Round-Up of Global News In Health and Complementary Medicine

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WEEK BEGINNING 16 JULY 2001

Not Enough Hygiene At Your Favourite Eateries

Beware when you go out to eat tonight. For you might have a big, big fright. According to the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health Officers (CIEHO) over 50% of restaurants in the UK are below par when it comes to basic hygiene standards. The official figures reveal that 4.5 million people in Britain had food poisoning last year. There are now demands for restaurants and other food outlets to be required to get a licence before starting to serve food to the public. Currently, anyone can set up a shop and start selling food to the public without any qualifications or any inspection of the food preparation area and preparation procedures. A spokesman from the CIEHO said: ‘We are in favour of the licensing of all food premises, first and foremost because it will protect the consumer. It will ensure the highest possible food and safety and hygiene standards. No proprietor would be able to trade unless they met minimum criteria.’ The Consumers’ Association and the watchdog magazine Which? are also calling for a licensing system to be implemented. Among the violations which health inspectors found were mice, rat droppings, mouldy vegetables and urine and water pouring into a kitchen from an upstairs toilet.

Daily Express

Infertility Risk Increased By Smoking

Want to ensure you conceive? Then stub out those ciggies girls. Because Boston scientists now report have that smoking triggers the death of egg cells. They discovered that chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which are found in tobacco smoke, activate a gene that causes the eggs to shut themselves down. The researchers then grafted human ovary tissue into a mouse and found that a single injection of PAH caused a ‘striking increase’ in egg degeneration. The discovery could explain the association between infertility and early menopause in female smokers.

The Guardian

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4222187,00.html

Being Fat Isn’t All Bad If You Are Fit

New research this week suggests that being unfit is more of a health risk than being overweight, according to the findings of an American scientist. ‘Data from our recent study in the US on 30,000 people shows that lean individuals who are unfit have a death rate double that of obese individuals who are fit. Inactivity is the key problem rather than obesity itself,’ said Professor Steven Blair of the Cooper Institute in Dallas. According to Professor Blair, technological developments have reduced the amount of physical activity in our lives and left us more prone to life threatening diseases and premature death. ‘It isn’t just the TV and computer taking over our lives – its an insidious change in everyday activity that is robbing us of good health. We don’t even have to open doors any more – electricity does it for us – and there are 10,000 more examples like that,’ he said.

The study, which was conducted over several decades, examined men and women from their 20s to their 80s and showed that ‘those people who lost weight and at the same time improved their physical fitness had a big reduction in the risk of dying. But those who lost weight and did not get fit had an increased risk of dying.’

Daily Mail

Fatty diet link with asthma

Children who eat a diet high in polyunsaturated fats have double the risk of developing asthma, claim researchers. The study, published in the medical journal Thorax, shows that eating large quantities of fats found in margarines and some cooking oils could account for one in six cases of the respiratory disorder. Cases of asthma have doubled in the last 20 years at the same time as when the consumption of fats found in cooking oils and processed foods have also soared. However, the study of 1000 Australian children also found that being breastfed or being the youngest out of four children might protect against the disorder. Asthma affects about one million children in Britain, including one in three teenagers.

Daily Mail

Dieting At Risk In the Late Hours

If you are considering making changes in your diets read on for very useful knowledge indeed. New research published this week had identified that binge eaters, vegetarians, alcoholics and reformed smokers are all at their most vulnerable at nighttime and therefore more likely to succumb. Psychologists have found that dimmer lighting affects behaviour and makes people less inhibited, undermining their self-discipline and control. The lack of light therefore makes dieters more prone to cakes and ex-smokers more vulnerable to having a cigarette. The report, published in the journal Personality, found that people who get up and go to bed late are more likely to suffer with bulimia. In addition, bulimic binging is more prevalent in winter months with longer nights. The report explains that lack of light is a likely explanation: ‘Dimly lit settings increase the probability of counter-normative behaviours that are more successfully inhibited under brighter light. Existing evidence demonstrates that exposure to dimmer lighting decreases self-awareness.’

The Independent on Sunday

 

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