Weekly            e-News             Briefing                                   06       Sept       06

Summary
News
    •...
•    US: Expanding waistlines may be due to "portion distortion" study reports (Medical News Today 05/09/06)
    •    Chub...
personality. Height was found to be 80 percent genetic, cholesterol about 40 percent, and behaviour traits 10 to
20 percen...
WCC: Cardiovascular Disease deaths highest in Eastern Europe, Middle East (Medical News Today
05/09/06)

Eastern European ...
In the BMJ: 02/09/06 (Subscription required)

    •   More than 12 million adults in England will be obese by 2010 (333: 4...
For the full article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/09/06/nhealth06.xml

UK: Junk food makers ...
UK: Cooking classes put back on the school menu (Daily Telegraph 04/09/06)

Every secondary school pupil will be entitled ...
UK kids are among laziest in the world (Daily Mail 04/09/06)

Couch-potato British children are a short "chill out" from b...
Children of pregnant drinkers at greater risk of alcoholism (Daily Mail 04/09/06)

Children whose mothers drink just three...
Obesity 'doubles sight-loss risk' (BBC News 05/09/06)

Obese people have double the risk of losing their sight because the...
US schools ban birthday cakes (BBC News 02/09/06)

A growing number of schools around the US are banning birthday cakes, s...
Events

Blood Pressure Association’s Know Your Numbers! Week 2006 – Bring a Man, 11-17 September, UK

The Blood Pressure A...
Tobacco campaign targets young adults (Department of Health 04/09/06)

A campaign being run throughout September encourage...
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06/09/06 - NHF Weekly (215 kb)

  1. 1. Weekly e-News Briefing 06 Sept 06 Summary News • Scotland: Pessimism and poverty reduce life expectancy in Scotland (Scotsman 06/09/06) • World Congress of Cardiology: Developing world is new frontline in heart disease (Reuters 06/09/06) • US: Personality type link to heart disease questioned (Reuters 05/09/06) • World Congress of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Disease deaths highest in Eastern Europe, Middle East (Medical News Today 05/09/06) • World Congress of Cardiology: UK - New hopes for slashing heart attack death rate (Daily Mail 04/09/06) • UK: 'Expert pharmacists' get go-ahead (BBC News 04/09/06) • Warning symptoms often herald sudden cardiac death (Reuters 04/09/06) • UK: Cancer jab 'stops 75% of deaths' (BBC News 04/09/06) • Europe: Spain may lead world with heart "polypill" in 2009 (Reuters 02/09/06) • In the BMJ: 02/09/06 (Subscription required) • UK: Caroline Flint kick starts better health services for teens (Medical News Today 31/08/06) • Scotland: University nets £240,000 boost for stem cell work (Scotsman 31/08/06) • US: 'Anger makes you age more quickly' (Daily Mail 31/08/06) • UK: Diabetes is better managed in the UK than the USA, new research shows (Medical News Today 31/08/06) Nutrition • UK: 'Proof' behind high protein diets (BBC News 06/09/06) • World Congress of Cardiology: Eating nuts 'cuts risk of heart attacks' (Telegraph 06/09/06) • UK: Junk food makers using internet to target children, says watchdog (Guardian 06/09/06) • UK: Consumers 'are misled by supermarket labels' (Daily Mail 05/09/06) • US: Veg growers try cartoons to reel in kids (Interactive investor 05/09/06) • UK: School dinner menus switch from burger and chips to fish and fruit (Guardian 05/09/06) • UK: Cooking classes put back on the school menu (Daily Telegraph 04/09/06) • UK: Chip giant highlights ingredients to stop its products being 'demonised' (Daily Telegraph 04/09/06) • UK: Food giants revolt against Blair’s ‘traffic light’ labelling (Sunday Times 03/09/06) • UK: Cranberry juice can stave off heart attacks (Life Style Extra 31/08/06) • In the Environmental Health News: 11/08/06 Physical Activity • World Congress of Cardiology: Ballroom dancing offers fitness gains (Daily Mail 05/09/06) • UK kids are among laziest in the world (Daily Mail 04/09/06) • UK: Cult TV hit that gets kids fit (Mirror 01/09/06) • UK: Summer sees workers fighting fit (Online Recruitment 31/08/06) • US: Pop a pill to keep a six-pack without even breaking sweat (The Times 31/08/06) • British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health database update online (August 2006) Alcohol • Scotland: Partnership to combat alcohol abuse (Scottish Executive 05/09/06) • Children of pregnant drinkers at greater risk of alcoholism (Daily Mail 04/09/06) • In the Environmental Health Perspective: 02/09/06 • Wales: Expectant mothers' drink problem (BBC News 31/08/06) Obesity • Obesity in Asia mirrors western increase (Guardian 06/09/06) 1
  2. 2. • US: Expanding waistlines may be due to "portion distortion" study reports (Medical News Today 05/09/06) • Chubby toddlers 'don't shed puppy fat' (Daily Mail 05/09/06) • Obesity 'doubles sight-loss risk' (BBC News 05/09/06) • Trade talks failure should prompt rethink of food and farming to combat obesity epidemic (Medical News Today 05/09/06) • US: Nation's top hospitals harming patients by serving fast food, says American Medical Student Association (Medical News Today 04/09/06) • Girls as young as five worried about their weight (Daily Mail 04/09/06) • International: Evolution, not just gluttony, led to obesity pandemic (Reuters 04/09/06) • International: Japanese get a taste for Western food and fall victim to obesity and early death (Telegraph 04/09/06) • US schools ban birthday cakes (BBC News 02/09/06) • UK: Obesity blackspot towns revealed (BBC News 31/08/06) • UK: GPs 'avoiding obesity discussions' (Daily Mail 31/08/06) Resources • Drug use, Smoking and Drinking among Young People; Statistics on smoking (DH 30/08/06) Events • Blood Pressure Association’s Know Your Numbers! Week 2006 – Bring a Man, 11-17 September, UK • Tipping the Balance – Towards Active Ageing Conference - 18-19 September, Loughborough University • Workplace wellness conference – 27 