Over a billion now obese, 2024 to break heat records

Over a billion people obese; 2024 to see unprecedented heat; Antarctic ice extent dwindles; Blackcat blamed for healthcare hack.

Today ChatGPT read 1140 top news stories. After removing previously covered events, there are 4 articles with a significance score over 6.8.

[7.5] Global obesity rates surpass one billion — Financial Times [$]

Global obesity rates have more than doubled in adults and nearly quadrupled in children since 1990, affecting over 1 billion people. The Lancet study, involving 220 million individuals from 200 countries, shows obesity prevalence in women rose from 8.8% to 18.5%, and in men from 4.8% to 14%. The U.S. has high rates, with 43.8% of women and 41.6% of men obese. The rise is linked to unhealthy diets, lack of exercise, and urban planning not conducive to physical activity. New weight-loss drugs like Wegovy show promise but are costly and not widely available.

[7.5] El Niño to cause record-breaking temperatures in 2024 — The Guardian

El Niño is expected to bring record heat globally in 2024, with the Amazon, Alaska, and coastal regions like India's Bay of Bengal at high risk. The phenomenon, which releases heat from the Pacific Ocean, contributed to making 2023 the hottest year on record. Scientists predict a 90% chance of new global temperature records in the first half of 2024. The heat may cause severe wildfires, tropical cyclones, and persistent marine heatwaves.

[6.9] Antarctic sea ice hits troubling low for third consecutive year — Livescience.com

Antarctica's sea ice extent fell to 1.99 million square kilometers on February 20, matching the second-lowest record in 46 years. This follows the lowest extent of 1.79 million square kilometers in 2023. The consistent lows suggest a significant shift in sea ice behavior, which is vital for climate stability and marine life.

[6.8] (US) UnitedHealth identifies Blackcat as responsible for healthcare cyber attack — The Verge

UnitedHealth's Change Healthcare system has been hit by a cyber attack by Blackcat, causing over a week of disruptions in healthcare payments nationwide. The attack, detected on February 21, affects transactions like pharmacy refills and insurance claims. UnitedHealth is offering loans to affected providers. Blackcat has targeted the healthcare sector since mid-December 2023, with the FBI and CISA issuing warnings. The group claims to have stolen millions of patient records, but this is unverified. The outage could impact a third of US patient records.

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