Archive for May 2012

Half of men and third of women will be obese by 2040

Nearly half of all men and more than a third of all women will be obese within the next 30 years experts have claimed.Half of men and third of women will be obese by 2040They claim that if current trends continue the cost of treating related illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer will soar to £320 billion in the next two decades.

The predictions, made at European Congress on Obesity, were calculated by extrapolating current rises into the future.

The conference in Lyons, France, heard that in 1993, only around 10 per cent of English men aged between 18 and 40 were classed as obese. Today, the figure stands at 20 per cent.

By 2030, 40 per cent of young men in England are predicted to be obese, and by 2040 the figure will hit 45 per cent.

With more than four in every ten classified obese, it will represent a 350 per cent rise in just under 50 years.

The figures also show that young woman will be getting fatter. In 1993, 12 per cent of English women aged between 18 and 40 were obese, and today the figure stands at 21 per cent.

By 2030, it is predicted to rise to 33 per cent, and by 2040, to 40 per cent.

Tim Marsh, a researcher at the National Heart Forum, said that unlike many afflictions related to an ageing society, this one was entirely preventable.

“Whilst there are going to be inevitable health care costs as the consequences of an ageing population – wear and tear that we can’t do much to prevent – this is entirely preventable,” he told the Daily Mail.

The figures for the older generation are even more alarming.

Almost 60 per cent of men between 40 and 100 are projected to be obese by 2040, compared with more than 50 per cent of women in the same range.

If rates rise as predicted, around two thirds of men and women will suffer from type 2 diabetes, the form that usually develops in middle age and is linked to an unhealthy lifestyle.

Mr Marsh predicts that the bill for treating obesity-related illnesses, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and breast cancer, between now and 2030 will reach £320 billion.

Mr Marsh said it was important to instill good eating habits into the population at an early and he endorsed Jamie Oliver’s campaign for better school meals.

“You need to change the environment so healthy food is more available, also better food labelling and healthier food in schools,” he said.

“Jamie Oliver is absolutely right – habits created in schools not only have an impact in the future, but they can impact on the family as well. If children are prepared to eat healthier food, that tends to affect shopping habits.”

“Investing in school food is costly, undoubtedly, but it can be shown to be a good investment. Often people are just looking for quick returns on their investment but we are not going to get that. We have to look at the longer term, over the life course, particularly with politicians.”

“It is not even going to be in their lifetime because 40 or 50 years away they are going to be dead, or beyond caring.”


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Carey Mulligan is new Ambassador for Alzheimer’s Society

The Alzheimer’s Society has announced that the  actress Carey Mulligan is their newest ambassador.

Carey attended a special event in north London being held to mark the beginning of the charity’s Dementia Awareness Week™ (20 – 26 May).

Carey joined people with dementia and their carers at the ‘Rest-Bite’ service in Kentish Town. The Bafta-winning star has chosen to support Alzheimer’s Society as her grandmother Margaret, known as Nans, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2004.

Watch Carey talk about her grandmother’s dementia Speaking at the event, Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador, Carey said:

‘I am committed to helping Alzheimer’s Society in any way I can. My family and I rely on the help of organisations like Alzheimer’s Society to help us understand the disease and guide us in the care of my grandmother. It’s been a privilege to meet so many people with dementia.’

Carey’s appearance came as Alzheimer’s Society published new statistics which found that 44 per cent of people currently know or used to know someone with dementia. It also found that the majority of people (61%) are worried about either themselves or someone they know developing dementia in later life. Yet despite their fears less than a fifth (16%) of people want to know more about the condition, with 18-24 year olds the most keen to learn more (25%) in comparison to only 15 per cent of over 55 year olds.

Carey said:

‘I hope to do all I can to help defeat dementia and that’s why I wanted to get involved in Dementia Awareness Week™. By speaking about my grandmother’s dementia I hope to shine a light on the condition. This Dementia Awareness Week™ we are asking people to ‘remember the person’ by looking beyond someone’s diagnosis of dementia and engaging with them.’

Jeremy Hughes, Alzheimer’s Society Chief Executive, said:

‘We are extremely excited to have Carey’s support. There are currently 800,000 people living with dementia in the UK and this is set to rise to one million in ten years yet there is still much stigma surrounding the condition. By speaking out about her experiences Carey is helping us to reach new audiences and will hopefully get more people talking about the condition.’

Dementia is a condition that slowly shuts down the brain and affects one in three people over the age of 65. Alzheimer’s Society has produced a booklet and video of the five things you should know about dementia to help people learn that little bit more – key lessons include dementia is not a natural part of ageing and it is possible to live well with dementia. The booklet can be downloaded and the video viewed at

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Smartphone app helps children lose weight with W8Loss2Go

A Smartphone app helps children to lose weight with W8Loss2Go- in a novel twist of technology coming to the rescue of humans a new app has found a way of nudging children- and adults away from grazing and becoming obese.Smartphone app helps children lose weight with W8Loss2GoDoctors increasingly believe that some cases of obesity are caused by addiction to junk food and therefore treatments based on Alcoholics Anonymous would help.