September, Cheshire Tobacco • Wales: Smoke ban call outside hospitals (BBC News 06/09/06) • Northern Ireland: Advert to aid in smoking campaign (BBC News 05/09/06) • Why second-hand smoke can really take your breath away (The Times 05/09/06) • Tobacco campaign targets young adults (Department of Health 04/09/06) • In the Environmental Health Perspective: 02/09/06 • Recent headlines from ASH daily news News Scotland: Pessimism and poverty reduce life expectancy in Scotland (Scotsman 06/09/06) The gap in life expectancy between rich and poor in Scotland is continuing to grow, new figures from the Registrar General showed yesterday, 05 September, with men in deprived areas expected to die almost eight years before their wealthier neighbours. The Scottish Executive said improvements in life expectancy are not happening fast enough. A spokeswoman said: "The main problem is persistent health inequality across Scotland. Improving everyone's health, while tackling these inequalities, is the main aim of our health-improvement policies." For the full article: http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/health.cfm?id=1314142006 WCC: Developing world is new frontline in heart disease (Reuters 06/09/06) Heart disease, usually seen as a quintessentially Western problem, is rapidly becoming a major threat to the developing world, costing millions of lives and billions of dollars, top cardiologists said on Tuesday. Worsening diets, lack of exercise and smoking mean heart attacks and strokes are taking a mounting toll on poorer countries, experts told the World Congress of Cardiology. In Brazil, 28 percent of the population die from a heart attack or stroke before the age of 65 -- around three times the average in North America and most of Europe. For the full article: http://tinyurl.com/ea7cg US: Personality type link to heart disease questioned (Reuters 05/09/06) Contrary to previous studies, a hard-driving type A personality may not increase the risk of heart disease, according to researchers at the University of Michigan, who measured a number of cardiovascular and personality traits in thousands of Sardinians aged 14 to 102 years. In initial analyses, they compared the overall genetic similarity of different individuals with their similarity for specific traits. Results showed a clear genetic contribution to each of the 98 traits examined, including height, cholesterol levels, cardiovascular function, and 2
  3. 3. personality. Height was found to be 80 percent genetic, cholesterol about 40 percent, and behaviour traits 10 to 20 percent. The research results appeared in PLoS Medicine. For the full article: http://www.reutershealth.com/archive/2006/09/05/eline/links/20060905elin026.html 3
  4. 4. WCC: Cardiovascular Disease deaths highest in Eastern Europe, Middle East (Medical News Today 05/09/06) Eastern European and Middle Eastern patients with diseased blood vessels have the highest rates of heart attacks and strokes, and the highest rates of death from those conditions, compared with similar patients in other regions of the world, according to a preliminary analysis of more than 68,000 patients in 44 countries. Researchers from the Duke University Medical Centre analyzed an international registry of patients with proven or suspected cardiovascular disease. The findings were presented at the World Congress of Cardiology. For the full article: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=51120 WCC: UK - New hopes for slashing heart attack death rate (Daily Mail 04/09/06) The death rate of cardiac arrest victims can be slashed tenfold if doctors use a radical procedure to unblock the heart within 90 minutes. The first NHS round-the-clock angioplasty service has seen survival rates soar compared to conventional drug treatments. The procedure, where the arteries are unblocked by the insertion of a small balloon, clears the blockage in nine out of 10 patients within 90 minutes of arriving in hospital as emergency cases according to results from the fist British trial. Its success has led to pilot projects being set up in England, which will lead to a nation-wide expansion of emergency heart treatment. The trial results were released yesterday, 03 September at the World Congress of Cardiology. For the full article: http://tinyurl.com/jkmvv Related article: Fast-track treatment 'can slash heart attack death toll' (Telegraph 04/09/06) http://tinyurl.com/lh54c UK: 'Expert pharmacists' get go-ahead (BBC News 04/09/06) Patients will soon be able to consult "expert pharmacists" under plans revealed by the government. They will be able to offer advice and support for people with conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and sexually transmitted infections. The first specialists are set to be in place across England from next summer, the government said. Doctors' leaders said it was important patients did not get confused about where to go for help. Pharmacists will have to undergo extra training in order to become accredited as a 'pharmacist with a special interest' (PhwSI). For the full article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/5312808.stm Warning symptoms often herald sudden cardiac death (Reuters 04/09/06) Cardiac arrest is often preceded by symptoms lasting for more than an hour, and usually occurs in cases with a known history of heart disease or risk factors, German investigators report. These findings refute the theory that sudden cardiac death occurs at random in apparently healthy or low-risk patients, the authors say. Researcher’s evaluated data and analyzed the circumstances surrounding 406 patients who suffered sudden cardiac arrest and obtained cardiac histories and the median duration of warning for 323. The findings were reported in the Journal of the American Heart Association, 12 September. For the full article: http://tinyurl.com/hnppy UK: Cancer jab 'stops 75% of deaths' (BBC News 04/09/06) Vaccinating all 12-year-old girls against