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Why Global Fertility Rates are Dropping; Population Will Fall by 2100

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why global fertility rates are dropping

The fertility rates are declining at concerning speed that can lead to shrink of population by the end of the century. Yes, as per the BBC news report, 23 nations – including Spain and Japan – are expected to see their populations halve by 2100.

What is The Actual Scenario of Low Fertility Rates?

The fertility rate – the average number of children a woman gives birth to – is falling. If the number falls below approximately 2.1, then the size of the population starts to fall. In 1950, women were having an average of 4.7 children in their lifetime.

Researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation showed the global fertility rate nearly halved to 2.4 in 2017 – and their study, published in the Lancet, projects it will fall below 1.7 by 2100.

women's fertility rate chart

As a result, the researchers expect the number of people on the planet to peak at 9.7 billion around 2064, before falling down to 8.8 billion by the end of the century. That’s a pretty big thing; most of the world is transitioning into natural population decline.

Why are Fertility Rates Dropping?

It has nothing to do with sperm counts or the usual things that come to mind when discussing fertility. Instead it is being driven by more women in education and work, as well as greater access to contraception, leading to women choosing to have fewer children. In many ways, falling fertility rates are a success story.

Which Countries have the Lowest Fertility Rates and Affected most?

Japan’s population is projected to fall from a peak of 128 million in 2017 to less than 53 million by the end of the century. Italy is expected to see an equally dramatic population crash from 61 million to 28 million over the same time frame.

world population decline prediction

They are two of 23 countries – which also include Spain, Portugal, Thailand and South Korea – expected to see their population more than halve. While on the other hand China, currently the most populous nation in the world, is expected to peak at 1.4 billion in four years’ time before nearly halving to 732 million by 2100.

India will take its place, while the UK is predicted to peak at 75 million in 2063, and fall to 71 million by 2100. However, this will be a truly global issue, with 183 out of 195 countries having a fertility rate below the replacement level.

Why Declining Fertility Rate is a Concerning Factor?

You might think this is great for the environment. A smaller population would reduce carbon emissions as well as deforestation for farmland. That would be true except for the inverted age structure (more old people than young people) and all the uniformly negative consequences of an inverted age structure would be major problem.

What Study Says?

  • The number of under-fives will fall from 681 million in 2017 to 401 million in 2100.
  • The number of over 80-year-olds will soar from 141 million in 2017 to 866 million in 2100.

As per the Prof Murray, “It will create enormous social change. It makes me worried because I have an eight-year-old daughter and I wonder what the world will be like.” Who pays tax in a massively aged world? Who pays for healthcare for the elderly? Who looks after the elderly? Will people still be able to retire from work?

What could be the possible solution?

Countries, including the UK, have used migration to boost their population and compensate for falling fertility rates. However, this stops being the answer once nearly every country’s population is shrinking.

“We will go from the period where it’s a choice to open borders, or not, to frank competition for migrants, as there won’t be enough,” argues Prof Murray. Some countries have tried policies such as enhanced maternity and paternity leave, free childcare, financial incentives and extra employment rights, but there is no clear answer.

Sweden has dragged its fertility rate up from 1.7 to 1.9, but other countries that have put significant effort into tackling the “baby bust” have struggled. Singapore still has a fertility rate of around 1.3. Prof Murray says: “I find people laugh it off; they can’t imagine it could be true, they think women will just decide to have more kids.

“If you can’t [find a solution] then eventually the species disappears, but that’s a few centuries away.” The researchers warn against undoing the progress on women’s education and access to contraception.

Prof Stein Emil Vollset said: “Responding to population decline is likely to become an overriding policy concern in many nations, but must not compromise efforts to enhance women’s reproductive health or progress on women’s rights.”

But African Nations Have Different Story?

The population of sub-Saharan Africa is expected to treble in size to more than three billion people by 2100. And the study says Nigeria will become the world’s second biggest country, with a population of 791 million.

Prof Murray says: “We will have many more people of African descent in many more countries as we go through this. “Global recognition of the challenges around racism are going to be all the more critical if there are large numbers of people of African descent in many countries.”

Why is 2.1 fertility rates is considered as a threshold?

You might think the number should be 2.0 – two parents have two children, so the population stays the same size. But even with the best healthcare, not all children survive to adulthood.

