segunda-feira, 15 de dezembro de 2008

Obesity:relatively new phenomenon!

Obesity 'controlled by the brain'
This article is largely taken from the BBC´s internet site but is very much to my heart, I am worried by the constant move to accept over weight as a normal part of life, it is for me a sign of waste and over indulgence by a nation and not so much an individual characteristic, it is as much like the throwing down of litter in the street and lack of respect for others, the trend to leave the responsibilty for everything to others, pay others to worry for you!!
Seven new gene variants discovered by scientists suggest strongly that obesity is largely a mind problem.
The findings suggest the brain plays the dominant role in controlling appetite, and that obesity cannot easily be blamed on metabolic flaws.
Two international studies, published in Nature Genetics, examined samples from thousands of people for the tiniest genetic changes.
Many of the seven key variants seem to be active in the brain.
This suggests that the brain's impact on appetite and eating behaviour may be more important that any genetic variation which alters the body's ability to lay down or burn up fat.
All seven variants were picked up by a study led by Icelandic company deCODE Genetics, while six of the seven were also identified in a second, independent study by an international team dubbed the Giant consortium.
In both cases the researchers scrutinised DNA samples from thousands of people to assess the impact of tiny changes.
Each of the variants identified had a small impact on obesity, but a person carrying all of them was typically around 1.5kg - 2kg heavier than average.
It is estimated that as much as 70% of the variation in body mass index - a measure of obesity based on height and weight - is down to genetics, rather than environmental factors.
Researcher Dr Kari Stefansson, of deCODE Genetics said: "This suggests that as we work to develop better means of combating obesity, we need to focus on the regulation of appetite at least as much as on the metabolic factors of how the body uses and stores energy."
Major step forward
Dr Alan Guttmacher, of the US National Human Genome Research Institute, said the research was a major step forward in understanding how the human body regulates weight.
However, Professor Peter Weissberg, of the at the British Heart Foundation, expressed caution.
He said: "This research adds to the growing body of evidence that some people are more at risk of becoming obese because of their genes.
"It suggests that some people may be less able than others to resist the temptation to overeat because of their genetic background and it might start to explain why some people have no problem keeping their weight down whilst others struggle.
"However, this cannot be the explanation for the current epidemic of obesity since these genes have been present for centuries and the obesity epidemic is a relatively new phenomenon."
Almost one in four people in the UK is now classified as obese, and expert predict the proportion will continue to rise sharply.

The proportion of obese people had nearly doubled from 11% in 1999 to 19% in 2007.
In 1999, 43% of the population had a BMI that put them in the overweight or obese range, of whom 81% correctly identified themselves as overweight.
But in 2007, 53% of the population had a BMI in the overweight or obese range, but only 75% of these correctly classed themselves as overweight.

The researchers from the Health Behaviour Research Centre at University College London said one reason for the findings could be that as a greater proportion of the population becomes overweight, people's perception of what is "normal" changes.
Study leader, Professor Jane Wardle, said: "The other explanation we put forward was that the media often illustrate articles about overweight with a person with a very high BMI giving the impression that is the size that's important.
"Half of those with a BMI in the 25 to 30 range did not recognise they were overweight and that's the range we'd like people to start taking action so their weight doesn't get any higher," she said.
One upside to the findings was that women who are a healthy weight are now less likely to believe they are overweight, which had been a concern in the past, she added.
Dr Ian Campbell, a GP and medical director of Weight Concern said: "Despite a much greater awareness among the public about the problems of obesity it seems fewer are recognising the problem in themselves.

Almost one in four five-year olds and one in three 11-year olds is overweight or obese, according to the national child measurement programme.

Clearly i is essential for the health of the adult to create better awareness of health with children, the serious rise in obesity in chidren represents a cost to the British nation and it is showing itself in other parts of the world.
In Brazil, with the gradual increase in affluence among the now increasing middle class, there is a very noticeable increase in obesity in children and those around the 40 to 60 age bracket, up till now there had been a strong sense of young, teenager to 30 year old, being very keen on the model, slim, image and working hard to keep an athletic form was the norm, however this seems to be slipping away, most teenage boys would rather use proprietary products and drugs to keep their form, this type of body building without the excersise or manual work, is also creating a strange impression for the younger generation. The more prosperous go for the quick and often repeated process of plastic surgery, television stars are often quoted as the normal reason for opting to see the surgeon and the price for this type of surgery as fallen to within the range of the lower middle class, so it is seen as an option for all, in preference to keeping to a regime and eating with care, this can be a problem in Brazil because of their national diet is heavily based on sugar, salt and fat products.

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