Obesity and the metabolic syndrome in young people

As the number of children with obesity continues to grow, the health implications of the condition are becoming increasingly evident: an unprecedented epidemic of type 2 diabetes is emerging in obese and overweight young people. At the time of diagnosis of diabetes, cardiovascular disease may already be present, even in young adults. The close association between type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease led to the hypothesis that the two may arise from a common antecedent, the metabolic syndrome – a cluster of metabolic disorders.

Diabetes, the metabolic syndrome and the epidemic of cardiovascular disease

Over the last 30 to 40 years, the death rate from cardiovascular disease has been gradually falling in many countries in the developed world. Improved detection and treatment of high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, falling rates of smoking, and modern, efficient treatment of emergencies, such as heart attacks, have contributed to a steady decline in the numbers of people dying from cardiovascular conditions. However, according to Jonathan Shaw, this trend could be reversed at the next tick of the global clock.

Preventing non-communicable diseases: an integrated community approach

The drastic rise in childhood obesity worldwide reflects the impact of unhealthy modern lifestyles. Over the last decade and a half, the increase of high-sugar, high-fat processed foods in our diets has combined with sedentary behaviour to radically and negatively affect the health of our societies. Initiatives are urgently required which can reduce the resulting individual and societal burden to physical and psychological health and economic development.

Political support groups can advance our cause

One day in 1997, when he and his family should have been celebrating his wife’s birthday, Guy Barnett’s life changed abruptly: having been diagnosed with type 1

The price of 'progress'? Diabetes in Indigenous Australians

Indigenous Australians have poorer health than the rest of the Australian population; for Aboriginal people, life expectancy is about 20 years less than for the general population. Significantly though, the low expectation of life in Indigenous Australians is less associated with high child mortality, as occurs in many groups in developing countries; the big differences are among young to middle-aged adults.

The dietetics of smoking cessation in people with diabetes

Compared to people without the condition, people with diabetes are at increased risk from vascular diseases – including heart attack and stroke. This risk is further increased in people with diabetes who smoke; smokers with the condition should be advised by their health carers to stop smoking as a matter of urgency. But giving up the habit is not easy. Successful cessation requires people to surmount a number of difficulties, including strong physical, psychological and behavioural

The endocannabinoid system: linking body weight, metabolic disorders and tobacco dependence

Treatment with the newly developed drug rimonabant has been found to help to reduce body weight and improve cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors. It has also been shown to help smokers to stop using tobacco without the weight gain often associated with cessation. Beat Lutz reports on the recently discovered body system that links obesity, metabolic disorders and smoking, and the potential of rimonabant as a therapeutic option to tackle these multiple cardiovascular risk factors.

Fighting diabetes and obesity: what has been done so far?

The urgent need to tackle obesity and prevent type 2 diabetes is now widely acknowledged, particularly by the health ministers worldwide who in May 2004 gave their unanimous approval to the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health. Many health ministries around the world have policies to cope with these most pressing public health issues. But their detailed strategies are often unclear. Indeed, almost everywhere, national programmes to address obesity and diabetes are still under development.

Childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes: a growing public health challenge in UAE

In the oil-exporting Arab countries – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – the economic growth and development of the past three decades have been dramatic. This socio-economic progress has brought benefits to many people in the region, such as improved access to health care, education, and safe drinking water. However, economic development has set the scene for the

Making clever use of simple tools

Editor-in-chief's editorial