These anonymous social networks offer support without the fear of being judged but for children and young people, smart phone apps were found to be more effective than anonymous websites.

It comes after the quango- National Institute for Curbing Expenditure (NICE) issued new guidance recommending that the word ‘obese’ should not be used to label very overweight people because it is derogatory.

Research conducted by Dr Robert Pretlow, Research Institute, eHealth International, Seattle, USA, who owns a children’s website and smart phone weight loss app, found children lost more weight using the app than the website.

Those using the anonymous website lost 7.4lbs or 3.4kgs compared with 10lbs or 4.5kgs on average among the children using the app. The figures were not given as a percentage of total bodyweight lost and it is not clear how similar the two groups were.

The findings were presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Lyon, France.

Dr Pretlow said: “Programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Drug Addicts Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous (OA), and Food Addicts Anonymous demonstrate that support groups are indispensable in the addiction treatment approach.”

“The crucial point is that people remain anonymous. Group support helps the obese person tolerate withdrawal from problem foods and adds motivation to keep going. Re-addiction is prevented by socially learning to cope with life without turning to food.”

Pretlow presents the example of his interactive website for overweight young people at, where users have posted over 160,000 anonymous messages.

On Dr Pretlow’s website,, 17,628 users, with a mean age of 14.2 years, and mean body mass index of 32.7 putting them in the ‘obese’ category, have posted 160,000 anonymous messages.

The smartphone app for treatment of obesity “W8Loss2Go”, uses anonymous online social networking to help children break their addiction to problem foods by using buddies, peer groups, and mentors.

In a four month preliminary study of the app involving 12 obese youths, aged from nine to 22 years, mean weight loss was 10lb.

Dr Pretlow said: “Results of an exit questionnaire indicate that the social networking support was invaluable in participants becoming unhooked from their problem foods and large portion sizes.

“While weight loss from social networking is not as much as face-to-face weight loss programs, social networking is much cheaper and much more widely available.

“It is also ongoing for weight maintenance and dealing with relapses. Many young people using our website have posted that they have done so for five to 10 years, lost or maintained weight, left, and then returned when they relapsed.”


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Garlic fights food poisoning bacteria

Scientists have found a compound in garlic is 100 times more effective at fighting a common type of bacteria that causes food poisoning, called Campylobacter, than two types of antibiotic.Garlic fights food poisoning bacteriaCampylobacter is commonly found both on the surface of poultry and inside the flesh. Cases of related food poisoning have been rising in recent years, due partly to an increasing fondness for serving ‘pink’ chicken liver pâté.

Now researchers at Washington State University in the US have found that a compound derived from garlic, called diallyl sulphide, is particularly effective at penetrating the slimy film that protects colonies of Campylobacter.

They found that, in a laboratory setting, it was 100 times more effective than the antibiotics erythromycin and ciprofloxacin, and would often work in “a fraction of the time”.

Barbara Rasco, associate professor of food science, said: “Diallyl sulphide could make many foods safer to eat. It can be used to clean food preparation surfaces and as a preservative in packaged foods like potato and pasta salads, coleslaw and deli meats.”

The study is published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. However, the authors said that white eating garlic was generally a healthy thing to do, they could not be sure it would help prevent Campylobacter-related food poisoning.

There were 18 outbreaks of Campylobacter poisoning reported to the Health Protection Agency (HPA) last year, causing 443 people to fall ill. Most were from eating out. there are certain to be many more unreported cases from normal kitchen cooking.

At the time, Bob Martin, head of foodborne disease strategy at the Food Standards Agency (FSA), said: “Levels of Campylobacter in most raw chicken are high so it’s really important that chefs cook livers thoroughly to kill any bacteria, even if recipes call for them to be seared and left pink in the middle.

“The only way of ensuring the pâté or parfait will be safe to serve to your guests or customers is by cooking the livers the whole way through.”

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Sleeping for more than nine hours may help weight loss- new research finds

Sleeping for more than nine hours a night may help those with a genetic predisposition to being overweight stay healthy new reserach finds.Sleeping for more than nine hours may help weight loss- new research findsA study of twins has found that sleeping for less than seven hours a night was linked to higher bodyweights and a greater susceptibility to genetic factors that influence weight.

However the opposite was true in people who slept for nine hours or more.

Several genes have been found to be associated with obesity and this is thought to be the first study to examine how sleep interacts with them.

The genes affect how the body uses energy, how fat is stored, the feeling of being full after a meal and how quickly sugar is used up.

A team at the University of Washington studied 1,088 pairs of twins and found that the genetic influence on their body mass index was twice as great in those who slept for less than seven hours compared to those who slept for nine hours a night.

The findings were published in the journal, Sleep.

Lead author Dr Nathaniel Watson, said: “The results suggest that shorter sleep provides a more permissive environment for the expression of obesity related genes. Or it may be that extended sleep is protective by suppressing expression of obesity genes.”

Dr Watson said the results were preliminary but may suggest that weight loss measures would be most effective when the genetic influences on obesity were mitigated through sleep extension.


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