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Obese children to outnumber severely underweight by 2022 – WHO

by UNTV   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

One in five children is now obese or overweight.

Thin or weak children have long been the enduring image associated with poor nutrition in developing countries, while obesity is considered the curse of rich nations. However, a recent report from the World Health Organization (WHO)showed an obvious shift in this trend.

WHO released a report published in the lancet which shows that obesity rates among five to 19-year-olds Rose Tenfold in the past four decades, from 11 million in 1975 to 124 million in 2016.

In line with the observance of World Obesity Day today, the world agency offers recommendations of policy actions for countries to tackle obesity and overweight in young children.

“These actions are all feasible for all countries to tackle ending obesity and overweight in children. Countries will start at different places, perhaps in the schools, perhaps in the physical activity, perhaps in the public education and awareness and the regulatory and marketing, but all countries can tackle obesity through these six recommendations,” said WHO Program Manager Fiona bull.

The report said that 0.7 percent of children were obese in 1975, compared to 5.6 percent of girls and 7.8 percent of boys in 2016.

If the trend continues, more children and adolescents will be obese than moderately to severely underweight by 2022, according to the analysis of the weight and height measurements of nearly 130 million people – the largest ever epidemiological study, according to WHO.

“Being an overweight child or adolescent means you are more likely to be an overweight adult and it is also more likely to lead to early onset of conditions like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Overweight in childhood and adolescence also causes social psychological problems for the children themselves, more stigmatism, more bullying, less optimal school performance,” said WHO team leader Leanne Riley.

The study showed that there are now 124 million children and adolescents in the world who are obese and an additional 214 million overweight children and adolescent.  — United Nations Multimedia


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Prenatal and early childhood fructose tied to asthma in kids

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

A bronchodilator is placed atop of a prescription treatment paper that belongs to Shahrour’s son who is suffering from asthma, inside their home in the besieged town of Arbeen, in Damascus suburbs, Syria February 6, 2016. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh

(Reuters Health) – – Grade school kids may be more likely to develop asthma if they consumed lots of drinks sweetened with sugar and high fructose corn syrup or if their mothers drank these beverages often during pregnancy, a recent study suggests.

To assess the connection between childhood asthma, sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages, researchers examined data about eating habits from about 1,000 mother-child pairs as well as information on kids’ health, including whether they had an asthma diagnosis by ages 7 to 9.

After accounting for maternal obesity and other factors that can also influence kids’ odds of developing asthma, researchers found that women who consumed the most soda and sugary beverages during pregnancy were 70 percent more likely to have a child diagnosed with asthma by mid-childhood than mothers who never or rarely had sodas during pregnancy.

Women who had the most total fructose during pregnancy were 58 percent more likely to have kids with asthma than women who had little to no fructose.

“Previous studies have linked intake of sugary beverages with obesity, and obesity with asthma,” said study co-author Sheryl Rifas-Shiman, a researcher at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute in Boston.

“In addition to influencing asthma through increasing the risk of obesity, we found that sugary beverages and high fructose may influence the risk of asthma not entirely through obesity,” Rifas-Shiman said by email. “This finding suggests that there are additional mechanisms by which sugary beverages and fructose influence asthma risk beyond their effects on obesity.”

What kids ate and drank also mattered. Even after accounting for prenatal exposure to sodas, kids who had the most total fructose in their diets earlier in childhood were 79 percent more likely to develop asthma than children who rarely or never had fructose.

Once researchers also factored in whether children were overweight or obese, kids with the highest fructose consumption were still 77 percent more likely to have asthma.

Mothers who consumed more sugary beverages tended to be heavier and have less income and education than women who generally avoided sodas and sweet drinks. But the connection between sodas, sugary drinks and childhood asthma persisted even after accounting for these factors.

“We don’t know for certain the exact pathways by which sugary beverages and fructose lead to asthma,” Rifas-Shiman said. “We believe at least in part they act by increasing inflammation, which may influence the child’s lung development.”

The study wasn’t a controlled experiment designed to prove whether or how sodas or sugary drinks might cause asthma.

Another limitation is that researchers relied on women to accurately recall and report on soda consumption for themselves and their young children, which may not always be accurate, researchers note in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Even so, the findings add to the evidence that women should avoid sodas and sugary foods and drinks during pregnancy and also limit these things for their young kids, said Dr. Leda Chatzi, a researcher at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles who wasn’t involved in the study.

“Pregnant women should stay away from sugar sweetened drinks and foods with added sugars,” Chatzi said by email.

“Healthy eating during pregnancy is critical to their baby’s growth and development of chronic diseases such as asthma later in life,” Chatzi added. “A healthy dietary pattern during pregnancy contains a variety of food groups, including fruits and vegetables, breads and grains, protein sources and dairy products.”

SOURCE: bit.ly/2BaEVOI Annals of the American Thoracic Society, online December 8, 2017.

