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Category: Health (Page 1 of 9)

Obesity among New Zealand children is continuing to decline, according to a University of Otago study

Researcher Dr Lisa Daniels says »

“What is really reassuring to see from this work is that the declines in high BMI (body mass index) over time are occurring overall and across sociodemographic indicators – sex, ethnicity, deprivation and urban/rural classification – suggesting a narrowing of inequities,” she says.

“Importantly, we observed a narrowing in socioeconomic disparities, showing more pronounced decreases in prevalence above each of the BMI thresholds for children residing in the most deprived areas compared with those living in the least deprived areas.”

“Others have suggested that contributions towards declines in overweight and obesity in preschool children could include efforts to focus on public health interventions and initiatives, increased parental education, decreasing unemployment rates, decreased maternal smoking during pregnancy, increased breastfeeding problems and an increasing proportion of mothers born overseas where lower population BMIs are present.” »

Pollution is killing 9 million people a year » one in six of all deaths across planet

Damian Carrington, The Guardian »

The death toll from pollution dwarfs that from road traffic deaths, HIV/Aids, malaria and TB combined, or from drug and alcohol misuse. The researchers calculated the economic impact of pollution deaths at $4.6tn (£3.7tn), about $9m a minute.

The overall impact of pollution has not improved since the first global review in 2017, since when 45 million lives have been lost to it. Prevention was largely overlooked in the international development agenda, the researchers said, with funding increasing only minimally since 2015.

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Could Almere provide a glimpse of what living in cities will be like in the future?

BBC »

Almere’s evolution is inspiring other cities too, by providing examples of innovative urban planning in action. “Professionals – politicians, architects, city planners – come from all over the world to look and learn from Almere,” says JaapJan Berg, citing particular interest from China. “They have been working on new towns and cities there on a completely different scale – places like Shenzhen. In the UK, I would mention Milton Keynes, and in France, Marne-la-Vallee.”

MVRDV, meanwhile, have drawn on principles from Almere in their ongoing redevelopment of the city centre of the Dutch city of Eindhoven, which aims at allow that city to expand significantly, yet still retain an air of “cosiness”. Cues from Almere include creating green city centre living spaces and using brightly-coloured buildings in striking shapes to enliven the feel of the cityscape.

Principles learned in Almere are also being deployed on a smaller scale in the little Dutch village of Overschild, which saw almost 80% of its homes badly damaged as a result of earthquakes triggered by fracking in the area.

Key ideas trialled in Almere that are being introduced here include the chance for residents to design their own new homes, alongside collective decision making on infrastructure and facilities. “Residents were asked what their wishes were and how they felt the village should look like in 10 years – [then] we have given the residents a toolbox which will give them the help and inspiration needed to take the future into their own hands,” says Winy Maas. »

How society loses touch with reality and is lead to tyranny

In this video After Skool and Academy of Ideas explore the most dangerous of all psychic epidemics, the mass psychosis.

A mass psychosis is an epidemic of madness and it occurs when a large portion of a society loses touch with reality and descends into delusions. Such a phenomenon is not a thing of fiction. Two examples of mass psychoses are the American and European witch hunts 16th and 17th centuries and the rise of totalitarianism in the 20th century.

What is it? How does is start? Are we experiencing one right now?

“Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”

» Thomas Paine, The American Crisis

Video below ⤵️

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Exercise isn’t likely to ruin your knees

A meta-analysis found no link between knee osteoarthritis and either the amount or duration of routine exercise.

As someone who has good knees and has run many marathons, I’m happy to read this.

From the Press Release »

“Knowing that the amount of physical activity and time spent doing it is not associated with the development of knee osteoarthritis is important evidence for both clinicians and the public who may need to consider this when prescribing physical activity for health,” said co–lead author Thomas Perry, BSc, PhD, of the University of Oxford, in the UK.

Ed Cara, Gizmodo »

Age is the largest risk factor for osteoarthritis, along with others like sex (women report it more often), genetics, and weight, since it can put more stress on the knees. Physically stressful jobs that require lots of heavy lifting and knee-bending have been linked to osteoarthritis as well. It’s less clear whether physical activity outside of work can cause or worsen knee osteoarthritis, though it’s certainly a common fear that exercises like running will eventually ruin your knees.

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