions require a higher reimbursement and longer appointments. With obesity, the key is early intervention. If patients can change their lives before suffering chronic disease consequences, they have a far greater chance of living longer, healthier lives with or without Covid-19. But this change requires the type of intensive doctor-patient relationship that goes beyond conventional engagement on diet and exercise. Our patients deserve medical advice that is personalized to their metabolism, body composition and other relevant individual factors. They deserve a tailored exercise regimen as well as access to useful tools like nutrition-tracking and optimizing apps. They also deserve the time and space to provide their doctors in-depth information about their environments and habits. This way, doctors can give their patients medical advice within the proper context. Sure, this isn’t necessarily the most profitable way to practice medicine, but our patients most at risk of becoming obese don’t just deserve this type of intensive care. They need it. They also need government to promote preventive health at a national level. Federal and state governments should offer tax incentives to companies that provide their workers at least five hours a week to exercise during working hours. Likewise, they should give individuals tax credits for taking courses in healthy lifestyle modification while they are still healthy. The government offers tax incentives for businesses to operate in specific areas or for individuals to adopt clean energy; those are good models for how this could work. “Getting back to normal” is not enough. One of the best things we can do to prepare for the next pandemic is to prevent chronic disease before it starts. As healthcare providers, we have an oath to help our patients and to advocate for them. The time to get our country’s obesity epidemic under control is now. Dr Kermit Jones is an internal medicine physician and attorney in Northern California. He advises companies and groups on health innovation and policy

Coronavirus gives new urgency to Europe’s obesity problem Studies show a relationship between the risk of death from Covid-19 and being overweight.

As Europe emerges from its coronavirus lockdown, public health experts point to an uncomfortable truth: Many of its citizens will need to shed some weight as part of a long-term prevention strategy. The question for the EU is whether it'll miss a key moment to intervene. Advertisement One clear finding from the pandemic is that people with pre-existing conditions — including obesity and related conditions such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension — face higher risks of severe illness and death. And worse, this vulnerable population is growing. According to the World Health Organization, the share of adults in the EU who suffer from obesity or are overweight increased from 47 percent in 1990 to 60 percent in 2016. Moreover, around 1 in 3 children aged between 6 and 9 in the EU are overweight or obese — a strong predictor for future weight problems — according to World Health Organization data. "Obesity is a gateway disease to over 230 different complications," explained Jacqueline Bowman-Busato, EU Policy Lead at the European Association for the Study of Obesity. That list includes 20 percent of cancers, she noted, while 80 percent of people with uncontrolled or severe obesity go on to develop type 2 diabetes. A raft of new findings shows just how much heightened risk obesity can bring. For example, a recent report published by Public Health England (PHE) on Covid-19 risk disparities found that, when adjusting for age and gender, almost 8 percent of critically ill patients in intensive care units with Covid-19 suffer from morbid obesity, compared with around 3 percent of the general population. Advertisement The report also cited a study by the OpenSAFELY collaboration that examined 17 million adult electronic health records. It pointed to a relationship between the risk of death from Covid-19 and being overweight, as measured by body mass index (BMI). In the U.S., meanwhile, two recent studies from NYU Langone Health suggested obesity is a key predictor for severe cases of Covid-19. One study looked at data from more than 4,000 patients who sought treatment in March. In a statement, study author Leora Horwitz concluded that obesity was a more important factor for hospitalization than high blood pressure, diabetes, coronary disease, kidney disease or cancer — it even beat pulmonary disease. The other suggested that patients with obesity were twice as likely to be hospitalized and faced a higher risk of needing critical care than the non-obese. Recent studies out of China and France have come to similar conclusions. But the exact reasons for this remain unclear. "There may be mechanical issues," said Chantal Mathieu, senior vice president of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) and head of endocrinology at University Hospital of Leuven. "If you have 40 kilograms on top of you, it may be more difficult to ventilate the lungs," she said. What is certain, Mathieu explained, is that mortality in this group of patients, who have a host of interrelated issues like diabetes and heart problems, is higher. The Commission said it's taking the problem seriously, but it has yet to detail how many resources in the newly announced EU4Health program will go toward fighting obesity. MOST READ USS Theodore Roosevelt Navy upholds firing of carrier captain who warned of coronavirus Trump threatens Tulsa protesters as mayor lifts curfew Fox News poll: Voters say campaign rallies are a bad idea Late-night chaos at DOJ as U.S. attorney insists he's not leaving Treasury, SBA cave to demands for bailout transparency Advertisement “It is clear that the diets of European consumers aren't in line with dietary recommendations,” said Commission spokesperson Stefan De Keersmaecker. “This has a knock-on effect on general health, with a high prevalence of diet-related diseases, including various forms of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.” On the immediate horizon, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control is drafting guidance on how to safeguard vulnerable groups — including the elderly and those suffering from hypertension, diabetes or obesity. This text will be published "soon," according to De Keersmaecker. But the Commission still has to decide how much EU4Health will play a role. A proposal document for the program leaves the obesity question open, mentioning only that EU4Health should “contribute to the reduction of ... unhealthy dietary habits and physical inactivity ... and foster supportive environments for healthy lifestyles.” The program still needs to be finalized, with amendments likely to come before it goes to the European Parliament and Council for approval. And while the final document is likely to discuss tackling cancer, it remains to be seen how prominently other non-communicable diseases will feature in the plan, which has been presented as a response to the coronavirus emergency. Portuguese MEP Sara Cerdas, S&D shadow rapporteur for EU4Health, said the program should address not just the biggest direct killers, but the main conditions that cause co-morbidities. "It’s important that it tackles risk factors, and here obesity is quite important," Cerdas said, noting that the Covid-19 pandemic couldn't be disentangled from the broader topic of health. Until now, the Commission's efforts to tackle obesity have been channeled through its new Farm to Fork strategy, which seeks to green Europe's food system and reverse the trend of rising obesity within 10 years. Advertisement There, De Keersmaecker points to several core proposals like requiring nutritional labels on food packaging and creating an EU code of conduct for responsible marketing. More broadly, the Commission's health program has invested more than €16 million into 26 projects related to nutrition since 2015. It’s also working with member countries to reach the United Nations‘ Sustainable Development Goal of reducing mortality caused by non-communicable diseases by a third by 2030. Not everyone is satisfied with the pace of change in the EU. The EASD’s Mathieu said she's disappointed in its response to protecting vulnerable populations. “We were a bit slow in Europe,” she said, adding that other health topics have taken a backseat to the COVID-19 response. Since the virus is affecting a population that already has other diseases, the public health response to the pandemic "should be embedded in everything else,” she added. For Bowman-Busato, a first step would be for the EU to acknowledge obesity as a chronic disease, something already done by the WHO. From there, it could produce a framework to harmonize obesity response plans in different member countries and help strengthen obesity centers of management. Finnish MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen, of the European People's Party, said she's worried that the window of opportunity from the pandemic will quickly close. She's calling for prompt action on several fronts, for example, by expanding European Reference Networks — platforms where doctors and patients can exchange information and hold seminars — to include non-communicable diseases associated with obesity, such as diabetes and heart diseases. Advertisement While the coronavirus outbreak has been disruptive to those living with obesity and related conditions — like interrupting normal medical care and leading to canceled doctor’s appointments — it hasn’t been all bad news. Niti Pall, the International Diabetes Federation Europe regional chair, points to the increased role of online communities that have helped fill the communication gap. Telemedicine has also helped circumvent some of the obstacles thrown up by the pandemic. “All of a sudden insurers let us do teleconsultation when we couldn’t a couple of months ago,” agreed Mathieu. “[Those include] consultations with people with obesity, motivating them and doing exercise at home, coaching them for dietary advice.” Generally, the lockdowns are changing Europeans' eating habits, in some cases for the better. One YouGov survey in April found that 38 percent of Britons reported cooking more often from scratch, while 33 percent said they throw away less food. The poll also showed a majority wanted at least some of the personal or social changes made under lockdown to continue. Organic and sustainable foods are also increasingly popular, according to Ecovia Intelligence, a research company. In France, for example, some organic food shops are reporting sales increases of over 40 percent. Meanwhile, governments in Europe are trying to make the most of the crisis in order to discourage car use in favor of greener and healthier forms of transport. Italy, for example, has introduced generous cash subsidies to encourage purchases of bicycles — which unlike public transport avoid close contact with other commuters. Bowman-Busato cautions that there's more to obesity management than healthy eating. Rather, obesity stems from a range of causes that run from hormonal balances and psychological issues to environmental factors, she said, adding that DG SANTE could do more to lead on this issue as a chronic, relapsing disease. Advertisement "If they actually want to not just stem the tide but make sure other vulnerable populations are decreasing, they’ll deal with obesity properly," she said. "And that means expanding and extending the narrative [around the condition]."

hildhood obesity is on the rise, and the poorest children are seeing the largest increase. A new report by Public Health England released yesterday showed that children of both sexes in year six — as well as girls of reception age — have experienced an upwards trend in obesity and excess weight over the past decade. That trend is being driven by a widening divide along deprivation lines: in short, children in the most deprived areas are seeing the largest increase in obesity, severe obesity and excess weight. % Year six boys who are obese Source: PHE % Year six girls who are obese Source: PHE This is bad news for future public health, as obese children are likely to stay obese into adulthood, and are therefore more likely to develop diabetes, heart and circulatory diseases later. “This report lays bare the complete lack of progress we are making in addressing excess weight in children, setting them up for an increased risk of disease as they get older,” says Caroline Cerny, alliance lead at Obesity Health Alliance. “[Being] overweight and obesity is increasing in boys and girls in year six and in girls just starting school. In all groups the upward trend is driven by increases in children from the most deprived backgrounds widening the already gaping inequality in children from poorest and richest backgrounds.” The statistics show a regional variation. Childhood obesity has risen the most outside of London and the South of England: the West Midlands has seen a 16 per cent rise in year six obesity, while in the North-west it has risen by 14 per cent. The regions of the country that have seen the biggest rise are — not by coincidence — the regions that have been hit hardest under austerity. Rise in child obesity between 2008/09 and 2018/19 Source: PHE The findings chime with those of a review released earlier this year by the Institute of Health Equity, marking ten years since Sir Michael Marmot's original review on health inequalities. It found that health inequality has risen across the board over the last decade — not just for children. In 2019, people could expect to spend more of their lives in poor health compared to 2010, life expectancy had stalled (and declined for the poorest 10 per cent of women), and the health gap had grown between wealthy and deprived areas. This decline in public health over the last decade may have heightened the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on England’s population, with a PHE report on Tuesday finding that obesity increased the risk of dying from Covid-19 by 27 per cent, and morbid obesity more than doubled the risk of dying — although children are among those least at risk from the virus. Funding cuts and austerity are largely to blame for rising health inequalities: areas outside London and the South-east experienced larger cuts, which undermined their capacity to improve the social determinants of public health. “This damage to health has been largely unnecessary,” the authors of the new Marmot review noted. “There is no biological reason for stalling life expectancy and widening health inequalities. Other countries are doing better, even those with longer life expectancy than England. The slowdown in life expectancy is not down to exceptionally cold winters or virulent flu, and cannot be attributed solely to problems with the NHS or social care – although declining funding relative to need in each sector will undoubtedly have played a role. “The increase in health inequalities in England points to social and economic conditions, many of which have shown increased inequalities, or deterioration since 2010.” Professor Russell Viner, president of the the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: “The government has made welcome commitments on childhood obesity and young people’s mental health but we need to see delivery in these and other areas. “We have the evidence, the experience and the expertise to make real progress in the life of this government. It’s now time to deliver for children and young people. “We’re in danger of failing a generation if we don’t turn this situation around.” hildhood obesity is on the rise, and the poorest children are seeing the largest increase. A new report by Public Health England released yesterday showed that children of both sexes in year six — as well as girls of reception age — have experienced an upwards trend in obesity and excess weight over the past decade. That trend is being driven by a widening divide along deprivation lines: in short, children in the most deprived areas are seeing the largest increase in obesity, severe obesity and excess weight. % Year six boys who are obese Source: PHE % Year six girls who are obese Source: PHE This is bad news for future public health, as obese children are likely to stay obese into adulthood, and are therefore more likely to develop diabetes, heart and circulatory diseases later. “This report lays bare the complete lack of progress we are making in addressing excess weight in children, setting them up for an increased risk of disease as they get older,” says Caroline Cerny, alliance lead at Obesity Health Alliance. “[Being] overweight and obesity is increasing in boys and girls in year six and in girls just starting school. In all groups the upward trend is driven by increases in children from the most deprived backgrounds widening the already gaping inequality in children from poorest and richest backgrounds.” The statistics show a regional variation. Childhood obesity has risen the most outside of London and the South of England: the West Midlands has seen a 16 per cent rise in year six obesity, while in the North-west it has risen by 14 per cent. The regions of the country that have seen the biggest rise are — not by coincidence — the regions that have been hit hardest under austerity. Rise in child obesity between 2008/09 and 2018/19 Source: PHE The findings chime with those of a review released earlier this year by the Institute of Health Equity, marking ten years since Sir Michael Marmot's original review on health inequalities. It found that health inequality has risen across the board over the last decade — not just for children. In 2019, people could expect to spend more of their lives in poor health compared to 2010, life expectancy had stalled (and declined for the poorest 10 per cent of women), and the health gap had grown between wealthy and deprived areas. This decline in public health over the last decade may have heightened the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on England’s population, with a PHE report on Tuesday finding that obesity increased the risk of dying from Covid-19 by 27 per cent, and morbid obesity more than doubled the risk of dying — although children are among those least at risk from the virus. Funding cuts and austerity are largely to blame for rising health inequalities: areas outside London and the South-east experienced larger cuts, which undermined their capacity to improve the social determinants of public health. “This damage to health has been largely unnecessary,” the authors of the new Marmot review noted. “There is no biological reason for stalling life expectancy and widening health inequalities. Other countries are doing better, even those with longer life expectancy than England. The slowdown in life expectancy is not down to exceptionally cold winters or virulent flu, and cannot be attributed solely to problems with the NHS or social care – although declining funding relative to need in each sector will undoubtedly have played a role. “The increase in health inequalities in England points to social and economic conditions, many of which have shown increased inequalities, or deterioration since 2010.” Professor Russell Viner, president of the the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: “The government has made welcome commitments on childhood obesity and young people’s mental health but we need to see delivery in these and other areas. “We have the evidence, the experience and the expertise to make real progress in the life of this government. It’s now time to deliver for children and young people. “We’re in danger of failing a generation if we don’t turn this situation around.”

Overweight or obese individuals made up 78% of confirmed COVID-19 cases

People who were overweight or obese made up 78% of confirmed COVID-19 infections – prompting calls for the food industry to ‘share blame’. Published in the BMJ, the research cites evidence that obesity is an independent risk factor for more severe cases and death as a result of coronavirus. In the UK, 62% of those with the virus who died in hospital were overweight or obese. As a result, the authors are urging government to force the food and drink industry to take action. This includes reducing sugar, saturated fat and salt levels in their products, with an emphasis on promoting healthy foods. Increased risk The data has revealed a dose-response relationship between excess weight and the severity of COVID-19. In other words, the more extreme the obesity, the more likely the individual will be hospitalised for COVID-19 – and the higher the risk of death. The risk of critical illness from COVID-19 rose 44% for those who were overweight. It almost doubled for those who were obese. Additionally, the risk of death as a result of COVID-19 increased with the severity of obesity. Those in the most obese category had almost twice the risk of dying. These conclusions were drawn after adjusting for possible confounding factors – including age, sex, ethnicity and social deprivation. ‘Unlike most other risk factors identified for COVID-19 such as age, sex and ethnicity – obesity is a modifiable risk factor,’ said Graham MacGregor, the co-author of the study and Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Barts and The London Hospital. ‘This is why governments worldwide must seize the opportunity to help people to eat more healthily. They must enforce measures to restrict the promotion, marketing, and advertising of unhealthy foods. This will help to ensure their reformulation to contain far less salt, sugar, and saturated fat. It would also reduce mortality from this vicious virus and many other chronic diseases.’ Calls for government action There are a number of mechanisms that could help to explain the link between obesity and the virus. Obesity leads to larger quantities of ACE2 in the body – the enzyme exploited by the virus for cell entry. It also weakens the immune response and reduces lung function. Monique Tan, co-author of the study and PhD researcher at Queen Mary University of London added: ‘Obesity is the major cause of type 2 diabetes which, in itself, is another potentially modifiable risk factor for more severe COVID-19. ‘However, long planned and awaited governmental measures to address this have been put on hold due to the COVID-19 outbreak. But this is a time when they have never been more necessary. ‘We urge the UK government to implement Action on Sugar’s evidence-based plan that was presented to the Prime Minister two weeks ago.’ Findings were drawn from both a population cohort study (428.225 participants, 340 admitted with confirmed case) and another using electronic health records (17,425,445 participants, 5,683 COVID-19 deaths).