the virus which causes most cervical cancers could cut deaths from the disease by 75%, a study has found. GlaxoSmithKline's Cervarix jab targets two strains of the human papillomavirus. For the Cervarix research, a computer model was used to predict the outcome of vaccinating all 12-year-old girls in the UK - a total of 376,385. The firm's findings were presented at the International Papillomavirus Conference. For the full article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/5311598.stm Europe: Spain may lead world with heart "polypill" in 2009 (Reuters 02/09/06) Spain could lead the world with the launch in 2009 or 2010 of the first three-in-one "polypill" to prevent heart attacks, a top cardiologist advising on the project said on Saturday. If successful, the combo pill would be rolled out next in China and then across the globe, giving doctors a new weapon in the battle against heart disease, World Heart Federation President Valentin Fuster said. The polypill would include generic versions of three established medicines -- a cholesterol-lowering statin, an ACE inhibitor for reducing blood pressure and aspirin -- and would be given to patients who had already experienced a heart attack. For the full article: http://tinyurl.com/hh6e5 4
  5. 5. In the BMJ: 02/09/06 (Subscription required) • More than 12 million adults in England will be obese by 2010 (333: 463) http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/extract/333/7566/463 • Prevention and early detection of vascular complications of diabetes (333: 475-480) http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/extract/333/7566/475 UK: Caroline Flint kick starts better health services for teens (Medical News Today 31/08/06) Teenagers in four areas of the country will benefit from more accessible health services suited to their needs, thanks to a new programme launched by Public Health Minister Caroline Flint today, 31 August. The Teenage Health Demonstration Sites Programme, backed with 3.5m pounds, has been developed to test ways in which health services can be geared up to be more attractive to teenagers and to be more receptive to their needs and concerns. The sites in Bolton, Hackney, Northumberland and Portsmouth will be offering adolescent health advice and information in locations that attract young people such as youth clubs and sports centres in an effort to target more young people in familiar, user-friendly environments. For the full article: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=50909 Scotland: University nets £240,000 boost for stem cell work (Scotsman 31/08/06) Researchers at Edinburgh University have been awarded almost £240,000 to further their work in stem cell research. The study aims to identify the part of the body that has the greatest potential for harvesting stem cells so that diseased blood vessels can be regenerated. The grant has come from the British Heart Foundation. For the full article: http://news.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=1286532006 US: 'Anger makes you age more quickly' (Daily Mail 31/08/06) People who experience high levels of hostility do themselves permanent physical damage, according to a team of American researchers. The findings, presented in the journal Thorax, showed that people who constantly feel anger are more likely to age quicker. Hostility and anger have long been associated with a whole host of long term health problems such as high blood pressure, headaches and more serious conditions like depression, heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. For the latest study, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health monitored the anger levels and the effects on health of 670 men taking part in a national aging survey. For the full article: http://tinyurl.com/fth86 UK: Diabetes is better managed in the UK than the USA, new research shows (Medical News Today 31/08/06) Patients in England with diabetes are better managed than their counterparts in the United States of America due to access to universal healthcare available in the United Kingdom, according to new research. Writing in the September issue of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, researchers from England and the USA compared diabetes management in the two countries. The researchers examined the nationally-representative Health Survey of England (2003) and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2001-2002, USA) for adults aged 20 - 64 years. They compared measures between US (insured and uninsured) and English sufferers of diabetes including age of diagnosis, glycosylated haemoglobin, cholesterol and blood pressure. For the full article: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=50881 Back to top ^ Nutrition UK: 'Proof' behind high protein diets (BBC News 06/09/06) Scientists say a gut hormone could explain why high protein diets can aid weight loss. PYY is released when a person eats protein-rich foods and sends signals to the brain indicating fullness. The Medical Research Council team at University College London believe their findings could help tackle obesity. But dieticians said much more work was needed before people could be advised to make long-term changes to their eating habits. For the full article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/5302054.stm WCC: Eating nuts 'cuts risk of heart attacks' (Telegraph 06/09/06) Eating nuts about twice a week can decrease the risk of developing heart disease by a significant amount, doctors were told yesterday, 05 September. Only two servings a week of eight grams of nuts can reduce the risk by as much as 11 per cent, according to a study presented to the World Congress of Cardiology 2006. Almonds, walnuts, cashews and brazil nuts were included in the study, as well as peanuts, which are legumes. 5
