Gene Testing

Gene Testing

Considering a number of issues, the testing of genes to determine whether an individual is at risk of a particular disorder may not be an agreeable affair to many. To begin with, the ordeal of looking for one’s risk to multiple disorders is highly costly. In the event that the results that indicate susceptibleness to a certain disorder/disease are reported to the insurance company, the premiums are as a result raised. The knowledge that one is predisposed to develop a specific complication may lead to stress and anxiety. Such complications may be an unnecessary burden because the complexity may never develop at all.

The lack of certainty is another factor that renders genetic testing for health disorder risk altogether a futile effort. Ideally, the test results only indicate whether an individual has a higher or a lower chance than the average person of developing said complications. For instance, the risk with a specific variety of gene mutation may be declared to have a 75% risk for breast cancer. Still, it is possible that it may never develop. Conversely, another individual whose test results indicated a 25% chance may end up developing the complication. Specific mutations only show the risk, but cannot precisely predict incidence.

There is a possibility that chromosome or gene mutation will not be detected in some people. This is more indicative of the fact that the current technologies are not capable of detecting some variations, especially when there are no significant genetic mutations. Moreover, genetic disorders are not the root cause for all diseases as both lifestyle and environmental factors also play a crucial role in determining the illnesses one will suffer from. On this basis, gene testing may not be a sure way of assessing the health risks that an individual faces. 

Another limitation to gene testing is that although some diseases may come as a direct consequence of faulty gene makeup, it is not necessarily true that the procedure will reveal this fact. Genetic tests are mainly limited to the testing of penetrant diseases-those that are strongly connected to a particular gene makeup. Furthermore, it is not possible to use the criteria to determine the severity of the disease incidence once it occurs. The process will only provide limited info about an inherited complication. In addition to not showing the seriousness of the condition once it occurs, there is no indication in the results as to how far the condition will progress. There is also a lack of strategic treatment plans for the illness once it occurs. 

Gene testing can prove to be an emotionally consuming affair; especially to children of under 18 years of age, as well as, adults who are unprepared to the verdict of the results. Upon receiving the news that they are 75% prone to get cancer, some may develop stress, guilt, anxiety, or depression. This may lead to additional health complications which are unfounded since cancer may never develop. Further, there are cases of individuals who may develop guilt as a result of the learning that some people in their family have certain gene mutations which they lack themselves. There is also the possibility of tension and panic within the family if the test results are shared. Therefore, I would not want to have my genes or that of my children due to the compelling consequences of the practice.

Comparison on low carbohydrate diets

Comparison on low carbohydrate diets

Comparison on low carbohydrate diets

Comparison on low carbohydrate diets and low calorie or low-fat diets.

The composition of the diet is a critical element which plays a critical role in both the maintenance of weight changes and weight loss. There has been a debate for many years regarding the opinion on which composition to consider in such processes. Studies have suggested different conclusions regarding ways to promote food guide pyramid for individual considering losing or maintaining weight. Therefore, comparing low carbohydrate diets and low calorie or low-fat diets is vital to determine the best measure for maintaining and losing weight.

The benefits of carbohydrates are the provision of energy where the body breaks down fats and proteins as an alternative. Further, the drop in the levels of protein can lead to muscle wasting and impaired immune function making it more vulnerable to infection. However, breaking down the stored fat in a long time may lead to weight loss (Hu, Mills, Yao, Demanelis, Eloustaz, Yancy Jr, & Bazzano, 2012). Substantially, this process takes place because carbohydrates raise insulin levels higher than either fats or proteins. This, in turn, promotes the intake of glucose by cells for survival.

Losing fats, on the other hand, is essential for people with obese in long term weight loss as indicated by various studies. low fats are also essential and recommended for weight loss since it provides a greater number of calories per grams compared to other major nutrients (Hu, Yao, Reynolds, Whelton, Niu, Li & Bazzano, 2015). As a result, this implies that weight loss achieved primarily in low carb diet is considered not down to fat loss since it leads to weight loss through the muscle and water. In general, the loss of weight through fats and proteins is essential for most people. However, it is only useful because it leads to a small weight loss on average. The loss of weight through carbohydrates is the most recommended method to lose a lot of weight in general because it assists in breaking down proteins leading to losses of muscle and water.

References.

Hu, T., Yao, L., Reynolds, K., Whelton, P., Niu, T., Li, S., … & Bazzano, L. (2015). The effects of a low-carbohydrate diet vs. a low-fat diet on novel cardiovascular risk factors: a randomized controlled trial. Nutrients7(9), 7978-7994.

Hu, T., Mills, K. T., Yao, L., Demanelis, K., Eloustaz, M., Yancy Jr, W. S., … & Bazzano, L. A. (2012). Effects of low-carbohydrate diets versus low-fat diets on metabolic risk factors: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials. American journal of epidemiology176(suppl_7), S44-S54.

Obesity

The Health Disparity: Obesity due to Lack of Education (Information) for Teenagers

Background

Obesity and overweight among young people have become a critical and alarming public health issue across the globe. The total population of obese people was expected to be approximately 711.4 million in 2015. Among them, 107.7 million were estimated to be children. In 2015, there were 4 million BMI- related deaths globally which represents 7.1% of all causes of deaths. In China, the number of obese students increased from 1.1% to 9.6% between 1985 and 2010. A similar trend was experienced across in several other countries globally. The increasing prevalence of obesity can be as a result of changing lifestyles.

Other health issues related to obesity include type-2 diabetes, arterial stiffening, liver dysfunction, sub-fertility, skeletal disorders, renal failure among other conditions (Frisco et al., 2016). These conditions are contributing significantly to the decline in life expectancy and low quality of life among adolescents and children. Studies indicates that some of the factors that lead to obesity among teenagers are poor sleeping habits, poor eating habits, lack of exercise. It is unfortunate that most of the factors that influence the condition are avoidable if the youth are equipped with the right information. Considering the elements, it is evident that a lack of education (knowledge) contributes to increased rates of obesity among teenagers.

Exercise is an essential factor in the prevention of obesity among both young people and adults. Recent research has indicated that physical exercise impacted positively various health conditions including obesity, type-2 diabetes, weight gain, dementia to mention but a few. A survey on the relationship between physical fitness and overweight during childhood indicates that a quarter of the adolescent population of many countries is either obese or overweight (GLINKOWSKA et al,., 2018). The young generation needs to be informed of the importance of being active and the consequences of being inactive.

Cultural beliefs and religion also play an essential role in the issue of obesity. Research indicates that Muslims are at a lesser risk of being obese as compared to their Christian counterparts while hindus are at the highest risk, thanks to their different socioeconomic status and food habits (Dewan, 2017). The young people need to learn on the values that they may follow and food habits that may adopt to reduce their risks of being obese.

Sleeping habits also show a significant association with obesity. Even though there is still a debate on the relationship between the two, a study in some counties in Zheijang China, found a U-shaped relationship between sleep and obesity. According to the survey, young people who sleep for long hours are at high risk of becoming overweight and obese (Wang et al, 2018). The same applies to people who sleep for extremely short periods. On the contrary, people who sleep for an adequate period are less likely to become obese.

 Annotated Bibliography

Article 1: Dewan, M. (2017). Connection of Religion and Health: Relevance in the Study of Obesity Amongst Children and Adolescents. Bio Science Research Bulletin-Biological Sciences, 33(1), 11–17. https://doi.org/10.5958/2320-3161.2017.00003.7

Summary: This article talks presents a study on the qualitative analysis of adolescents aged between 10 – 19 years with obesity and type-2 diabetes. The study constitutes people from different religions. The author concludes that culture and religious beliefs serve as indicators of religious groups and interest in religious differences is targeted with the hope of discovering the extent of genetic homogeneity through inbreeding, preserved environmental consistency, a difference in dietary habits, etc.

Analysis: the study supports the thesis because it shows how teenagers are brought up in different religions. Different beliefs and cultures affect dietary which is a significant contributor to obesity.

Article 2: Frisco, M., Quiros, S., Hook, J., Frisco, M. L., & Van Hook, J. (2016). One Size May Not Fit All: How Obesity Among Mexican-Origin Youth Varies by Generation, Gender, and Age. Demography, 53(6), 2031–2043. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13524-016-0525-3

Summary: The study examines how vulnerable immigrants are to the risk of childhood obesity. The author finds that age moderates ethnic differences in obesity among people of different genders. People of different ages with different origins are differently exposed to various health conditions.

Analysis: The author seems to agree with the thesis that age is a significant contributor to obesity, but the author also suggests that ethnicity does not affect how different people are exposed to chronic health conditions.

Article 3: GLINKOWSKA, B., GLINKOWSKI, W. M., & Glinkowska, B. (2018). Association of sports and physical activity with obesity among teenagers in Poland. International Journal of Occupational Medicine & Environmental Health, 31(6), 771–782. https://doi.org/10.13075/ijomeh.1896.01170

Summary: The article presents a survey of adolescents between ages 10 – 19. The author finds that youths who engage in physical activities are more active which makes them less vulnerable to chronic health conditions compared to teenagers who are inactive.

Analysis: The findings are in agreement with the thesis since adolescents fail to realize that physical exercise is an essential activi9ty to avoid obesity. The study indicates that engaging in physical practice will significantly reduce the chances of one becoming obese.

Article 4: He, J., Cai, Z., & Fan, X. (2017). Prevalence of binge and loss of control eating among children and adolescents with overweight and obesity: An exploratory meta-analysis. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 50(2), 91–103. https://doi.org/10.1002/eat.22661

Summary: The article is a study linking prevalence of binge and loss of control eating among children and adolescents with overweight and obesity. The meta-analysis showed that binge or loss of control eating was prevalent among many children and adolescents with overweight and obesity.

Analysis: Eating disorders contribute immensely to obesity. This indicates that the findings of the meta-analysis are in line with the thesis since the youth lack more information regarding proper eating methods which is a significant determinant of chronic health conditions.

Article 5: Wang, H., Hu, R., Du, H., Fiona, B., Zhong, J., & Yu, M. (2018). The relationship between sleep duration and obesity risk among school students: a cross-sectional study in Zhejiang, China. Nutrition & Metabolism, 15(1), N.PAG. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12986-018-0285-8

Summary: The article is about a qualitative study 18,403 students in China. The findings of the survey show that adequate sleep duration is an essential component of obesity prevention initiatives among teenagers. Oversleeping or having less sleep proved to impact on chronic illnesses and obesity.

Analysis: The article concurs with the thesis as it shows how poor sleeping habits contribute to various health conditions including obesity and the young people are becoming victims of their poor sleeping habits due to lack of information.