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More officials expected to face probe over Dengvaxia vaccine

by UNTV   |   Posted on Saturday, December 16th, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — In the course of the Senate’s inquiry into the controversial Dengvaxia, it has become clearer how the anti-dengue vaccine got the government’s approval and thus, became part of the Philippines’ immunization program.

According to health reform advocate Dr. Anthony Leachon, former and incumbent officials of the government might be held accountable should they be proven to have committed neglect in the purchase and distribution of Dengvaxia.

Dr. Leachon said that the Department of Health (DOH) as well as the panel of experts, who were supposed to properly examine the efficacy and safety of the vaccine, can also be held liable in the said controversy.

“Ako ang personal opinion ko diyan,  ang may isa sa pinakamalaking kasalanan diyan ay iyong DOH leadership during that time. Then dapat din iyong PCMC managot din dahil bakit sila tumanggap ng ganyang kalaking pera,” said Leachon.

(In my personal opinion, DOH leadership during that time has the biggest responsibility.  The Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) should also be held liable because why did they accept such a huge amount?)

“So ang nakikita ko diyan mananagot some people in the FEC, Formulary Executive Council. may mananagot din sa Department of Health, may mananagot din sa FDA,” he added.

(So I think some people in the FEC, the Formulary Executive Council will be held liable as well as some officials of the Department of Health, and FDA.)

The health reform advocate believes even former President Benigno Aquino III has a responsibility since he approved the release of a huge amount of fund for the purchase of the said vaccine from the pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur.

“Sa laki ng perang involved kahit hindi niya alam ang proseso at ang laki nito. Ang sinasabi na narinig ko sa isang undersecretary ng DOJ baka daw technical malversation. Malaking pera more than 50 million iyan plunder daw iyon,” said, Leachon.

(With the huge amount of fund involved, although he was not aware of the process, this is huge. Based on what I heard from an undersecretary of the DOJ, he might face. Technical malversation. It’s a huge amount of money. It’s more than P50-million, it might be plunder.)

He also believes the World Health Organization (WHO) is also accountable.

He said that this stemmed from the advisory issued by the international body last December 13, which says Dengvaxia cannot be used for children without prior dengue infection.

“Noong una kasi hindi categorical ang mga answer nila. So, ang Department of Health at that time nag-carry out ng decision making nila tapos hindi nila pingil rin ang mass vaccination. Tapos ngayon sumabog na nong November 29 sasabihin nila naghugas-kamay sila na hindi daw nila inadvise ang Department of Health ng mass vaccination,”  said the health reform advocate.

(Before, they gave no categorical answers to the Department of Health at that time, carried out their decision making. And they did not even stop the mass vaccination. Now that the issue came out last November 29, they are trying to clear themselves saying they did not advise the Department of Health to use it for the mass vaccination.)

Dr. Leachon also recommended to the current leadership of the DOH to coordinate with the departments of interior and local government, education, social welfare and development, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) as well as private sector groups.

He said that this is for the creation of a communication plan that would be published in newspapers for the list of the names of all children who received the anti-dengue vaccine. — Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue


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WHO clarifies it did not recommend Dengvaxia to any country

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, December 7th, 2017


MANILA, Philippines – The World Health Organization (WHO) is aware of the concerns of Filipinos, especially mothers, whose children have received dengue vaccination.

In a statement released by world agency on its website, Tuesday, it clarified that it did not recommend to countries the introduction of the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine into their national immunization programs, stated in the position paper it released last July 2016.

Instead, the international body stated the matters that should be taken into consideration by national governments in deciding whether or not to use the said vaccine.

WHO also said that the previous leadership of the Philippine’s Department of Health (DOH) already launched the Dengue Mass Immunization Program even before it released its advisory regarding the vaccine.

Until now, WHO is still waiting for the results of the expert studies on the possible effects of Dengvaxia to individuals who received the vaccine.

The WHO also supports the decision of the DOH and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to order the pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pastuer to halt the market sale and distribution of Dengvaxia.

According to DOH Asst. Sec Lyndon Lee Suy, who already held a meeting to form recommendations to countries regarding the proper use of Dengvaxia

“Because the WHO does not recommend any product at all in general. What they offer is guidance to countries who want to use it. It gives guidelines which become the basis of the countries in terms of its implementation. They will review it again. This vaccine is not just registered in the Philippines but also in 19 countries. All of these countries have a concern because of this one,” Suy said.

UNTV News team tried to get the sides on the issue of two former health secretaries who supervised the mass vaccination of Dengvaxia.

In response, Dr. Paulyn Ubial said she will release a statement regarding the issue during the Senate’s hearing on the controversy on Monday.

Dr. Janette Garin, the Health Secretary during the term of former President Benigno Aquino III, initially said she is ready to face the issue. However, she insisted anew that they implemented the dengue immunization program using Dengvaxia with the guidance and recommendation of the

Meanwhile, Sanofi Pasteur, the manufacturer of Dengvaxia, has yet to comment on the statement of the international organization. – Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

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