Marianas Variety

Last updateFri, 22 Jun 2018 12am







    Thursday, June 21, 2018-6:39:47P.M.






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Beyond the islands’ beautiful beaches and carefree lifestyle

DESPITE living in paradise, Pacific islanders face serious health problems. Many researchers agree that replacing traditional food with imported, processed food has contributed to the high prevalence of obesity and related health problems in the Pacific islands.

Living in urbanized Micronesian islands, most young people want comfortable lifestyles which are unlike traditional lifestyles characterized by activity and a healthy diet.

New research by American Geriatrics Society indicates that a healthy lifestyle may help reduce the duration of an individual’s disabled period near the end of life.

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Sing Miyozawa and her catch. Experts say a healthy diet is key to a long and healthy life.  Contributed photoSing Miyozawa and her catch. Experts say a healthy diet is key to a long and healthy life. Contributed photo

The findings also indicate that obesity is associated with a relative expansion of the disabled period while smoking is associated with a shorter life and fewer years of able life.

Greater distances walked and better-quality diet were associated with a relative compression of the disabled period.

This means that by improving our lifestyle, we can postpone disability and death.

Other researchers have demonstrated the potential of a protein to treat or prevent metabolic diseases including obesity and diabetes.

The study found that Nischarin — which is encoded by the human NISCH gene, is a protein involved in the regulation of signal transduction — acts as a tumor suppressor that may inhibit the spread or metastasis of breast and other cancers, and also interacts with and controls the activity of a gene called AMPK.

Researchers believe in the potential of Nischarin as a regulator of metabolic diseases and suggest that the suppression of Nischarin function could be a valuable approach in the quest to cure such diseases as diabetes and obesity.

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2013-2014, over 70 percent of U.S. adults were considered overweight or obese.

The American Diabetes Association says that in 2015, 30.3 million Americans, or 9.4 percent of the population, had diabetes.

In 2015, in Kuwait, Kiribati, the Federated States of Micronesia, Libya, Qatar and Samoa, the prevalence of obesity for women exceeded 50 percent. In Tonga, both men and women had obesity prevalence over 50 percent.

On Saipan, several islanders actively exercise by walking along beautiful Beach Road. Those interviewed by this writer said one must admit they are overweight and take the necessary steps to combat the problem.