Public Health

Food should be labeled with the equivalent exercise to expend its calories to help people change their behavior, argues Shirley Cramer, Chief Executive at the Royal Society of Public Health,
in The BMJ. Giving consumers an immediate link between foods' energy content and physical activity might help to reduce obesity, she believes.

Two-thirds of the UK population either overweight or obese yet little evidence indicates that the current information on food and drink packaging, including traffic light labeling, actually changes behavior. No one obeys nutrition guidelines as dutifully as Canadians and they have become just as fat as anyone else.

“What if you could cure all your health problems and lose 10 pounds in just 7 days? That’s an amazing claim, hard to believe for sure, but I have seen this miracle so many times in my practice that even I am starting to believe it!”

Straight away, the words of Dr. Mark Hyman, sometime physician to Bill Clinton, talk-show regular and bestselling author, set off alarm bells. He’s promoting an “anti-inflammatory”, “detox” diet.

A new study has shown that people who reverse their Type 2 diabetes and then keep their weight down remain free of it - even if they have had it for up to 10 years. The study in Diabetes Care is part of a growing body of evidence showing that people with Type 2 diabetes who successfully lose weight can reverse their condition because fat is removed from their pancreas, returning insulin production to normal.

Minimal access hip arthroscopy surgery has become the treatment of choice for hip pain in young adults, but a team surgeons believe the procedure is a sham, more like acupuncture than helpful. 

In North America, arthroscopic hip surgeries have replaced open surgeries as the go-to cure for femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), a common source of hip pain in young adults, where abnormal femurs lead to damaged cartilage in the hip joint. The number of such procedures increased 18-fold in the U.S. within a decade, especially with athletes.

A substantial proportion of women in countries around the world do not stay in health facilities for long enough after giving birth, which could result in them receiving inadequate postnatal care, according to an analysis of survey results by the London School of Hygiene&Tropical Medicine, which compiled and analyzed information from databases and health surveys to look at the length of time women stay in health facilities after childbirth in 92 countries, and found wide variation.

Gun deaths is a disingenuous term in the modern American political climate, because it includes suicides and assumes a lack of access to guns would eliminate the 60 percent of handgun deaths that are suicides, or guns used by criminals.

Gun ownership does not seem to lead to more murders, and murders are the real concern. There, we have a Handgun Paradox, where even in states like California, which make it more difficult to get a concealed weapons permit, gun ownership has boomed but murders have plummeted. 

Yet if a trickle down effect is acceptable economics, it might also work in guns. 

Avoidable harm to patients is still too high in healthcare in the UK and across the globe -- making safety a top healthcare priority for providers and policy makers alike.

These are the findings of two reports launched today by researchers from Imperial College London. Both reports, produced by NIHR Imperial Patient Safety Translational Research Centre (PSTRC), provide evidence on the current state of patient safety and how it could be improved the future. They urge healthcare providers to embrace a more open and transparent culture to encourage continuous learning and harm reduction.

Formaldehyde is back in the news because a company called Lumber Liquidators has been found to have exposure levels higher than previously believed. While three times effectively zero is still zero, fundraising groups like Natural Resources Defense Council have pounced on the opportunity to promote fear and doubt and talk about EPA regulations they have conspired with lobbyists to create.

There are rows upon rows of packaged snack foods in supermarkets, including snack bars made from muesli, cereal, nuts, seeds and fruit. Many of the labels on the packages shout out words such as “natural”, “protein”, “oaty”, “super-food”, “wholegrain”, “light”, “gluten-free” and “97% fat-free!”.

But these words can mask unhealthy products. Many processed snack bars are high in added sugar, refined starch and fat.

An analysis of scientific reports and comments on the health effects of a salty diet reveals a polarization between those supportive of the once-popular belief that population-wide reduction of salt intake is associated with better health and those that content it has been more hype than science. They used a citation analysis method of reviews, a little different from a traditional method, which basically just averages out other studies and attempts to control for differences.

In all, 54 percent were supportive of the hypothesis; 33 percent, not supportive; and 13 percent inconclusive, finds the article in the International Journal of Epidemiology.