Outdoor walking groups: as good as the treadmill?

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Kirsten Lawson reports on a systematic review and meta-analysis of outdoor walking groups and their impact on a range of health parameters, including blood pressure, heart rate, body fat, body mass index, cholesterol and depression.

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Diet and dying: people who ate more fruit and veg were less likely to die

shopping basket with fruit and veg

This recent systematic review in the BMJ found that more fruit and veg in the diet was associated with a reduced risk of death from cancer, cardiovascular disease and other causes.

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Does high sugar intake affect cholesterol and blood pressure?

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It’s been suggested that a high-intake of dietary sugars is a cause of increased blood pressure and poor lipid profile. A recent systematic review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition investigates further.

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Tobacco industry advice goes up in smoke

Fag money

Here in the Woodland we don’t like saying “We told you so”. However, in the case of tobacco industry lobbying masquerading as “evidence”, we can make an exception. In which case, We told you so. On the day the Department of Health’s review concluded it is: Highly likely that standardised packaging would serve to reduce [read the full story…]

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Smoking bans may have reduced premature births and asthma emergencies

Passive smoking

We’re still mining a rich seam of evidence summaries from the latest Eyes on Evidence.  The same issue that looked at how to encourage poorer women to be more physically active also contains an evidence summary on the impact of smoke-free legislation on population health. The summary focuses on the impact of passive smoking, and [read the full story…]

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Evidence summary: group interventions may be better than individual advice in encouraging poorer women to be more active

vintage photo of teen girls exercising

NICE have produced a summary of new evidence on improving physical activity among socially disadvantaged women.  The full article is available as part of their regular Eyes on Evidence email newsletter. Background We know that lack of physical activity is a risk factor for chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes, and that [read the full story…]

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Older people who exercise are twice as likely to enjoy good health as inactive people

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An eight-year cohort study has found a strong association between physical activity and healthy ageing in later life. The study recruited a sample of older adults and followed them over time.   They measured the participants’ levels of physical activity and health every two years. Other studies have already shown an association between activity and exercise.  [read the full story…]

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One in ten women report having had sex against their will

woman lying down

This is the stark headline of the latest British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (NATSAL). It’s the first time this regular ten-year survey, now in its third cycle, has looked at non-volitional sex. They also report a huge range of data about the prevalence of sexual activities and attitudes.  So the Lifestyle Elf [read the full story…]

Quitting smoking is the easy part, staying quit is hard

During 2010/11 there were 1.53 million hospital admissions for illnesses directly attributable to smoking in the UK. These admissions, along with other smoking-related expenses, cost the NHS approximately £5 billion pounds per year. Fortunately, the NHS is spending £88.2 million per year on cessation treatments, many of which have been repeatedly demonstrated to be highly [read the full story…]