The 'Obesity Epidemic': Contagious?

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A whole new meaning for fathead...

From middle-age, the brains of obese individuals display differences in white matter similar to those in lean individuals ten years their senior, according to new research led by the University of Cambridge. White matter is the tissue that connects areas of the brain and allows for information to be communicated between regions.

Our brains naturally shrink with age, but scientists are increasingly recognising that obesity - already linked to conditions such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease - may also affect the onset and progression of brain ageing; however, direct studies to support this link are lacking.

In a cross-sectional study - in other words, a study that looks at data from individuals at one point in time - researchers looked at the impact of obesity on brain structure across the adult lifespan to investigate whether obesity was associated with brain changes characteristic of ageing. The team studied data from 473 individuals between the ages of 20 and 87, recruited by the Cambridge Centre for Aging and Neuroscience. The results are published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging.

The researchers divided the data into two categories based on weight: lean and overweight. They found striking differences in the volume of white matter in the brains of overweight individuals compared with those of their leaner counterparts. Overweight individuals had a widespread reduction in white matter compared to lean people.

The team then calculated how white matter volume related to age across the two groups. They discovered that an overweight person at, say, 50 years old had a comparable white matter volume to a lean person aged 60 years, implying a difference in brain age of 10 years. ...

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-08-brains-overweight-people-ten-years.html
 

Yithian

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You're probably right - it might be welcomed as more challenging than your common or garden probing.
I expect those extra recesses of flesh go some way to alleviate the monotony of 9 to 5 rectal examinations.
 

EnolaGaia

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Here's a map illustrating proportional obesity by nation. Not surprisingly, the Union of Sizable Asses ranks #1.

On the other hand, I'm surprised to see Libya and Saudi Arabia ranked so high ...

Illustrating the percentage of populations that are formally classed as obese, this map draws on World Health Organisation data from 2014. The darkest areas show the higher rates, which see America with the highest with 27 per cent. Other countries with diet problems include Libya, American Samoa, Samoa and Tonga. South East Asia, meanwhile, has the lowest at five per cent. The eastern Mediterranean region has a rate of 19 per cent
Obesity-WorldMap.jpg

SOURCE: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/t...aps-reveal-global-activity-minute-detail.html
 

GNC

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There was a survey in the paper the other day that found two thirds of Scots are overweight. I must admit to being guilty of that, though it's down to medication because I don't eat very much, but I wonder what everyone else's excuse is. Two thirds! If that percentage of the population suffered the same disease it would definitely be called an epidemic.
 
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Now obesity can be viewed from space!

Artificial intelligence spots obesity from space
By Matthew HutsonAug. 31, 2018 , 11:10 AM

Some public health problems are so large you can see them from space. Artificial intelligence can use satellite images to estimate a region’s level of obesity—even without spotting the overweight people, a new study reveals. Instead, it relies on cues such as the distribution of buildings and trees.

Knowing a neighborhood’s rate of overweight adults can help target interventions such as healthy eating campaigns. But gathering such statistics tends to require expensive surveys or on-the-ground investigation.

To find a better way, researchers downloaded nearly 150,000 Google Maps satellite images of 1695 census tracts (basically neighborhoods) in four cities: Los Angeles, California; Memphis, Tennessee; San Antonio, Texas; and the Seattle, Washington, area. Then they fed the images into a neural network, an algorithm that finds patters in large amounts of data. The network helped the researchers focus on the most important features of the images, such as the amount of green area (the green blobs in the images above—in the middle and on the right—roughly corresponding to trees and grass in the images above on the left), gray strips (the gray blobs in the middle, corresponding to roads on the left), or white rectangles (the red blobs on the right, corresponding to buildings on the left). The team then used another program to find connections between these blobby visual features and obesity rates.

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018...obesity-space?et_rid=394299689&et_cid=2342447
 

Coal

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There was a survey in the paper the other day that found two thirds of Scots are overweight. I must admit to being guilty of that, though it's down to medication because I don't eat very much, but I wonder what everyone else's excuse is. Two thirds! If that percentage of the population suffered the same disease it would definitely be called an epidemic.
There's quite a lot of recent research linking gut flora with weight, the ease of putting it on and the ease of losing it.

We do seem to be edging towards a point where we might be able to say 'healthy gut flora' is 'X' and some foods or types of foods are modifying 'X' leading to problems with weight.

I wouldn't be surprised to see antibiotics being implicated, firstly, obvious, and secondly, (a sample size of '1' I admit), I've had the bad luck to have to take a few prolonged courses of antibiotics and in every instance finishing the antibiotic course lead to a permanent weight gain of some half-a-stone that I couldn't shift.
 

Tempest63

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Now obesity can be viewed from space!
Artificial intelligence spots obesity from space
Why am I not surprised?
Got on the train home at Liverpool Street tonight. Train pulls into Stratford and a Moose walks on. I just knew she was going to sit next to me.

Now I am a bloke 5’ 5” so not tall. I have Crohn’s disease so not fat. This woman unashamedly slumps into the seat next to me, one arse cheek sitting on my thigh and my knee disappearing somewhere not nice. I spend the whole journey on a packed train balancing on the edge of my seat trying not to fall into the aisle.

I have asked Greater Anglia to reduce the size of the door openings for carriages allocated to normal size people
 

Tempest63

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There's quite a lot of recent research linking gut flora with weight, the ease of putting it on and the ease of losing it.

We do seem to be edging towards a point where we might be able to say 'healthy gut flora' is 'X' and some foods or types of foods are modifying 'X' leading to problems with weight.

I wouldn't be surprised to see antibiotics being implicated, firstly, obvious, and secondly, (a sample size of '1' I admit), I've had the bad luck to have to take a few prolonged courses of antibiotics and in every instance finishing the antibiotic course lead to a permanent weight gain of some half-a-stone that I couldn't shift.
Read the Diet Myth by Dr Tim Spector. Good introduction to the science surrounding the microbieme
 
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