We are all at home more often at the moment, which can make it easy to reach for ready meals or the takeaway menu. But we're here to help with some easy tips and suggestions for ways to make healthier choices with your meals – and even to whip up your own delicious home-made versions of takeaway classics! These quick wins can help you cut back on sugar, sat fat and salt, and also help you keep an eye on how many calories are in your meals.

Obesity-related hospital admissions rise by more than 30 per cent

HOSPITAL admissions for obesity in North Yorkshire have risen by more than 30 per cent in the last year. NHS Digital data reveals that between 2018-19 in North Yorkshire, there were 13,085 hospital admissions where obesity was the primary or secondary cause. The figure is the equivalent of 2,034 in every 100,000 residents – an increase of 36 per cent from the previous year’s figure of 1,492 and 1,173 recorded in 2016. But York Hospital recorded the lowest levels of admissions across the region. Data also shows that women accounted for 7,885 - or 60 per cent - of North Yorkshire’s obesity-related hospital admissions in 2018-19. Meanwhile, Yorkshire was the fourth-worst affected of the country’s nine NHS regions, with a rate of 1,719 obesity-related hospital admissions per 100,000 population. The charity Diabetes UK said the Government needed to do more to prevent the problem by pursuing its commitment to slashing childhood obesity rates, while the NHS said the issue is putting “unnecessary strain” on its services. Helen Kirrane, head of policy, campaigns and mobilisation at Diabetes UK, said the rise shows more people are getting the treatment needed. A review into how obesity, alongside other factors including ethnicity and gender, affect a person’s vulnerability to the coronavirus has been announced by Public Health England (PHE). PHE said the review will provide insight into emerging evidence the virus is having a disproportionate effect on different groups. Last month, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that the review was part of a continued effort to understand and ultimately reduce health inequalities across the country. An NHS spokesperson said: “With a 20 per cent increase in hospital admissions over the last five years directly linked to obesity, it is clear that obesity is causing diseases including cancer, heart attacks, stroke and type two diabetes while putting unnecessary strain on NHS services. “The NHS is playing its part through our long-term plan, but other industries must also step up and prevent the harm obesity is causing, particularly to young people.”

How much should I weigh for my height and age?

Many people want to know the answer to this question: How much should I weigh? However, there is not one ideal healthy weight for each person, because a number of different factors play a role. These include age, muscle-fat ratio, height, sex, and body fat distribution, or body shape. Having excess weight can affect a person’s risk of developing a number of health conditions, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular problems. Not everyone who carries extra weight develops health problems. However, researchers believe that while these extra pounds might not currently impact a person’ s health, a lack of management could lead to problems in the future. Read on to find out about four ways of working out your ideal weight. Method 1: Body mass index (BMI) BMI takes into account both height and weight but not body composition. Body mass index (BMI) is a common tool for deciding whether a person has an appropriate body weight. It measures a person’s weight in relation to their height. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH): A BMI of less than 18.5 means that a person is underweight. A BMI of between 18.5 and 24.9 is ideal. A BMI of between 25 and 29.9 is overweight. A BMI over 30 indicates obesity. Body mass index calculator To calculate your BMI, you can use our BMI calculators or review our charts below. BMI Calculator Units: U.S. (Imperial)Metric Height: Feet Inches Weight: Pounds This BMI calculator is for informational purposes only. Consult a healthcare provider before making health decisions. BMI is an indirect assessment of health risk and may not be accurate because it cannot determine the proportion or distribution of body fat. BMI calculator source: National Institutes of Health (NIH). Weight and height guide chart The following weight and height chart uses BMI tables from the National Institute of Health to determine how much a person’s weight should be for their height. Height Weight Normal Overweight Obesity Severe obesity 4ft 10″ (58″) 91 to 115 lbs. 119 to 138 lbs. 143 to 186 lbs. 191 to 258 lbs. 4ft 11″ (59″) 94 to 119 lbs. 124 to 143 lbs. 148 to 193 lbs. 198 to 267 lbs. 5ft (60″) 97 to 123 lbs. 128 to 148 lbs. 153 to 199 lbs. 204 to 276 lbs. 5ft 1″ (61″) 100 to 127 lbs. 132 to 153 lbs. 158 to 206 lbs. 211 to 285 lbs. 5ft 2″ (62″) 104 to 131 lbs. 136 to 158 lbs. 164 to 213 lbs. 218 to 295 lbs. 5ft 3″ (63″) 107 to 135 lbs. 141 to 163 lbs. 169 to 220 lbs. 225 to 304 lbs. 5ft 4″ (64″) 110 to 140 lbs. 145 to 169 lbs. 174 to 227 lbs. 232 to 314 lbs. 5ft 5″ (65″) 114 to 144 lbs. 150 to 174 lbs. 180 to 234 lbs. 240 to 324 lbs. 5ft 6″ (66″) 118 to 148 lbs. 155 to 179 lbs. 186 to 241 lbs. 247 to 334 lbs. 5ft 7″ (67″) 121 to 153 lbs. 159 to 185 lbs. 191 to 249 lbs. 255 to 344 lbs. 5ft 8″ (68″) 125 to 158 lbs. 164 to 190 lbs. 197 to 256 lbs. 262 to 354 lbs. 5ft 9″ (69″) 128 to 162 lbs. 169 to 196 lbs. 203 to 263 lbs. 270 to 365 lbs. 5ft 10″ (70″) 132 to 167 lbs. 174 to 202 lbs. 209 to 271 lbs. 278 to 376 lbs. 5ft 11″ (71″) 136 to 172 lbs. 179 to 208 lbs. 215 to 279 lbs. 286 to 386 lbs. 6ft (72″) 140 to 177 lbs. 184 to 213 lbs. 221 to 287 lbs. 294 to 397 lbs. 6ft 1″ (73″) 144 to 182 lbs. 189 to 219 lbs. 227 to 295 lbs. 302 to 408 lbs. 6ft 2″ (74″) 148 to 186 lbs. 194 to 225 lbs. 233 to 303 lbs. 311 to 420 lbs. 6ft 3″ (75″) 152 to 192 lbs. 200 to 232 lbs. 240 to 311 lbs. 319 to 431 lbs. 6ft 4″ (76″) 156 to 197 lbs. 205 to 238 lbs. 246 to 320 lbs. 328 to 443 lbs. BMI 19 to 24 25 to 29 30 to 39 40 to 54 What is the problem with BMI? BMI is a very simple measurement. While it takes height into consideration, it does not account for factors such as: waist or hip measurements proportion or distribution of fat proportion of muscle mass These, too, can have an impact on health. High-performance athletes, for example, tend to be very fit and have little body fat. They can have a high BMI because they have more muscle mass, but this does not mean they are overweight. BMI can also offer a rough idea of whether or not a person’s weight is healthy, and it is useful for measuring trends in population studies. However, it should not be the only measure for an individual to assess whether their weight is ideal or not. Method 2: Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) A person’s waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) can give an idea about whether they have more abdominal fat than is healthy. A person’s waist-to-hip measurement compares their waist size with that of their hips. Research has shown that people who have more body fat around their middle are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes. The higher the waist measurement in proportion to the hips, the greater the risk. For this reason, the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) is a useful tool for calculating whether a person has a healthy weight and size. Measure your waist-to-hip ratio 1. Measure around the waist in the narrowest part, usually just above the belly button. 2. Divide this measurement by the measurement around your hip at its widest part. If a person’s waist is 28 inches and their hips are 36 inches, they will divide 28 by 36. This will give them 0.77. What does it mean? How WHR affects the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is different for men and women, because they tend to have different body shapes. Evidence suggests that WHR can impact the risk of CVD as follows: In males Below 0.9: The risk of cardiovascular health problems is low. From 0.9 to 0.99: The risk is moderate. At 1.0 or over: The risk is high. In females Below 0.8: The risk is low. From 0.8 to 0.89: The risk is moderate. At 0.9 or above: The risk is high. However, these figures can vary, depending on the source and the population to which they apply. WHR may be a better predictor of heart attacks and other health risks than BMI, which does not take fat distribution into consideration. A study of health records for 1,349 people in 11 countries, published in 2013, showed that those with a higher WHR also have a greater risk of medical and surgical complications relating to colorectal surgery. However, WHR does not accurately measure a person’s total body fat percentage, or their muscle-to-fat ratio. Method 3: Waist-to-height ratio Waist-to-height ratio (WtHR) is another tool that might predict the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and overall mortality more effectively than BMI. A person whose waist measurement is less than half their height has a lower risk of a number of life-threatening health complications. Measure your waist-to-height ratio A person’s height should be at least twice their waist measurement for a healthy WtHR. To calculate the WtHR, a person should divide their waist size by their height. If the answer is 0.5 or less, the chances are that they have a healthy weight. A woman who is 5 feet and 4 inches tall (163 cm), should have a waist measurement below 32 inches (81 cm). A man who is 6 feet or 183 centimeters (cm) tall, should have a waist measurement below 36 inches or 91 cm. These measurements will give a WtHR of just under 0.5. In a study published in 2014 in Plos One, researchers concluded that WtHR was a better predictor of mortality than BMI. The authors also cited findings from another study — involving statistics for around 300,000 people from different ethnic groups — which concluded that WHtR is better than BMI at predicting heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and hypertension. This suggests that the WHtR could be a useful screening tool. Measurements that take waist size into account can be good indicators of a person’s health risks because fat that collects around the middle can be harmful for the heart, kidneys, and liver. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that a man with a waist size of 40 inches or above, or a woman with a waist size of 35 inches or above has a higher risk than other people of: type 2 diabetes high blood pressure coronary artery disease This does not, however, take a person’s height or hip size into consideration. powered by Rubicon Project Method 4: Body fat percentage Body fat percentage is the weight of a person’s fat divided by their total weight. Total body fat includes essential and storage fat. Essential fat: A person needs essential fat to survive. It plays a role in a wide range of bodily functions. For men, it is healthy to have 2 to 4 percent of their body composition as essential fat. For women, the figure is 10 to 13 percent, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Storage fat: Fatty tissue protects the internal organs in the chest and abdomen, and the body can use it if necessary for energy. Apart from the approximate guidelines for men and women, the ideal total fat percentage can depend on a person’s body type or activity level. ACE recommend the following percentages: Activity level Male body type Female body type Athletes 6–13% 14–20% Fit non-athletes 14–17% 21–24% Acceptable 18–25% 25–31% Overweight 26–37% 32–41% Obesity 38% or more 42% or more A high proportion of body fat can indicate a greater risk of: diabetes heart disease high blood pressure stroke Calculating body fat percentage may be a good way to measure a person’s fitness level because it reflects the person’s body composition. BMI, in contrast, does not distinguish between fat and muscle mass. How to measure body fat Calipers measure body fat. The result can give an indication of whether a person is likely to have certain health risks. The most common ways of measuring body fat percentage is to use a skinfold measurement, which uses special calipers to pinch the skin. The health professional will measure tissue on the thigh, abdomen, chest (for men) or upper arm (for women). The techniques provide an accurate reading within around 3.5 percent, according to ACE. Other techniques include: hydrostatic body fat measuring, or “underwater weighing” air densitometry, which measures air displacement dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) bioelectrical impedance analysis None of these can give a 100-percent accurate reading, but the estimates are close enough to give a reasonable assessment. Many gyms and doctor’s offices have devices for measuring a person’s body fat percentage. MEDICAL NEWS TODAY NEWSLETTER Stay in the know. Get our free daily newsletter Expect in-depth, science-backed toplines of our best stories every day. Tap in and keep your curiosity satisfied. Enter your email Your privacy is important to us. Any information you provide to us via this website may be placed by us on servers located in countries outside of the EU. If you do not agree to such placement, do not provide the information. Video In this video by What Matters Nutrition, David Brewer, a registered dietician, takes a look at the question of ideal weight, discussing many of the points raised above. Takeaway Body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), waist-to-height ratio (WtHR), and body-fat percentage are four ways of assessing a healthy weight. Combining them may be the best way to get an accurate idea of whether you should consider taking action or not. Anyone who is concerned about their weight, waist size, or body composition should speak to a doctor or nutritionist. They will be able to advise about suitable options. Q: Does it matter if a person if overweight, as long as they are healthy and comfortable? A: It is important to remember that there is a link between being overweight and a higher risk of many chronic diseases, including diabetes, hypertension, and metabolic syndrome. Additionally, carrying extra weight can be tough on the skeletal system and joints, and it can result in changes in motor function and postural control. This may be because having extra body weight can reduce muscular strength and endurance, distort a person’s posture, and cause discomfort with normal body movements. For young people excess weight during the growth development stages can contribute to unusual motor patterning. This can remain into adulthood. Answers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice. SHOP FOR WEIGHT MANAGEMENT TOOLS Some of the items mentioned in this article are available for purchase online: weighing scales measuring tape skinfold caliper DiabetesHypertensionCardiovascular / CardiologyObesity / Weight Loss / Fitness 13 sourcescollapsed Medically reviewed by Daniel Bubnis, M.S., NASM-CPT, NASE Level II-CSS, specialty in fitness, on January 18, 2020 — Written by Yvette Brazier

Doctors warn against obesity patient 'stigma' in post-pandemic health system

DOCTORS ARE WARNING against any ‘stigmatisation’ of patients with obesity as non-Covid-19 treatments start again. The Irish Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism has said that patients with obesity – who are at a higher risk of complications from the virus – require equal access to the health system as new appointments become available. “Similar to most elective surgery, metabolic procedures have been postponed during the pandemic. However, due to the progressive nature of diabetes, delaying surgery can increase future health complications and even earlier death,” warned Dr Conor Woods, a consultant endocrinologist at Tallaght University Hospital. “The traditional ‘weight-centric’ criteria for patient prioritisation needs to change. For the period ahead, a new triaging approach for obesity and diabetes surgeries and treatments has been agreed internationally,” Woods said. The Irish Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism is concerned that people with obesity have faced additional stigmatisation following speculation that they could be asymptomatic carriers of coronavirus. The society has recommended that patients be prioritised into three categories. The first would be surgery within 30 days for those with complications from previous metabolic surgery, while the second would be surgery within 90 days for those with “substantial risk” of diabetes complications or who have poor control of diabetes. The final category would be standard access for patients who are “unlikely to deteriorate within six months”. However, the society says that these patients still need to be “optimised using intensive medical treatment”. As of Saturday night, 72 people with Covid-19 were in intensive care units in Irish hospitals – a figure that is 55% less than the recent peak of 160. #OPEN JOURNALISM No news is bad news Support The Journal Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you SUPPORT US NOW Overall, 543 people with Covid-19 were in Irish hospitals on Saturday night, plus a further 196 suspected cases. There have been some concerns that GPs could face a “tsunami” of non-Covid-19 illnesses in the weeks and months to come as the number of people being treated for the virus drops. A spokesperson for the Irish Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism, Professor Carel le Roux, said that “Ireland’s public health system has the lowest funding per capita for obesity treatment in Europe”. Overcoming obesity stigma, he warned, would be crucial in the weeks to come.

Coronavirus: Tackling obesity 'must be part of recovery plan'

Tackling obesity and improving the nation's diet must be central to the Scottish government's coronavirus recovery plans, a charity has said. Obesity Action Scotland said the pandemic had sparked a "positive shift" in the country's food culture. This included more people cooking at home and eating more fruit and vegetables. However, it warned alcohol consumption and "boredom eating" had also gone up. The charity said a survey which it had commissioned suggested 44% of people were eating fewer takeaways and 28% eating fewer ready meals since the lockdown began. Around a third of people in Scotland also reported increasing the amount of indoor physical activity they do. But 49% reported eating more cakes and biscuits, 47% to eating more sweets and 38% eating more savoury snacks. Sugary snacks Over a third of the respondents (34%) said they were drinking more alcohol than before the outbreak. Obesity Action Scotland said the study showed the positive lifestyle outcomes of the lockdown had "clearly been outweighed" by the negatives. The charity's Lorraine Tulloch said: "We must harness the positive changes that have allowed us to find more time and value for food whilst addressing the negative consequences of an increased intake of sugary snacks. "We need to re-double our efforts to improve the diet of the people of Scotland and ensure everyone has access to affordable healthy food. "Actions to achieve healthy weight need to be central to the Scottish government's recovery plans."

