Round-Up of Global News In Health and Complementary Medicine

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WEEK BEGINNING 5 NOVEMBER 2001

The British Sweet Tooth Goes From Strength To strength Alas

It seems that appeals for healthy eating styles may be falling on deaf ears in the UK. That is according to new figures released this week. The National Food Survey 2000 indicates that Britons are indulging their sweet tooth more than ever before. The Welsh reportedly eat the most sweets, butter, cakes and sugar. While cream and milky puddings are favoured in the East Midlands, people in the West Midlands eat the most frozen chips and instant mash potato. The Scots eat the least healthy food – buying the fizziest drinks and eating the lowest amount of fruit, fresh vegetables, fish and skimmed milk. While Londoners eat the most ice-cream, cakes, puddings, pizzas, pasta, curries and bread, people in the North East eat the most chips and meat in restaurants and takeaways. Back to drawing board then in the battle for healthy living!

The Times

Gene Linked To Asthma

A big breakthrough this week in the treatment of asthma. The first gene to be linked to asthma has been identified and may lead to a diagnostic test to detect susceptible babies. Scientists predict the development of a new generation of drugs, which will reduce the chances of the disease developing. Medical Research Council professor of immunopharmacology, Stephen Holgate, said: ‘This discovery could bring substantial future benefits for asthma patients. It is the first asthma gene to show association with an increased chance of asthma developing.’ The research, which involved more than 450 British and American families, was developed in collaboration with Schering Plough and the Genome Therapeutic Corporation in America. Unlike conventional asthma drugs, which prevent or relieve wheezing and breathlessness, the new generation of drugs would strengthen the airways so that resistance to tobacco smoke and house dust mites is increased.

The Daily Express

Alarm: No Greens On Children’s Plates!

A poll has revealed the alarming lack of fruit and veg in UK children’s daily diets. The Mori poll on behalf of the Cancer Research Campaign and the supermarket chain Iceland questioned 2635 children, aged 11 to 16, in England and Wales. One in twenty children said they had not eaten any vegetables in the last week, and one in seventeen had not touched any fruit. Most of the children said that they had eaten less than 13 portions of fruit or vegetables in the last seven days, about a third of the 35 portions recommended by the Government. The Cancer Research Campaign said that these findings were alarming because research had indicated that a fruit and vegetable rich diet could reduce the number of cancer deaths by up to a third. The charity’s Director of Cancer Information, Dr Lesley Walker, said the reluctance of children to follow a healthy diet may come back to visit them in later life. ‘We all know that it can be difficult to encourage children and teenagers to eat their greens. It is very concerning, however, that so many children are eating so little fruit and vegetables. While cancer is a disease that generally affects older people, it is so important to lay the foundations of a healthy lifestyle early on,’ she said.

The Daily Mail

Dads Who Bathe Babies Bond Earlier

Good news for the new man this week. A study by University College, London shows that children who are regularly bathed by their fathers in their first year are less likely to encounter behavioural problems in later life. The researchers’ finding follows 11 years of research into the lasting effects of bonding between fathers and babies in their first year. According to the researchers, 30 per cent of children who were not regularly bathed by their father or surrogate father figure, experienced ‘significant and enduring friendship problems’. However, only 3 per cent of babies bathed three or four times a week by their father experienced similar difficulties. So, dad’s get bathing today.

The Daily Express

Homeopathy Gains Scientific Support

Homeopathy took a step towards better recognition this week. Medical researchers have now revealed that a homeopathic technique is more effective than previously thought. Homeopaths repeatedly dilute solutions, believing that the higher the dilution, the more potent it becomes. This is done until 'infinite solution', when it becomes more potent than the original active ingredient. Scientists have disclaimed this technique, since logically, the solution is so diluted that none of the active ingredients remains. However, scientists Kurt Geckeler and Shashadhar Samal discovered that dissolved molecules cluster together as the solution is diluted. When the solution is diluted further, the clusters clump together to form even larger clusters. The research findings firmly contradict the traditional teachings that molecules disperse further apart the more the solution is diluted.

The Times

 

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