  6. 6. For the full article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/09/06/nhealth06.xml UK: Junk food makers using internet to target children, says watchdog (Guardian 06/09/06) Children are being targeted by junk food manufacturers through internet advertising, chat rooms, text messages and "advergames" on websites, an obesity watchdog warned yesterday, 05 September, calling for global action to protect their health. Self-regulation by the food industry has failed, according to a report from the UK-based International Obesity Task Force to a conference in Sydney, Australia. "New forms of advertising are increasingly being employed which bypass parental control and target children directly," says the report by Tim Lobstein, coordinator of the taskforce's childhood obesity group. For the full article: http://society.guardian.co.uk/health/news/0,,1865789,00.html UK: Consumers 'are misled by supermarket labels' (Daily Mail 05/09/06) Shoppers are being misled by a new food labelling system which can make 'junk' products appear healthier, it is claimed. The food industry has introduced a new system of logos for the front of packs covering sugar, fat and salt in processed foods. However, consumer groups and the government's Food Standards Agency(FSA) say the scheme is misleading. The problem stems from the fact that the consumption standards used by the food industry as the basis of the new labelling system do not tally with official recommendations. The Government's Food Standards Agency (FSA) lists sugar consumption should be a maximum of 60g a day. However, the figure used by Tesco and others for their labels is 90g. The scheme adopted by Tesco and other food giants, including Kellogg's, Pepsico, Kraft and Nestle, is being promoted as their contribution to cutting obesity. For the full article: http://tinyurl.com/qro68 Related Article: Food giants challenge UK government's nutrition labelling system (WARC 06/09/06) http://www.warc.com/News/TopNews.asp?ID=20196&Origin=WARCNewsEmail US: Veg growers try cartoons to reel in kids (Interactive investor 05/09/06) Mickey Mouse, SpongeBob and the Tasmanian Devil are popping up on fruit and vegetable packaging across the country as growers strike licensing deals with entertainment companies hungry to cultivate positive images among health-conscious parents and kids. Walt Disney Co. is the most significant entry in the produce business. The entertainment giant is licensing characters produce distributor Imagination Farms LLC, which has deals with 15 large growers across the country to provide fruits and vegetables for the Disney Garden brand. Imagination Farms plans to have 100 different produce items on supermarket shelves by January and another 100 by the end of 2007. Already available are peaches with Daisy Duck and Goofy stickers, and table grapes packaged in Mickey and Minnie Mouse boxes. For the full article: http://tinyurl.com/h6vra UK: School dinner menus switch from burger and chips to fish and fruit (Guardian 05/09/06) Thousands of children were yesterday, 04 September, tucking into healthier dinners as part of the government's controversial drive to improve standards in school canteens. Under the guidelines, first published in the spring, traditional favourites such as burger and chips are to be replaced with more fresh fruit, vegetables and fish. They also recommend that every secondary school pupil should be offered cookery lessons from 2008 with an extra £240m earmarked to train cooks; improve facilities and subsidise healthy ingredients. For the full article: http://society.guardian.co.uk/health/news/0,,1865097,00.html Related article: Healthy eating put back on school menus to fight obesity (Independent Online 05/09/06) http://education.independent.co.uk/news/article1362668.ece Cooking lessons to be à la carte (Daily Telegraph 05/09/06) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/09/05/ncook05.xml Related Comment: The healthy alternative (The Independent 05/09/06) (Subscription Required) http://comment.independent.co.uk/leading_articles/article1362659.ece Thomas Sutcliffe: If you want to eat well, first learn how to cook http://comment.independent.co.uk/columnists_m_z/thomas_sutcliffe/article1362704.ece 6
  7. 7. UK: Cooking classes put back on the school menu (Daily Telegraph 04/09/06) Every secondary school pupil will be entitled to cookery lessons under a radical government plan to encourage healthy eating and cut obesity. Ministers plan to introduce new cookery courses for 11- to 16-year-olds in every state school from September 2008. Under the plan, any youngster who successfully completes a 24-hour course will be given a "licence to cook" certificate as part of a package of measures to be announced tomorrow. The lessons will emphasise the importance of diet and nutrition and "wise" food shopping in an attempt to tackle the obesity crisis that is threatening to engulf the nation. For the full article: http://education.independent.co.uk/news/article1325477.ece Related article: Chips down as school term starts (BBC News 04/09/06) http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/5305990.stm UK: Chip giant highlights ingredients to stop its products being 'demonised' (Daily Telegraph 04/09/06) Frozen food giant McCain is to put "traffic light" labels on its products as part of a £20m campaign aimed at restoring its image amid heightened concern about obesity levels. The labelling will appear first on McCain's chip products before being phased in on ranges such as pizzas and toasted sandwiches. A £20m marketing campaign will then be launched, with the slogan "It's All Good" and adverts on television, radio, in the cinema and in newspapers. For the full article: http://news.independent.co.uk/business/news/article1305268.ece UK: Food giants revolt against Blair’s ‘traffic light’ labelling (Sunday Times 03/09/06) Five of the world’s biggest food manufacturers are to start a huge advertising campaign in an effort to defeat government proposals for “traffic light” labelling of food. Kellogg’s, Danone, Kraft, Nestlé and Pepsico plan to promote their