Smoking when pregnant may harm your child’s brain: evidence from MRI scans

Smoking in pregnancy

There is an abundance of observational evidence that smoking during pregnancy is harmful to the unborn child. Previous studies have seen an association between prenatal smoking and a range of behavioural and psychiatric problems in childhood and beyond.  A new cohort study used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study the brains of children whose mothers [read the full story…]

Unclear evidence on the cost-effectiveness of distance lifestyle counselling for weight control in the workplace

Being overweight is bad for your health, but finding the time and resources to address this can be difficult. Using distance communication technology, such as e-mail or telephone, can help make person-to-person counselling more accessible to working adults. This isn’t the first time we’ve looked at interventions of this nature at The Lifestyle Elf, but [read the full story…]

New randomized controlled trial says omega 3s good for the young adult brain

Many people don’t consume very much fish and seafood, or at least compared to how much humans might have gotten before we shifted to an agricultural society. This has led many doctors and scientists to wonder, might we be missing out on all the omega-3 fatty acids in fish? One type of omega-3s is called [read the full story…]

Does cutting the cost of fruit and veg encourage us to eat more of them? New trial says yes

shopping basket with fruit and veg

While there is widespread agreement that people need lots of fruits and vegetables in their diets, most people fall well short of meeting daily recommendations. Studies show that people of lower socioeconomic status get the least amount of fruits and vegetables, leading many public health officials to speculate that making these foods cheaper would help [read the full story…]

Promoting physical activity in patients with Parkinson’s disease

What do Mohammad Ali, Michael J. Fox, Bob Hoskins, Salvador Dali, Francisco Franco and Adolf Hitler all have in common? That was question 3 in our Woodland quiz last night. Almost all the elves got it right and the title of this blog no doubt gives it away but yes, they did indeed all suffer [read the full story…]

Can a board-game help increase smokers’ knowledge and willingness to quit?

Hard on the heels of our look at the latest research on the health risks of being sedentary and some simple ways we can increase our fitness and reduce these, today I’m highlighting an approach to smoking cessation which gets people sitting down! Now one thing which gets me sitting down is the chance to play [read the full story…]

A home-based program improves physical activity and nutritional behaviour in older people

What a busy morning I’ve had spending quality time with the Elders in the Woodland. We started off with a spot of tai chi in amongst the snowdrops, followed by a pot of Rosy Lee reclining on the toadstools. I’ve been nagging them all to get up and be more active since reading more about [read the full story…]

How effective is a personality-targeted prevention program for adolescent alcohol misuse?

Prevention is better than cure, or so the old saying goes. So, following on with the alcohol theme this week I decided to turn our attention to alcohol abuse in young people. More specifically the idea that effective preventative intervention can involve more than just increasing adolescent knowledge about the harms of alcohol misuse. Research has [read the full story…]

Can screening and brief intervention in our GP surgeries reduce problem drinking?

Looking back on the hot health topics of 2012, I think the one that struck me most was the rise of liver disease and the scale of problem alcohol use in the UK, compared to our European neighbours. In England, about 1 in 4 adults between 16 and 65 drinks harmful quantities of alcohol and the [read the full story…]

IUD shown to be the best treatment for heavy periods

It’s a girl thing for sure. I was sitting on my toadstool today reflecting that it’s definitely a ladies day today on the Lifestyle Elf. Heavy periods – what a drag. Only us girls really know how draining and painful they can be. They have a clinical term too, thank goodness they are taken seriously, [read the full story…]