.Obese children hospitalized with coronavirus

.Obese children hospitalized with coronavirus are THREE TIMES more likely to need ventilators, study finds Researchers looked at 50 coronavirus pediatric patients hospitalized at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital Obesity was the most chronic health condition with 19 patients either being obese or overweight 60% of obese pediatric patients with coronavirus were characterized as having 'severe disease' About 67% of obese kids were placed on the breathing machines compared to 20% of non-obese kids Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19 By MARY KEKATOS SENIOR HEALTH REPORTER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM PUBLISHED: 16:01, 3 June 2020 | UPDATED: 21:09, 3 June 2020 e-mail 29 shares 160 View comments Children infected with the novel coronavirus who are overweight or obese are more likely to be critically ill, a new study looking at 50 patients suggests. Researchers from Columba University Irving Medical Center found obesity occurred in 60 percent of pediatric patients characterized as having 'severe disease.' What's more, obese children were three times more likely to need to be placed on a ventilator than children with average weights. A new study found that 67% of obese coronavirus pediatric patients were placed on the breathing machines compared to 20% of non-obese kids. Pictured: Jayden Hardowar, eight, from New York, who is not obese, was placed on a ventilator last month +6 A new study found that 67% of obese coronavirus pediatric patients were placed on the breathing machines compared to 20% of non-obese kids. Pictured: Jayden Hardowar, eight, from New York, who is not obese, was placed on a ventilator last month About 60% of obese pediatric patients with coronavirus were characterized as having 'severe disease'. Pictured: Bobby Dean, nine, from Rochester, New York, who is not obese, was hospitalized with coronavirus this year +6 About 60% of obese pediatric patients with coronavirus were characterized as having 'severe disease'. Pictured: Bobby Dean, nine, from Rochester, New York, who is not obese, was hospitalized with coronavirus this year About 60% of obese pediatric patients with coronavirus were characterized as having 'severe disease.' Pictured: Josie Paskavan, nine, from Michigan, who is not obese, was hospitalized with the coronavirus +6 About 60% of obese pediatric patients with coronavirus were characterized as having 'severe disease.' Pictured: Josie Paskavan, nine, from Michigan, who is not obese, was hospitalized with the coronavirus For the study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, the team examined 50 patients under 21 years old hospitalized at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital. TOP ARTICLES 4/5 READ MORE Fauci is 'optimistic' Moderna's coronavirus vaccine will work The median time from the development of symptoms to hospital admission was about two days. However, it was longer for adolescents (four days) compared to younger children and infants (one day). The majority of patients - 80 percent - had fever or respiratory symptoms, but three patients only had gastrointestinal symptoms when they were diagnosed. Obesity and being overweight, 19 out of the 50 patients, was the most chronic health condition among the children. RELATED ARTICLES


More than 15,000 obesity hospital admissions a year in Hampshire

MORE than 15,000 hospital admissions in Hampshire each year are a result of obesity, figures show. Charity Diabetes UK said the Government needs to do more to prevent the problem nationally by pursuing its commitment to slashing childhood obesity rates, while the NHS said the issue is putting "unnecessary strain" on health services. NHS Digital data reveals that in Hampshire there were 15,270 hospital admissions where obesity was the primary or secondary cause in 2018-19. That was 1,106 in every 100,000 residents – up from the previous year's figure of 968. Three years earlier, the rate was 765. Data also shows that women accounted for 9,730 (64%) of Hampshire's obesity-related hospital admissions in 2018-19. There was huge disparity in rates across England, with the most deprived areas worse affected than those with low deprivation levels. The South East had the lowest rate of the country's nine regions, with a rate of 1,176 per 100,000 population. That was nearly half the East Midlands's rate, which was 2,343. ADVERTISING Nationally, there were 876,000 admissions due to obesity in 2018-19, a 23% increase on 2017-18. Helen Kirrane, head of policy, campaigns and mobilisation at Diabetes UK, said the rise means more people are getting access to the treatment they need. ADVERTISING She said: "We know that primary admissions for obesity are up, but these are predominantly related to people having bariatric surgery. “Secondary admissions for obesity have also risen significantly, but the caveat here is that a lot of that is probably due to better recording of obesity as a factor in an admission. “We are currently living in uncertain times, but we shouldn’t forget that people are still living with and developing obesity and its related conditions such as type 2 diabetes. She added that it is "vital" the Government follows through on its childhood obesity plan commitments, while the NHS and councils should support people to manage their weight. A review into how obesity, alongside other factors including ethnicity and gender, affect a person's vulnerability to the coronavirus has been announced by Public Health England. PHE said the review will provide insight into emerging evidence the virus is having a disproportionate effect on different groups. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the "extremely important and hugely complex task" is part of a continued effort to reduce health inequalities across the country. An NHS spokesperson said: “With a 20% increase in hospital admissions over the last five years directly linked to obesity, it is clear that obesity is causing diseases including cancer, heart attacks, stroke and type 2 diabetes, while putting unnecessary strain on NHS services. “The NHS is playing its part through our long-term plan, but other industries must also step up and prevent the harm obesity is causing, particularly to young people.” 5 comments New Smart Bracelet Repels Mosquitos Without Chemical Sprays MOSQUITO BLOCK | SPONSORED The Senior Dating Site for Mature Singles SILVERSINGLES | SPONSORED Face Masks Are Being Recommended In Bridport - Get Yours Here! PACAMASK | SPONSORED Computer Users Should See This Before Going Online TOTAL AV | SPONSORED Arthritis or Joint Pain? Doctor Says Do This First Thing Each Morning JUPITER LABORATORIES JOINTFUEL360 SUPPLEMENT | SPONSORED Turmeric Relieves Joint Pain - Overnight! 100% Natural & Safe JUPITER LABORATORIES JOINTFUEL360 SUPPLEMENT | SPONSORED Most Computer Users Don't Know This (Do It Today) TOTALAV | SPONSORED This New Psoriasis Medical Device Class 1 Treatment Combines CBD CANZON | SPONSORED Revealed: The richest people in Hampshire (and why the lockdown has hit their fortunes) HAMPSHIRE CHRONICLE Coronavirus: Hampshire death toll stands at 551 HAMPSHIRE CHRONICLE One more patient dies of coronavirus in Hampshire HAMPSHIRE CHRONICLE No decision made on whether Hampshire schools will reopen on June 1, council says HAMPSHIRE CHRONICLE Home bakers bringing smiles with cakes for NHS staff HAMPSHIRE CHRONICLE MOST READ COMMENTED 1 More shops and businesses partially opening in Winchester 2 Missing: Appeal launched to find missing Trinity Robin 3 Winchester has amongst the highest Covid-19 rates in the UK 4 Bomb squad called after dummy WWII mortar shell found in a ditch next to major road 5 Symonds students shine in national spotlight 6 This Winchester schoolboy, 7, interviewed the most popular PE teacher in the UK 7 More than 15,000 obesity hospital admissions a year in Hampshire 8 Covid-19 frontline doctor vows to resign if Dominic Cummings keeps job 9 How to make sure a tap is safe to use after being untouched during lockdown 10 The reason why hand sanitiser shouldn't be left in your car Read more Get involved with the news in your community Send your stories and photos now

We must win obesity war for the NHS: Third of COVID-19 deaths linked to diabetes

Pause Mute Fullscreen Sign up for FREE now and never miss the top Royal stories again! Enter your email address here SUBSCRIBE We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights. PROMOTED STORY [Photos] Remember Her? Take a Look at Her Today (History Chronicle) He said: "We are determined to tackle the problem of obesity, and I am looking very closely at evidence it can worsen the effects of coronavirus. "I'm convinced we need to reverse obesity rates to make our NHS fit for the future, and I look forward to working with the Prime Minister to meet our goal." Mr Hancock's vow comes after Boris Johnson's stint in intensive care with the virus triggered people to claim his weight could have been a factor. RELATED ARTICLES British public’s forgotten bank accounts to be raided for coronavirus Coronavirus breakthrough: Vaccine by September after $1BN fund from US Health campaigners are now demanding a public inquiry into Britain's fatal obsession with junk food and sugar. NHS cardiologist and anti-sugar campaigner Dr Aseem Malhotra said: "Thousands of people have likely unnecessarily died prematurely from COVID-19, despite years of warnings from doctors to introduce policies to curb obesity and improve healthy eating. "This needs to be fully investigated with an urgent public inquiry as to why it was allowed to happen." NHS England research shows that 7,466 people who died in hospital with COVID-19 also had Type 2 diabetes, while 365 victims had Type 1. The cause for Type 1 is not properly understood but is believed to be genetic. It is not linked to lifestyle factors like diet and exercise. Matt Hancock, the health secretary Matt Hancock, the health secretary (Image: No 10) Type 2 could be partly genetic but is mainly due to excess body weight and physical inactivity. In both types, the body cannot maintain healthy blood glucose levels. NHS England found that even when all other factors were taken into account, higher blood glucose levels and obesity were linked to greater risk of dying from coronavirus. Dr Malhotra wants this to be a watershed moment in Britain's approach to fighting expanding waistlines. He said: "I'm not against people indulging in occasional treats but evidence reveals half of our diet comes from ultraprocessed junk. "The greatest threat to sustainability of the NHS is the obesity crisis, so if we want to fix healthcare, we need to fix the food we eat. "Evidence suggests tackling ultra-processed food would have a substantial impact on reducing the burden of chronic metabolic diseases [including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke] that are crippling our health service. "There's no better time to start a public health revolution." Almost four million people have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in the UK, with the number set to rocket to 5.5 million by 2030. It costs the NHS £14billion a year – £1million every hour – and can cause blindness, amputations, heart disease and kidney failure. At least another million people have the disease but don't realise. A further 12.5 million are at risk because of unhealthy lifestyles. Being overweight makes it harder for the diaphragm and lungs to expand, reducing oxygen supply to vital organs. This could be why COVID-19, which is a respiratory disease, hits Type 2 diabetics particularly hard. Obesity also makes immune systems less able to deal with new attacks by bugs. Campaigners said a central problem was decades-long confusion over public health messages on which foods are best. Dr Malhotra's diet promotes vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, dairy and plenty of protein from pulses, fish, meat, and eggs. In a letter to the Health Secretary, who lost 2st by following his diet, Dr Malhotra said it was "irrefutable that metabolic disease is a leading cause of mortality from COVID-19". Tim Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King's College London, said: "Obesity and poor diet is emerging as one of the biggest risk factors for a severe response to COVID-19 infection that can no longer be ignored."

Bariatric specialists at a Sunderland research centre have welcomed national calls for a more robust approach to tackling obesity

ata suggests that obese people develop more severe Covid-19 symptoms, coupled with a higher death rate. There are now calls for an increase in bariatric surgery to avoid unnecessary suffering, save lives, develop a healthier population and protect the NHS. The Helen McArdle Nursing and Care Research Institute (HMNCRI), which sits within the University of Sunderland’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences, focuses on research in areas including bariatric surgical care. Academics there, who are part of the British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society (BOMSS) have supported a letter to the Prime Minister this week, asking for urgent action by the NHS to rapidly introduce effective treatment for severe obesity. The Prime Minister has announced plans to launch an anti-obesity strategy after believing his weight was partly the reason he ended up in intensive care with coronavirus. BOMSS National Research Lead, Dr Yitka Graham, is Head of the HMNCRI, an Associate Professor in Health Services Research, and is part of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Obesity Stigma. She has carried out extensive research into bariatric and metabolic surgery for adult obesity, holding a research post in one of the UK’s leading Bariatric Surgical Unit at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust for the last eight years. She explained: “The decision to have weight-loss surgery is not an easy one to make, and usually follows when other methods of weight-loss have been attempted but have not achieved significant weight-loss. “Bariatric surgery is an intervention that requires life-long changes which impact all aspects of peoples’ lives. It is not a ‘quick fix’ and many people are judged for taking what is wrongly seen as an ‘easy way’ of weight loss, which is simply not true. It requires strength and life-long commitment. In this current pandemic, bariatric surgery is a weight-loss option which has potential to save lives in more ways than one. It’s more important than ever to support people living with obesity.” According to BOMSS, bariatric surgery produces beneficial improvements in type 2 diabetes within days of surgery, significant weight loss within 12 weeks and ongoing continued health improvements including remission of type 2 diabetes in 70% of patients, reduction in the number of heart attacks and strokes and increased life expectancy. Mr Kamal Mahawar, Chair of the Patient Safety Committee for BOMSS and a Consultant Bariatric Surgeon at Sunderland Royal Hospital, said: “Bariatric surgery has been postponed across the world as a result of Covid-19. We need to look at how we can safely restart this surgery in the UK. With an in-hospital mortality rate of 0.1% in the UK, bariatric surgery is one of the safest surgical interventions known to mankind. It reduces mortality, cancer risks and improves a number of other health conditions related to obesity such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. It is also cost effective and generally pays back for itself in the first few years owing to improved health status.” Kamal Mahawar Sarah Le Brocq, Director of Obesity UK, said: “People living with obesity are faced with stigma and discrimination on a daily basis. Society doesn’t understand the complexities of obesity and are told the solution is ‘eat less, move more’. This is absolutely not the case, there are over 100 factors that contribute to why someone lives with obesity (Foresight Report 2007). Bariatric surgery is a tool that can help people manage their weight, but it still requires life-long changes and is absolutely not a ‘quick fix’. “Obesity UK hope the Government will increase access to weight management services in the UK, so people living with obesity can get equitable access to support.” David Kerrigan, President of BOMSS, said: “Bariatric surgery is recognised by NICE as a cost-effective healthcare intervention and offers strong and sustained weight loss and improvement of obesity-related diseases. It should not be perceived as a ‘quick fix’ in terms of an easy solution for people living with obesity, but in terms of having potential to provide an intervention which is by far the most effective treatment for obesity that we have in the fight against the suffering and death being wreaked by Covid-19.” In his letter to the Prime Minister, David said: “We would welcome your support in pushing for prioritisation of effective NICE-approved treatments for obesity and in particular bariatric surgery during the forthcoming NHS restart, along with rapid expansion of the number of procedures commissioned. BOMSS believes that as a minimum the UK should be carrying out 20,000 bariatric procedures per annum and that we have the manpower and infrastructure to deliver this.” He added: “We would be delighted to assist you in any way to secure your goal of improving the health of the British people afflicted by the dual modern curses of obesity and Covid-19.” The Prime Minister reportedly weighed 17½st when he was taken to hospital with coronavirus last month. At 5ft 9in tall, this would mean his Body Mass Index (BMI) was 36, which is in the obese range. Under his plan, the Government will invest in “preventative and personalised solutions” to help people lose weight and live more active lives.

Boris Johnson to launch anti-obesity drive after coronavirus scare

The Prime Minister reportedly admitted he weighed 17½st when he was taken to hospital with coronavirus last month. At 5ft 9in tall, this would mean his Body Mass Index (BMI) was 36, which is in the obese range. Statistics show that being overweight increases the risk of hospitalisation from Covid-19. Since his illness, Mr Johnson is believed to have lost a stone. RELATED ARTICLES Boris plans war against obesity after blaming COVID-19 near death ITV GMB's Dr Hilary warns of key obesity factor coronavirus targets Under his plan, the Government will invest in "preventative and personalised solutions" to help people lose weight and live more active lives. Mr Johnson's spokesman said: "It is critical to understand how different factors such as ethnicity, deprivation, age, gender and obesity could be disproportionately impacting how people are affected by coronavirus. "Public Health England launched a review into the factors affecting health outcomes from Covid-19, to include ethnicity, gender and obesity. This will be published by the end of May. "As we outlined in our Recovery Strategy, this Government will invest in preventative and personalised solutions to ill-health, helping individuals to live healthier and more active lives." The Prime Minister revealed his plan when he was grilled by the 1922 Committee of Tory backbench MPs yesterday. One MP who took part in the virtual meeting said: "His time in hospital has obviously had a big impact on him and it is influencing his thinking on future policy, which is a good thing, particularly when it concerns the health of the nation." PROMOTED STORY 1 Clever Trick All PC Owners Should Do Today 1 Clever Trick All PC Owners Should Do Today (Online Savers) Experts welcomed the news too and said there should be a focus on helping people shed pounds as well as preventing them from becoming overweight in the first place. They also said the food industry could do more to prevent people turning to unhealthy options while in lockdown. Malcolm Clark, policy manager at Cancer Research UK, said: "There are things the industry can do right now to support a healthy weight. Boris Johnson British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/PA Images) "These include ensuring they do not have high fat or sugar promotions and that when they are doing their marketing and advertising, they are not pushing the most sugary options." The Prime Minister's drive comes after he pledged to review the so-called sin taxes, including the levy on sugary drinks, during the Tory leadership race last year. Caroline Cerny, at Obesity Health Alliance, said the apparent reversal in policy was "really welcome news", adding: "We know that having obesity can increase the risk of developing other types of disease, and now it is looking likely it is also linked to complications from Covid-19. "So it's really welcome news that the Government is planning to focus attention on this important health issue." Susan Jebb, professor of diet and population health at the University of Oxford, said the food industry could do more to ensure people don't overeat during lockdown. There are a number of preventative measures the Government could introduce, she added, including putting calorie labels on all foods and menus and restricting promotions and advertising on unhealthy foods. She said: "There is discussion about restricting TV advertising at a time when everyone is stuck at home and are more exposed to food advertising.

