Starving to be thin can lead to heart disease

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All girls who are starving to become size zero need to be take notice- scientists have discovered that under-nutrition at the adolescent phase may increase the risk of coronary heart disease later in life.

A study of almost 8,000 women who were children, teenagers or young adults during the Dutch famine in 1944-45 conducted by researchers from the University Medical Centre in Utrecht, the Netherlands, has revealed that under-nutrition, specially during the growing age is  associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease in later life.

Women, who were between 10 and 17 years at the start of the famine and who had been severely exposed to it, had a statistically significant 38% increased risk of coronary heart disease in later life. After evaluating the different factors at the start of the famine, like smoking, education and age, there was a 27% higher risk of heart disease for the severely exposed women as compared to those unexposed.

The study published in the European Heart Journal has stated the right evidence that acute under-nutrition during the time that children are growing up can have an important impact on their future health. Doctors recommend that women eat 2,000 calories a day to stay healthy. But an increasing number of young girls in India are starving "to stay in shape".

Dr Sujay Shad, director of cardiac transplant at the Gangaram Hospital, said, "Young children sometimes aren't happy of their own body image or may emulate models by starving themselves, not growing at the age when they need to grow. Parents should be careful not to put undue pressure on them. "

The authors of the study stated, "The Dutch famine of 1944-45 is a natural experiment in history, which gave us the unique possibility to study the long-term effects of acute under nutrition during childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood in otherwise well-nourished girls and women." This trend of youngsters not eating enough has also resulted in India facing an acute problem of osteoporosis, which is due to the fact that young girls are cutting down on food in order to be in shape.

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