Is austerity good for your health? 經濟蕭條有益健康?

Tue, Jul 16, 2013 - Page 10

While an economic crisis results in untold misery for countries and their people, a new study of health in Cuba has suggested there could be a silver lining during lean times.

Researchers appear to have implied that people can lose weight during a recession due to reduced eating and increased physical activity.

Their dramatic findings, published online in the British Medical Journal, were based on a study in Cuba, where the population suffered food and fuel shortages following the economic crisis of the early 1990s triggered by the collapse of the Soviet Union.

This resulted in an average of 4kg to 5kg being shed by the people and subsequent rapid declines in deaths from diabetes and coronary heart disease.

The scientists from the University of Alcala in Madrid also discovered that when Cubans put the weight back on, cases of diabetes surged again.

The researchers concluded that the Cuban crisis could have lessons for Britain.

They suggested that an average weight loss of just 5kg across the UK could cut deaths from heart disease by a third while the mortality rate of type II diabetes, the form of the condition related to obesity, could also be halved.

(Liberty Times)

儘管經濟危機會給許多國家及其人民造成說不盡的苦難,但是古巴的一項新健康研究指出,不景氣時期的黑暗也有一線希望。

研究人員似乎暗示說,由於攝入食物減少和體力活動增多,人們在經濟蕭條時期體重會下降。

此一發表在《英國醫學期刊》網站上引人注目的發現,是基於古巴的一項研究。一九九○年代初期蘇聯的解體,導致古巴陷入經濟危機,古巴民眾因此遭受食品和燃料的短缺。

這導致古巴人的平均體重下降了四到五公斤,古巴死於糖尿病和冠狀動脈心臟病的人數隨後也迅速下降。

馬德里的阿爾卡拉大學科學家還發現,古巴人體重回升後,糖尿病的病例又再度飆升。

研究人員得出結論說,英國可以從古巴危機中吸取教訓。

他們指出,英國人口平均體重只需減少五公斤,死於心臟病的人數就能減少三分之一,與肥胖有關的第二型糖尿病造成的死亡率也可以減半。

(自由時報/翻譯:陳成良)