It is impossible to avoid air pollution in urban areas. In fact, the WHO estimated that 92% of the world’s population lives in places where air quality levels exceed “WHO’s Ambient Air quality guidelines,” particularly with respect to the smallest particles, those with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5). These particles are considered to be the most hazardous, as they can penetrate deep into the lungs, pass to the bloodstream and cause severe cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and respiratory damage.
Skin cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer in the world. In the majority of cases, it is due to excessive, unprotective exposure to the sun’s UV rays, which penetrate and damage the skin over time.
Two independent news reports, one from the US and one from the UK, published one day apart from each other, have recently caught my interest: the younger populations, including children and millennials/young adults, will have the highest obesity rates in recorded history.
The numbers are appalling. The incidence rate of obesity in children less than 5 years of age is at its highest, with 26% of them being overweight and 15% obese. Once a child is overweight, the majority remain that way throughout the rest of their lives. At 16-19 years of age, 40% are already obese. In the case of the millennials, it is estimated that 70% of them will be overweight before they are 40.
Excess weight has a terrible effect on their health and quality of life. Not only are they more prone to many health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and fatty liver, but also to around 13 types of cancer. And to be at risk of these diseases at such a young age only makes matters worse, as the probability increases as time goes by.
This is a matter of grave concern, and measures must be taken to stall, if not reverse, the incidence rate. It is still not too late, we must take action by increasing awareness, promote healthy eating habits and physical activity. We must do this, for the sake of the future of our children.
Jonathan Jones, PhD
Product Development Manager
The numbers are frightening: around 40% of newly-diagnosed cancers are those associated with obesity. Excess weight contributes to increased risk of at least 13 types of cancers. Furthermore, the incidence rate of almost all overweight and obesity related cancers has increased in the last decade.