Slimming World welcomes Boris Johnson's pledge to tackle obesity

As the Prime Minister demands action to tackle the UK’s obesity crisis, Slimming World, the UK’s leading weight loss organisation, is poised to return to groups as soon as it is safe to do so, to support the millions of people whose weight puts them at the greatest risk of being most severely affected by Covid-19. In the meantime, Slimming World has temporarily transformed its in-person groups to a ‘virtual' group service, which gives vital support to members as they do their best to maintain a healthy weight during lockdown. The latest Covid-19 statistics show that managing a healthy weight has never been more important to public health. Early evidence on the spectrum of symptoms caused by Covid-19 has identified that people with obesity could have an increased risk of dying from the virus by 37 per cent. Slimming World is an essential partner in helping people at extra risk from Covid-19 In addition, recent statistics from the Office of National Statistics show that 25% of those who died because of Covid-19 were people with diabetes, Type 2 diabetes being a condition commonly linked with obesity.

Sugars and obesity

Obesity Worldwide Obesity has tripled worldwide since 1975 in all divisions of society. In 2016, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated there were 1.9 billion overweight adults in the world, 650 million of which were obese. This equates to 13% of the global adult population.[1] In 2010, overweight and obesity were estimated to cause 3.4 million deaths, 3.9% of years of life lost, and 3.8% of disability-adjusted life-years worldwide, with major healthcare costs implicated. If recent trends continue, it is estimated that there will be 2.16 billion individuals classified as overweight and 1.12 billion as obese by 2030.[2] [3] Obesity in the UK England: In 2016 in England, 40% of men and 30% of women were overweight and 26% of adults were classified as obese, which is a 15% rise since 1993. In 2016/17, 1/5 of children in Year 6 and 1/10 of children in Reception were classified as obese. Obesity prevalence varies by sex, age and by deprivation. In 2016/17, 38% of women in the most deprived areas in England were obese, compared with 20% of women in the least deprived areas. 13% of reception age children living in the most deprived areas were obese compared to 6% of those living in the least deprived areas.[4] Scotland: In 2017 in Scotland, 65% of those aged 16 and over were overweight, including 29% who were obese. There was a significant increase between 2003 and 2008, when prevalence increased from 62% to 65%. Since 2008, prevalence has stabilised, fluctuating between 64% and 65%. In 2017, 26% of children aged 2-15 were at risk of overweight in Scotland, including 13% at risk of obesity.[5] Wales: In 2016 in Wales, 23% of adults were obese, and a further 36% were overweight. 65% of men were either overweight or obese, compared with 53% of women. According to the 2015/16 Child Measurement Programme for Wales, 11.7% of children aged 4-5 are obese, and a further 14.5% are overweight.[6] Northern Ireland: According to the Health Survey Northern Ireland, in 2016/17 27% of those aged 16 and over were obese and a further 36% were overweight, meaning a total of 63% who are either overweight or obese. Men are more likely to be obese or overweight than women. In 2016/17, the survey recorded 8% of children aged 2-10 and 7% of children aged 11-15 as being obese.6 Cost of obesity Obesity costs the NHS more than £6 billion every year, with indirect costs at an estimated £27 billion. More than £14 billion is spent on treatment of type 2 diabetes.[7] More is spent each year on the treatment of obesity and diabetes than is spent on the police, fire and judicial system combined.[8] In 2016/17 there were 617,000 admissions to hospital related to obesity, this has increased by 17% since 2015/16.[9] If obesity rates were to continue unchecked, it is estimated that 60% of adult men, 50% of adult women, and 25% of children in the UK could be obese by 2050. The McKinsey group estimated in 2014 that the total annual economic cost of obesity globally is £1 trillion, and £47 billion in the UK.[10] Causes of obesity Obesity occurs when energy intake from food or drink consumption is greater than the energy expenditure through metabolism or exercise.[11] There are many ways in which we can classify a person’s health in relation to their weight, but the most widely used is Body Mass Index (BMI). Generally, a person is thought to be obese when their BMI exceeds 30 kg/m2. To calculate your BMI, click here. Although a high BMI does not support a definitive diagnosis of obesity, as some people can have excessive muscle, which increases their weight significantly, it is generally a good indication of whether someone is overweight.[12] How does sugar fit in with the obesity epidemic? Excessive unhealthy food and sugars-sweetened soft drink consumption has been linked to weight gain, as it provides a major and unnecessary source of calories with little or no nutritional value. In 2010, WHO commissioned a systematic literature review to answer a series of questions relating to the effects of sugars on excess adiposity.[13] These questions asked whether reducing or increasing intake of dietary sugars influences measures of body fatness in adults and children, and whether the existing evidence provides support for the recommendation to reduce intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy. Body fatness was selected as an outcome in view of the extent to which comorbidities of obesity contribute to the global burden of non-communicable disease. The result of the meta-analysis suggests that intake of sugars is a determinant of body weight in free living people consuming ad libitum diets. The data suggest that the change in body fatness that occurs with modifying intake of sugars results from an alteration in energy balance rather than a physiological or metabolic consequence of monosaccharides or disaccharides. Owing to the multifactorial causes of obesity, it is unsurprising that the effect of reducing intake is relatively small. However, when considering the rapid weight gain that occurs after an increased intake of sugars, it seems reasonable to conclude that advice relating to sugars intake is a relevant component of a strategy to reduce the high risk of overweight and obesity in most countries. Furthermore, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) reviewed randomised control trials, which indicated that consumption of sugars-sweetened beverages, as compared with non-calorically sweetened beverages, results in weight gain and an increase in BMI in children and adolescents. Prospective cohort studies also generally confirm the link between sugars-sweetened beverages and increased obesity.[14] Current dietary advice: We currently consume far too much sugar in the UK diet. The report published by WHO and by SACN highlight the need for a reduction in sugar intake to 5% of our energy intake.[15] This is equivalent to 7 teaspoons/cubes or 30g of sugar per day for an adult. The recommendation for children is 24g for children aged 5-11 and 19g for children aged 4-6. This 5% limit is far below the current intake which is of 11.9% in children aged 1.5 to 3; 14.7% in children aged 4 to 10; and 15.6% in children 11 to 18. It is also thought that adherence to the 5% recommended sugar intake would halt the increase in obesity.[16] To further reduce the increase in obesity, doctors recommend that patients: Eat a lower calorie diet. For most men, this means sticking to a calorie limit of no more than 1,900kcal a day, and 1,400kcal for most women. To maintain a healthy weight it is recommended that women consume around 2000 calories per day and men consume around 2500 calories. It is important to reduce calorie intake from sugary, fatty foods and increase intake from vegetables and complex carbohydrate foods.[17] Keep active. Adults aged 19 to 64 should be active daily and should be doing 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week. To stay healthy or improve health, adults need to do 2 types of physical activity each week: aerobic and strength exercises.[18] Join a counselling or support group. It has been shown that supportive communities are key in shaping people’s lifestyle and dietary choices.13 For more information on achieving a healthy balanced diet, click here. References: [1] WHO.2018.Obesity and overweight: [2] Mokdad et al.2016. Health in times of uncertainty in the eastern Mediterranean region, 1990–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013: [3] Kelly et al.2008.Global Burden of Disease: [4] NHS Digital.2018. Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet – England: [5]Scottish Government. 2018 Health of Scotland's population – Obesity: [6] UK Government.2018.Obesity Statistics: [7] Cost of Diabetes: [8]UK Government. 2017. Health matters: obesity and the food environment: [9] NHS Digita;.2018. Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet - England: [10] Dobbs et al.2014. "How the world could better fight obesity." Mckinsey&Company: [11] SACN.2015. Carbohydrates and Health Report: [12] NHS Choices, 2016. Obesity. [13] Te Morenga et al. 2013.Dietary sugars and body weight: systematic review and meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials and cohort studies: [14] NHS Choices, 2016. Obesity: [15] Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). 2014. Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet: [16] UK Government.2018. NDNS: results from years 7 and 8 (combined): [17] NHS.2016. Healthy weight: [18] NHS.2018. Exercise:

Coronavirus: Does being overweight or obese affect how ill people get?

Being obese is known to increase the risk of a number of diseases, including heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes. Early research suggests it may also make people more ill with Covid-19, but why is this the case? Is there evidence obesity is a risk for the virus? This question has been the subject of many studies as experts try to work out the answer. In a study of nearly 17,000 hospital patients with Covid-19 in the UK, those who were obese - with a body mass index (BMI) of more than 30 - had a 33% greater risk of dying than those who were not obese. A separate study of NHS electronic health records found a doubling of the risk of dying from Covid-19 among people who were obese. If other health conditions linked to obesity such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes were also taken into account the risk would be even higher, the researchers said. And a study of critically ill patients in UK intensive care units found that nearly 34.5% were overweight, 31.5% were obese and 7% morbidly obese (a total of 73%), compared to 26% with a healthy BMI. These figures compare to 64% overweight and obese in the UK population - 35% with a BMI of 25-29 and 29% with a BMI of 30 or higher. Body mass index is calculated as someone's weight in kilograms divided by their height in metres squared. Given high rates of global obesity, the World Obesity Federation says a high percentage of people who contract coronavirus "will also have a BMI over 25". Early studies from the US, Italy and China also suggest it is an important risk factor. Ageing, being a man and underlying health issues all increase the risk of becoming more seriously ill from Covid-19. A SIMPLE GUIDE: How do I protect myself? AVOIDING CONTACT: The rules on self-isolation and exercise HOPE AND LOSS: Your coronavirus stories LOOK-UP TOOL: Check cases in your area STRESS: How to look after your mental health Why is being obese a risk? The more overweight you are, the more fat you're carrying, the less fit you are and the lower your lung capacity. This means it is a bigger struggle to get oxygen into the blood and around the body. This impacts on the heart and blood flow too. "Because people are more overweight, they also have a demand for more oxygen. So that means their system is actually undergoing greater pressure," says Prof Naveed Sattar, from the University of Glasgow. During an infection like coronavirus, this can be serious. "Eventually the obese body becomes overwhelmed by the lack of oxygen getting to the major organs," says Dr Dyan Sellayah, from the University of Reading. That is one reason why overweight and obese people in intensive care are more likely to need assistance with breathing and support with kidney function. Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES What role do fat cells play? Scientists have discovered that an enzyme called ACE2, present in cells, is the main way for the virus to enter the body. Higher levels of this molecule are thought to be found in adipose tissue, or fatty tissue, which people who are obese have more of - under the skin and around their organs. That could be one reason they have a higher risk of catching the disease and a higher risk of being ill with it. Is the immune system affected too? On top of everything else, the ability of the body to fight off the virus - known as the immune response - is not as good in people who are obese. That's due to inflammation driven by immune cells called macrophages which invade our fat tissue. They interfere with how our cells respond to infection. According to scientists, this can lead to a 'cytokine storm' - a potentially life-threatening over-reaction of the body's immune system which causes inflammation and serious harm. A specific type of fat tissue is prone to macrophage invasion. This may explain why people from black, African and ethnic minority backgrounds (BAME), who have more of this type of tissue, "have elevated rates of diabetes, and may be more vulnerable to the virus," Dr Sellayah says. Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES Could there be other hidden problems? Obesity often comes with other health issues, such as a weak heart or lungs, a poorly-functioning kidney or type 2 diabetes. This may not come to light until the development of a severe infection such as Covid-19 and they all put extra stress on the body. Blood clots are also more likely to develop, but it's not clear why. What about hospital care? There can be challenges when it comes to managing patients with obesity in intensive care because it is more difficult to intubate them, and to scan them because of weight limits. Heavier patients may also be more tricky to turn, or prone, in order to relieve their breathing. What can I do to be healthy? The best way is to eat a healthy, balanced diet and exercise regularly. Fast walking, jogging and cycling are good options, even with social distancing measures in force. Otherwise, try to eat slowly and avoid situations where you could be tempted to overeat.

It’s time we were honest about obesity and Covid-19

Difficult facts can be conveyed in a sensitive, non-judgemental and compassionate manner; indeed, this describes the daily practise of medicine. When obesity rears its head, however, a significant number of my colleagues in the health professions display a cognitive dissonance and determination to deprive patients of the unvarnished facts that they would not dare hide with conditions such as cancer. Prioritising their own “feelings”, they patronise the obese by taking offence on their behalf, preferring to virtue-signal, accusing those “ insensitive “ enough to want to state the facts of “fat shaming” or victim-blaming. Then, in an apparent coup de grace, they triumphantly declare that obesity is complex and multifactorial, as though such a declaration signalled that the discussion was over. Normalising obesity does nothing to lessen its impact on our health; it is not desirable that 67 per cent of the UK adult population is obese or overweight. Obesity is a risk factor for coronary heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, heart attack, stroke, 11 forms of cancer, adverse pregnancy outcomes and complications from routine surgery. I was shocked last year when Cancer Research UK was accused of fat shaming for telling the truth about obesity and cancer risk. Is it “cancer-shaming” to tell someone they have cancer and to advise them of their options? True (not imagined) “fat shaming” is the deliberate denigration of a fat person on account of their appearance and should not be tolerated. The sensitive, empathetic communication of the reality of obesity and its implications, however, should be of the utmost priority for clinicians when treating their patients. Two days ago a Twitter storm (on one hand, Dr. Aseem Malhotra, Cardiologist and outspoken advocate of a particular mode of eating, on the other hand, multiple members of the medical/nursing profession, with esteemed members of the public piling in on both sides) erupted after a large consignment of Krispy Kreme donuts was delivered to a hospital for the staff to enjoy. Harmless enough one would think, until one remembers that 25 per cent of nurses and 15 per cent of other medical staff are obese. Or that obese people are 2-6 times more likely to require hospitalisation if infected with Covid 19 and have a more severe course including need for intubation. Once intubated, they are more likely to experience complications. Furthermore, higher blood sugars, particularly induced by eating refined sugars in collaboration with endocrine disruptor chemicals, most pronounced in people with insulin resistance (precursor to type 2 diabetes), not all of whom will be obese, is associated with disrupted activity of cells of the immune system responsible for fighting infection, something we would surely want to avoid at this time? We have already lost 119 healthcare professionals to Covid-19 and front line staff are at highest risk of infection. Surely the priority should be to minimise their risk as much as possible? I found it odd that so many of the people opposing his message which admittedly was expressed in robust and strident manner but minus “fat-shaming”, deliberately forget this, or worse, are unaware of it. The complete disdain for the health of their own colleagues, already struggling with health issues that put them at risk for COVID 19 complications by, in some cases, disregarding their contribution to the statistics, was disturbing to behold, as was “ defiant” exhibitionism of the kind that could adversely affect anyone with an eating disorders. In a free society, we should all be able to choose what we put in our mouths. I have no time for “sugar taxes” or any other manifestation of the nanny state. It is not choice however, when during a busy shift, you are surrounded by carefully designed, hyperpalatable, addictive, cheap processed foods, that take advantage of brain biochemistry to induce dependence that are injurious to human health. We have a wonderful opportunity, during this pandemic, to support healthy behaviour in both healthcare workers and those at home, but this requires candour. Insulin resistance, the precursor to diabetes, which is also associated with dysfunction of immune cells when infection is present, can be positively affected by eating the right foods and anecdotal evidence that evidence of benefit may begin to manifest itself within 21 days. Further weight gain and high blood sugar levels, especially in those with diabetes or insulin resistance, can be minimised, with the right foods. Do our NHS health workers deserve any less? Why is no one demanding that Trusts ensure the highest quality food be made available for those at the front line? Are we really going to allow a politically-correct, perpetually offended, minority of individuals among the health professions, most of whom aren’t even obese, to stop the dissemination of the facts, just because their delicate sensibilities are hurt? I have never, in clinical practise, ever met an obese patient who objected to the facts, provided they were delivered with respect, courtesy and compassion. As an obese clinician myself, I have personal insight into this. “First do no harm” is the first principle of medicine. Fifty years ago, cigarettes were designated harmless, their use defended by the medical profession, despite the health concerns, and patients paid the price; today, processed food is “part of a balanced lifestyle”. Why do people have to be harmed while we wait for the medical profession to catch up with the science? There are those who wish to suppress legitimate discussion, by calculated faux outrage. Facts, I’m afraid, don’t care about your feelings.

SARAH VINE: Who'll dare to face the facts on obesity and Covid-19?

