How does UK healthcare perform and compare to other nations?

It’s hard to imagine what life was like in the UK before the National Health Service. It was a time when healthcare was unreliable and of course treatment had to be paid for. Now the UK has a free, state-run NHS. Funded by taxpayers and with a budget of more than £100 billion, it’s the [read the full story…]

Lower your risk of major illness by walking regularly

I’ve been pacing and reading this morning in the Woodland. Taking the opportunity to walk whenever I can. We all know that exercise is good for us but often relate that to going to the gym or joining an aerobics class. Well, recent research has shown that something as simple as a regular walking routine [read the full story…]

More links between sitting time and chronic disease: new research from Australia

We’re hearing more and more about the negative impact on our health of sitting down too much of the time and here comes another bit of evidence which suggests that, though it’s not the type of study that can tell us about causes, only associations. It’s part of a big cross-sectional study in New South Wales, [read the full story…]

Shingles vaccination for older people: effective, but can they get it?

We Lifestyle Elves are pretty keen on encouraging people to do all those things we know are good for health and reduce our risk of illness and disease. We particularly like tackling those ‘modifiable risk factors’, things we can choose to do something about for the benefit of our health, so we’re always banging on about [read the full story…]

Guest blog: Heart attacks not reduced in people taking vitamins and antioxidants

Guest blog: Today we’re kicking off National Heart Month with this guest blog, written for us by Dr Harry Boardman, who is part way through his Cardiology specialist training in Oxford. Something to think about while you are lining your vitamin and antioxidant tablets up next to the marmalade on the breakfast table tomorrow morning, [read the full story…]

Healthy mums, healthy children: a child obesity prevention programme

We all know that prevention is better than cure, and I was really interested to come across a recent Australian study which investigated a programme aimed at preventing obesity in children through working with first-time mums. It aimed to influence their behaviour in terms of diet, physical activity and TV viewing time, to reduce the risk [read the full story…]

New Cochrane review has strong evidence that some interventions can reduce falls in older people

The Elf Mother is worried about falling, as well she might be, for a fall can have serious consequences in later life and may mean that a person who had been living independently is no longer able to do so. Around 30% of people aged over 65 and living in the community fall each year. Today’s new [read the full story…]

Alcohol misuse prevention programmes: reviews show some may work, but we need better trials

Here in the European Union, we drink more alcohol than anywhere else in the world (11 litres of pure alcohol per adult each year) and this makes for huge problems in terms of health and wellbeing. It’s staggering to learn that more than one in four deaths amongst men aged 15-29 and one death in [read the full story…]

Giving teens life skills plus information looks a promising combination in preventing substance misuse

When it comes to encouraging youngsters to make healthy lifestyle choices and to resist the temptations of addictive and harmful substances such as tobacco, drugs and alcohol, schools can play a vital role. But how can they best do that? An appraisal of a systematic review on school-based marijuana and alcohol prevention programmes targeting ten to [read the full story…]

Exercise for preventing gestational diabetes: review finds not enough evidence to guide practice

Here at Lifestyle Elf HQ, several new pieces of research relating to pregnancy have come my way. Last week I looked at the new Cochrane review on iron supplements for pregnant women; coming up are two reviews on exercise in pregnancy. The first is another new Cochrane review, which set out to assess the effects of [read the full story…]