Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Monday, February 13, 2017

Obesity = Impaired Health

"Sugary drinks are the single largest contributor of sugar in the average Canadian diet."
"Excess sugar intake is directly linked to excess weight, which increases the risk of at least 11 different cancers."
"Eating a healthy diet, with lots of vegetables and fruit, lots of fibre and little fat and sugar, helps maintain a healthy body weight and reduces the risk of cancer."
Robert Nuttall, assistant director of health policy, Canadian Cancer Society

The health and economic burden from sugary drinks in Canada is alarming."
"Cutting back on sugary drinks is one of the best ways to reduce excess calorie intake and to maintain a healthy body weight."
Dr. David Hammond, associate professor, School of Public Health and health systems, University of Waterloo
A new study sugggests that sugary drink consumption could harm Canadians’ health and cost economy.
A new study suggests that sugary drink consumption could harm Canadians’ health and cost economy.  (Frank Augstein/AP)

Here's a statement of prognostication that has arisen from a study commissioned by the Canadian Cancer Society in partnership with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, carried out by researchers at the University of Waterloo: "Over the next 25 years, the researchers predict sugary drink consumption will be responsible for obesity in more than three million Canadians; almost a million cases of Type 2 diabetes; 300,000 people with ischemic heart disease; and 100,000 cases of cancer."

That's a sobering assessment of the harm done by a casual habit to which people, particularly young people, have accustomed themselves. It's the older, more sober-minded adults who care about their health who drink water in place of sweetened fizzy drinks and sport drinks. It's a safe bet that no researcher in public health has ever met a teen or a young adult concerned about their future health  being impacted by the choices they make at the present time.

Youth regards itself as indomitable, impervious to harm; harm comes to others.

There is nothing particularly new about the conclusion of this study. The consumption of drinks whose component of sugar is sky-high leading to overweight and consequent poor health is well enough known and has been for decades. Overweight and obese individuals are susceptible to compromised health. Harmful habits such as the constant consumption of soft drinks with their sugar overload lead eventually to an increased risk of medical conditions.

Type 2 diabetes arises in sedentary, middle-aged people who are overweight. On the other hand, young people who become grossly overweight are candidates for Type 2 diabetes and consequent poor health outcomes as well. Heart disease and stroke faithfully accompany metabolic disorders like diabetes. And cancer isn't far behind in the line-up, awaiting an opportunity to take advantage of a body abused.
The sugar lurking in your favourite drinks could lead to health complications down the line.
The sugar lurking in your favourite drinks could lead to health complications down the line.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Euromonitor International released data in 2015 indicating that Canadians chose to purchase 444 mL of sugar-drinks per capita, daily. This equates to one can per person per day of soft drinks. Youth on average between the ages of nine to 18, drink 578 mL of sugar-drinks daily. Up to 64 grams (16 teaspoons) of sugar is contained in such drinks; rather more than the recommended daily sugar maximum from all sources of ten percent of total daily calories.

Soft drink sales did fall in the last dozen years, but the decline was offset by an increased consumption of energy drinks, of flavoured waters, sweetened coffees and teas, and flavoured dairy products, according to available data. Between 2001 and 2015, per capita sales of those products saw a dramatic increase. Energy drinks rose in popularity by 638 percent, flavoured water by 527 percent in that period.

(This is what catastrophically happened to a 36-year-old Egyptian woman ... she is being prepared to be flown to India for bariatric surgery. She has not stepped outside her home in 25 years. )
Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty
Courtesy: Dr Muffazal Lakdawala 
An Egyptian woman, believed to be the world's heaviest woman at 500kg (1,102lb), will soon be flown to India for weight reduction surgery.

The prediction the researchers have come up with based on their study . . . over the next 25 years:
  • More than one million Canadians being overweight and more than three million becoming obese;
  • Almost one million cases of Type 2 diabetes;
  • 300,000 Canadians with ischemic heart disease;
  • 100,000 cases of cancer;
  • Almost 40,000 strokes.

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