With each day that passes, with each new grim death toll, we learn a little bit more about the nature of this ghastly virus. This week in particular, statistics have come to light showing that obesity is emerging as one of the biggest risk factors for Covid-19. According to data released by the NHS, being overweight raises the chances of dying in hospital from the illness by 40 per cent. Having a body mass index of between 30 and 34 makes a person almost twice as likely to be admitted to ICU as someone with a BMI under 30. For those with a BMI of 35 or more, the likelihood is nearly four times higher. Obesity is emerging as one of the biggest risk factors for the coronavirus pandemic +5 Obesity is emerging as one of the biggest risk factors for the coronavirus pandemic Data shows have a 40 per cent more chance of dying in hospital from coronavirus if you are overweight, according to NHS data +5 Data shows have a 40 per cent more chance of dying in hospital from coronavirus if you are overweight, according to NHS data This is a very tricky piece of information for the Government to handle. Obesity is a highly politicised issue: ‘fat-shaming’ is one of the more heinous crimes against political correctness. The notion that the medical establishment is acutely aware of the newly discovered risks of obesity, yet fearful of talking about it, was reinforced by a conversation I had last week with a friend who is a leading bariatric surgeon. ‘It’s a very difficult subject to broach,’ he told me, ‘and no one quite wants to say it, but there’s no question in the mind of any of my colleagues: patient size is a major factor in this disease.’ As the UK has the highest proportion of seriously overweight people in Europe, this is of grave concern. Yesterday, an NHS report said 67 per cent of men and 60 per cent of women here are overweight or obese. It means that as a population in general, we are inherently more at risk of dying from coronavirus. Yet persuading people to accept that their weight can be a major health issue is very hard indeed. That is because size is deeply bound up in psychological issues and self-esteem. Fat people, as I know from a lifetime’s struggle with the scales myself, can be very defensive about their condition. We interpret any concern about our weight as negative criticism, an attack on our identities. Big people — and in particular bigger women — have become so sacred that none but the most bigoted would dare criticise. I know how joyless life can be when you feel — as so many do — that your only friend is the tub of ice cream in the freezer. That is why I’ve always felt that obesity was in effect an eating disorder that needs to be managed as much in the mind as in the body. For any politician — especially a lean male such as Health Secretary Matt Hancock — to have to step into this minefield is tough. It’s hard enough having to ask the over-70s to shield themselves; can you imagine the hysteria if he asked the obese to do the same? Or suggested that people should isolate according to their weight, rather than their age? Can you imagine if Matt Hancock asked people struggling with obesity to shield themselves and social distance from the virus like he has done with the over-70s? +5 Can you imagine if Matt Hancock asked people struggling with obesity to shield themselves and social distance from the virus like he has done with the over-70s? But if the science is correct, maybe that should be the strategy. Because there is one fundamental difference between the obese and the over-70s. Age is not a choice. Size, ultimately, is. For the past six weeks, the nation has talked of nothing else but ‘saving our NHS’. Yet for a decade we have been bringing the NHS to its knees by refusing to take personal responsibility for obesity. It puts us at increased risk of developing cancers, high blood pressure and type-2 diabetes — conditions that cost the health service billions of pounds a year. So if we really want to protect the NHS, those of us who are overweight or obese can start by taking a deep breath, stepping on those scales and beginning the long, hard journey back to health. The virus may be tailing off now but a second wave is expected in the winter. There are a good few months between now and then. If you can be inspired to lose weight, you might not only help to save the NHS. You might just be saving yourself.

Being male or overweight can lead to more serious COVID-19 hospital admissions, UK research shows

New UK research has found that being male or obese reduces chance of survival from severe coronavirus disease (COVID-19). According to the Department of Health COVID-19 can be more severe in older people and people with chronic heart, lung, and kidney disease, a weakened immune system, diabetes, and some cancers. However, less is known about how the virus exploits age, sex and other underlying health conditions. In an effort to better describe who are most severely affected by the virus affects, what happens to them in hospital and why some people have better outcomes than others, ISARIC4C, a consortium of researchers from the University of Liverpool, University of Edinburgh and Imperial College London, have analysed data obtained from 16,749 COVID-19 patients in the UK. The analysis is based on information obtained by over 2,500 research nurses and medical students from 166 UK hospitals. It is the largest study of its kind outside of China, where this coronavirus first emerged. The results of the study have already been shared with UK Government and World Health Organisation, and are being compared with data from other countries around the world. The study is being led by Professor Kenny Baillie at Edinburgh University, Professor Calum Semple at Liverpool University and Professor Peter Openshaw at Imperial College London. The analysis that found the relationship between sex, obesity and poor outcome was done by Dr Annemarie Docherty and Professor Ewen Harrison at Edinburgh University. The researchers have found that after adjusting for other medical problems such as lung, heart and kidney disease that are already known to cause poor outcomes, being male or obese is a significant factor associated with death in UK hospitals, a feature not seen in China, where it is thought that fewer people are obese. Although the reasons for why obese people are suffering such severe COVID-19 and dying more than other groups are not clear, the researchers believe it could be because they have reduced lung function and possibly more inflammation in adipose tissue – the fatty tissue under the skin and around internal organs – which might contribute to an enhanced ‘cytokine storm’ – a potentially life-threatening over-reaction of the body’s immune reaction which causes harm. Professor Calum Semple, University of Liverpool, said: “One in three people admitted to hospital with of COVID-19 in the UK have contributed to this vital research. The contribution of UK patients in such tragic circumstances been critical to improving the global understanding of this terrible disease. We must do everything humanly possible to understand this disease, so that we are better prepared for the next wave of this pandemic.” Dr Annemarie Docherty, University of Edinburgh, said: “Hard data cannot convey the human story of individuals and their loved ones who have suffered, changed or sadly passed due to COVID-19. Yet with every contribution to this important study, patients and their carers, with the assistance of dedicated researchers, have struck a blow in the fight to curb this pandemic.” Professor Peter Openshaw, Imperial College London, said: “This study is quite amazing in that it was launched with such speed and collected so much data. It highlights several crucial questions which researchers, healthcare professionals, the public and patients need answers to. Our research provides an exceptional picture of the illness and risk factors and will underpin a huge range of research. We really appreciate the huge effort that so many people made to send in clinical information and collect samples. It is salutatory to recognise that people risked their lives to collect material for this study. We thank them all as well as the funders, the patients and their relatives, and promise that we will do all we can to find ways to fight the disease.” Dr Kenneth Baillie, University of Edinburgh, said: “There are some things that the UK does very well – working together is one of them, particularly in healthcare. Gathering this information took tremendous dedication and effort from thousands of research staff across the UK. Together they have created an open resource that will be used by scientists across the world to better understand this new disease.”


Obesity is a major public health problem, both internationally and within the UK. Being overweight or obese is associated with an increased risk of a number of common diseases and causes of premature death, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. The risk of poor health is strongly correlated with body mass index (BMI). Childhood obesity is associated with various health conditions, including asthma, early onset type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular risk factors. Children who are obese are also more likely to suffer from mental health and behavioural problems. In addition, being an obese child can have long-term health consequences, as childhood obesity is a strong predictor of adult obesity. In 2016, the government launched Childhood obesity: a plan for action, which set out a number of actions primarily focused on reducing sugar consumption and increasing physical activity among children. In June 2018, an update to the action plan was published, setting a national ambition to "halve childhood obesity and reduce the gap in obesity between children from the most and least deprived areas by 2030". How has the proportion of adults who are overweight and obese changed over time? 26/02/2020 Chart • QualityWatch Proportion of adults aged 16 and over Underweight Normal Overweight Obese 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% © Nuffield Trust and Health Foundation Source: NHS Digital, Health Survey for England 2018 ShareRead more Share Get URL Embed Copy Flip The Health Survey for England collects height and weight measurements from a representative sample of the general population, which are used to calculate body mass index (BMI) statistics. This measure allows us to estimate the proportion of the population who are overweight (BMI ≥25kg/m2 to <30kg 2)="" or="" obese="" (≥30kg/m2).="" this="" indicator="" shows="" trends="" in="" obesity="" and="" overweight="" in="" adults="" from="" 1993="" to="" 2018.="" the="" prevalence="" of="" obesity="" increased="" sharply="" between="" 1993="" and="" 2000,="" with="" a="" slower="" rate="" of="" increase="" after="" that.="" in="" 2018,="" 36%="" of="" the="" adult="" population="" were="" overweight="" and="" 28%="" were="" obese.="" comparing="" men="" and="" women="" in="" 2018,="" 29%="" of="" all="" adult="" women="" were="" obese="" and="" 30%="" were="" overweight,="" whereas="" 26%="" of="" adult="" men="" were="" obese="" and="" 41%="" were="" overweight="" (data="" not="" shown).="" how="" has="" the="" proportion="" of="" children="" aged="" 10-11="" who="" are="" overweight="" and="" obese="" changed="" over="" time?="" 26/02/2020="" chart="" •="" qualitywatch="" proportion="" of="" children="" aged="" 10-11="" underweight="" healthy="" weight="" overweight="" obese="" 2006/07="" 2007/08="" 2008/09="" 2009/10="" 2010/11="" 2011/12="" 2012/13="" 2013/14="" 2014/15="" 2015/16="" 2016/17="" 2017/18="" 2018/19="" 0%="" 20%="" 40%="" 60%="" 80%="" 100%="" ©="" nuffield="" trust="" and="" health="" foundation="" source:="" nhs="" digital,="" national="" childhood="" measurement="" programme,="" england="" shareread="" more="" share="" get="" url="" embed="" copy="" flip="" the="" national="" childhood="" measurement="" programme="" (ncmp)="" collects="" the="" height="" and="" weight="" measurements="" of="" over="" million="" children="" in="" reception="" (aged="" 4-5="" years)="" and="" year="" 6="" (aged="" 10-11="" years)="" in="" state="" schools="" in="" england.="" in="" five="" children="" in="" year="" 6="" (aged="" 10-11="" years)="" were="" obese="" in="" 2018/19="" (20.2%).="" this="" is="" more="" than="" double="" the="" proportion="" of="" children="" in="" reception="" who="" were="" obese="" (9.7%).="" obesity="" in="" children="" aged="" 10-11="" has="" increased="" by="" 2.7="" percentage="" points="" since="" 2006/07.="" the="" proportion="" of="" children="" who="" were="" overweight="" or="" underweight="" has="" remained="" relatively="" stable="" over="" this="" time="" period.="" overall,="" the="" proportion="" of="" children="" in="" reception="" (aged="" 4-5="" years)="" who="" were="" obese,="" overweight,="" a="" healthy="" weight,="" or="" underweight="" has="" remained="" relatively="" unchanged="" since="" 2006/07.="" in="" 2018/19,="" 12.9%="" of="" children="" aged="" 4-5="" years="" were="" overweight="" and="" 9.7%="" were="" obese="" (data="" not="" shown).="" how="" does="" the="" prevalence="" of="" obesity="" in="" children="" aged="" 4-5="" vary="" by="" deprivation?="" 26/02/2020="" chart="" •="" qualitywatch="" prevalence="" of="" obesity="" in="" children="" aged="" 4-5="" most="" deprived="" least="" deprived="" 2006/07="" 2007/08="" 2008/09="" 2009/10="" 2010/11="" 2011/12="" 2012/13="" 2013/14="" 2014/15="" 2015/16="" 2016/17="" 2017/18="" 2018/19="" 0%="" 2%="" 4%="" 6%="" 8%="" 10%="" 12%="" 14%="" ©="" nuffield="" trust="" and="" health="" foundation="" source:="" nhs="" digital,="" national="" childhood="" measurement="" programme,="" england="" shareread="" more="" share="" get="" url="" embed="" copy="" flip="" there="" is="" a="" strong="" association="" between="" deprivation="" and="" obesity="" in="" children.="" in="" 2018/19,="" the="" prevalence="" of="" obesity="" in="" children="" aged="" 4-5="" was="" over="" twice="" as="" high="" in="" the="" most="" deprived="" areas="" (12.9%)="" compared="" to="" the="" least="" deprived="" areas="" (6.4%).="" the="" government’s="" childhood="" obesity:="" a="" plan="" for="" action:="" chapter="" 2="" has="" set="" a="" national="" ambition="" to="" significantly="" reduce="" the="" gap="" in="" obesity="" between="" children="" from="" the="" most="" and="" least="" deprived="" areas="" by="" 2030.="" between="" 2006/07="" and="" 2018/19,="" the="" gap="" in="" obesity="" prevalence="" for="" children="" aged="" 4-5="" increased="" from="" 4.5="" to="" 6.5="" percentage="" points.="" how="" does="" the="" prevalence="" of="" obesity="" in="" children="" aged="" 10-11="" vary="" by="" deprivation?="" 26/02/2020="" chart="" •="" qualitywatch="" prevalence="" of="" obesity="" in="" children="" aged="" 10-11="" most="" deprived="" least="" deprived="" 2006/07="" 2007/08="" 2008/09="" 2009/10="" 2010/11="" 2011/12="" 2012/13="" 2013/14="" 2014/15="" 2015/16="" 2016/17="" 2017/18="" 2018/19="" 0%="" 5%="" 10%="" 15%="" 20%="" 25%="" 30%="" ©="" nuffield="" trust="" and="" health="" foundation="" source:="" nhs="" digital,="" national="" child="" measurement="" programme,="" england="" shareread="" more="" share="" get="" url="" embed="" copy="" flip="" in="" 2018/19,="" the="" prevalence="" of="" obesity="" in="" children="" aged="" 10-11="" was="" 27%="" in="" the="" most="" deprived="" areas="" and="" 13%="" in="" the="" least="" deprived="" areas.="" the="" gap="" in="" obesity="" prevalence="" between="" children="" from="" the="" most="" and="" least="" deprived="" areas="" increased="" from="" 8.5="" percentage="" points="" in="" 2006/07="" to="" 13.9="" percentage="" points="" in="" 2018/19.="" about="" this="" data="" this="" indicator="" story="" presents="" findings="" the="" prevalence="" of="" overweight="" and="" obesity="" for="" adults="" from="" the="" health="" survey="" for="" england="" and="" for="" children="" from="" the="" national="" child="" measurement="" programme.="" the="" health="" survey="" for="" england="" (hse)="" consists="" of="" an="" interview="" at="" which="" height="" and="" weight="" are="" measured.="" this="" enables="" the="" calculation="" of="" body="" mass="" index="" (bmi),="" which="" is="" defined="" as="" weight="" in="" kilograms="" divided="" by="" the="" height="" in="" metres="" squared="" (kg/m2),="" a="" measurement="" which="" is="" used="" to="" define="" overweight="" or="" obesity.="" adults="" were="" classified="" into="" the="" following="" bmi="" groups="" according="" to="" the="" world="" health="" organisation="" (who)="" bmi="" classification:="" underweight="" –="" less="" than="" 18.5kg/m2="" normal="" –="" 18.5="" to="" less="" than="" 25kg/m2="" overweight,="" not="" obese="" –="" 25="" to="" less="" than="" 30kg/m2="" obese,="" including="" morbidly="" obese="" -="" 30kg/m2="" or="" more="" morbidly="" obese="" –="" 40kg/m2="" or="" more="" hse="" data="" up="" to="" and="" including="" 2002="" are="" unweighted,="" and="" from="" 2003="" data="" have="" been="" weighted="" for="" non-response.="" for="" more="" information,="" see="" health="" survey="" for="" england="" 2018,="" overweight="" and="" obesity="" in="" adults="" and="" children.="" the="" national="" childhood="" measurement="" programme="" (ncmp)="" was="" introduced="" in="" 2005/06="" and="" collects="" height="" and="" weight="" measurements="" of="" children="" in="" reception="" (aged="" 4-5="" years)="" and="" year="" 6="" (aged="" 10-11="" years)="" in="" mainstream="" state="" schools="" in="" england.="" the="" programme="" now="" holds="" 12="" years="" of="" data="" and="" annually="" measures="" over="" million="" children.="" the="" national="" participation="" rate="" has="" increased="" from="" 80%="" in="" 2006/07="" to="" 95%="" in="" 2018/19.="" the="" hse="" also="" collects="" data="" childhood="" obesity,="" however="" as="" it="" is="" a="" sample="" the="" estimates="" are="" less="" precise="" than="" those="" for="" ncmp.="" the="" bmi="" classification="" of="" each="" child="" is="" derived="" by="" calculating="" the="" child's="" bmi="" centile="" and="" classifying="" according="" to="" age="" and="" sex="" to="" take="" into="" account="" different="" growth="" patterns="" in="" boys="" and="" girls.="" the="" ncmp="" uses="" the="" british="" 1990="" growth="" reference="" (uk90)="" to="" define="" bmi="" classifications.="" deprivation="" was="" defined="" by="" the="" deprivation="" decile="" of="" the="" lower="" super="" output="" area="" of="" the="" school="" the="" child="" attends.="" it="" is="" likely="" that="" year="" 6="" obesity="" prevalence="" in="" the="" first="" years="" of="" the="" ncmp="" (2006/07="" to="" 2008/09)="" were="" underestimates="" due="" to="" low="" participation.="" this,="" and="" the="" impact="" of="" other="" improvements="" in="" data="" quality,="" should="" be="" considered="" when="" making="" comparisons="" over="" time.="" for="" further="" information,="" see="" the="" national="" child="" measurement="" programme="" -="" england,="" 2018/19:="">

Obesity a deadly risk factor for hospitalised coronavirus patients, study finds

bese people hospitalised with coronavirus are almost 40 per cent more likely to die than slimmer patients, the first major study of such cases in Britain has found. The research on almost 17,000 people admitted to hospital showed that excess weight is one of the most deadly risk factors. The study, which involved 166 UK hospitals, found the average age of coronavirus patients admitted to hospital was 72. Cases typically suffered symptoms for four days before they were hospitalised and spent seven days in hospital, the research found. Overall, 49 per cent of patients have so far been discharged, while 33 per cent have died and 17 per cent were still receiving care when the results were reported.... 