own rival labelling scheme instead. The move is certain to put the industry on a collision course with the government and the Food Standards Agency. Food manufacturers believe that they are being made scapegoats for Britain’s obesity epidemic and are frustrated by what they see as a lack of understanding in government. For the full article: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2095-2339927,00.html Related article: Producers divided over how to label foods (Daily Telegraph 04/09/06) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2006/09/04/cnfood04.xml UK: Cranberry juice can stave off heart attacks (Life Style Extra 31/08/06) A glass of cranberry juice a day can stave off a heart attack, new research shows. Scientists have found the fruit juice raises levels of "good cholesterol" in the blood by eight per cent while protecting against bad cholesterol, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. The research published in The British Journal of Nutrition found the dual boost is similar to the health benefits of red wine. The findings by a Canadian team at Laval University in Quebec City follow previous studies showing cranberry juice can also ward off urinary tract infections and cut the risk of gum disease and stomach ulcers. For the full article: http://www.lse.co.uk/ShowStory.asp?story=XU3128564P&rss=true In the EHN: 11/08/06 • “Secrecy” over junk food plans (Page 3) http://www.cieh.org/ehn/news/2006/august/articles/‘secrecy’_over_junk_food_plans.htm Back to top ^ Physical Activity WCC: Ballroom dancing offers fitness gains (Daily Mail 05/09/06) Ballroom dancing is as good exercise as a full workout in the gym, researchers have found. Half an hour on the dancefloor improves physical fitness as much as a session on the treadmill or exercise bike. Dancing to other music - including salsa or rock 'n' roll - also has the same effect as long as it's done vigorously, said a heart specialist at the National Institute of Cardiology, Mexico City. Dr Hermes Ilarraza, who organised the unconventional study, said it works for heart patients and could do wonders for people who may appear healthy but need to get more activity into their lives. The results of the research were presented at the World Congress of Cardiology 2006 in Barcelona. For the full article: http://tinyurl.com/qzby3 7
  8. 8. UK kids are among laziest in the world (Daily Mail 04/09/06) Couch-potato British children are a short "chill out" from becoming the laziest in the world, according to an international study out today, 04 September. UK youngsters spend 9.4 hours in front of a computer games console or TV screen each week, it said. That is just behind Australian children, who spend 10 hours a week relaxing in front of a screen - and significantly more than children in all the other locations interviewed. The average British child now spends the equivalent of half a year watching TV or playing computer games between the ages of seven and 16. The report surveyed 3,500 young people from the UK, USA, Australia, Germany, India, China, Russia and South Africa. The Tesco Sport Report also found UK youngsters spend less than an hour a day being active or doing some form of exercise. For the full article: http://tinyurl.com/qdahp UK: Cult TV hit that gets kids fit (Mirror 01/09/06) A new BBC2 children's show, LazyTown, has become a cult hit in the UK. The BBC website says that Lazy- Town's mission is "to inspire and motivate kids to get them to make healthy choices". The show - which is part live action, part puppetry and part animation - has already been credited with transforming the way children think about food and exercise in Iceland, where it originated. Since the show aired in Iceland the country's schoolchildren sent sales of fruit and veg up 22 per cent - and those of fizzy drinks down 16 per cent. LazyTown is shown on BBC2 on weekdays at 7.30am. For the full article: http://tinyurl.com/mked6 UK: Summer sees workers fighting fit (Online Recruitment 31/08/06) A recent survey by Monster found that a surprising 68% of British workers exercise at least twice a week, with 23% walking or cycling to work every day. British people, renowned for ignoring the government recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week, are often dubbed the unhealthiest in Europe, however the Monster survey seems to show that workers are exercising much more. For the full article: http://www.onrec.com/newsstories/13246.asp US: Pop a pill to keep a six-pack without even breaking sweat (The Times 31/08/06) Scientists are on course to develop a drug that would allow people to maintain their six-packs without the need for exercise. While a workable drug remains some way off, scientists are convinced that it will be possible to control muscle wasting pharmacologically, New Scientist magazine reports today, 31 August. Such a drug would be designed for use by elderly people to combat the natural muscle wastage that accompanies old age, and to prevent muscle loss in patients with wasting conditions or who have to remain bedridden for a long time. It would also be useful for astronauts spending long periods in space, where the lack of gravity leads to muscle wastage. For the full article: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,11069-2335816,00.html British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health database update online (August 2006) BHFNC database monthly physical activity information updates, outlines all the latest developments in the field and provide up to date physical activity news, information, research and relevant funding opportunities. A registration form to this service and this month’s update can be found at http://www.bhfactive.org.uk/information- centre/updates.html Back to top ^ Alcohol Scotland: Partnership to combat alcohol abuse (Scottish Executive 05/09/06) Major drinks producers are working with the Scottish Executive in a new partnership to combat alcohol misuse, a special conference heard today, 05 September. In what would be the first formal partnership of its kind between industry and government, Diageo, InBev (Tennents), the Scotch Whisky Association and Scottish & Newcastle will work with the Scottish Executive to tackle the health and social harm associated with excessive alcohol consumption. This will include joint work to produce guidelines on the promotion of alcohol, a common set of responsible drinking messages, and developing and implementing exemplary alcohol policies in the workplace. For the full article: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2006/09/05103520 8
