Quick bite into sickness

Children who love fast food and have a sweet tooth are prone to liver diseases.

Published: 18th February 2017 10:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th February 2017 08:01 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

There’s more bad news for children who gorge on fast food. Those who have a sweet tooth and regularly have soda, sweetened beverages, pizza and salty food, biscuits and yogurt are more prone to sickness. All these foods contain the deadly fructose, which causes liver disease. Dietary fructose increases serum uric acid concentrations, says a research in Italy.

Another survey, 7th Annual School Health and Fitness Study 2016, has found that every third child in India has an unhealthy body mass index (BMI), is either underweight or overweight, cannot run and has low strength. Girls, however, fare much better than boys in BMI, outdoing them by 10 per cent in numbers. The nationwide study covered 1,69,932 children in the age group of seven to 17.
All this does not bode well for children, who are choosing to go the fast food way, and parents have to be careful about what their wards eat.

Uric acid concentration and fructose consumption may be high in individuals with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). It is a condition where extra fat is accumulated in liver cells in people who drink little or no alcohol.
It is estimated to affect up to 30 per cent of the general population in Western countries and up to 9.6 per cent of all children and 38 per cent of obese children across a spectrum of liver disease, including NASH (defined as steatosis, hepatocyte ballooning and inflammation).
NASH, however, is a less aggressive form of NAFLD, which can progress to severe fibrosis
and cirrhosis.

“It is plausible that dietary fructose intake and uric acid concentrations are potential risk factors for liver disease progression in NAFLD,” says the study published in the Journal of Hepatology. It suggested that fructose consumption was independently associated with high uric acid, which occurred more frequently in patients with NASH than in non-NASH patients. The study shows for the first time that uric acid concentrations and dietary fructose consumption are independently and positively associated with NASH.

The team analysed 271 obese children and adolescents with NAFLD—155 males, mean age 12.5 years—who underwent liver biopsy. Nearly 90 per cent were found  drinking sodas and soft drinks one or more times a week. Almost 95 per cent of patients regularly consumed morning and afternoon snacks consisting of crackers, pizza and salty food, biscuits, yogurt, or other snacks.
Not just fructose, Indians love their salt. Another latest study reveals that an average Indian consumes about 119 per cent more salt than the WHO recommendation of 2 gm per day. The average intake by Indians was is 10.98 gm, over five times the limit. This is alarming given the rise of cadiovascular diseases in India. Between 2010 and 2013, 23 per cent of all deaths in India were attributed to cardiovascular diseases.


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