What the NHS says about coronavirus risk to overweight people

The spread of coronavirus remains a priority for public health officials in the UK. Social distancing dominates our everyday lives while experts continue to closely monitor the affect of the virus, also known as Covid-19, on the population. Many are concerned about the impact of the respiratory illness, following reports that some patients have suffered serious health problems as a result of contracting coronavirus. Earlier this month, we shared the NHS view on the risk of such in relation to those who regularly smoke or use vape products, following reports of an increased risk for these individuals. There's also believed to be a higher risk of mortality and serious illness for the elderly and those with autoimmune diseases - who are currently being asked to shield themselves. RELATED ARTICLES An empty Rhyl promenade pictured this week The strict new lockdown rules in Wales explained How to tell if your child has asthma or Covid-19 Some recent studies however suggest that there is perhaps another demographic who have an increased risk of requiring intensive care unit support, for example; those who are overweight or obese. The NHS website makes reference to the connection between weight and coronavirus risks, reminding that patients with certain conditions or characteristics can become seriously ill as a result of catching the virus. It categorises individuals into either "high risk" or "very high risk" groups, with the latter including those with severe lung conditions and some cancer patients. Those considered at high risk, but not as much as those listed above, are typically the over 70s, expectant mothers and individuals who suffer with diabetes - all of whom are encouraged to stay inside their homes unless it's essential. This group also includes patients who "are very obese" though, with this weight defined by the NHS as someone who has a body mass index (BMI) of over 40. BMI, for those aren't familiar with the term, is a measurement that uses height and weight to work out if an individual is of a healthy size - with the NHS offering free BMI calculator services. Typically, the BMI result assigned to each category is as follows: Under 18.5 is considered 'underweight' 18.5 to 24.9 suggests a 'healthy weight' 25 to 29.9 is generally deemed 'overweight' 30 to 39.9 refers to someone being 'obese' 40 and over is considered 'very obese' / 'morbidly obese' The NHS stance on obesity and coronavirus is supported by the other leading health institutions, such the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US. The CDC similarly states that a BMI of over 40 "puts people at higher risk for complications" from Covid-19, recommending those in this demographic to continue taking prescribed medications for any underlying health conditions. Having a weight above what is considered heavy generally increases the chance of underlying conditions - and it is these health issues which then influence the risk of severe illness from coronavirus. RELATED ARTICLES Mum Nichole Doyle and daughter Niamh Doyle-Mills. She wants to kiss coronavirus better so she can cuddle her nain again. Heartwarming video shows toddler's plan to tackle coronavirus Dyfan and Elliw took action to protect their son, Gruff, seen here holding an NHS support poster. Also pictured is the couple’s other son, Iago, 13 Family win battle to shut footpath to protect son from coronavirus It means that not everyone who has a BMI over 30, for example, will suffer from coronavirus complications - but there is a higher risk associated with them, then someone whose BMI is 25. In recent years though, officials have suggested that whilst the majority of the public aren't obese in the UK, they aren't necessarily fit and healthy. Research has shown that the average BMI of an adult here is around 28 - which is near the end of the 'overweight' category. So what about the risk of coronavirus complications for the average person, who may not be obese, but is carrying a few extra pounds? Well studies have suggested that it's not just those who are considered morbidly obese that have an increased risk. Children in all six counties of North Wales are above the national average for obesity Children in all six counties of North Wales are above the national average for obesity (Image: PA) According to a recent French study, for example, even a BMI of around 30 significantly influences the likelihood of developing complications from coronavirus. Researchers analysed the BMI of 124 patients admitted to a particular intensive care facility for the virus, publishing their results earlier this month. They reported that obesity, which they considered a BMI of over 30, was found in 47.6 per cent of cases, with severe obesity, a BMI of over 35, identified in 28.2 per cent of cases. Therefore, according to the researchers, over 75 per cent of admissions to the intensive care facility had a BMI of at least 30. They also noted that the higher the BMI, the more likely the patient was to require invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV), concluding that "disease severity increased with BMI." This BMI isn't actually much higher than that of the average person in the UK, so many of us may unknowingly be putting ourselves at greater risk due to our weight. Similarly, as reported by the Express, a recent report by the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre (ICNARC) found that almost three quarters of people who are severely affected by coronavirus are either overweight or obese. Support the NHS Heroes Help From Home campaign What is the NHS Heroes campaign? The NHS is the very best of us. We watch in awe as they work tirelessly to care for us during these unprecedented times. We’ve never relied on them more. We’ve never needed to thank them more and that's what our Help For Heroes initiative is about. You can show how much you appreciate their efforts by sending them some love, on our Thanks A Million Map Simply add your message of support and send a heart to your postcode area. You can zoom around the map to see how many people from communities around Britain are supporting it, and read other messages. If you're a member of NHS staff you'll find a dedicated section of discounts and money-off deals, just for you, too. But alongside appreciation, the NHS also needs our help - from PPE, to food to keep them going during shifts, medical supplies and more - money can make a big difference. So we have launched NHS Heroes Help From Home - a nationwide drive to raise funds for our NHS frontline, that everyone can get involved in. How it works Donate to NHS Heroes Help From Home from just £2 As a thank you, everyone who donates will be entered into the weekly NHS Heroes Raffle Winners are announced every Thursday at 8:05pm. If you’re a winner, choose to keep your prize or gift to an NHS hero of your choice Find out more at: or click the link on the Thanks a Million map to go direct to the donation site Where do the funds go: Funds raised are in aid of the NHS Charities COVID-19 Appeal, set up by NHS Charities Together. Donations will help take care of the immediate well-being of our NHS frontline heroes as well as provide essential longer-term mental health support . 94% of all donations will go to NHS Charities Together’s COVID-19 Appeal. The remaining 6% will cover the cost of payment processing fees. Some experts have however responded to such research by suggesting that the situation is perhaps more complex than someone's weight simply being the cause of increased risk. In a statement to the Science Media Centre, Professor Duncan Young, Professor of Intensive Care Medicine at the University of Oxford, said that the current evidence does not suggest obesity is necessarily linked to severe infection requiring an ICU admission. He explained: "It is well known that for ICU admissions overall extremes of body mass index (BMI) are associated with worse outcomes, so whether this is a Covid-19 effect is hard to say." And in an opinion piece for Wired last week though, registered dietitian nutrionist Christy Harrison also offered some criticism. Amongst the issues she raised was the suggestion that some recent studies are flawed simply because of the way obesity is viewed by healthcare professionals. She said: "Clinician's biases and beliefs about body size are likely to be influencing Covid-19 care decisions for higher-weight people." For example, those with a high BMI may be more likely to get hospitalised "simply because they're viewed as unhealthy and deemed higher-risk patients" by doctors. North Wales Live contacted Public Health Wales, an NHS body, to find out whether those who are just overweight - but not obese - should be concerned about their potential increased risk. A Public Health Wales spokesperson said: "Data around obesity is not being collected at this time. "We are aware that there may be an increased risk to those who are obese, but that risk has not been fully quantified. "Our advice is for all members of the public to follow the general COVID-19 advice which can be found on the Public Health Wales website." 

Cardiovascular Diseases

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the number 1 cause of death globally, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year. CVDs are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels and include coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, rheumatic heart disease and other conditions. Four out of 5CVD deaths are due to heart attacks and strokes, and one third of these deaths occur prematurely in people under 70 years of age. Individuals at risk of CVD may demonstrate raised blood pressure, glucose, and lipids as well as overweight and obesity. These can all be easily measured in primary care facilities. Identifying those at highest risk of CVDs and ensuring they receive appropriate treatment can prevent premature deaths. Access to essential noncommunicable disease medicines and basic health technologies in all primary health care facilities is essential to ensure that those in need receive treatment and counselling.

Key facts CVDs are the number 1 cause of death globally: more people die annually from CVDs than from any other cause. An estimated 17.9 million people died from CVDs in 2016, representing 31% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, 85% are due to heart attack and stroke. Over three quarters of CVD deaths take place in low- and middle-income countries. Out of the 17 million premature deaths (under the age of 70) due to noncommunicable diseases in 2015, 82% are in low- and middle-income countries, and 37% are caused by CVDs. Most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by addressing behavioural risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and obesity, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol using population-wide strategies. People with cardiovascular disease or who are at high cardiovascular risk (due to the presence of one or more risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidaemia or already established disease) need early detection and management using counselling and medicines, as appropriate. What are cardiovascular diseases? Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels and they include: coronary heart disease – disease of the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle; cerebrovascular disease – disease of the blood vessels supplying the brain; peripheral arterial disease – disease of blood vessels supplying the arms and legs; rheumatic heart disease – damage to the heart muscle and heart valves from rheumatic fever, caused by streptococcal bacteria; congenital heart disease – malformations of heart structure existing at birth; deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism – blood clots in the leg veins, which can dislodge and move to the heart and lungs. Heart attacks and strokes are usually acute events and are mainly caused by a blockage that prevents blood from flowing to the heart or brain. The most common reason for this is a build-up of fatty deposits on the inner walls of the blood vessels that supply the heart or brain. Strokes can also be caused by bleeding from a blood vessel in the brain or from blood clots. The cause of heart attacks and strokes are usually the presence of a combination of risk factors, such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and obesity, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol, hypertension, diabetes and hyperlipidaemia. What are the risk factors for cardiovascular disease? The most important behavioural risk factors of heart disease and stroke are unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use and harmful use of alcohol. The effects of behavioural risk factors may show up in individuals as raised blood pressure, raised blood glucose, raised blood lipids, and overweight and obesity. These “intermediate risks factors” can be measured in primary care facilities and indicate an increased risk of developing a heart attack, stroke, heart failure and other complications. Cessation of tobacco use, reduction of salt in the diet, consuming fruits and vegetables, regular physical activity and avoiding harmful use of alcohol have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, drug treatment of diabetes, hypertension and high blood lipids may be necessary to reduce cardiovascular risk and prevent heart attacks and strokes. Health policies that create conducive environments for making healthy choices affordable and available are essential for motivating people to adopt and sustain healthy behaviour. There are also a number of underlying determinants of CVDs or "the causes of the causes". These are a reflection of the major forces driving social, economic and cultural change – globalization, urbanization and population ageing. Other determinants of CVDs include poverty, stress and hereditary factors. What are common symptoms of cardiovascular diseases? Symptoms of heart attacks and strokes Often, there are no symptoms of the underlying disease of the blood vessels. A heart attack or stroke may be the first warning of underlying disease. Symptoms of a heart attack include: pain or discomfort in the centre of the chest; pain or discomfort in the arms, the left shoulder, elbows, jaw, or back. In addition the person may experience difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath; feeling sick or vomiting; feeling light-headed or faint; breaking into a cold sweat; and becoming pale. Women are more likely to have shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, and back or jaw pain. The most common symptom of a stroke is sudden weakness of the face, arm, or leg, most often on one side of the body. Other symptoms include sudden onset of: numbness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body; confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding speech; difficulty seeing with one or both eyes; difficulty walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; severe headache with no known cause; and fainting or unconsciousness. People experiencing these symptoms should seek medical care immediately. What is rheumatic heart disease? Rheumatic heart disease is caused by damage to the heart valves and heart muscle from the inflammation and scarring caused by rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever is caused by an abnormal response of the body to infection with streptococcal bacteria, which usually begins as a sore throat or tonsillitis in children. Rheumatic fever mostly affects children in developing countries, especially where poverty is widespread. Globally, about 2% of deaths from cardiovascular diseases is related to rheumatic heart disease. Symptoms of rheumatic heart disease Symptoms of rheumatic heart disease include: shortness of breath, fatigue, irregular heart beats, chest pain and fainting. Symptoms of rheumatic fever include: fever, pain and swelling of the joints, nausea, stomach cramps and vomiting. Why are cardiovascular diseases a development issue in low- and middle-income countries? At least three quarters of the world's deaths from CVDs occur in low- and middle-income countries. People in low- and middle-income countries often do not have the benefit of integrated primary health care programmes for early detection and treatment of people with risk factors compared to people in high-income countries. People in low- and middle-income countries who suffer from CVDs and other noncommunicable diseases have less access to effective and equitable health care services which respond to their needs. As a result, many people in low- and middle-income countries are detected late in the course of the disease and die younger from CVDs and other noncommunicable diseases, often in their most productive years. The poorest people in low- and middle-income countries are affected most. At the household level, sufficient evidence is emerging to prove that CVDs and other noncommunicable diseases contribute to poverty due to catastrophic health spending and high out-of-pocket expenditure. At macro-economic level, CVDs place a heavy burden on the economies of low- and middle-income countries. How can the burden of cardiovascular diseases be reduced? “Best buys” or very cost effective interventions that are feasible to be implemented even in low-resource settings have been identified by WHO for prevention and control of cardiovascular diseases. They include two types of interventions: population-wide and individual, which are recommended to be used in combination to reduce the greatest cardiovascular disease burden. Examples of population-wide interventions that can be implemented to reduce CVDs include: comprehensive tobacco control policies taxation to reduce the intake of foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt building walking and cycle paths to increase physical activity strategies to reduce harmful use of alcohol providing healthy school meals to children. At the individual level, for prevention of first heart attacks and strokes, individual health-care interventions need to be targeted to those at high total cardiovascular risk or those with single risk factor levels above traditional thresholds, such as hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. The former approach is more cost-effective than the latter and has the potential to substantially reduce cardiovascular events. This approach is feasible in primary care in low-resource settings, including by non-physician health workers. For secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease in those with established disease, including diabetes, treatment with the following medications are necessary: aspirin beta-blockers angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors statins. The benefits of these interventions are largely independent, but when used together with smoking cessation, nearly 75% of recurrent vascular events may be prevented. Currently there are major gaps in the implementation of these interventions particularly at the primary health care level. In addition costly surgical operations are sometimes required to treat CVDs. They include: coronary artery bypass balloon angioplasty (where a small balloon-like device is threaded through an artery to open the blockage) valve repair and replacement heart transplantation artificial heart operations Medical devices are required to treat some CVDs. Such devices include pacemakers, prosthetic valves, and patches for closing holes in the heart. WHO response Under the leadership of the WHO, all Member States ( 194 countries) agreed in 2013 on global mechanisms to reduce the avoidable NCD burden including a "Global action plan for the prevention and control of NCDs 2013-2020". This plan aims to reduce the number of premature deaths from NCDs by 25% by 2025 through nine voluntary global targets. Two of the global targets directly focus on preventing and controlling CVDs. Global action plan for the prevention and control of NCDs 2013-2020 The sixth target in the Global NCD action plan calls for 25% reduction in the global prevalence of raised blood pressure. Raised blood pressure is the leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The global prevalence of raised blood pressure (defined as systolic and/or diastolic blood pressure more than or equal to 140/90 mmHg) in adults aged 18 years and over was around 24.1% in men and 20.1% in women in 2015. The number of adults with raised blood pressure increased from 594 million in 1975 to 1.13 billion in 2015, with the increase largely in low- and middle-income countries. Reducing the incidence of hypertension by implementing population-wide policies to reduce behavioural risk factors, including harmful use of alcohol, physical inactivity, overweight, obesity and high salt intake, is essential to attaining this target. A total-risk approach needs to be adopted for early detection and cost-effective management of hypertension in order to prevent heart attacks, strokes and other complications. The eighth target in the Global NCD action plan states at least 50% of eligible people should receive drug therapy and counselling (including glycaemic control) to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Prevention of heart attacks and strokes through a total cardiovascular risk approach is more cost-effective than treatment decisions based on individual risk factor thresholds only and should be part of the basic benefits package for pursuing universal health coverage. Achieving this target will require strengthening key health system components, including health-care financing to ensure access to basic health technologies and essential NCD medicines. In 2015, countries will begin to set national targets and measure progress on the 2010 baselines reported in the "Global status report on noncommunicable diseases 2014". The UN General Assembly will convene a third high-level meeting on NCDs in 2018 to take stock of national progress in attaining the voluntary global targets by 2025.

