Exposure to bright light at night can cause obesity

People who are exposed to too much of bright light through smartphones, TV screens or room lights at night are more likely to become obese, a US study warns. The researchers used satellite images of night-time illumination around the globe and examined country-level data on the prevalence of obesity provided by the World Health organisation (WHO). When the researchers combine the two findings, they found that the risk of obesity was 250% higher in countries with the highest incidence of artificial light at night. Researchers feel bright light disrupts sleep which is linked to obesity, cardiovascular diseases and metabolic disruption. The study was published in the International Journal of Obesity .Read more here.

Brushing teeth regularly can slow Alzheimer’s

Brushing teeth regularly can slow down the growth of Alzheimer’s as brain decays faster in people suffering from gum disease, a UK study claims. Researchers from King’s College London and University of Southampton studied 59 people with mild to moderate dementia for six months. Their dental condition was also taken into account and it was found that in people with gum disease, brain declined six times faster compared to people with healthy teeth. Gum disease is common in elderly but becomes worse in people with poor oral hygiene. The study was published in the journal PLOS One. Read more here.

Fat found in collarbone and neck can keep sugar levels in check

People with more brown fat in their body are more likely to have steady blood sugar levels, an Australian study suggests. To examine the role of brown fat in blood glucose, researchers at Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, enlisted 15 healthy adults and kept them under watch for 12 hours. They found that people with more brown fat showed lowest fluctuations in blood sugar. Also known as brown adipose tissue, brown fat burns energy in high amounts, while white fat stores it. Brown fat is usually found in the collarbone and in the neck. It acts as a heat generator and helps keep the body warm by burning sugar and fat. The study was published in the journal Cell Metabolism. Read more here.

Lead exposure can cause obesity

Exposure to lead during early childhood can alter the gut microbes and increase the risk of obesity in adulthood, a US study warns. Researchers from the University of Michigan carried out a study where they administered lead to female mice right from the breeding period to nursing their young. The offspring were raised without any new exposure to lead. When they were tested for acquired lead effects, it was found that the offspring was 11% bigger in size compared to mice that were not exposed to lead early in life. Read more here.

Women leave hospitals too soon after childbirth

Mothers around the world are being discharged too early from hospitals after giving birth, a UK study suggests. The study points out that the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that women should stay in the hospital for at least 24 hours after a normal delivery. Researchers from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine examined hospital discharge records of pregnancy in 92 countries and found that 83% of mothers leave the hospital in less than 24 hours after child birth. Staying for at least 24 hours is important to ensure the mother is not bleeding and the baby is not jaundiced. The study was published in the journal PLOS Medicine. Read more here.

Compiled by Abhijit Ahaskar