A recent article published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization compared the number of fast food transactions in 25 high income countries with changes in the average body mass index of each country. Between 1999 to 2008, the average number of fast food transactions per capita increased from 26.61 to 32.76 and the average BMI increased from 25.8 to 26.4. In addition, researchers found a correlation between the country’s economic freedom and the number of fast food transactions. Countries that are more economically free have a greater increase in the average number of fast food transactions. Government regulation of fast food intake can potentially prevent the rise in obesity especially in developing countries. What are your thoughts about this article? How do you encourage your patients to limit food from fast food restaurants?
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Previous studies have linked phthalates (chemicals used to soften and increase the flexibility of plastics) to insulin resistance in animals and human adults, but two recently published studies link plastics’ chemicals to childhood obesity and diabetes. One study of 766 children aged 12 to 19 discovered an increase in insulin resistance in children exposed to high levels of phthalate called DEHP. The second study of 3,300 children aged 6 to 18 associated BPA (chemicals used to make polycarbonate and epoxy) with a high BMI. Researchers recommend not microwaving plastics especially containers with the recycling numbers 3, 6 or 7, hand washing containers and discarding damaged plastic containers. How often do you discuss environmental hazards with your patients? Have parents approached with concerns?
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