NO HOPE Shock figures reveal 90% of New York’s ventilated coronavirus patients DIED with obesity a major cause

NEARLY 90 per cent of all coronavirus patients on a ventilator in New York died - with obesity being a major cause. A study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, revealed the shocking figures after the electronic health records of 5,700 patients hospitalized at Northwell Health in the city were examined. ⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates A nurse operates a ventilator for a patient with COVID-19 who went into cardiac arrest 8 A nurse operates a ventilator for a patient with COVID-19 who went into cardiac arrestCredit: AP:Associated Press A nurse looks over at a COVID-19 patient who is attached to a ventilator in the emergency room in St Joseph's Hospital 8 A nurse looks over at a COVID-19 patient who is attached to a ventilator in the emergency room in St Joseph's HospitalCredit: AP:Associated Press The outcome of treatment was known for 2,634 patients. The research showed that overall, roughly 20 per cent of patients with Covid-19 treated at Northwell Health died. But the death rate shoots up to 88 per cent for those who were placed on a ventilator. For those aged over 65 and who had been on a ventilator, the figure rises even higher to 97 per cent. The study found that approximately 12 per cent of all patients in the study required a ventilator. It also revealed that 94 per cent of those hospitalized had some sort of underlying health condition. 8 Of those, 57 per cent had high blood pressure, 42 per cent were obese and 34 per cent were diabetics. The researchers said: “Of the patients who died, those with diabetes were more likely to have received invasive mechanical ventilation or care in the ICU compared with those who did not have diabetes.” Roughly a third of all patients arrived with a fever, while 17 per cent were breathing rapidly and another 30 per cent required extra oxygen. Men were found to die more often than women but no one under the age of 18 died, the study showed. About 14 per cent of patients needed intensive care while three per cent needed intensive dialysis. The researchers wrote in the report: “This study reported mortality rates only for patients with definite outcomes (discharge or death), and a longer-term study may find different mortality rates as different segments of the population are infected.” Karina Davidson, one of the study’s authors and senior vice president for the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, which is part of the Northwell Health system, told Time: “This is a very serious disease with a very poor outcome for those who have severe infections 

“We want patients with serious chronic disease to take a special precaution and to seek medical attention early, should they start showing signs and symptoms of being infected. "That includes knowing that they’ve been exposed to someone who has this virus.” New York has been the hardest-hit state with the coronavirus outbreak with 481 new deaths over the past 24 hours, taking its total to 14,828. A portable kidney dialysis machine is moved by a hospital staff member 8 A portable kidney dialysis machine is moved by a hospital staff memberCredit: Getty Images - Getty A nurse adjusts intravenous drug dosages being given to a COVID-19 patient 8 A nurse adjusts intravenous drug dosages being given to a COVID-19 patientCredit: Getty Images - Getty A respiratory specialist operates a ventilator for a patient with Covid-19 8 A respiratory specialist operates a ventilator for a patient with Covid-19Credit: AP:Associated Press 8 Play Video Shocking footage shows coronavirus patients treated in CORRIDORS of ‘war zone’ NYC hospital as death tolls soars past 1,000 

Obesity rivals smoking as cause of cancer, UK charity warns

Obesity is rivalling smoking as a cause of cancer, responsible for more cases of bowel, kidney, ovarian and liver cancer than cigarettes, according to the UK’s leading cancer charity. Smoking is still the biggest cause of cancer, but Cancer Research UK (CRUK) has warned that government action to tackle obesity is vital, because it is a significant factor in 13 different types of cancer. Obese people now outnumber smokers by two to one. Michelle Mitchell, the charity’s chief executive, said: “As smoking rates fall and obesity rates rise, we can clearly see the impact on a national health crisis when the government puts policies in place – and when it puts its head in the sand. “Our children could be a smoke-free generation, but we’ve hit a devastating record high for childhood obesity, and now we need urgent government intervention to end the epidemic. They still have a chance to save lives.” Excess weight causes about 1,900 more cases of bowel cancer than smoking in the UK each year, said CRUK. There are also 1,400 more cases of kidney cancer caused by excess weight than by smoking each year, 460 more ovarian cancers and 180 more cases of liver cancer. Advertisement The charity issued its warning as figures were released by Public Health England and the Office for National Statistics showing the decline in smoking in the UK. There has been a big reduction in the overall smoking rate to 14.7% last year, down five percentage points from 2011. Across the UK, 26% of the adult population were classified as obese in 2016, while 40% of men and 30% of women were overweight. Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, said: “Although cancer survival is at a record high, this significant progress is in danger of being undone by the fast-growing epidemic of obesity, given excess weight is linked to 13 types of cancer. “This study is further proof that obesity is the new smoking, and the NHS can’t win the ‘battle against the bulge’ on its own; families, food businesses and government all need to play their part if we’re to avoid copying America’s damaging and costly example.” Caroline Cerny of the Obesity Health Alliance, a coalition of more than 40 health organisations, said: “The causes of obesity are complex, but we know that the environment we live in plays a huge role, and currently this is heavily skewed towards unhealthy options. This is why we need the government to push on with plans to bring in a 9pm watershed on junk food adverts on TV and online, reduce the amount of unhealthy food promoted in supermarkets, and take sugar out of everyday food and drinks.” 

COVID-19 is hitting some patients with obesity particularly hard Emerging data show BMI plays a role in who needs intensive care and who survives

As part of the COVID-19 response team at O’Connor Hospital in San Jose, Calif., Nivedita Lakhera wasn’t prepared to see her intensive care unit filled with so many young patients. Many of those patients had no medical condition other than obesity. “They are young and coming to the ER and just dropping dead,” she says. Age, particularly those over 65, as well as having a compromised immune system are still major risk factors for being hospitalized with, and dying from, COVID-19. But some doctors say that some of their sickest patients are those under 60 who are obese. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s list of high-risk individuals includes the severely obese, defined as people with a body mass index, or BMI, over 40. While studies on coronavirus often focus on demographic breakdowns such as age, sex and race (SN: 4/10/20), some now are starting to track COVID-19 patient BMIs. For instance, of 180 patients hospitalized from March 1 to March 30, the most prevalent underlying condition for adults ages 18 to 49 was obesity. Of 39 patients in that age range, 23, or 59 percent, were obese, researchers report in the April 17 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. “BMI is the Achilles’ heel for American patients,” says Jennifer Lighter, an epidemiologist at New York University’s Langone School of Medicine. That could be a crucial factor in the death toll, particularly for those under 60, she says. “In China it was smoking and pollution, and Italy had a larger older population, and many grandparents lived with extended families. Here, it’s BMI that’s the issue.” Trustworthy journalism comes at a price. Scientists and journalists share a core belief in questioning, observing and verifying to reach the truth. Science News reports on crucial research and discovery across science disciplines. We need your financial support to make it happen – every contribution makes a difference. SUBSCRIBE OR DONATE NOW In the United States, 42 percent of adults have a BMI over 30, the threshold for obesity, and more than 9 percent are classified as severely obese with a BMI over 40, according to the CDC. People with obesity can have other high-risk health conditions, such as hypertension or diabetes (SN: 3/20/20). But some doctors suggest a high BMI should be a risk factor in itself. Lighter and her colleagues found that patients under 60 with a BMI over 35 were at least twice as likely to be admitted to the ICU for coronavirus than patients with healthy BMIs, the researchers report April 9 in Clinical Infectious Diseases. Those same patients were three times more likely to die from the infection than those with a lower BMI, she says. The team tracked 3,615 people who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, at a New York City hospital from March 4 to April 4. Of those, 1,370, or 38 percent, were obese. In patients over 60, weight did not appear to be a factor in hospital admission or the need for intensive care, she says. A hospital in Lille, France, also found that the higher the BMI, the more likely a patient needed to be ventilated. Of 124 patients admitted to intensive care for COVID-19, almost half were obese or severely obese, researchers report April 10 in Obesity. Of the 85 patients who were intubated, nearly 90 percent had a BMI over 35, the data show. “The need for invasive mechanical ventilation was associated with severe obesity and [was] independent of age, sex, diabetes and hypertension,” the study says. Sanjum Sethi, a cardiologist at Columbia University Medical Center, says his hospital is seeing a surprising number of younger patients with obesity, but no other conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. On April 12, he tweeted that, for obese patients, “the prognosis is extremely grim. They are NOT dying from comorbidities. They are dying from COVID-19.” People with a high BMI already tend to have problems breathing; they carry more weight on their chest, which compresses the lungs. Because COVID-19 is mainly a respiratory disease, that may put heavier patients at a disadvantage, doctors say. Obese people “already have lower oxygen levels, they are predisposed to pulmonary dysfunction, and they have decreased chest function because of the weight on their chest. And many have sleep apnea. So they’re at pulmonary risk already,” says Samuel Klein, a gastroenterologist and the director of the Center for Human Nutrition at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. See all our coverage of the coronavirus outbreak Public health officials say people with obesity shouldn’t feel stigmatized or avoid seeking medical care; it’s important to be aware of threat COVID-19 poses. People with high BMIs might want to practice extra caution, wear a mask outside and have groceries delivered instead of going out into public, Sethi says. “I worry this is going to have even more impact where obesity is more endemic, like in the South,” he says. The data should be a wake-up call for people with obesity, agrees Donna Ryan, president of the London-based World Obesity Federation. “If they do develop fever or shortness of breath, they should not hesitate, call their doctor and get tested.” Doctors might take specific measures when treating obese patients for COVID-19, says Rekha Kumar, an obesity specialist at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. That might include giving them oxygen early or keeping them in the hospital longer. 

Obesity 'causes more cases of some cancers than smoking'

I'mObesity now causes more cases of four common cancers in the UK than smoking, according to a charity. Cancer Research UK says bowel, kidney, ovarian and liver cancers are more likely to have been caused by being overweight than by smoking tobacco. It says millions are at risk of cancer because of their weight and that obese people outnumber smokers two to one. But its new billboard campaign highlighting the obesity-cancer risk has been criticised for fat-shaming. It is not the first time the charity has been accused of fat-shaming. In February, comedian and campaigner Sofie Hagen took to Twitter to criticise the campaign. One Twitter user, @KenLynch73, said linking obesity with cigarette-style branding was a new low. Cancer Research UK says it is not about blaming people for being overweight. Nor is it suggesting that smoking and obesity are directly comparable in terms of cancer risk. Both increase a person's risk. But it says being overweight or obese causes around 22,800 cases of cancer each year, compared to smoking which causes 54,300. For the four highlighted cancers:- Bowel - Of around 42,000 new cases, being overweight or obese causes 4,800, smoking 2,900 Kidney - 12,900 in total; being overweight or obese causes 2,900, smoking 1,600 Liver - 5,900 in total; being overweight or obese causes 1,300 cases, smoking 1,200 Ovarian - 7,500 in total; being overweight or obese causes 490 cases per year, smoking 25 Smoking remains the UK's leading preventable cause of cancer overall. Obesity ranks second, says CRUK. But while smoking rates are decreasing, obesity is increasing, which health experts agree is concerning. Their warning comes as Tory leadership contender Boris Johnson vowed to not to extend the sugar tax without a review. When asked about plans to extend the tax on soft drinks to milkshakes, Mr Johnson mocked his own weight and said he was "very, very reluctant" to imposes taxes that "clobber those who can least afford it". He suggested we "encourage people to walk, cycle and generally do more exercise". Media captionIn 2018, Cancer Research UK said around 38% of all cancers diagnoses could have been prevented Just over one in four UK adults are obese. In the UK, there are about: 13.4 million obese adults who do not smoke 6.3 million adult smokers who are not obese 1.5 million obese adult smokers While the link between obesity and cancer is well established, the biological mechanisms behind it are not yet fully understood. Fat cells make extra hormones and growth factors that tell cells in the body to divide more often. This increases the chance of cancerous cells being made. Physical activity probably plays a role too, experts say. Is it wrong to be blunt about obesity? Alcohol breast cancer link 'not well known' Being overweight or obese does not mean a person will definitely develop cancer but it does raise their risk. And this risk is higher the more weight a person gains and the longer they are overweight for. According to Cancer Research UK, 13 different cancers are linked to obesity: • breast (in women after the menopause) • bowel • pancreatic • oesophageal (food pipe) • liver • kidney • upper stomach • gallbladder • womb • ovarian • thyroid • multiple myeloma (blood cancer) • meningioma (brain cancer) The link between obesity and cancer is in adults only, although a healthy weight is important for children too. Each year in the UK, the charity says, excess weight causes about: 1,900 more cases of bowel cancer than smoking 1,400 more cases of kidney cancer 460 more cases of ovarian cancer 180 more cases of liver cancer Prof Linda Bauld, Cancer Research UK's prevention expert, said the government should do more to tackle the UK's obesity problem. The government had been slow to restrict unhealthy food and drink ads, the British Medical Association said. "While we are very much aware of the health risks associated with smoking, less effort has been thrown behind tackling obesity, which is now a major cause of cancer," it said, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said: "The NHS can't win the 'battle against the bulge' on its own. "Families, food businesses and government all need to play their part if we're to avoid copying America's damaging and costly example." a paragraph. Click here

Life2Romania Shoebox Projec

This Page has been set up for all of you that want to join us and contribute to the yearly shoebox mission. The shoebox mission was set up 3 years ago after spending some time with a Romanian family in a disadvantaged community. On hearing of how their children were denied gift shoeboxes at Christmas time, we wanted this to change: We were saddened to hear that those with great needs and deserving of a gift weren't receiving them and so we started our own project to ensure a box could be delivered to those particular children. Over the last three years the mission has been a great success and in sending out these shoebox parcels, we've been able to bring the love of Jesus and a little joy to the destitute children who we meet in Romania during our various yearly outreach programs throughout the year with Life2romania. For some children/adults it's the first gift they've ever received. The success of the shoebox mission has meant we've been able to send yearly but more volunteers are needed and are gratefully received. This page aims to hopefully keep you as up to date on news regarding the project, on items needed, meeting dates and we will in turn post pictures of the children receiving the gifts when the boxes are delivered.

How bad are obesity figures in the UK?

How bad are obesity figures in the UK? 26% of UK adults are obese according to recent government reports. The stats below explore just how bad obesity figures in the UK are. 64% of UK adults are overweight or obese in 2017. Overall, 67% of men and 62% of women are classified as overweight or obese. 20% of children in Year 6 are classified as obese. 711,000 admissions to hospital where obesity was reported as a factor, up 15% from 2016/17. 10,660 hospital admissions directly related to obesity in 2017/18, only 100 less than in 2016. 29% of adults are obese, up from 26% in 2016. 64% of UK adults are overweight or obese. Work-related accidents See the details of work-related accidents in 2017. 621,000 injuries occurred at work in 2017/18. 28.2 million days lost to ill health and workplace injuries in 2018/19. £5.2 billion estimated loss due to workplace injury or sickness in 2017/18. 147 workers killed in 2017/18, 10 more than in 2016/17. 621,000 injuries occurred at the workplace in 2017/18, 12,000 more than in 2016/17. Mental health Major depression is thought to be the second leading cause of disability worldwide and a major contributor to suicide and ischaemic heart disease. Below are some more stats regarding mental health in the UK. 1 in 6 people experienced a common mental health problem within the last week. 1 in 5 women are reported to have mental health problems. 1 in 8 men are reported to have mental health problems. 6,507 suicides in the UK in 2018, almost 700 more than in 2017 (5,821). Three quarters of these suicides in the UK were by men. Cost of health insurance Brits spent £6 billion on voluntary health insurance in 2017, around 3% of overall spending on health care in the UK. We looked into the CPI of health insurance to find out how much inflation is impacting the cost of health insurance in the UK. Using 2015 as a base year, we can see that health insurance costs 21% more in 2019 than it did in 2015 and 5% more than in 2018. Explore the table and graphic below to find out more.







