Parents, beware. 3 hours of TV daily may up risk of diabetes in your kids

Being glued to television or video games for more than three hours a day may put your children at increased risk of developing diabetes.

Parents, take note! Being glued to television or video games for more than three hours a day may put your children at increased risk of developing diabetes, a study warns. Researchers found that both adiposity, which describes total body fat, and insulin resistance, which occurs when cells fail to respond to insulin, were affected by longer hours of watching television and using computers.

“Our findings suggest that reducing screen time may be beneficial in reducing type 2 diabetes risk factors, in both boys and girls, from an early age,” said Claire Nightingale, research fellow at St George’s, University of London in the UK.

Researchers based their findings on a sample of nearly 4,500 nine to 10-year-old pupils from 200 primary schools in London, Birmingham and Leicester. The children were assessed for a series of metabolic and cardiovascular risk factors, including blood fats, insulin resistance, fasting blood glucose levels, blood pressure and body fat.

Around a third of the children spent less than an hour of screen time a day, but 28% of the children said they clocked up one to two hours; 13% said their tally was two to three hours; and 18% said they spent more than three hours looking at screens every day.

The study noted that there was a trend between levels of screen time and higher levels of leptin, the hormone that controls appetite. (Shutterstock )

Trends emerged between screen time and ponderal index – an indicator of weight in relation to height, and skinfolds thickness and fat mass index – indicators of total body fat. Researchers found that these levels were all higher in children reporting more than three hours of daily screen time than in those who said they spent an hour or less on it.

The team also noted that there was a strong trend between levels of screen time and higher levels of leptin, the hormone that controls appetite, and insulin resistance. The trends remained significant even after taking account of potentially influential factors, including physical activity levels, researchers said.

Try this healthy tendli stir fry to beat diabetes

You can serve this tendli dish with khichdi or a dal and rice meal. (Photo: Sangeeta Khanna)

Kundru or ivy gourd (Coccinia cordifolia) is also known as tendli or tindora. It is a summer gourd that has a slightly tart taste and crunchy texture when cooked right. Some people like it cooked mushy but the taste is always great if combined with some Indian spices. I sometimes cook them with sambar powder to make it easy and yet lip smacking delicious.

Kundru is considered very good for diabetics as the mucilaginous seeds are considered to control the blood sugar. It is also considered great for healing any inflammations in kidney.

Ingredients (2-3 servings)
300 g- Kundru sliced thinly
2 tbsp- Sesame oil
Handful of curry leaves
2 tbsp- Sambar powder
Salt to balance
1 tbsp- Grated coconut to garnish

Method
* Heat the sesame oil, add curry leaves and tip in all the sliced kundru.

* Stir fry on low heat till the kundru slices get wilted but yet retain some crunch.

* Sprinkle sambar powder and the grated coconut, mix well and cook for a couple of minutes.

* Add salt if your sambar powder doesn’t have it already.

* Serve with khichdi or a dal and rice meal.

Hypertension and diabetes kill more people in Delhi than other diseases, says report

In 2015, 3,890 hypertension-related and 1,356 diabetes-related deaths were reported from hospitals and dispensaries run by the Delhi government and the municipal corporations.

Each year, more people die of hypertension and diabetes in Delhi than dengue or malaria, says a new report released on Wednesday.

The ‘State of Health of Delhi’ report was released by the NGO Praja Foundation.

In 2015, 3,890 hypertension-related and 1,356 diabetes-related deaths were reported from hospitals and dispensaries run by the Delhi government and the municipal corporations.

The year before, 1,962 hypertension-related deaths and 1,762 diabetes related deaths were recorded.

In the communicable diseases category, tuberculosis took the maximum toll, killing 3,635 people in 2015 and 4,350 the year before.

“In the same period, we found that the counsellors and the MLAs did not raise a single question regarding tuberculosis,” said Milind Mhaske, project director of Praja Foundation.

In the same period, dengue killed 486 during 2015, when Delhi had its worst ever outbreak, and 74 in 2014. Malaria killed 164 in 2015 and 160 in 2014, according to the report.

The data for the report was collected by the Praja Foundation through RTIs to various government institutions.

Diarrhoea affected more Delhiites than any of the other seven diseases for which data was collected. On an average, from 2014 to 2016, Delhi saw an average of almost six lakh cases annually and 41% of those who died of diarrhoea were under the age of four.

“During the last three years when Delhi saw an extremely high number of diarrhoea cases, the civic authorities received a high number of complaints about polluted water. Issues of water supply constituted 50% of all complaints on civic issues that were lodged in 2016,” said Anjali Shrivastava, assistant manager at Praja Foundation.

