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What are the consequences of obesity on life expectancy?

Obesity is a complex disease involving an excessive amount of body fat("Here are five top obesity myths busted", Gulf News, May 14). It can also increase the risk of other diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Obesity is also associated with poor mental health outcomes and reduced quality of life. Humans become overweight due to a combination of different factors. The most common reason is a chronic imbalance between energy taken and energy used. Many people are just eating junk food that contains a lot of energy, such as potato chips, chocolate bars, and fizzy drinks. People also tend to do fewer exercises as they spend a lot more time watching television and playing computer games than participating in sports and active play. Dr Umamaheswararao Ginjupalli, a UAE-based Consultant Pediatrician, in his blog - Overweight and Obesity, stated that a study of schoolchildren in the UAE showed that 14.7 per cent of students were overweight. A good routine for teens around the age of 13 to 18 years, is for a maximum of one hour of physical activity a day.

An excellent way to reduce your weight is to control your meal size, eat healthy snacks, decrease eating outside and takeaway foods. Skipping breakfast does not help you lose weight because eating breakfast may get you on track to make healthy choices all day. People who eat breakfast tend to be more mindful of their diets. A healthy breakfast refuels your body and replenishes the glycogen stores that supply your muscles with immediate energy. Experts say that when choosing a diet to help you lose weight, be careful because some diets are unhealthy, including a diet high in calories, lacking in fruits and vegetables, full of fast food, and so on.

Some of the genes you inherit from your parents may affect the amount of body fat you store and where that fat is distributed. Genetics may also play a role in how efficiently your body burns calories during exercise. Obesity tends to run in families, not just because of the shared genes. Family members also tend to share similar eating and activity habits. Despite the role genetics might play in weight gain and body structure, many doctors stress the importance of other factors that can be controlled.

Anthony Philip

"People who eat breakfast tend to be more mindful of their diets. A healthy breakfast refuels your body and replenishes the glycogen stores that supply your muscles with immediate energy."

Obesity can occur at any age, even in young children. However, as you age, a less active lifestyle would increase your risk of obesity. In addition, the amount of muscle in your body tends to decrease with age. Generally, lower muscle mass leads to a decrease in metabolism. These changes also reduce calorie needs and can make it harder to keep off excess weight. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO): “At least 2.8 million people die each year due to being overweight or obese.” Dr Ginjupalli also added: “UAE children watch, on average, two and half hours of television a day in addition to other screen-based activities. It is well above the current recommendations.” Obesity occurs when you take in more calories than you burn—your body stores these excess calories as fat." Obesity in adulthood is associated with significant decreases in life expectancy and increases in early mortality. If you do nothing to have a stable weight, it can increase the chance of dying at a young age.

From Anthony Philip,

Sharjah, UAE

Learn a new language in a short period

Have you ever thought about learning a new language? Well, learning a new language is always an exciting experience as it improves your memory. There could be many reasons that lead to the need to learn new languages but, the advantages are vast. Learning a new language gives you a chance to see the many things around you in a different aspect. You will thus burden your way of thinking, and in the end, as you learn, you will enhance intelligence. However, you need to understand that learning a new language is not an easy task. You need to invest your time and energy to achieve results. Enthusiasm to learn in most cases is all that you will need to accomplish your goal. After the first few words, you will like the experience, and it will be hard for you to stop.

It takes some time to converse with other people in most cases than to learn the language itself. It needs a lot, trust me. You need to give at least one hour from your day for this. Firstly, according to studies, language-learning goals are best if they are short, simple, and easily measurable. Many of us embark on studying a language hoping to be fluent in a specific language in just six months. The problem is, what is fluency? Fluent in what way? Casual conversation? Fluent in reading and writing? Make sure your goal is specific and narrow for more effective planning. More in-depth, measurable goals and defining evidence will prove you’re making progress and reevaluating when necessary. In addition to that, make sure your plan is attainable, which means making sure you reasonably accomplish your goal within a specific timeframe.

