Obesity epidemic sweeps into developing world
Obesity spreads: world health declines.
© Getty Images
Obesity is spreading to all corners of the globe, researchers warned the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston. Sedentary lifestyles and fast food are causing previously unaffected populations to fall foul of fat.
"Obesity is no longer confined to Western, industrialized societies," said anthropologist Marquisa LaVelle of the University of Rhode Island, Providence. Guatemalans in the United States, South Pacific islanders and desert-dwelling Australians are all expanding.
The South Pacific may have the worlds highest rates of obesity. In Rarotonga, the capital of the Cook Islands, 52% of men were clinically obese in 1996, compared with only 14% in 1966, Stanley Ulijaszek of the University of Oxford, UK, told the meeting. The figures are worse among skilled professionals.
In rural Papua New Guinea, obesity is on the rise thanks to higher incomes and connections to urban centres. "Modernizing influences are penetrating the remotest places on Earth," said Ulijaszek.
The global spread of sedentary jobs and energy-rich foods has triggered the epidemic, the researchers agreed. LaVelle labels the lifestyle "obesogenic".
Some populations with a genetic susceptibility to gaining weight may have been held in check by diet and physical activity until now. But a lifestyle switch can cause dramatic increases in obesity within a generation. "The brakes are taken off," said Barry Bogin of the University of Michigan in Dearborn.
Mayan children living in the United States are taller and heavier than their counterparts in Guatemala, Dearborn and his colleagues have found. Children whose favourite activity is TV or computer games are at a greater risk of being overweight.
HELEN PEARSON | © Nature News Service
Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator
23.02.2018 | University of Turku
Minimising risks of transplants
22.02.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy