World’s nutrition profile changing
While people are getting better nutrition all over the world for the past 50 years, scientists say new nutrition-related problems like obesity have also emerged. According to a study reported in The Journal of Nutrition, a probe into the effects of global demographic, epidemiological and nutritional transitions have revealed an unusual situation in which food distribution leads to problems of obesity and nutrition-related diseases ' even in the same household. “While problems of under-consumption and poor nutritional status continue to exist, increasingly problems of diet and chronic diseases are emerging as significant public health issues,” the study concluded, adding that although the global nutritional profile has changed, health policy-makers are yet to notice the transformation.
Caesarean cuts ruin fertility
Women who bear their first child by caesarean section are less likely to conceive again than those who go for natural births. They may also have a complicated pregnancy. A 17-year study, which followed over 25,000 women, found that those who had delivered their firstborn through a caesarean operation were nine per cent less likely to conceive again compared with those who had a natural delivery. According to the study reported in the New Scientist, caesarian operations increase the risk of pregnancy-related deaths. The scientists are not sure about the reasons, but the guess is that operations bring about biological changes to pelvic organs that prejudice fertility.
Breast milk for sale
US firm Prolacta Bioscience is planning to market human donor breast milk. It will sell it for the treatment of ailing newborns. The company based in Los Angeles also wants to carry out research to develop breast milk-based therapies, reports Reuters. Breast milk, with its minerals, enzymes and antibodies, has long been credited with keeping babies healthier and boosting their intelligence. Until now breast milk donation has largely been confined to altruistic mothers who offer it to premature and sick infants whose mothers cannot nurse newborns themselves, on a local basis. Prolacta’s large-scale efforts to commercialise breast milk can open up a new market, but can also encourage mothers to sell their milk.
Big pharmas buy favours
A report published in the New Scientist reveals that the pharmaceutical industry has spent $675 million since 1998 on lobbying with the US Congress. According to the Center for Public Integrity, a non-profit organisation based in Washington, handsome payments were made as patents were strengthened and more tax credits were granted to big drug companies after 1998.