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Nutrition survey finds rising diabetes risk in children

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New Delhi, Oct 7 : There is a growing risk of non-communicable diseases among children aged 5 to 9 years and adolescents aged 10-19 years in India. As per the Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (CNNS) 2016-18, one in 10 school-age children and adolescents were pre-diabetic.

One percent of school-age children and adolescents were diabetic and three percent of school-age children and four per cent of adolescents had high total cholesterol.

Seven percent of school-age children and adolescents were at risk for chronic kidney disease. Five percent of adolescents were classified as having hypertension.

The CNNS, the first-ever nationally representative nutrition survey of children and adolescents in India, has also found that 35 per cent of children under five were stunted, 22 per cent of school-age children were stunted while 24 per cent of adolescents were thin for their age.

The CNNS India for the period 2016-18 is the largest micronutrient survey ever conducted.

To provide robust data on the shifting conditions of both under-nutrition and overweight and obesity, the Ministry of Health conducted the survey to collect a comprehensive set of data on nutritional status of Indian children from 0-19 years of age.

This survey was the largest micronutrient survey ever implemented. Also, the survey used gold standard methods to assess anaemia, micronutrient deficiencies and biomarkers of NCDs for the first time in India.

As far as stunting was concerned, a number of the most populous states including Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh had a high (37-42 per cent) prevalence.

The lowest prevalence of stunting (16-21% ) was found in Goa and Jammu and Kashmir. A higher prevalence of stunting in under-fives was found in rural areas (37 per cent) compared to urban areas (27 per cent). Also, children in the poorest wealth quintile were more likely to be stunted (49 per cent), as compared to 19 per cent in the richest quintile.

Stunting and underweight prevalence were both about 7 per cent in newborn children, with a steady increase in both indicators until two years of age. The prevalence of stunting peaked at 40 per cent at approximately two years of age and slowly declined to 30 per cent by the fifth year of life. The prevalence of underweight was highest (35 per cent) in the third year of life and ranged from 25 per cent to 34 per cent during 36-59 months of age.

Overall, 35 per cent of children aged 5 to 9 years were underweight, with 10 per cent severely underweight. The prevalence of underweight was 30 per cent at age five years and remained stable across the five-year period.

On deficiencies, as per the survey, the prevalence of vitamin A deficiency was 18 per cent among pre-school children, 22 per cent among school-age children and 16 per cent among adolescents.

Vitamin D deficiency was found among 14 per cent of pre-school children, 18 per cent of school-age children and 24 per cent of adolescents.

Nearly one-fifth of pre-school children (19 per cent), 17 per cent of school-age children and 32 per cent of adolescents had zinc deficiency.

On anaemia, the survey found that forty-one per cent of pre-schoolers, 24 per cent of school-age children and 28 per cent of adolescents suffered from it. Anaemia was most prevalent among children under two years of age.

Female adolescents had a higher prevalence of anaemia (40 per cent) compared to their male counterparts (18 per cent).

Anaemia was a moderate or severe public health problem among pre-schoolers in 27 states, among school-age children in 15 states, and among adolescents in 20 states.

Thirty-two percent of pre-schoolers, 17 per cent of school-age children and 22 per cent of adolescents had iron deficiency.

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Time-restricted eating benefits those at risk for diabetes

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New York: Researchers have found that people who are at high risk of developing diabetes improved their health when they consumed all of their meals over a span of just 10 hours, or less over a period of 12 weeks.

The study published in the journal cell Metabolism, reported a form of intermittent fasting, called time-restricted eating, improved the health of study participants who had been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, that increase the risk for adverse health issues, from heart disease and diabetes to stroke.

The researchers from University of California in US, found that when participants restricted their eating to 10 hours or less over a period of 12 weeks, they lost weight, reduced abdominal fat, lowered blood pressure and cholesterol and enjoyed more stable blood sugar and insulin levels.

“Time-restricted eating is a simple dietary intervention to incorporate, and we found that participants were able to keep the eating schedule,” said study co-author Satchin Panda from the University of California in US.

“Eating and drinking everything (except water) during a 10-hour window allows your body to rest and restore for 14 hours at night. Your body can also anticipate when you will eat, so it can prepare the body to optimize metabolism,” Panda added.

Time-restricted eating (eating all calories within a consistent 10-hour window) allows individuals to eat in a manner that supports their circadian rhythms and their health.

Circadian rhythms are the 24-hour cycles of biological processes that affect nearly every cell in the body.

Erratic eating patterns can disrupt this system and induce symptoms of metabolic syndrome, including increased abdominal fat and abnormal cholesterol or triglycerides.