One of the health concerns in children which is increasing day by day is childhood obesity. We all know that obesity leads to a lot of health issues, especially when developed at a very young age. Every parent is concerned about their children's health, but researchers have found that most often they are unable to recognise their child's obesity. In a recent study published in The British Journal of General Practice, it has highlighted that parents are unlikely to recognise childhood obesity in their kids. Play Video 1m 5s Why do so many parents miss their kid's obesity? Research says that parents are unlikely to recognize childhood obesity in their children, which could lead to health concerns. About The Study A study showed that parents are less likely to recognise childhood obesity in their kids. Obesity is one of the major lifestyle diseases in today's time, causing large number of deaths globally. Not only just adults, overweight children are at increased risk of mortality and disease too. (Also read: 6 Activities To Do With Kids When You Are Stuck At Home) jrkc2138 Parents ignore their kid's obesity The study result showed that 31 percent of parents have underestimated their child's weight and 1 percent overestimated this. In terms of acknowledging the extent of a child's obesity, only four parents out of 396 kids with clinical obesity described their child "as being very overweight." Also, the researchers said that parents with a higher body mass index (BMI) were more likely to struggle with the reality of a child's weight. Understanding parents' perceptions, beliefs and attitudes are important in the prevention and intervention of childhood obesity. Researchers also said that parents turn a blind eye to the issue since it's somewhat acceptable in society

Obesity and the coronavirus

There is nothing private about being overweight, much less being obese. In fact, the culture has come to accept obesity. The well-meaning intentions to ban fat-shaming have resulted in unintended consequences. The coronavirus is revealing that lives are being lost in ways that were not initially anticipated. One of the things that the coronavirus has taught us is that being overweight is detrimental to recovery. It is identified as an underlying condition according to medical professionals. People need an unhindered flow of oxygen to the lungs and organs when their immune systems are being challenged. No one wants to be on an oxygen tank or ventilator. Under normal circumstances, to have a healthy oxygen flow in various stages of any illness requires that we move. The weight we carry in our fat-to-body ratio becomes critical. If we are leaner, we move better. Extra pounds literally weigh us down. Critical oxygen flow throughout our bloodstream is diminished. When fatigued, we become abnormally sluggish. The extra helpings that we have been eating for years now reveal themselves. Our weight, or overweight, becomes the enemy and not a comfort zone of plumpness created by a carefree lifestyle of poor eating. Some folks are naturally built heavy. This can happen for a myriad of reasons. They are the exception, not the norm. Stats on obesity need not be reviewed. We can see that we are a nation of overeaters. The error of our ways has been exposed. The coronavirus has doctors taking a second look at how being overweight contributes to the death rate as opposed to those who recover from the illness. Diabetes, which is frequently a result of being overweight, is reportedly prevalent among those who have lost their lives. Some doctors have stated that obesity, which often leads to diabetes, is showing up statistically as contributing to death from the virus. A report published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information states: "Obesity affects lung function and diminishes oxygen exchange." Though a group of doctors reached this conclusion, it screams common sense. Obesity is a negative when it comes to the well-being of the human body. Extra weight puts pressure on organs and joints. It is a fact. Don't succumb to advertisements that display obesity as okay in their effort to demonstrate that they are being culturally correct in opposing fat-shaming. We now know that the cultural shift to regaling unhealthy body types is wrong. Abetting "the disease" helps no one. Being overweight is nondiscriminatory; all races succumb to it. High calories are universal offenders. From those of us who have had to lose pounds to those who are still fighting the weight battle, just know that there is a way. It is within you. For those of us who just look at bread and on put the calories when others don't, find your self-determination to be healthier. It requires personal responsibility to eat a proper diet. We are not all built the same. We don't all metabolize food the same. But we all know that overeating is not a good thing, and we clearly know what poor eating choices will do to most of us. Be kind and encouraging to those who need to win this battle called obesity. None of us is perfect, but we can strive to be healthy. The knowledge being gained by the medical professionals from this virus will result in statistics that will reveal a lot about what we already know. Whether in the blood or on the body, too much fat is a bad thing. It is now time for the culture to correct itself and advocate for a healthier lifestyle. It is time to think of weight not as a measure of beauty, but as a measure of health. Everybody is

Obesity is major COVID-19 risk factor, says French chief epidemiologist

PARIS (Reuters) - Being overweight is a major risk for people infected with the new coronavirus and the United States is particularly vulnerable because of high obesity levels there, France's chief epidemiologist said on Wednesday. Professor Jean-François Delfraissy, who heads the scientific council that advises the government on the epidemic, said as many as 17 million of France's 67 million citizens were seriously at risk from the coronavirus because of age, pre-existing illness or obesity. "This virus is terrible, it can hit young people, in particular obese young people. Those who are overweight really need to be careful," Delfraissy told franceinfo radio. "That is why we're worried about our friends in America, where the problem of obesity is well known and where they will probably have the most problems because of obesity." Delfraissy said 88% of those infected with the coronavirus suffered only severe flu-like symptoms. The mortality rate for young people entering hospital with severe COVID-19 respiratory disease was about 2%, he said, but that rose to 14% for people who are more fragile. Despite the rapid spread of the virus in France, the country is still far from getting to the point where 50% to 60% of the population has been infected and recovered and at which point a certain level of "herd immunity" is reached, Delfraissy said. "Initial data show that the number of people who may have developed immunity is lower than we imagined, about 10-15%," said the veteran infectious diseases specialist who has led French research into Ebola and AIDS. He said it was too soon to end France's lockdown, which started March 17 and is set to last until at least April 15. The council's recommendation was for strict confinement to continue several weeks from now and that before the lockdown could be unwound, pressure on intensive care units (ICU) needed to ease and the spread of the virus slow. On Tuesday, the number of COVID-19 patients in ICU rose by just 59 (1%) to 7,131 but the number of confirmed and probable cases reported nationally jumped by a record 11,059 or 11% to 109,069 as more and more nursing homes declared cumulative data for the first time. A third condition for ending the lockdown was having sufficient stocks of equipment, Delfraissy said, notably masks, testing kits and tools for tracing infected patients. French coronavirus testing capacity has risen from 3,000 per day in mid-March to 30,000 on a daily basis now, and will rise to 100,000-250,000 per day in about two weeks, he said. Obesity has been cited as a possible explanation for higher than average per-capita COVID-19 death rates in the U.S. city of New Orleans and in Mexico. (Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Richard Lough) Watch the latest videos from Yahoo UK Scroll back up to restore default view. The Guardian Police chiefs call on No 10 to tighten UK coronavirus lockdown Vikram Dodd, Gregory Robinson and Jessica Murray The Guardian9 hours ago Photograph: Guy Bell/REX/Shutterstock Photograph: Guy Bell/REX/Shutterstock Police chiefs want the government to consider toughening coronavirus lockdown restrictions, the Guardian has learned, as they head into the Easter bank holiday weekend with concerns that a growing minority will flout the rules. More stringent restrictions to prevent people driving long distances are among options supported by at least five chief constables who want enforcement action to be bolstered by clearer and tougher government curbs. Other options include using legislation to enforce the order to limit exercise to once a day. Police have sent speed and traffic camera data to the government showing that road use in some areas last weekend was up nearly 10% compared with the previous weekend. Compliance with lockdown restrictions imposed on 23 March is still high, however, with a minority ignoring it to take walks or exercise their dogs far from home, sometimes in groups. It comes as forces created online forms for the public to report potential lockdown breaches. One announcement of the new system, from Cambridgeshire police, met with a backlash online. “I cannot express strongly enough how thoroughly revolting this is,” said one reply with over 100 likes, while another read “They just don’t realise, the only thing they are doing is turning the law-abiding public against them.” Others welcomed the move. The Metropolitan police and forces including Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, Avon and Somerset and Kent all offered a similar online service. Cambridgeshire police said: “Like other forces, we’re urging people to use common sense. Please only [use] our online form if there is a significant issue or breach. This may be a large gathering or group of people repeatedly ignoring the restrictions.” With warm weather expected over the long weekend, police are planning to step up the scouring of Britain’s parks, beaches, streets and tourist spots. Julia Mulligan, police and crime commissioner for North Yorkshire, whose force erected vehicle checkpoints at the start of the lockdown, said: “If people don’t stick with the instructions then they [the government] may well have to consider additional measures. Joggers run past beach huts on the front in Hove last weekend. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP via Getty Images Joggers run past beach huts on the front in Hove last weekend. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP via Getty Images “Obviously there is concern. There are plans in place. People should see a lot of yellow vests [officers in high-visibility jackets] on the roads this weekend. There will be a lot of activity on the roads, stopping vehicles.” She added: “There is a lot of preparation to get the message out to people not to visit beauty spots and we have had complaints from farmers who are seeing 20 cars in their lanes and people going walking.” A government reexamination of lockdown powers in England is considering tougher restrictions, like those already in force in Wales. These include restricting exercise to once a day and a stronger duty on public authorities to ensure open spaces, such as parks and other open-air attractions, do not get crowded. One source said the fact it was already in operation in one part of the UK would make its introduction into England more palatable. It was also possible the lockdown could be left as it is. One police leader said that several forces covering partly rural areas believed the government should consider going further and place further restrictions on people justifying their driving by claiming it was to exercise. “We need to say you can’t drive. The burden needs to be on the individual not the state to prove reasonableness,” the police chief said. “If the test changes, a lot less people would think: ‘Rover does not need to be driven to a national park today.’” In some areas, the unregulated holiday lets sector, including Airbnb, continues to hire out properties. “There are still people coming down,” said one senior police officer in a popular holiday area. “People are still driving for a long time under the excuse of exercise and to places they do not need to be. The Easter bank holiday is one of the busiest times of the year. I have no new powers for this weekend. There is a significant risk this weekend of people breaking the lockdown.” The London mayor, Sadiq Khan, suggested further tightening may follow: “The Met Police will be busy patrolling parks and open spaces across London this weekend – urging Londoners to do the right thing and follow the rules. I desperately want us to be able to keep our green spaces open for the millions of people that need them for essential walks and exercise – but that means everyone doing the right thing.” Some London parks closed at the weekend, and police said on Wednesday that 30 people ran from officers after being found playing a cricket match in Kensal Green, north London. We need to say you can’t drive. The burden needs to be on the individual not the state to prove reasonableness Police chief Last weekend, Cumbria reported people travelling long distances, and on Tuesday in Cornwall about 30 surfers were seen on one beach. Malham Cove, in North Yorkshire, had visitors from Oldham, Bradford and Leeds at the weekend, Mulligan said. Police in Suffolk issued 178 warnings on Saturday and Sunday after receiving 119 calls from members of the public reporting people ignoring the restrictions. The county’s assistant chief constable, David Cutler, said those flouting the ban had been condemned on social media. “In a few days’ time it will be the Easter weekend. I hope the negative comments on social media following the last two days, and the number of heart-wrenching testimonies from doctors and nurses treating those suffering from this virus, will cause these individuals to take a long, hard look at their behaviour and consider the danger they are potentially exposing themselves, their families, the public and NHS workers to.” Downing Street also moved to quash reports that schools could be set to reopen after the Easter holidays. Ministers have been carrying out what officials insist is a “nuanced” discussion of the costs and benefits of the lockdown measures, which appear to be flattening the curve of new Covid-19 infections, but have led to mass layoffs across the economy. The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, said on Wednesday: “This will have a significant impact on our economy, and not in an abstract way: it will affect people’s and livelihoods.” Matt Hancock, the health secretary, is understood to have raised the impact of an extended lockdown on child vaccination rates and patients whose elective operations have been cancelled.

Coronavirus could hit Mexico's high obesity, diabetes rates

Lourdes Sanvicente, 45, left, and a coworker wear protective face masks at the direction of the stand's owner, as they sell tamales, sandwiches, and pastries at a street stand in Mexico City, Wednesday, March 25, 2020. Sanvicente, who doubts the existence of the new coronavirus, says both she and her husband work as street food sellers, together earning 320 pesos (around $13.50) per day to support themselves and their five children. "There is no other option," she says, "I have to provide for my kids." (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) More MEXICO CITY (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic could be especially deadly in Mexico because of the country's high rates of obesity and diabetes, a coalition of consumer and health advocacy groups said Wednesday. The Alliance for Food Health said in a report that four of the first five coronavirus deaths in Mexico involved people with diabetes. Mexico has the highest diabetes rate in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and one of the highest obesity rates, with 72.5% of adults overweight or obese. Paulina Magaña, a researcher for Consumer Power, said Mexico's 11 million diabetes cases “make this scenario a petri dish for COVID-19,” the disease caused by the virus. Experts say underlying conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and obesity can make health outcomes far worse for coronavirus patients. For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. Abelardo Ávila, a researcher at the National Institute for Medical Sciences and Nutrition, said, “The majority of the deaths that will occur in Mexico during the current epidemic will be associated with the serious problem of obesity.

Obese or overweight coronavirus patients most in need of critical care Research into the first 196 patients admitted to intensive care units showed most were male, with an average age of 63

Seven in 10 patients admitted to intensive care units in the UK with coronavirus were overweight or obese, the first data on Britain's cases shows. The research - which examined in detail the first 196 patients to receive critical care for the virus - showed the average age of those requiring such care was 63, and seven in 10 cases were male. Current UK health policies to prevent the spread and impact of coronavirus have focused in particular on people over the age of 70, especially those who are frail, and those with underlying health conditions. International research has suggested these groups will see the highest death rates - of up to 15 per cent in the over-80s. However, the national audit suggested many cases so far in the UK involved those who were younger, living independently, and without serious health conditions - other than excess... To continue reading this article... Start your free trial Stay connected with the full, daily digital newspaper and unlimited online articles - free for one month, then from just £3 per week. Start your free trial Already a subscriber? Log in Related Topics Coronavirus, NHS Advertisement More stories Coronavirus lockdown Q&A: walking the dog, moving house, driving and more Premium Coronavirus latest news: NHS Nightingale Hospital to open at ExCel Centre after worst day so far in UK as deaths rise by 87 Coronavirus: Boris Johnson announces three-week UK lockdown Sadiq Khan is having a terrible coronavirus crisis. He must act now to end Tube overcrowding Premium Related Topics Coronavirus, NHS

Having kids increases obesity risk for women

HAVING children is linked to a long-term increased risk of obesity in women. A 2005 study of more than 2,000 women, published in the journal Preventative Medicine, found that for each child a woman has, her risk of obesity increases by 7 per cent. After taking into account factors such as age, marital status and physical activity levels, researchers found that rates of obesity were significantly higher among women who had more children. "Our results suggest pregnant women, especially those with several children, are an important high-risk population for obesity in later life," they said. The weight gain may be caused by insulin resistance, which is greater in women with more children, as pregnancy can alter glucose metabolism. Another cause could be stress. © Solo dmg media ADVERTISING Ads by Teads Enjoy reading the Irish News? Subscribe from just £1 to get full access Subscribe Topics Categories Life 19 March, 2020 01:00 LIFE No Comments Yet You must be logged in to the website in order to post. MORE IN LIFE Life under lockdown: Strabane man tells what it's like from coronavirus-hit Italy Life under lockdown: Strabane man tells what it's like from coronavirus-hit Italy Health Q&A: Morning guy Matt Forsythe is partial to Camembert and crossfit Health Q&A: Morning guy Matt Forsythe is partial to Camembert and crossfit The GP's View: Smokers are vulnerable to Covid-19 danger and should quit urgently

An obesity scheme in Rotherham which was successful in helping people lose weight has has received criticism for going private after losing their NHS funding.

Most people think depression is someone sitting at home doing nothing but in fact depression has many other symptoms. Often people who are depressed become “foodies” who are obsessed with food. Symptoms may also include a loss of interest in hobbies or taking care of themselves, staying up to the wee hours of the morning or going to bed early in the day. It’s estimated that 16.2 million adults in the United States, or 6.7 percent of American adults, have had at least one major depressive episode in a given year. With the current divisiveness in the U.S. and bad news around the Coronavirus more people could easily be depressed. Doctors usually don’t screen for depression or spend enough time with patients to understand their mental health. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) defines a major depressive episode as at least two weeks of a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in almost all activities, as well as at least five other symptoms, such as: Sleep issues on an almost daily basis (either difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much). Changes in appetite and weight (change of more than 5% body weight in a month) or a decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day Decreased energy or fatigue almost every day Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, and thinking clearly Psychomotor agitation or retardation that is observable by others (slow physical movements or unintentional or purposeless motions) Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, a suicide attempt, or a specific plan for suicide The U.S. has the largest percentage of mentally ill citizens among five countries studied — about 29% of its residents — but scored worst in treating those with serious problems, caring for only one in three people who need it. According to data supplied by the American Psychiatric Association, employees with unresolved depression experience a 35% reduction in productivity, contributing to a loss to the U.S. economy of $210.5 billion a year in absenteeism, reduced productivity, and medical costs. Until we treat the whole person and screen for mental health issues depression will continue to take its toll on healthcare costs and patients. Related Employee mental health is a huge issue Employee mental health is a huge issue February 17, 2020 In "As I See It" Are we losing the war against depression?