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‹ The Weekly Green

ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER

April 12, 2016
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Researchers from the Imperial College in London have found that the number of overweight people in the world has risen from 102 million in 1975 to 642 million in 2014. The study also found that the number of people with a lower than average body mass index has risen as well in the same period, though not by as much: from 330 million to 462. So for the first time in history, overweight people outnumber underweight people. The number of people with a critically low BMI , however, has decreased. The study was published in medical journal The Lancet.

Obesity greatly increases the risk of developing diabetes and it is therefore not too surprising that, according to the first global survey of the disease by the World Health Organization, the number of diabetics has quadrupled sinde 1980. 422 million people worldwide now suffer from the disease, the majority of them in developing countries. The largest increase was in China, Indonesia, India, Braziland, last but not least, the US. The lowest incidence of the disease is in Northwest Europa, possibly because of the predilection for good food in that region of the world.

The WHO report calls on ALL  governments to ensure that healthy food is affordable for all people and their health care systems are able to diagnose and treat the disease.

The complications of diabetes often require surgery and surgery requires antibiotics to prevent infection. Before the discovery of antibiotics, even the simplest procedure could prove fatal and there is great concern in medical circles that those dark times may return due to the growing resistance of bacteria to anitbiotics. It now apears that bacteria can confer resistance to unrelated species of bacteria, as was found in China in the case of colistin. Colistin is currently only used in humans as a last resort, because it damages the kidneys, but it is widely used in agriculture to prevent disease in farm animals and to fatten up pigs.

Overprescription is only a minor cause for bacterial resistance. The major cause is run-off from agriculture and from the manufacturers of the drug. China alone uses 12,000 tonnes a year in agriculture and also the biggest producer and exporter of antibiotics, so that many rivers in China are heavily polluted with them. Water is a perfect environment for bacteria to exchange the genetic material that makes them resistant, and the stuff unavoidably ends up in the water used irrigate crop fields and in the drinking water.

The situation is as yet not altogether bleak. There are still other groups of antibiotics that are effective and resistance can also be overcome by increasing the dosis. And as for controlling diabetes, that is a matter of eating healthy and getting lots of physical exercise.

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A most enjoyable way to stay healthy and in shape is riding a bicycle. If you are prevented from doing so because your bike is missing a part or is missing altogether, you have a chance to make amends at the Bike Swap on 4th Ave this coming Sunday, April 27, from 7 a.m. till 2 pm. The earlier you come, the better your chances of finding what you need. Visit fourthavenue.org  for more information.

(Broadcast 3:34 min)

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