Category Archives: Health News

Plus Sized People Seem to Live Longer

better off being plus sized Hmmmm, health advice these days changes like the wind. To be plus sized or not to be? To wear those womens boots or womens shoes? After being told for decades that milk will keep us healthy and fat will slowly kill us, they tell us now that every glass of milk a female drinks each day increases her chances of dying by about 15 per cent. They also tell us now that saturated fat has nothing to do with heart disease, and that personal trainer course are the way to go.

To make it all worse, now after fifty or so  years of telling us we need to lose weight, they now have proof from recent studies that plus size women actually live longer! Losing weight to fit those womens sandals can be more dangerous for you than remaining fat! What really matters is not fatness at all but that you should exercise! Even though most of this is common sense to a point, I’m beginning to realize that as a society, we have made a wrong turn a long, long way back! But the big problem now is, we haven’t got a clue where we really are.

As a news story, this is quite enlightening. But, lets see if we can’t get to the bottom of this very fat issue. The big question is, do fat people live longer to enjoy their new mens dress shoes? The answer will surprise you. Yes, they do. According to some new research, this could be why. Most dietitians, physicians and so on use Body Mass Index (BMI) to estimate a person’s fatness. It is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in meters. (If you don’t get this, you can use this website to figure it out).

People with a BMI lower than 18.5 suggest you should get a career to be a Calvin Klein model (lucky you). If you are 18.5-25 you are in the “healthy” or “normal” range while 25-30 is overweight. 30-35 you are obese and if you are over 35 you have a serious obesity problem. fat-women-1-1523026-639x424A mega-study involving 2.9 million people, has found the same pattern as many other smaller studies recently conducted and that is that you are least likely to die at any given age if your BMI is around the middle of the overweight category i.e. a BMI of around 27.

This still means however that if you are obese, you are still more likely to get diabetes or cardiovascular disease of some type but it means that you are less likely to die from them. Apparently, the researchers call this the Obesity Paradox (just to call it something catchy). However, the scenario gets worse! It has been found that people who lose weight by body transformation diet or exercise are more likely to die. This is even the case when you allow for preexisting conditions such as cancer.

It appears you will live longer if your weight remains the same and treat yourself to buying things like shoes online. Why this happens is now a real mystery. One reason could be because the fat people already died before the studies began. If that’s the case, then we are left with only healthy fat people, with a mix of healthy and unhealthy skinny people. If that’s the case then its not surprising that the fat people seem to have an advantage. It is possible that fat people get better medical care.

The bottom line is that if you’re a bit overweight I can hardly do worse than most health experts to suggest that if you get out for a daily walk, regularly see your sport therapist to look after your body, eat lots of fruit and veggies and just chill out, you could well be better off being over weight. Ahhh, its an odd world we live in.

A Way to Track Exposures That May Contribute to Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Researchers in autism spectrum disorders have discovered a promising new way to detect prenatal exposures that could increase risk for autism even years after the exposures occurred.

The researchers in their study showed that a chemical signature of prenatal exposure to cigarette smoke can be detected in the blood of pre-schoolers. Weather smoking during pregnancy contributes to autism is not a known fact yet. But, since the mother can say whether or not she smoked during her pregnancy, a clear chemical signature of prenatal exposure persisted into childhood could still be seen.

The next step is to look for markers for less-obvious toxic exposures, which are suspected to increase the risk of autism spectrum. Among these include exposure to air pollution, pesticides, plasticizers and maternal inflammation during a woman’s pregnancy.

A study which was led by Daniele Fallin and Christine Ladd-Acosta, appeared in the journal Environmental Research a couple of weeks ago.

She is the director of the Bloomberg School’s Wendy Klag Center for Autism & Developmental Disabilities at Johns Hopkins University.

More to the point, Fallin’s team is looking at so-called epigenetic markers. These are chemical tags which sit on top a gene’s DNA. These help control where and when the gene is active.

This epigenetic control of gene activity is especially crucial for guiding early brain development. Chemical exposures, infection and other types of stresses can change epigenetics. This in turn can alter gene activity in important and permanent ways.

Across the whole study, the researchers performed whole genome epigenetic analysis on the blood of children, ages 3 to 5.  It total there were 531 from six sites across America. The children’s mothers were asked about smoking during pregnancy.

The next step was to analyze epigenetic patterns (methylation) at 26 locations across the children’s genomes. They were able to identify which mothers smoked during pregnancy with 81 percent accuracy based on all of the available data.

There have been other researchers that had previously identified these epigenetic signatures. They found them in infant cord blood from prenatal pregnancies. This new study however, is the first to show that the tell-tale chemical evidence persists to at least the age of about 5.

It is Fallins hope this area of research has a much broader reach. When a prenatal mother smokes, she says it is quite easy to determine whether someone was exposed prenatally. All you have to do is ask the mother or ask someone whether the mother smoked while she was pregnant. However, when there is exposures to other toxins, it is more difficult to tease out. The biggest problem is that the mother may not know whether she was exposed or not.

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder