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Health

Sleep loss can make you fat

ISLAMABAD: Scientists had found evidence that a lack of sleep causes changes in brain activity that lead to people feeling hungrier and craving more fattening foods.

Researchers have long pointed to a correlation between a steep rise in obesity in industrialised nations and a decline in sleep duration.

A causal link was suspected, but science has not been able to explain the mechanism, until now.

A team from the University of California said they used MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans to spot changes in the brain activity of sleep-deprived test subjects. “These findings provide an explanatory brain mechanism by which insufficient sleep may lead to the development/maintenance of obesity,” said researchers.

Twenty-three participants had their heads scanned twice; once after a full night of sleep and once after being deprived their shut-eye for a night – their brain activity measured the next day as they selected items and portion sizes from pictures of 80 different food types, Medical Xpress reported.

Among the fatigued individuals, the researchers noted impaired activity in regions of the cortex that evaluate appetite and satiation. Simultaneously, there was a boost in areas associated with craving.

“An additionally interesting finding was that high calorie foods became more desirable to the sleep deprived participants,” said study co-author Matthew Walker of the psychology department at the University of California in Berkeley.

Our findings indicate that regularly obtain sufficient amounts of sleep may be an important factor promoting weight control, achieved by priming the brain mechanisms governing appropriate food choices, researcher said.

40% of US cancer is associated with excess weight

WASHINGTON: About 40 percent of all cancers in the United States — more than 630,000 in all — are associated with excess weight, health officials said Tuesday, urging a renewed focus on prevention.

In a nation where 71 percent of adults are either overweight or obese, the findings by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “are a cause for concern.

“A majority of American adults weigh more than recommended — and being overweight or obese puts people at higher risk for a number of cancers,” she said in a statement.

“By getting to and keeping a healthy weight, we all can play a role in cancer prevention.”

Carrying excess weight has been shown to boost the risk of 13 types of tumors, including cancers of the esophagus, thyroid, postmenopausal breast, gallbladder, stomach, liver, pancreas, kidney, ovaries, uterus, colon and rectum.

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