Each one of us has a unique way of learning. When learning a new language, make sure to learn the language from a teacher who knows your way of learning. We need to understand that there’s more to learning a language than just reading, watching videos, or attending language classes. To make the most out of your goal at learning the language, you should first try to know what type of language learner you are. You can use an online dictionary to find translations of new words. Studies have shown that when you write, your ability to remember information improves significantly. Researchers believe that this is because writing is slower and involves deeper mental processing. Pronunciation can be challenging to learn from a book, so chatting with native speakers (or using interactive software programs and applications) when available. As technology improves, more and more ways of learning a new language are getting easier.

From Abdulrahman Amer

Sharjah, UAE

Causes of Adolescent Violence and how can we prevent it?

Adolescent violence includes behaviours ranging from physical fighting to sharper forms of physical violence resulting in severe injury or death ("Youth violence should be curbed", Gulf News, January 21). The rising position of adolescent violence in various countries has prompted increasing demands for efforts to curb this urgent problem. There are many causes of youth violence, including frustration, exposure to violent media, violence in the home or neighbourhood and so on. Some teenagers are sensitive; you should pay attention to them because they may commit acts of violence only to retaliate against a minor issue.

For some, watching aggressive pictures may become a trigger. Also, problems in schools such as being bullied and mocked by others can make a child aggressive.

Hamad Khalil Almarzooqi

"Prevention, intervention, and trauma-informed treatment strategies are ways to stop youth violence."

Family poverty, regular fights between parents, and issues at home can also become reasons for teen violence. As we all know, parents are our first teachers; they teach us how to live and how to get along with others. In some families, parents do not take care of their children and never teach their children about moral ethics. Therefore, their children grow up in an uneducated environment; they do not know what is right and wrong. As a result, they may do something illegal and cause violence. Prevention, intervention, and trauma-informed treatment strategies are ways to stop youth violence. Organisational trauma-informed care that is grounded in an understanding of the causes and consequences of trauma can promote resilience and healing while reducing youth violence. Additionally, stop aggressive games. Aggressive games where children kill and fight can become factors that increase youth violence in society. In conclusion, though there are many causes for youth violence, there are ways to reduce aggressiveness among the youth.

From Hamad Khalil Almarzooqi

Sharjah, UAE

How to prevent adolescent violence

The term youth violence used by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) refers to “when young people aged 10–24 years intentionally use physical force or power to threaten or harm others”. Adolescent violence can impact many people later in their lives and can lead to violent crimes like child abuse, neglect, assault, murder, and so on. For example, a worldwide estimate of 200,000 homicides occurs among youth 10-29 years of age each year. This type of violence is experienced globally by many different people at many different ages. Adolescent violence can occur due to various reasons, such as bad parenting or too much stress throughout a young adult’s life. But, there are ways to stop violence like this, for example, spending more time with family or family spending more time with the young adult to make sure they know that people care about them. Neglect is a significant factor in adolescent violence; if parents neglect a child at a young age, there would be a higher chance of becoming excessively violent towards other people their age or antisocial behaviour. Researchers have often suggested that experiences with child neglect have long-term, adverse effects. Child neglect is thought to have particularly harmful effects on self-control, peer relations, and delinquency. When a parent neglects their child, they fail to care for their child properly and forget about their wellbeing, increasing the risk of their child growing up to become violent against other children or young adults.

According to a 2009 paper, A Review of the Effects of Violent Video Games on Children and Adolescents by US researchers Jodi L. Whitaker and Brad J. Bushman: “Children and adolescents today spend most of their time going to school and consuming media. On average, children spend about forty hours per week watching television and films, listening to music, playing video games, and spending time online.”

In the US, 99 per cent of boys and 94 per cent of girls play video games, and 70 per cent of nine-eighteen-year-olds report playing M-rated video games, meant for mature audiences, the paper observed.

Adolescents spend a large proportion of their day in school or pursuing school-related activities. While the primary purpose of school is students’ academic development, its effects on adolescents are far broader, also encompassing their physical and mental health, safety, civic engagement, and social development.

In conclusion, adolescent violence is a significant issue that needs to be resolved and can only be fixed with time and work by spending more time with the children or paying more attention to them.

From Fahad Fareed

Sharjah, UAE

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