In the news: Fat millennials, children screen time and wine causing dementia

Date: 02/03/2018 Written by: Rosie 5 minutes to read.
News Review

Millennials have been predicted to be the 'fattest generation', an inquiry will be launched into the impact of social media and screen use on children and wine has been said to increase the risk of dementia. Below we've given you a brief overview of the news stories which have caught our eye over the past couple of weeks so you don't have to go looking yourself!

Millennials ‘set to be fattest generation’

Health experts have stated that millennials are ‘on track’ to be the most overweight generation since records began. More than 7 in every 10 people born between the early 1980s and mid-90s ‘will be too fat by the time they reach middle age’.

As a comparison, half of those part of the “baby boomer” generation were overweight. This research highlights a risk to the health of the millennial generation as being overweight is linked to 13 different types of cancer. Only 15% of people in the UK ‘are aware of this link’.

Britian is the most obese nation in Western Europe with obesity prevalence increasing in the UK, from 15% in 1993 to 27% in 2015. Cancer Research UK wants to make ‘the associated health risks clear to the wider public’.

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Wearable tech aids stroke patients

During the annual meeting of the American Association for the advancement of Science in Texas, a team of scientists unveiled wearable technology for stroke patients that will allow therapists ‘to more closely monitor the effectiveness of their care’.

The technology, that looks like ‘small sticking plasters’, uses sensors to monitor ‘which muscle groups work or not’ which can ‘really pinpoint the areas affected by the stroke and can target therapies to specifically improve those issues’.

By the end of 2018, the research team will have ‘more information than ever before on stroke recovery’ with hopes that this technology with revolutionise how stroke patients are treated in the future.

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The trouble knowing how much screen time is ‘too much’

Recently Apple’s Tim Cook said ‘he would not want his nephew on a social network’, and along with child heath experts expressing their concern over how social media ‘is harmful to children and teens’ to Facebook, concerns have continued to grow over how much is ‘too much’ screen time.

Negative experiences on social media, such as bullying and anxiety over self-image, can be caused – or exacerbated – by social media.

However, some studies have suggested that ‘using social media can bring benefits, or have no affect on wellbeing at all’.

To separate ‘understandable concerns from the hard evidence’, UK MPs this week have announced an inquiry into the impact of social media and screen use on young people’s health.

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Children struggle to hold pencils due to too much tech, doctors say

Senior paediatric doctors have warned that children are finding it increasingly difficult to hold pens and pencils ‘because of an excessive use of technology’. The overuse of phones and tablets have prevented children’s finger muscles from ‘developing sufficiently to enable them to hold a pencil correctly’.

Sally Payne, the head paediatric occupational therapist at the Heart of England foundation NHS Trust has stated that the nature of play has changed in that ‘It’s easier to give a child an iPad than encouraging them to do muscle-building play such as building blocks, cutting and sticking, or pulling toys and ropes’.

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Half a glass of wine a day can ‘raise the risk of dementia’ as men and women suffer a decline in their brains’ ability to function

Researchers have warned that drinking three and a half glasses of wine a week is enough ‘to raise the risk of dementia’. In a study of more than 13,000 adults, it is the largest of its kind to date. The aim is to show how even low levels of alcohol can ‘harm the brain’.

Researchers are calling for a ‘discussion’ over the Government’s recommended alcohol limit of 14 units a week for both men and women, with arguments that it should be lowered for older adults. The Royal College of Psychiatrists will publish a review into the ‘harm that drinking does to the over-60s’ next Wednesday, with the authors believing that the 14 units a week is ‘unsafe’ level for many older adults.

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Many adults ‘don’t know the signs of eating disorders’

A YouGov survey of 2,108 adults in the UK found that ‘79% were unable to name psychological symptoms, such as low self-esteem or having a distorted perception of weight’. Beat, the eating disorder charity, says the lack of awareness of the warning signs is linked to delayed treatment and ‘increased risk of the illness becoming life-threatening’.

Lynda Kent, whose daughter developed an eating disorder 15 years ago at the age of 19, has stated that the early signs are subtle and hard to spot at first but suggests that anyone who is concerned about a loved one should research the issues thoroughly and get help as soon as possible stating that ‘you’ve got to get on to it fairly fast – the longer you have it, the worse it is to deal with’.

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Landlords who say ‘no DSS’ breaking equality laws

Due a recent legal case, thousands of letting agencies and landlords around the UK who are rejecting housing benefit claimants ‘could be flouting equality laws’.

Single mother Rosie Keogh was awarded compensation for ‘sex discrimination’ from a lettings agency refusing her after discovering she was on state benefit. The sex discrimination claims stem from the fact that benefits claimants are ‘proportionately more likely to be claiming housing benefit than single men’.

A survey of 1,137 private landlords for housing charity Shelter in 2018 found that 43% had an outright ban on letting to such claimants. A further 18% preferred not to let to them.

Labour’s housing spokesman Josn Healy said ‘government cuts to housing benefit had stripped away the safety net for families and led to “no-go zones” for families on low and middle incomes’.

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