  9. 9. Children of pregnant drinkers at greater risk of alcoholism (Daily Mail 04/09/06) Children whose mothers drink just three glasses or more of alcohol while pregnant are at greater risk of developing a drinking disorder by the age of 21, new research has revealed. A study found that children whose mothers who drank more than three glasses at any one time during early pregnancy were two and a half times more likely to develop problems with alcohol before the age of 18. They were twice as likely to develop an alcohol disorder between the ages of 18 and 21. For the full article: http://tinyurl.com/h2xbt In the EHP: 02/09/06 • Operation alcohol (page 10) http://www.cieh.org/ehp/health_and_safety/articles/operation_alcohol.htm Wales: Expectant mothers' drink problem (BBC News 31/08/06) Expectant mothers in Wales have one of the highest rates of drinking alcohol during pregnancy in the UK, according to a new survey of 1,100 women. About one in 13 pregnant women in Wales (7.4%) are drinking more than recommended levels. Survey organisers Johnson's Baby and the charity Tommy's said this figure is well above the national average of 4.7%. Drinking more than recommended levels has been proven to affect the foetus. For the full article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/5300834.stm Back to top ^ Obesity Obesity in Asia mirrors western increase (Guardian 06/09/06) The rapid modernisation of China and other Asian countries has produced an alarming spike in the rate of obesity and diabetes among their populations, experts warned today, 06 September. The UK-based International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) said Asian countries were now encountering rises in obesity among children, which are congruent with that of Western countries, such as the UK. Tim Gill, IOTF's Asia-Pacific director, said the rate of obesity among Asian children was increasing by about 1% each year, roughly the same rate as in Britain, the US and Australia. Paul Zimmet, the chairman of the IOTF, said: "It's a social and economic disaster." For the full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/medicine/story/0,,1866023,00.html?gusrc=ticker-103704 US: Expanding waistlines may be due to "portion distortion" study reports (Medical News Today 05/09/06) New research shows that people's perceptions of normal portion sizes have changed in the past 20 years. A study out of Rutgers published in the September issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association reports that Portion Distortion may be the cause1. This phenomenon occurs when consumers perceive large portion sizes as appropriate amounts to eat at a single eating occasion. For the full article: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=51109 Chubby toddlers 'don't shed puppy fat' (Daily Mail 05/09/06) Most overweight toddlers don't shed their baby fat and have picked up bad habits that can last a lifetime, researchers said yesterday, 04 September. Six in ten chubby pre-schoolers are obese or weigh too much by the time they are 12, the study found. And children who are too heavy between the ages of 2 to 5 face a five-times- higher risk of being fat as they become teenagers. More than 1,400 American children born in 1991 were involved in the study, which kept a regular check on their weight. Doctors directly involved in the study said that in many cases obesity in toddlers is caused by parents giving their children too much food and the wrong kinds of food while at the same time letting them sit around inside the house instead of urging them to get outside and play active games. For the full article: http://tinyurl.com/jcpdm 9
  10. 10. Obesity 'doubles sight-loss risk' (BBC News 05/09/06) Obese people have double the risk of losing their sight because their weight increases their chance of developing certain conditions, a report has said. The Royal National Institute of the Blind said the obese risk cataracts and age-related macular degeneration - the most common cause of sight loss. It warned that millions of obese adults and children in the UK are also at risk from other eye conditions. The RNIB said people did not do enough to look after their eyes. Latest government estimates predict that 13m adults and children could be obese by 2010, if no action is taken. For the full article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/5316096.stm Related article: Sight Charity warns it's not just obesity that puts eyesight at risk – lack of exercise, poor diet, excessive alcohol and other lifestyle factors all play a part (Response Source 06/09/06) http://www.responsesource.com/releases/rel_display.php?relid=QgzTg Trade talks failure should prompt rethink of food and farming to combat obesity epidemic (Medical News Today 05/09/06) The global obesity epidemic cannot be halted by conventional means and demands a radical rethink of farming and food production worldwide, a leading scientist warned today. Prof Philip James, who chairs the International Obesity TaskForce (IOTF), said that the breakdown of the Doha round of World Trade Organization talks on eliminating trade restrictions, offered a new opportunity to totally revitalise the world's agricultural sector to make it both wealth and health creating. For the full article: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=51165 