Also, babies are ever so slightly more likely to be male. It means the replacement figure is 2.1 in developed countries. Nations with higher childhood mortality also need a higher fertility rate.

What are the Views of Experts?

Prof Ibrahim Abubakar, University College London (UCL), said: “If these predictions are even half accurate, migration will become a necessity for all nations and not an option. “To be successful we need a fundamental rethink of global politics. “The distribution of working-age populations will be crucial to whether humanity prospers or withers.”

Source: BBC News

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Health

7 Ways to a Healthier Skin: Best Tips to Maintain Healthy Skin

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7 Ways to a Healthier Skin

Skin is the largest and most important organ of the body. The outer layer of the skin tells the inner conditions of the body. It also works as a barrier against germs and bacteria. So we have compiled a list of ways you can improve your skin and elevate it to a healthier level.

#1 Use Sunscreen Daily

Sunscreen should be applied every day without exception. A good sunscreen will help in fighting off skin cancer and stop signs of aging as well as take care of acne and blemishes.

Use a mineral-based sunscreen with active ingredients like zinc oxide will help take care of your skin without doing further damage. A good quality mineral-based sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher will prove to be a barrier between your skin and harmful ultraviolet rays.

#2 Eat A Healthy Diet

Skincare products will only work for your skin to a limited extent. As long as you don’t give food to your skin, your skin won’t appear healthy. Incorporate foods in your diet that are rich in antioxidants such as fruits like mangoes, tomatoes, leafy green vegetables.

Fresh fruit juices are also helpful in eliminating toxins from the body and giving a glow to the skin. Take green tea or apply products with green tea extracts, your skin will glow in no time.

#3 Take Care of Your Gut

Underlying stomach issues show effects on your skin. Your skin will show signs such as acne, eczema, blemishes or redness if you have an upset stomach. Take good care of your gut health by eating right.

Consult a dermatologist if you have concerns and take medicines or supplements according to your physical conditions. Regular checkups with the doctor will help keep your body health as well as skin health in check.

#4 Moisturize Your Skin

Moisturizers seal the moisture of the skin and keep the top layer of skin hydrated.  Go for products with moisturizing properties and if you are looking for natural ways to moisturize, then coconut oil is the best option.

#5 Exfoliate Regularly

Exfoliate twice or thrice a week to remove the dead skin layer. Exfoliation with a good scrub will help give skin a smooth and clean texture. Exfoliators with non-irritating agents will help keep the skin healthy and promote better absorption of skin products.

#6 Practice Facial Massage

Nowadays, trends like jade roller massage and facial massages are in a boom. These facial massages help keep the skin soft, supple, and prevents ageing. Make a routine for facial massage and don’t forget to apply oil on the face before. Only a few minutes of massage daily will help achieve that glowy skin.

#7 Keep Yourself Hydrate

Water is the most essential thing for the body. Keep yourself hydrated as much as you can. A well-hydrated body will show on the skin. Drinking water will help in removing toxins from the body and give a healthier glow on the skin. Avoid carbonated drinks and go for normal water.

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Disease

What is Meant by Dental Caries How are they Caused & Prevented?

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What is Meant by Dental Caries

Teeth caries is the results of erosion in your teeth’s surface that are basically caused due to bacteria attack causing acid and plaque. Dental caries is common in all genders as well as all age groups of people. Though, at the initial stage, it is not painful but when its effect reaches the nerves or roots of your tooth you will face the actual problem.

Dental caries is also well-known as dental cavities and with the time being becomes more painful with serious teeth condition, especially if not treated timely or completely ignored. In dental caries, the tooth starts to breakdown due to acids made by bacteria. And the reason behind this caries is acid from bacteria dissolving the hard tissues of the teeth like enamel, dentin and cementum making it painful for you.

Dental Caries Symptoms

Dental caries, you can say is the process of deteriorating your teeth and you notice the symptoms when can see a hole in your teeth, feeling pain while chewing the food, often toothache and feel teeth sensitivity while consuming cold or hot food or beverages. 

Also Read: Top Six Foods Need to Avoid Bad for the Health of Teeth and Gums

In various situations, dental caries can be worse, where you need immediate medical assistance to cure the dental problem. If you are living in New Work, you can visit the dental clinic in New York for the right treatment to cure dental cries and prevent the teeth from permanent damage.     

