Lower BMI target for Asian patients, parents banned from school run and how fertility treatment may lower IQ
A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Wednesday 3 July.
GPs should use a lower BMI target of 23 for people of Asian origin, suggests NICE in a recommendation many news outlets have picked up on this morning. The new guidance means a 5ft 11in (1.8m) Asian man should weigh below 11st 11lb (75kg), while and an Asian woman who is 5ft 3in (1.6m) should weigh less than 9st 4lb (59kg), reports BBC News.
Until now all adults in Britain have been advised to keep a BMI lower than 25, but NICE said that doesn’t go far enough for some ethnic groups that are more prone to diseases like diabetes. NICE added that people from black and other minority ethnic groups would most likely also benefit from a BMI below 23 but should aim to stay under 25.
Over at The Times (paywall), Britain’s new public health chief Professor John Ashton says parents should be banned from driving their children to school gate in a bid to halt the trend of obese and unfit young people. Professor Ashton said cities should be ‘re-engineered’ to stop modern life problems that drive obesity rates.
Warning that ‘a century of progress’ in preventing disease and lengthening life is stalling, he said Britain needs to ‘rediscover a Victorian sense of ambition’ on public health. But lack of exercise is not the only thing that is killing us, as Professor Ashton added that sedentary lifestyles and junk food has combined with the problems of stress and economic hardship. He said this has created a crisis ‘in danger of writing off a generation.’
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reports on a new Swedish study which has raised concern about male fertility treatment. The article says fertility treatments used to help men with poor sperm are in danger of producing offpsring with low IQ and may also be linked to a severe type of autism that affects twins and triplets.
The extra risk was associated with intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection treatment, where a sperm is injected into the egg to compensate for low sperm count or poor quality sperm. But it was unclear whether the higher risk was caused by men with sperm damage passing on more genetic abnormalities.