Round-Up of Global News In Health and Complementary Medicine

Monthly Archive

Week Beginning 12 August 2002

Watching television is helpful to children's development

An Australian study has found some television programmes, far from producing 'couch potatoes', stimulate children’s imaginations and teach valuable social skills. For two months, 314 women with children aged three to six observed their youngsters’ viewing and reported to psychologists at La Trobe University in Melbourne. The study found that children are not passive viewers but interact with programmes by singing, dancing and mimicking voices.

The Guardian

Safe drinking levels vary with age

A study by the Medical Research Council indicates that alcohol only has health benefits in middle-aged and elderly people. The researchers suggest that to keep the risk of death at 5 per cent or lower, women should limit their drinking to one unit a day up to the age of 44. It should be limited to two units a day up to the age of 74 and to three units a day over the age of 75. Men are advised to limit their drinking to one unit a day up to the age of 34, two units a day up to age 44, three units a day up to 54, four a day up to 84, and five units a day for the over 85s.

The Daily Mail

Deadly fish uncovers hidden human genes

Unlikely similarities between humans and the Japanese puffer fish have led to the discovery of almost 1,000 previously unknown human genes. An international consortium of scientists said yesterday (25/07/02) it had completed a draft blueprint of the genetic makeup of the puffer fish, Fugu rubripes. The sequence contains roughly the same number of genes as the larger human genome, but they are much more densely packed. By comparing human and puffer fish genomes, the scientists were able to predict the existence of almost 1,000 unidentified human genes.

The Independent

Workplace policy 'can help smokers'

US researchers say smoke-free workplaces not only protect non smokers but can also help smokers cut down and even give up. A study by the Center for Tobacco Control, Research and Education at the University of California, says smoke-free policies lead to a cut in cigarette consumption of 29 per cent, and a 4 per cent drop in the total number of people who smoke. The findings are based on a review of 26 studies around the world examining the effects of smoke-free workplaces. To achieve the same effect by taxation, governments would have to increase the price of tobacco by 73 per cent.

The Times

Law to control Scots’ enthusiasm for sunbeds

The obsession in Scotland for using artificial tanning devices is to be curbed by new legislation because of growing health fears. The move to license hundreds of sunbed parlours follows an official report by the Health Education Board for Scotland linking ultraviolet radiation with skin cancer and its recommendation that there is 'no safe level' for using sunbeds. The Scottish Parliament's cross-party cancer group wants to introduce laws that will give local councils absolute power to insist salons adhere to strict operational guidelines under licence.

The Independent


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