Cochrane reviews show impact of lifestyle changes on obesity

Two Cochrane reviews, published today, show that a combination of diet, physical activity and behavioural change interventions may reduce weight in children and adolescents | OnMedica

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The two reviews look at the effects of diet, physical activity and behavioural interventions in treating children with overweight or obesity from six years old to early adulthood. They summarise the results of 114 studies which involved over 13,000 children and young people.

Adult weight management

Public Health England has published guidance to support the commissioning and delivery of tier 2 adult weight management services.

This guidance supports commissioners and providers of tier 2 adult weight management services, including:

  • local authorities (LAs)
  • clinical commissioning groups (CCGs)
  • NHS institutions

The guidance is published under the following categories: following categories:

Commission and provide

Adult weight management services: commission and provide

Weight management services: insights into user experiences

Interventions

Data collection

The social barriers to an active society are being ignored

The simplicity of exhorting people to “be more active” belies how complicated it can be to put this into practice. Increasing physical activity requires individuals to do things differently | The Conversation

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Can individuals alone make the changes that are required? Public health campaigns imply that they can, focusing on how to live a healthier, more active life. But do the roots of inactivity really lie only in the behaviour, decisions and motivations of individuals? Or are there wider factors which need to be recognised and addressed?

Plenty of evidence suggests that external influences are also important, and there is mileage in ensuring that these elements are integrated into addressing individual behaviour.

Consider, for example, the challenge of raising physical activity levels among older people. This is a priority for public health given the predicted 89.3% increase in the numbers of older adults to 9.9m in the UK by 2039. According to Sport England, 54% of those aged 75 and above are doing less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week.

Full blog post here

TVs in the bedroom linked to childhood obesity, study finds

Scientists say there is a clear link between having a TV in your bedroom as a young child and becoming overweight later in childhood | | International Journal of Obesity | Story via The Guardian 

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Children who have TVs in their bedrooms are more likely to be overweight than those who do not, a study by University College London scientists suggests.

Sitting still for long periods watching TV has long been thought to be one of the changes in behaviour of the last few decades that could be contributing to the obesity epidemic. It has been suspected that having a TV in the bedroom might exacerbate the problem. Children or adolescents might be snacking unobserved, they could be exposed to advertising for junk food while watching adult programmes and they may not sleep as well, which is also linked to putting on weight.

Published in the International Journal of Obesity, the research used data on more than 12,000 children born in 2000/2001 who were recruited to the UK Millennium Cohort Study, set up to look at the influences on children’s development into adulthood. They investigated the data from the age of seven to 11. More than half had a TV in their bedroom.

They found that girls who had a TV in their bedroom at age seven were at an approximately 30% higher risk of being overweight at age 11, compared to children who did not have a TV in their bedroom. Boys were 20% more likely to become overweight.

Full story : The Guardian

See also: TVs in children’s bedrooms ‘increase risk of obesity’ | BBC

Full reference: Heilmann, A et al. | Longitudinal associations between television in the bedroom and body fatness in a UK cohort study | International Journal of Obesity | article preview 1 June 2017

Where body fat is carried can predict cancer risk

Study finds men with over 40in waist and women with over 35in waist are more at risk of cancer as waist size is as good at predicting cancer risk as BMI | via Cancer Research UK 

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Scientists have found that carrying fat around your middle could be as good an indicator of cancer risk as body mass index (BMI), according to research published in the British Journal of Cancer . 

The study combined data from around 43,000 participants who had been followed for an average of 12 years and more than 1,600 people were diagnosed with an obesity-related cancer.

The study found that adding about 11cm to the waistline increased the risk of obesity related cancers by 13 per cent. For bowel cancer, adding around 8 cm to the hips is linked to an increased risk of 15 per cent.

Being overweight or obese is the single biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking and is linked to 13 types of cancer including bowel, breast, and pancreas.

Full reference: Freisling et al. Comparison of general obesity and measures of body fat distribution in older adults in relation to cancer risk: meta-analysis of individual participant data of seven prospective cohorts in Europe. British Journal of Cancer. (2017) 116, 1486–1497

Read more at Cancer Research UK

 

‘Pro-vegetarian’ diet could halve chance of obesity

Study describes benefits of the ‘flexitarian’ diet: basically vegetarian, with meat and fish consumed occasionally | The Guardian Health

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A diet which reduces or even excludes meat and animal produce in favour of vegetables, fruit and grains could halve people’s chances of becoming obese, according to new research.

A study carried out in Spain describes the benefits of what researchers call a “pro-vegetarian” diet which does not exclude meat and dairy products but reduces them. It has also been called a “flexitarian” diet – basically vegetarian, with meat and fish consumed occasionally.

Some 16,000 university graduates were tracked from 1999 for 10 years, by which time 584 were obese, according to findings presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Porto, Portugal.

Read the full news story here

Adolescent obesity

The World Health Organisation European Office has published Adolescent obesity and related behaviours: trends and inequalities in the WHO European Region, 2002–2014.

The report presents the latest trends in obesity, eating behaviours, physical activity and sedentary behaviour from the health behaviour in school-aged children (HBSC) study, and highlights gender and socioeconomic inequalities across the WHO European Region.

Childhood obesity is considered one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century. Obese children are at greater risk of type 2 diabetes, asthma, sleep difficulties, musculoskeletal problems and future cardiovascular disease, as well as school absence, psychological problems and social isolation.

The report argues that policy initiatives and interventions need to target high-risk adolescents within the context of families, schools and wider communities, and suggests policies that improve young people’s access to healthy diets should be a priority. It also recommends built environments be improved so that physical activity is re-established as an integral part of daily living.

Additional link: WHO press release