US: Nation's top hospitals harming patients by serving fast food, says American Medical Student Association (Medical News Today 04/09/06) Doctors consistently advise their patients to consume less of the artery-clogging fast foods that contribute to Americans' rising obesity rates and declining health. However, a new study reveals that four in ten university- affiliated hospitals serve brand-name fast food from such vendors as Krispy Kreme, Burger King, Wendy's and McDonald's. The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) urges the nation's hospitals to work toward expelling fast food vendors from their grounds and provide a safe and healthy eating environment for patients, staff and visitors. For the full article: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=51144 Girls as young as five worried about their weight (Daily Mail 04/09/06) Girls as young as five are sensitive about their bodies in a "weight-hostile" environment that equates popularity and attractiveness with thinness, an international conference of experts has heard. And the problems continue through to adult life, where overweight women are at increased risk of depression, the 10th International Congress on Obesity was told. "Children are sensitive at an increasingly early age to their physical appearance," said Leeds University professor Andrew Hill. For the full article: http://tinyurl.com/lku8c International: Evolution, not just gluttony, led to obesity pandemic (Reuters 04/09/06) Evolution and the environment, not just gluttony, has led to a global obesity pandemic, with an estimated 1.5 billion people overweight -- more than the number of undernourished people -- an obesity conference was told on Monday. The mounting epidemic of obesity in children would see many die before their parents, said Kate Steinbeck, co-chair of the 10th International Congress on Obesity in Sydney." This is the first generation in history where children may die before their parents," Steinbeck told the conference. For the full article: http://tinyurl.com/pwthk Related article: Fat threat to world's hospitals (Mirror 04/09/06) http://tinyurl.com/p5hrh International: Japanese get a taste for Western food and fall victim to obesity and early death (Telegraph 04/09/06) The famed good health and longevity of Japanese in Okinawa, which has the highest concentration of centenarians in the world, is under threat from a rapid increase in obesity caused by adoption of western lifestyles. Experts blame the gusto with which Okinawa took to fast food when the island was administered by the US, from the war until 1972. It got the first fast-food outlet in Japan — in 1963, seven years before Tokyo — and still has more fast-food outlets per head than anywhere else in the country. For the full article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/09/04/wjapan04.xml 10
  11. 11. US schools ban birthday cakes (BBC News 02/09/06) A growing number of schools around the US are banning birthday cakes, saying the tradition has become too unhealthy. For generations American children have brought homemade cakes and cupcakes to school to celebrate birthdays with their classmates. Like the rest of the country, children are facing what health officials call an epidemic of obesity. The birthday cake bans are part of a wider national trend of schools discouraging sugary junk foods between classes in favour of healthier snacks, like fruits or yogurt. But the new rules are not without controversy. For the full article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/5308796.stm UK: Obesity blackspot towns revealed (BBC News 31/08/06) People living in former industrial towns are the most likely to become obese, research suggests. Credit reference company Experian and analysts Dr Foster Intelligence used data from two surveys to draw up an obesity map of England. Obesity risk is 22% higher than average in Easington, near Newcastle, and 21% higher in Corby, Northamptonshire. The lowest risk was found in the City of London and Kensington and Chelsea. The analysis looked at two major surveys, the Health Survey for England and the British Research Market Bureau's TGI quarterly survey of 25,000 Britons which ask people their Body Mass Index (BMI). For the full article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/5299510.stm Related articles: Former industrial towns top obesity risk league (Guardian 01/09/06) http://www.guardian.co.uk/medicine/story/0,,1862664,00.html Fat map pinpoints the streets with a weight problem (The Times 01/09/06) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2337790,00.html UK: GPs 'avoiding obesity discussions' (Daily Mail 31/08/06) Almost half of GPs avoid discussing the issue of obesity with fat patients, according to a new survey. That is despite 60% believing patients are harming their health by being obese or overweight, the research found. Almost a quarter (24%) of around 250 doctors questioned said they felt uncomfortable discussing a child's obesity with his or her parents. One in five (20%) GPs also said they had withheld treatment from a patient because of their unhealthy lifestyle. The survey, for Norwich Union Healthcare, comes after figures out last week showed that around a third of adults and a fifth of children will be obese by 2010. For the full article: http://tinyurl.com/rsuxm Related article: GP chairman challenges obesity survey findings (Medical News Today 31/08/06) For the full article: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=50872 Back to top ^ Resources Drug use, Smoking and Drinking among Young People; Statistics on smoking (DH 30/08/06) The statistics on Drug Use, Smoking and Drinking among Young people in England in 2005 were released today, 30 August, by The Information Centre for health and social care. The Reports: Drug Use, Smoking, Drinking among Young People, England 2005 - publication of full report http://www.ic.nhs.uk/pubs/youngpeopledruguse-smoking-drinking2005 Statistics on Smoking, England 2006 http://www.ic.nhs.uk/pubs/smokingeng2006 Back to top ^ 11