The zone-wise distribution of the data showed that between 2014 and 2016, Rohini was a hot spot for dengue (contributing 26% of all dengue cases), tuberculosis (33%) and typhoid (27%). Rural Narela contributed the highest number of diarrhoea cases (22%) and civil lines malaria cases (26%).

Through a sample survey of 24,000 households in Delhi in 2017, the report also found that only 24% of the people living in Delhi used the services of government dispensaries and hospitals.

This comes even as Delhi government has opened 100 mohalla or neighbourhood clinics and plans to open a total of thousand to bring in more people to the public healthcare system.

The poorest families in Delhi end up spending 11.5% of their family income on healthcare.

The report found that only 15% of Delhi families had at least one family member with some sort of health insurance to pay for their treatment.

The Delhi government also plans to start an insurance scheme for universal coverage which will work on cross-subsidy, meaning premiums of well-to-do people will discount the premiums of the poor.

Diabetes hits urban poor in rich cities

Diabetes hits urban poor in rich cities
Diabetes, often seen as a rich man’s disease, is assuming epidemic proportions among the urban poor in “rich cities” and is more prevalent in states with higher GDP, shows a recent study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) across 15 states.The findings, published online in ‘The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology’, said Chandigarh, which has the highest per capita annual GDP of $3,433, recorded the highest prevalence of diabetes at 13.6% while Bihar, with the lowest per capita GDP of $682, had the lowest prevalence at 4.3%.

In economically better off states like Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tripura and Manipur, and UTs like Chandigarh, diabetes is more common in rural areas than in urban areas. But in contrast to urban areas, diabetes was more common in individuals of higher socio-economic status in rural areas of all states.

“The spread of diabetes to economically disadvantaged sections of society is a matter of great concern, warranting urgent preventive measures,” the study said.

In urban Chandigarh, diabetes among the lower socio-economic strata or poor people was as high as 26.9%, double the incidence (12.9%) for the well off. In Bihar, the trend was reversed with incidence among poor in urban areas only 4.7%, compared to 5.4% among the rich.

Experts identify lifestyle as a major cause of increasing diabetes in affluent states. “Urban poor are usually migrants. They undergo a big change in diet and stress levels. Less healthy food and less exercise can be causes of diabetes,” said Anoop Misra, chairman, Fortis C-DoC.

The overall prevalence of diabetes in the country was 7.3%, while 10.3% population in the pre-diabetic stage. The study was commissioned by the government.

Less diverse gut viruses raise diabetes risk

Your child’s chances of developing Type I diabetes may depend on the diversity of viruses present in his or her intestines, researchers say.

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic autoimmune disease in which one’s own immune system destroys the cells needed to control blood-sugar levels, requiring daily insulin injections and continual monitoring. The study showed that children whose gut viral communities are less diverse are more likely to generate self-destructive antibodies that can lead to Type 1 diabetes.

Further, children who carried a specific virus belonging to the ‘Circoviridae family’ were found less likely to develop diabetes than those who carried members of a different group of viruses. On the other hand, differences were found in a group of viruses called bacteriophages that infect bacteria in the gut, not human cells.

Children carrying bacteriophages that target Bacteroides species — one of the major groups of intestinal bacteria — were more likely to start down the path toward diabetes, the researchers said.

“We identified one virus that was significantly associated with reduced risk, and another group of viruses that was associated with increased risk of developing antibodies against the children’s own cells,” said Herbert “Skip” Virgin IV, Professor at the Washington University in St. Louis.

For the study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team analysed the viruses in 22 children, who carried genes that put them at high risk of developing the disease. The results showed that children who went on to take a first step toward diabetes had fewer and a narrower range of viruses than those who did not.

“There are many autoimmune diseases that are much more common these days. It could be that we’ve made ourselves unhealthy by not having the right viruses in our virome,” Virgin said.

How diabetes fosters gum disease?

Diabetes causes a shift in the oral microbiome which may lead to an increased risk of developing periodontitis, also known as gum disease, which causes inflammation around the teeth as well as bone loss, researchers say.

The study, conducted in mice, revealed that when diabetic mice developed high blood sugar levels or were hyperglycemic, their microbiome became distinct from their normal littermates, with a less diverse community of bacteria.

These diabetic mice also had periodontitis, including a loss of bone supporting the teeth, and increased levels of IL-17 — a signalling molecule associated with periodontal disease in humans.

