Outdoor walking groups: as good as the treadmill?

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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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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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…]

Exercise referral schemes may be cost-effective, but we don’t have enough good evidence yet

Exercising

In Exercise Referral Schemes (ERS), primary care patients who are sedentary or are likely to benefit from physical activity are referred by a primary care professional to a third party provider for a tailored exercise programme. Are the benefits of these exercise schemes worth the costs? Methods This was an economic evaluation using a cost-utility [read the full story…]

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Systematic review highlights the dearth of evidence on exercise in reducing mortality

We know that people who exercise a lot live longer.  But how does exercise match up with traditional drug treatments?  An open-access systematic review in the BMJ synthesised the experimental evidence for exercise compared with drug treatments on mortality.  This paper garnered a lot of media attention.  Does the hype match up with what the [read the full story…]

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Review of how (and how not) to help poorer people improve their diet and do more exercise

Shouting with a megaphone

We know that type 2 diabetes is more prevalent in groups with lower socioeconomic status, and we know that improving diet and taking exercise can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.  So how can we help poorer people to act on diet and exercise advice? A recent mixed methods systematic review looked at the [read the full story…]

Mass media and smoking: cause and cure?

Smoking

Do mass media anti-smoking campaigns work? A recent Cochrane systematic review evaluated the evidence from controlled trials of mass media interventions on tobacco cessation. Not surprisingly, the reviewers found huge variation between the studies in the types of campaign they evaluated, and how they measured success. A key difficulty with this type of research is [read the full story…]

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Eat Right 4 Your Type: Is there good evidence?

In 1997, Peter D’Adamo published the book Eat Right 4 Your Type, a book that argues that in order to eat a healthy diet, different blood types need different diets. For instance, D’Adamo makes the claim that blood group O needs a different diet than blood group A. The book has seen tremendous commercial success, [read the full story…]

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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…]