  12. 12. Events Blood Pressure Association’s Know Your Numbers! Week 2006 – Bring a Man, 11-17 September, UK The Blood Pressure Association’s Know Your Numbers! blood pressure testing week is taking place from 11-17 September, to drive home the importance of everyone knowing their blood pressure numbers. The theme of this year’s event is Bring a Man! as the BPA’s research has shown that less men than women get checked during the Week. So the BPA wants every woman who gets tested to bring along a man in their life to get tested too. BPA Pressure Stations across the UK will be offering free blood pressure checks during the week. Blood pressure checks are quick and painless and the only way to tell if you are at risk of high blood pressure, the major cause of heart attack, heart disease and stroke. To find your nearest Pressure Station please visit www.bpassoc.org.uk. Also available is a fun lifestyle quiz. Visit http://www.redberrydigital.com/bloodpressurequiz/ to see if your lifestyle is piling on the pressure. Tipping the Balance – Towards Active Ageing Conference - 18-19 September, Loughborough University This conference will highlight the importance of physical activity for older people in promoting active ageing and contributing towards the physical, psychological and social health and well being of older people and the maintenance of older living. Keynote speakers include Professor Wojtek Chodsko-Zajko, chair of the US Active Aging Partnership and Dr Nancy Whitelaw, Director of Centre for Healthy Aging and The National Council on the Aging. For further information visit: www.bhfactive.org.uk/information-centre/conference.html Workplace wellness conference – 27 September, Cheshire This conference will consider how a fitter and healthier workforce can increase performance and productivity in the workplace. The speakers will highlight international research and best practice to encourage delegates to design and implement their own healthy workplace policy. For further information, email info@eventsnorthern.co.uk or visit http://www.eventsnorthern.co.uk Back to top ^ Tobacco Wales: Smoke ban call outside hospitals (BBC News 06/09/06) Smoking should be banned from the grounds of hospitals in Wales as well as inside their buildings, doctors say. The British Medical Association wants outdoor areas at hospitals included in the legislation coming in next year. The BMA said it could be inconvenient for "hardened smokers," but it would help them give up. However, some patients and visitors were sceptical. The assembly government, which is consulting on details of the overall ban, said it would consider the idea. For the full article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/5317950.stm Northern Ireland: Advert to aid in smoking campaign (BBC News 05/09/06) A campaign is being launched to help smokers quit ahead of the introduction of the smoking ban in NI next year. The Health Promotion Agency's Giving Up advertisement will be broadcast for four weeks and aims to raise awareness of the help available to smokers. Research suggests smokers are up to four times more likely to quit for good if they take professional help. For the full article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/5313402.stm Why second-hand smoke can really take your breath away (The Times 05/09/06) Passive smoking greatly increases the risks of wheezing and breathlessness, a study has indicated. The results, presented yesterday at the congress of the European Respiratory Society in Munich, add persuasive data to the body of evidence that passive smoke is harmful. Jan-Christer Janson, of Uppsala University in Sweden, has carried out two surveys, nine years apart, on a sample of 4,200 non-smoking adults from 14 European countries. The strength of the study is that it was able to identify the people who were not exposed to passive smoke at the time of the first survey but had become so by the second. For the full article: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2342780,00.html 12
  13. 13. Tobacco campaign targets young adults (Department of Health 04/09/06) A campaign being run throughout September encourages young adults to give up smoking. The Motivations that matter campaign has separate adverts for men and women. The commercials directed towards men show the impact of smoking on impotence and erectile dysfunction, by using a lit cigarette between two fingers as a metaphor for a penis. The adverts targeting women use stark images of the effects of smoking on appearance and attractiveness. The campaign includes TV, regional radio, press and online advertising, and is supported by two micro websites. For links: http://tinyurl.com/nzoz8 In the EHP: 02/09/06 • Scotland’s finest hour http://www.cieh.org/ehp/public_health/articles/scotlands_finest_hour.htm Recent headlines from ASH daily news • UK FAGS: the one man anti smoke ban party • Parental smoking is paediatricians' business • Physician advice • Scottish First Minister sees smoking ban as his legacy • Smoking ban is changing social and cultural context of the pub • One in five deaths in adults is due to smoking • School truants smoke and drink more • Altadis reports a large profit drop To subscribe to ASH daily news visit www.ash.org.uk/html/about/subscribe.php To subscribe to ASH Scotland’s weekly and daily bulletins visit http://www.globalink.org/nbscotland Back to top ^ Note: This e-news briefing service is intended to keep you updated on news and developments. Inclusion of items does not mean endorsement by the National Heart Forum. Any feedback, comments and relevant news submissions are welcome. For further information visit: http://www.heartforum.org.uk/News_Media_eNewsbrief.aspx or contact Nicola Schmidt via email at briefings@heartforum.org.uk or call 020 7383 7638. 13

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