“The diabetic mice behaved similar to humans that had periodontal bone loss and increased IL-17 caused by a genetic disease,” said Dana Graves from the University of Pennsylvania in the US.

For the study, published in the journal Cell Host and Microbe, the team of researchers transferred microorganisms from the diabetic mice to normal germ-free mice, animals that have been raised without being exposed to any microbes.

These recipient mice also developed bone loss.

However, a micro-CT scan revealed they had 42 per cent less bone than mice that had received a microbial transfer from normal mice.

Further, mice that received microbiomes from diabetic mice treated with an anti-IL-17 antibody had much less severe bone loss.

The findings “demonstrate unequivocally” that diabetes-induced changes in the oral microbiome drive inflammatory changes that enhance bone loss in periodontitis, the researchers said.

Though IL-17 treatment was effective at reducing bone loss in the mice, it is unlikely to be a reasonable therapeutic strategy in humans due to its key role in immune protection.

The study highlights the importance for people with diabetes of controlling blood sugar and practicing good oral hygiene.

“Diabetes is one of the systemic disease that is most closely linked to periodontal disease, but the risk is substantially ameliorated by good glycemic control. And good oral hygiene can take the risk even further down,” Graves noted.

Diabetes patients, take note: You may be at greater risk of tooth loss

Good dental care is extremely important for diabetics. According to a recent study, the disease can even risk a patient’s oral health. The University of Pennsylvania researchers found that the oral microbiome is affected by diabetes, causing a shift to increase its pathogenicity. The research not only showed that the oral microbiome of mice with diabetes shifted but that the change was associated with increased inflammation and bone loss. It is of significance in India where diabetes is on the rise among the population, and alarmingly, a lot of people remain undiagnosed.

“Up until now, there had been no concrete evidence that diabetes affects the oral microbiome,” said senior author Dana Graves. “But the studies that had been done were not rigorous.” Just four years ago, the European Federation of Periodontology and the American Academy of Periodontology issued a report stating there is no compelling evidence that diabetes is directly linked to changes in the oral microbiome. But Graves and colleagues were skeptical and decided to pursue the question, using a mouse model that mimics Type 2 diabetes.

“My argument was that the appropriate studies just hadn’t been done, so I decided, We’ll do the appropriate study,” Graves said. The team began by characterising the oral microbiome of diabetic mice compared to healthy mice. They found that the diabetic mice had a similar oral microbiome to their healthy counterparts when they were sampled prior to developing high blood sugar levels, or hyperglycemia. But, once the diabetic mice were hyperglycemic, their microbiome became distinct from their normal littermates, with a less diverse community of bacteria.

Diabetes patients have increased levels of a molecule that is important in immune response and inflammation. (Shutterstock)

The diabetic mice also had periodontitis, including a loss of bone supporting the teeth, and increased levels of IL-17, a signalling molecule important in immune response and inflammation. Increased levels of IL-17 in humans are associated with periodontal disease. “The diabetic mice behaved similar to humans that had periodontal bone loss and increased IL-17 caused by a genetic disease,” Graves said.

The findings underscored an association between changes in the oral microbiome and periodontitis but didn’t prove that the microbial changes were responsible for disease. To drill in on the connection, the researchers transferred microorganisms from the diabetic mice to normal germ-free mice, animals that have been raised without being exposed to any microbes. These recipient mice also developed bone loss. A micro-CT scan revealed they had 42% less bone than mice that had received a microbial transfer from normal mice. Markers of inflammation also went up in the recipients of the diabetic oral microbiome.

“We were able to induce the rapid bone loss characteristic of the diabetic group into a normal group of animals simply by transferring the oral microbiome,” said Graves. With the microbiome now implicated in causing the periodontitis, Graves and colleagues wanted to know how. Suspecting that inflammatory cytokines, and specifically IL-17, played a role, the researchers repeated the microbiome transfer experiments, this time injecting the diabetic donors with an anti-IL-17 antibody prior to the transfer. Mice that received microbiomes from the treated diabetic mice had much less severe bone loss compared to mice that received a microbiome transfer from untreated mice.

The findings “demonstrate unequivocally” that diabetes-induced changes in the oral microbiome drive inflammatory changes that enhance bone loss in periodontitis, the authors wrote. Though IL-17 treatment was effective at reducing bone loss in the mice, it is unlikely to be a reasonable therapeutic strategy in humans due to its key role in immune protection. But Graves noted that the study highlights the importance for people with diabetes of controlling blood sugar and practicing good oral hygiene. The study is published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe.