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By simonquinnaudio, Jun 21 2016 04:52PM

Malnutrition is sweeping the world, fuelled by obesity as well as starvation, new research has suggested.

The 2016 Global Nutrition Report said 44% of countries were now experiencing "very serious levels" of both under-nutrition and obesity.

It means one in three people suffers from malnutrition in some form, according to the study of 129 countries.

Being malnourished is "the new normal", the report's authors said.

Malnutrition has traditionally been associated with children who are starving, have stunted growth and are prone to infection.

These are still major problems, but progress has been made in this area.

The report's authors instead highlighted the "staggering global challenge" posed by rising obesity.

The increase is happening in every region of the world and in nearly every country, they said.

Hundreds of millions of people are malnourished because they are overweight, as well as having too much sugar, salt or cholesterol in their blood, the report said.

'Totally unacceptable'

Professor Corinna Hawkes, who co-chaired the research, said the study was "redefining what the world thinks of as being malnourished".

"Malnutrition literally means bad nutrition - that's anyone who isn't adequately nourished.

"You have outcomes like you are too thin, you're not growing fast enough… or it could mean that you're overweight or you have high blood sugar, which leads to diabetes," she said.

While many countries are on course to meet targets to reduce stunted growth and the number of underweight children, very few are making progress on tackling obesity and associated illnesses such as heart disease.

In fact, the report says, the number of children under five who are overweight is fast approaching the number who are underweight.

Co-chairman Lawrence Haddad said: "We now live in a world where being malnourished is the new normal.

"It is a world that we must all claim as totally unacceptable."

The report calls for more money and political commitment to address the problem. It says for every $1 (70p) spent on proven nutrition programmes, $16 (£11.25) worth of benefits ensue.

By simonquinnaudio, Feb 2 2016 04:24PM

Despite warnings about diabetes, obesity and tooth decay, billions of fizzy drinks are sold and consumed each day.

So, what does drinking soda and pop actually do to your body, from your teeth to your brain and your heart?

The AsapSCIENCE YouTube channel has explored this topic in a video entitled: ‘What if you only drank soda?’

If the recommended 8 daily glasses of water each day were replaced with fizzy drinks for a week, a person would consume over 5,000 calories, according to the video.

The video details the case of one woman who drank two litres of fizzy drinks every day for 16-years straight and never consumed water. She was hospitalised aged 31, suffering from heart problems, fainting spells, and severely low potassium levels.

But the woman, who lived in Monaco, saw her potassium levels raise and her heart electrical activity return to normal just a week after quitting the drinks, the Huffington Post reported.

Perhaps curious about the potential impact the soda in their fridge may have on them, YouTube users have watched the viewed the video 3-minute-long video over 1.6 million times.


Fizzy drinks are full of acids – citric, carbonic and phosphoric – which wear away the enamel you on your teeth.

Plaque, which is caused by bacteria in the mouth living off carbohydrates left behind by food and creating acid, then enables microorganisms to breed. If not dealt with, this can lead to cavaties.


An average serving of fizzy drink contains 46 grams of sugar. This triggers the rewards centre of the brain, and leads to sugar cravings and addiction.

Weight gain

Fizzy drinks – including those which are sugar free – have been linked to a fifth of weight gain in the US between 1977 and 2007.

On top of this, diet drinks can make people believe they are eating fewer calories, meaning they are likely to pile their plates higher with food.

Full-fat drinks, meanwhile, are often forgotten as a source of calories at all - also leading to overeating.

The World Health Organisation has called on adults and children to cut their sugar to less than 10 per cent of their total energy intake, in order to tackle obesity and tooth decay.

“We have solid evidence that keeping intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake reduces the risk of overweight, obesity and tooth decay,” Dr Francesco Branca, Director of WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development said in March 2015.

“Making policy changes to support this will be key if countries are to live up to their commitments to reduce the burden of noncommunicable diseases," he added.

Campaigners are currently urging the Government to adopt a sugar tax, with the National Obesity Forum proposing a 50 per cent levy to tackle childhood obesity.

By simonquinnaudio, Sep 27 2015 09:50AM

New research finds exercising for 30 mins, six days a week (regardless of intensity) is linked to a 40% lower risk of death from any cause among elderly men (avg age 73). The study was observational so no conclusions could be made, but differences in risk of death between those who were active and inactive were striking, the researchers suggest, in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

By simonquinnaudio, Sep 14 2015 10:30AM

It is a sad fact that currently only 12% of the population are members of gyms and only 39% of men and 29% of women currently meet the Chief Medical Officers recommendations for physical activity. This is reflected in the health and well-being of our nation and its impact on our economy:

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has identified physical inactivity as the fourth greatest cause of premature death globally

Physical inactivity is costing the economy £10 billion per year

Inactive people spend 38% more days in hospital

Levels of obesity have increased to a point where obesity is "seen as the norm"

The cost of obesity to the UK is estimated at £50 billion by 2050

Obesity is linked to a range of conditions including high blood pressure, certain cancers, musculoskeletal problems and poor mental health

Pressure is mounting on the NHS and local authorities to cover the cost of an ageing and unhealthy population

Local and national economic output is restricted by declining population health

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