Obesity Current Affairs - 2019
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A new study has revealed that contrary to popular belief, not only obese and overweight but also non-obese and lean persons may be prone to type 2 diabetes. The study indicates that nearly 20 to 30 per cent suffering from diabetes are non-obese and even some are lean.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way body metabolizes sugar (glucose). With Type 2 diabetes body either resists the effects of insulin, a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar into your cells or doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain normal glucose levels.
The popular belief was that obesity and sedentary lifestyle are considered to be the main pivotal factors for insulin resistance and consequent diabetes. The new study has busted this myth that increasing obesity alone is the main causative factor.
Why the Non-obese and lean Indians are prone to diabetes?
The study notes that non-obese (BMI below 25) and even lean (BMI below 19) Indians have high body fat, excess fat in the liver and skeletal muscles and lesser skeletal muscle mass.
More importantly, a large number of non-obese and lean Indians has ectopic fat in liver and pancreas which may contribute to insulin resistance leading to diabetes even in young age.
The Soft Drinks Industry Levy also known as soft drinks sugar tax or sin tax or sugar tax came into force in United Kingdom as part of government’s plan to combat obesity and sugar related disease. With introduction of sugar levy, UK joins few countries, including Mexico, France and Norway that have introduced similar fat taxes.
The Soft Drinks Industry Levy was announced in 2016. It is based on levels of sugar in drinks, with most sugary drinks paying highest tax. Drinks containing 5 grams of sugar per 100ml taxed are taxed at 18 pence per litre, and those with more than 5 grams per 100ml taxed at 24 pence per litre.
The levy will be applied to manufacturers in Britain and whether they pass it on to consumers or not will be up to them. It will be not applicable to fruit juices as they don’t contain added sugar and neither to drinks that have high milk content.
The levy is expected to raise 240 million pounds every year for Treasury. Proceeds from it will be used to directly fund new sports facilities in schools as well as healthy breakfast clubs, ensuring children in UK lead healthier lives.
According to UK government figures, 60% of its population is overweight, with approximately one-in-four people obese. Sugary soft drinks account for around 20% of sugar consumed by children. High sugar consumption has been linked to weight gain, which is risk factor for several obesity related diseases including cancer in adults.
Rather than banning products or forcing companies to act, UK Government through this levy is hoping to nudge manufacturers in healthier direction. One option open to companies is changing recipes to lower added sugar, so that they pay less or no tax.