Obesity Among California’s Low-income Teens Nearly Triple That Of More Affluent Peers (December 12, 2008) — In this policy brief, the authors examine why low-income teenagers are almost three times more likely to be obese than teens from more affluent households. Specifically, persistent barriers to health were found, including high numbers of neighborhood fast food restaurants, high sugary soda consumption and television viewing and low numbers of parks and other opportunities for physical activity. … > full story
Problems managing polycystic ovarian syndrome? It may not be due to lack of willpower. Instead, you could be Insulin Resistant, a root cause of PCOS. Scientists at the National Institutes of Health, Stanford University and other research centers have clearly identified the existence and effects of Insulin Resistance, a biochemical condition that can cause excessive weight gain and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
PCOS and Insulin Resistance
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a hormonal imbalance linked to the way the body processes insulin after it has been produced by the pancreas to regulate blood sugar (glucose). Insulin Resistance could be caused by:
Over time, the above factors have damaged the complex ability of the body’s cells to properly utilize insulin to convert glucose to energy. This process creates Insulin Resistance.
Insulin Resistance vastly reduces the insulin sensitivity of cells, which impairs the processing of glucose through the cell wall for conversion to energy. As a result, glucose remains in the blood stream, causing elevated levels of blood sugar, which are sent to the liver. Once there, the sugar is converted into fat and stored via the blood stream throughout the body. This process can lead to weight gain and obesity, key factors in creating PCOS, which is also referred to as Polycystic Ovarian Disease or PCOD.
Insulin Resistance can also cause PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is by raising insulin levels in the blood stream. Unhealthy lifestyles and genetic conditions can lead to the pancreas overproducing insulin. This excess insulin stimulates the ovaries to produce large amounts of the male hormone testosterone, which may prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg each month, thus causing infertility. High levels of insulin also increase the conversion of androgens (male hormones) to estrogens (female hormones), upsetting a delicate balance between the two and having a direct effect on weight gain and the formation of cystic follicles or ovarian cysts.
Symptoms of PCOS
The symptoms vary widely from woman to woman. Because the symptoms vary so widely and not all women display all the symptoms, doctors very often misdiagnose PCOS. This became an issue of critical concern after a study in 2000 found that women suffering from PCOS have a higher risk of coronary heart disease.
irregular or completely absent periods,
Hirsutism (excessive facial or body hair),
Alopecia (hair loss),
skin tags (raisin-like growths on the skin),
Acanthosis Nigricans (brown skin patches),
exhaustion or lack of mental alertness
decreased sex drive.
high blood pressure
high levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol
atherosclerosis, which occurs when fatty deposits called plaque cling to the interior walls of the arteries, leading to blockages that can cause heart attacks or stroke. Not only do PCOS sufferers have higher rates of plaque buildup but those over 45 have thicker deposits of plaque.
up to 40% of women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome have either impaired glucose tolerance or Type 2 Diabetes by the age of 40.
Posted by : Goral Gandhi, MSc, Laboratory Director, Rotunda – Center for Human Reproduction (Pvt) Ltd, full article
The ground-breaking study examines worldwide workplace eating habits & reports that better nutrition can raise national productivity rates, prevent micronutrient deficiencies, chronic diseases & obesity. Modest investments can be repaid in reduction of sick days and accidents.
Diet-related diseases are expected to climb to 57% by 2020.
In SE Asia, iron deficiency accounts for a US$5 billion loss in productivity.
In India, the cost of lost productivity, illness & death due to malnutrition is US$10 to 28 billion, or 3-9% of GDP
The US annual cost of obesity to business for insurance, paid sick leave & other payments is US$12.7 billion.
In the US, where over 2/3 of the population is overweight, direct medical costs accounted for approximately US$51.6 billion & lost productivity approximately US$3.9 billion – reflected in 39.2 million lost workdays, 239 million restricted-activity days, 89.5 million bed-days and 62.6 million physician visits.