The study involved 19 participants diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, with 16 taking at least one medication, like a statin.

Participants used an app created by Panda called myCircadianClock to log when and what they ate during an initial two-week baseline period followed by three months of 10-hour time-restricted eating per day.

They were told they could decide what time to eat and how much to eat as long as all food consumption occurred within a 10-hour window.

At the end of the 12 weeks, participants averaged a three per cent reduction in weight and body mass index (BMI) and a four per cent reduction in abdominal/visceral fat.

Many also experienced reductions in cholesterol and blood pressure and improvements in fasting glucose. Seventy percent of participants reported an increase in sleep satisfaction or in the amount they slept.

“Patients also reported that they generally had more energy, and some were able to have their medications lowered or stopped after completing the study,” said study researcher Pam Taub from University of California.


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Social media use linked to eating disorder in children

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Sydney, Dec 4 : Parents, take a note. Researchers have found that excessive use of social media, particularly platforms with a strong focus on image posting and viewing such as Snapchat and Instagram, is associated with eating disorder in young adolescents.

For the study, published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, researchers examined data on 996 grade 7 and 8 adolescents.

“While a range of studies have focused on the impact of social media on body image, this is the first to examine the relationship between specific social media platforms and disordered eating behaviours and thoughts,” said study lead author Simon Wilksch from Flinders University in Australia.

Also, most other studies had focused on older adolescents or young-adult women, he said.

The study on associations between disordered eating and social media use among young adolescent girls and boys suggested that much more needed to be done to increase resilience in young people to become less adversely impacted by social media pressures, Wilksch added.

During the study, the research team found behaviours related to disordered eating were reported by 51.7 per cent of girls and 45 per cent of boys, with strict exercise and meal skipping being the most common.

Of these, 75.4 per cent girls and 69.9 per cent boys had at least one social media account, and Instagram was the most common.

According to the study, greater number of social media accounts and greater time spent on them were associated with a higher likelihood of disordered eating, thoughts and behaviours.

The researchers are launching an Australia-wide trial of the Media Smart Online programme designed to combat such pressures

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Protein promotes cancer,suppresses anti-tumour immunity

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New York, Researchers have found that a protein involved in immune response to microbes also can fuel cancer development and suppress the response to the disease.

Working in mouse models of lung cancer, the research team found TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) and its adaptor proteiTBK-binding protein 1 (TBKBP1) contribute to tumorigenesis when they are activated by growth factors rather than by innate immune mechanisms.

“Our work also provides the first evidence that TBK1 functions in cancer cells to mediate immunosuppression, suggesting that targeting TBK1 will both inhibit tumour growth and promote antitumor immunity,” said study senior author Shao-Cong Sun from University of Texas in the US.

Recent research indicated that TBK1, which normally mediates induction of type 1 interferon in response to viruses or bacteria, also promotes the survival and reproduction of KRAS-dependent cancer cells.

For the findings published in the journal Nature Cell Biology, the research team set out to identify TBK1’s impact on cancer cells and its role in cancer development in vivo.

In a series of experiments, the researchers showed that TBK1 and TBKBP1 form a growth factor signaling axis that activates mTORC1 to promote tumour development.

The pathway consists of TBKBP1 recruiting TBK1 to protein kinase C-theta (PKC), through a scaffold protein called CARD10, enabling PKC to activate TBK1.

To test the protein’s therapeutic potential, the research team treated mice with KRAS-driven lung cancer with amlexanox, a drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a paste to treat certain oral ulcers.

The drug was recently identified as a TBK1 inhibitor. Mice injected with amlexanox had a steep reduction in the number and size of lung tumors.

KRAS-driven cancer is resistant to immune response, but the researchers found amlexanox sensitised tumours to blockade of the CTLA-4 checkpoint on immune T cells.

Knocking down TBK1 in the KRAS-driven mouse model increased the frequency of effector CD4 helper T cells and CD8 cell-killing T cells in the lungs of the mice.

A similar experiment in another mouse model also reduced the frequency of immune-suppressing myeloid-derived suppressor cells.

Additional experiments implicated TBK1 in promotion of glycolysis – a sugar-burning metabolic process that also suppresses the immune system – and the increased presence of PD-L1, a protein on tumour cells that turns off attacking T cells by connecting with the PD-1 protein on their cell surface.

Treatment with amlexanox and anti-CTLA-4 immunotherapy stimulated immune response and reduced tumour size and frequency in the mouse models.

“We’re continuing to examine the signaling function of TBK1 in different types of immune cells using animal models and to assess the therapeutic potential of TBK1 using preclinical cancer models,” Sun said.

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