• Health

    New ‘planetary health diet’ can save lives and the planet

    An international team of scientists has developed a diet it says can improve health while ensuring sustainable food production to reduce further damage to the planet. The “planetary health diet” is based on cutting red meat and sugar consumption in half and upping intake of fruits, vegetables and nuts. And it can prevent up to 11.6 million premature deaths without harming the planet, says the report published Wednesday in the medical journal The Lancet. The authors warn that a global change in diet and food production is needed as 3 billion people across the world are malnourished — which includes those who are under and overnourished — and food production…

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    5 ways to get out of your wine-drinking rut and discover something new

    Here are five ways you, too, can enhance our wine experience. Whether you are a novice who has just caught the wine bug, or an old hand trying to get out of a rut, these can keep your wine tasting enjoyable and rewarding. Pay attention to the wines you drink. All too often, I hear people express enthusiasm about a nice wine they enjoyed recently, but when I ask its name, they give me a blank stare. Maybe the label was blue, or had a rooster on it, but such vague details don’t narrow it down much. If you can’t remember the wine you liked, you may not be able…

  • Health

    Breastfeeding may protect mothers against depression in later life

    Women who fed their babies naturally were almost two-thirds less likely to suffer from mental health problems. And the more children the greater was the effect, an international study found. The joint American and Korean study looked at mothers now in their 50s and older, who had gone through the menopause. The World Health Organisation recommends exclusively breastfeeding during the first six months of the baby’s life, but only a third of British mothers try it at all, and the figures are falling. Reduced government support, cuts in public health funding, and negative attitudes have been blamed for some of the worst breastfeeding rates in the world. Reduced government support,…

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    Smokers in their 20s are biologically two decades older than they should be

    Smokers in their twenties are biologically two decades older than they should be, according to the first study of its kind. Researchers now warn the ‘fascinating evidence’ proves the notoriously bad habit accelerates the ageing process. The human body has two different ages – chronological and biological. The latter refers to how old a person seems. Scientists analysed blood samples from tens of thousands of volunteers to assess how smoking can affect biological ageing. They predicted the majority of smokers under the age of 30 to actually be aged between 31 and 40 – or 41 to 50. On the other hand, the ages of 62 per cent of the…

  • Health

    Anti-vaxxers are among the top ‘threats to global health’ in 2019

    Anti-vaxxers have been named one of the top threats to global health in 2019 by the World Health Organization (WHO). The anti-vaccine movement joined air pollution and climate change, HIV, and a worldwide influenza pandemic on the list released on Monday. ‘Vaccine hesitancy’, as the WHO calls it, ‘threatens to reverse progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases.’ The organization added in its statement: ‘Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways of avoiding disease – it currently prevents [two to three] million deaths a year, and a further 1.5 million could be avoided if global coverage of vaccinations improved.’ A report released last year from the Centers for Disease Control…

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    Flu piles pressure on over-stretched NHS hospitals as the outbreak KILLS 26 people in a week

    The flu outbreak gripping Britain killed 26 more people last week and is starting to take hold in hospitals, officials figures revealed today. Public Health England, which compiles reports on flu activity in the UK each week, says the death toll now sits at 68. The new data shows cases of flu have risen again since last week, with jumps of up to 40 per cent across the home nations. Wales is currently being hit the hardest. Health bosses warn this winter’s influenza outbreak is now in motion and is expected to pile pressure on an already-stretched NHS. Rates of the common illness have more than doubled in England, Scotland,…

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    New York City fentanyl deaths rose 3,000% in just 3 years

    Fentanyl overdoses in New York City soared 3,000 percent between 2014 and 2017, new CDC figures reveal. Despite attempts to curb opioid prescription, addiction and deaths, fentanyl – a synthetic drug up to 100 times stronger than heroin – has crept into the market. It killed at least 18,335 Americans nationally in 2016, the latest year for which we have national data – which marks a 113 percent increase from 2013. But rates are soaring fastest in urban areas, and experts warn cities like New York are petri dishes for what is set to come nationwide. The new stats, released today, reveal that the rate of overall drug deaths in…

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    Every three seconds somebody in the UK has an asthma attack

    Every three seconds somebody in the UK has an asthma attack, new figures suggest. Data from the charity Asthma UK shows that those with asthma are having more attacks every year than previously thought. It surveyed more than 10,000 people with asthma, who reported having an attack on average twice a year. With 5.4million people in the UK currently having treatment for asthma, experts calculated that this averaged one attack every three seconds. Previous data, collected five years ago from prescription information, suggested that attacks took place every 10 seconds. But the new figures, based on discussions with patients themselves, suggest attacks are far more frequent. Asthma attacks can be…

  • Health

    Relationships are more likely to last if you poke fun at your other half

    Whether its poking fun at their football team always losing or jibing that they cry over Sir David Attenborough documentaries, scientists have discovered couples who poke fun at each other are more likely to go the distance. And inside jokes are particularly important because they ‘affirm your relationship through laughter’, the researchers claim. But, they warn, couples who share ‘mean-spirited jokes’ are unlikely to last, with nasty jibes indicating a problem in the relationship. The research was carried out by the University of Kansas and led by associate professor Jeffrey Hall from the department of communication studies. ‘Playfulness between romantic partners is a crucial component in bonding and establishing relational…

  • Health

    A pill for loneliness? Scientists race to treat the condition that can raise premature death risks

    Dr Stephanie Cacioppo knows about loneliness. She’s spent much of her career as a neuroscientist studying loneliness and what it does to the brain and body. And she’s spent the last nine months living it, feeling the void in her life since her late husband and research partner, Dr John Cacioppo, passed away. Loneliness and isolation are experiences shared by Dr Cacioppo and countless other Americans, and scientists believe it’s a condition that hinders not only our happiness but our health. The culmination of Dr Cacioppo’s work, however, might be a treatment for loneliness – a pill that can soothe the brain activity that makes us feel such anguish in…