Our Myopic Children - a Product of Our Lifestyle - Find a Nanny

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Our Myopic Children – a Product of Our Lifestyle

Preventing Myopia in Singapore's Children

While driving back home after dropping my daughter off at school I was, as usual, listening to the BBC.

The announcer said they were about to air a story about myopia in Asian children and so I immediately pulled over and turned on my flashing "Park Anywhere"  lights which - as all good citizens understand - give us the inalienable right to, well, stop anywhere. Just drive your child to school one day and you will see what I mean.

Anyway the story began, and I whipped out my trusty iPhone (thanks Steve), pressed the Voice Memo icon and started recording.

Interesting indeed.

I am a bit of a sun worshipper myself. I believe sunlight cures everything. Kills germs, burns off the fog of depression, energizes the mind, produces vitamin D, gives the skin a nice tone... and other stuff like that.

So when the announcer said that the cause for high rates of myopia in children from Japan, China and Singapore was that our kids did not get enough exposure to sunlight, I was riveted. Even the honking of the drivers behind me couldn't distract me. I don't what was wrong with them, I had my "Park Anywhere" lights on.

So when the first rays of that beautiful sunlight streamed through my window this morning to wake me up, I knew that I had to get that Voice Memo file off my iPhone and into this blog so that I could share it with my readers.

Here it is, but it seems the audio won't work in Windows Media Player (thanks Steve).
(EDIT: I got it fixed, please see below)
As it happens, it doesn't matter all that much because this morning The Straights Times carried the same story. It is reproduced here. You will just miss out on that crisp BBC accent.

I did a little more Google-ing and found that there is quite a lot of evidence from experimental research which supports the study. One of them was interesting because it involved newly hatched chickens. Some were exposed to sunlight for a number of hours per day and others were kept inside with varying amounts of carefully measured light levels.

My favourite part was that one of the controls involved fitting the chicks with sunglasses. Cool chicks in sunglasses eh?

Interestingly, the sunglasses (I don't think they were REAL sunglasses), did not affect the amount of myopia the chicks suffered later on in life, but the ones exposed to sunlight avoided myopia.

How do you measure myopia in a chicken?

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2 Responses to “Our Myopic Children – a Product of Our Lifestyle”

  1. Yee Mei
    Yee Mei 06/09/20124:08 pm

    There is, in today’s Straits Times “Forum” pages, a letter from Dr. Yik Keng Yeong, who is lamenting the proposal to build more underground links between the shopping malls on Orchard Road.
    He says that Singaporeans do not get enough sunlight now, and making more public spaces underground will only exacerbate the problem.
    He points out some additional benefits of natural sunlight in addition to the ones mentioned in the article above:
    It produces vitamin D and is also required to convert vitamin D from dietary sources into the biological form which our bodies can use.
    A lack of sunlight is also, he says, “implicated in a multitude of medical problems from simple enervation to cancers”.
    I had forgotten about sunlight and cancer. Some research has shown that regular exposure to sunlight during childhood reduces the risk of some cancers later in life. If I remember correctly, the association between sunlight and reduced incidence of prostate cancer was particularly strong.
    Dr. Yeong mentioned that vitamin D deficiency was linked to high rates of osteoporosis.
    Why are you still staring at this computer screen? I’ll see you outside!


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