These are kind of initial indications, which means your tooth is under the attack of dental caries. And you need to take the right action now to control its further spread and prevent your teeth from permanent damage. Before you get to know the prevention of dental caries, you should know the causes or what are the reasons causing the dental cavities.    

Dental Caries Causes

Dental caries are mainly caused by the bacteria and damaging substances released by these bacteria like acid that erode your teeth. When you eat food, normal bacteria in your mouth combine with food leftovers and when acid comes into contact with these remnants, it creates a sticky film which also known as plaque.

But you can control plaque, and to remove the plaque you need to use the flossing and keep brushing regularly two times (in the morning and at the night before sleeping). When such plaque accumulates for a long time it becomes a harder substance called tartar. 

Dental Caries Causes

And the accumulation of plaque and tartar with bacteria and acid attack can damage the enamel on your tooth that causes holes in the enamel that is known as dental caries or cavities. Dental caries usually starts with small and narrow holes, if ignored it comes deeper and reaches the roots of your teeth which leads to permanent damage of the teeth.

How Can Dental Caries be Prevented?

To prevent dental caries, you need to maintain oral hygiene and avoid the activities causing the cavities. To prevent, you can avoid eating food or drinking various beverages in your daily life. And you need to be careful after eating such foods or drinking the beverages. Below you can also read a few tips to keep cavities under control.

Tips To Reduce Dental Caries:

  • Limit Consuming Sugary or Starchy Items.
  • Brush Your Twice (In the morning & night).
  • Rinse Your Mouth after Consuming Foods.
  • Flossing of Teeth & Use Fluoride to Rinse.
  • Use Fluoride Toothpaste for Brushing.
  • Avoid Chewing Tobacco and Smoking.
  • Visit Regularly at Dentist for Check-ups & Cleanings.

Also Read: How to Stop a Cavity from Getting Worse Naturally: 5 Simple Ways

Dental Caries Treatment

Depending on the cavities level and teeth condition, dentist in Jamaica performs the right treatment to cure dental caries. Dentists here usually perform dental procedures like fillings and crowns to cure the teeth affected due to caries.

Also Read: How Long Do Composite Fillings Last on Teeth & How to Take Care

Fluoride/Dental Fillings & Crowns

At the initial stage, the dentist recommends fluoride treatmentsthat contain more fluoride than the amount found in tap water, toothpaste and mouth rinses.Fillings and crowns are performed when decay has progressed beyond the earliest stage and weakened your tooth that helps to fill the holed area and cover your tooth with a natural crown.

Root Canals & Tooth Extractions 

While in extreme conditions, the best dentists in New York used to perform root canal treatments (RCT) or extract the teeth from your mouth. RCT is usually recommended for patients who want to keep their natural teeth and can afford this treatment, as root canal treatment is quite expensive and having other disadvantages.

Also Read: What Are The Side Effects Of Root Canal Treatment: Disadvantages

Extracting the tooth is the last resort you can opt for if your tooth is permanently damaged. Dentists remove the tooth from the roots and also recommend dental implants to install the artificial teeth at the same place that you can use for chewing food. Removing teeth is very much less expensive but implanting new teeth is also a pricey and time taking process that you can choose as your wish.

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Health

How Much Plastic are We Eating & What Happens if We Eat Plastic?

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what happens if we eat plastc

Do you know how much plastic we eat every day, every year or during our entire life? As per the researchers in Australia, every week we are ingesting plastic around the size of a credit card (roughly 5 grams), and around 250 grams every year (in 12 months).

Are you amazed to know this fact, yes it is very much possible when you are regularly even daily eating in plastic made items? From bowel to drinking water bottles or consuming other eatable items packed in plastic, are the reasons.  

How Much Plastic Do We Eat in a Lifetime?

As per a study 2019 by WWF International, in a month, we ingest the weight of a 4×2 Lego brick in plastic, and in a year, the amount of plastic in a fireman’s helmet.

This may not sound like much, but at this rate of consumption, in a decade, we could be eating 2.5 kg (5.5 lb) in plastic, the equivalent of over two sizable pieces of plastic pipe. And over a lifetime, we consume about 20 kg (44 lb) of microplastic.

Every week – 5 grams of plastic

That’s about the same weight as a plastic bottle cap and enough shredded plastic to fill a porcelain soup spoon.

Every month – 21 grams of plastic

That’s about the same weight as five casino dice and enough shredded plastic to half-fill a rice bowl.

Every 6 months – 125 grams of plastic

That’s enough yellow shredded plastic flakes to fill a cereal bowl, as pictured above.

Every year – 250 grams of plastic

That’s a heaping dinner plate’s worth of shredded plastic, as pictured above.

Every 10 years – 2.5kg of plastic

Reuters did not have enough shredded plastic to weigh in order to visualize this comparison. However, a standard lifebuoy weighs 2.5 kilograms so we found one of those.

In Our Lifetime – 20kg of plastic

The average human lives for 79 years. Using the current estimate of microplastic in our diets and assuming the situation doesn’t improve or worsen, that equates to 20 kilograms of plastic consumption. That’s more plastic than the two mobile recycling bins shown above, which only weigh 10kg each.

How Plastics Enter into our body?

Microplastics come from larger discarded objects that break down over time into smaller pieces. They get into waterways and enter the food chain when eaten by fish and other marine life.

As per the reports, many factors have an impact on the exact amount of microplastics you will ingest, such as age and lifestyle.

Different ways plastics enter your system

Microplastics can get into your system via, among other things, honey, sugar, rice, pasta, bread, milk, utensils, cutlery, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and chicken gizzards.

Where you are living matters?

The amount of microplastics one takes in varies by geographical region—water in the US contains about twice as much plastic as in Europe, the study says.

Data Graphics Credit: The Atlas

Actually, plastic production has surged in the last 50 years with the widespread use of inexpensive disposable products.

As plastic is not biodegradable, but only breaks down into smaller pieces, it ultimately ends up everywhere, cluttering beaches and choking marine wildlife, as well as in the food chain.

Humans produced as much as 400 million tons of plastic in 2015. And, the amounts are only rising annually and estimated to become double by 2025.

Globally, people dump 8 million tons of plastic into the oceans and researchers aren’t able to trace 99% of it and we continue to eat, drink and breathe it.

We have been using plastic for decades but we still don’t really understand the impact of micro-and nano-sized plastic particles on our health.

All we know is that we are ingesting it and that it has the potential to cause toxicity. That is definitely a cause for concern.

Microplastics Found in Unborn Babies Placentas

Even in a recent study, Microplastics now revealed in the placentas of unborn babies. Yes, the plastic particles were found in the placentas of four healthy women who had normal pregnancies and births.

Also Read: How Artificial Intelligence Can Predict Health Risk of Pregnancy

Microplastics ranging from 5 to 10 μm in size were detected on both the fetal and maternal sides of the placenta and in the membrane within which the fetus develops.

What Happens if We Eat Plastic?

So what happens to plastic once it’s in your body? Does it enter your bloodstream? Does it sink into your gut? Or does it simply pass through without doing harm?

Specific effects on human health are not yet fully understood. But the cumulative effect of ingesting plastic could be toxic.

Different types of plastic have varying toxic properties. Some are made with toxic chemicals like chlorine, while others pick up trace amounts of chemicals like lead found in the environment.

But high levels of exposure to microplastics can affect the lungs, liver, and brain cells, as well as sexual function, fertility. And a buildup of these toxins over time could impact the immune system and increase the chances of certain life-threatening diseases like cancers.

How to Avoid Eating Plastic?

  • Eat fresh food as much as possible.
  • Use cloth or canvas bags for shopping.
  • Drink tap water instead of plastic bottles.
  • Buy and store food in glass, silicone, or foil.
  • Vacuum regularly to clean microplastic particles.
  • Heat food on the stove, or by microwaving in the glass.
  • Whenever possible, use glass or ceramic containers.
  • Use glass, ceramic, wood, or stainless steel containers for storage.
  • Let food cool to room temperature before putting it into plastic storage containers.
  • Buy prepared soups, sauces and condiments in glass jars. Wash and save them for reuse.
  • Hand washes plastic containers leaking chemicals onto other dishes in the dishwasher.

Also Read: How To Make Immune System Stronger: 5 Ways To Boost Your Immunity

We consume microplastics via many channels. We might ingest them while eating seafood, breathe them in through the air, or consume food with trace amounts of its plastic packaging. So, for this reason, it’s difficult to completely avoid them but not impossible.

But with certain lifestyle changes like drinking tap water instead of bottled water would reduce the number of microplastics a person consumes. Hence, think about it before you use plastic made products or avoid eating foods in plastic made items.

Sources: Reuters, The Guardian, National Geographic & WWF  

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