Huge international study investigates asthma, eczema and diet in children and teens

“Fast food link to childhood asthma and eczema” hit the headlines yesterday and, whilst there were variations on this theme, I was glad to see that the word ‘link’ was there across the headlines. All too often, research which could only show an association between one thing and another is reported in news items as though [read the full story…]

Green tea won’t help you lose weight, finds new Cochrane review

Many people will have headed into the new year resolved to lose some weight and, hopefully, keep off the weight they manage to shed. Green tea preparations are used by some to help both these efforts, but their effectiveness is unclear. To address this uncertainty, a new Cochrane review has been conducted to bring together [read the full story…]

A diet low in total fat can reduce your body weight

I know, I know, it’s simply not the time of year to be worrying about this kind of thing. Feel free to finish that mince pie, close your eyes, stick your fingers in your ears and give a loud ‘Ho, Ho, Ho’ or two. I’m sure it comes as no surprise but with the World [read the full story…]

The ugly truth about England’s health: the Chief Medical Officer reports

We’ve got something a bit different for you this week, as we stand back and take a look at how we’re doing as a nation in terms of our health and wellbeing and also, individually, at different stages of our lives. I’m kicking this off today by flagging up volume one of the first annual report from [read the full story…]

Can friends influence your body weight?

OK people, hands up if you think there’s nothing better than a good friend turning up on your toadstool, unless it’s a good friend with chocolate! I’m thinking that there will be quite a lot of hands in the air right now. Oh yes, if your best friend is about to eat half a chocolate [read the full story…]

Getting children to eat their greens (and reds and yellows): a new Cochrane review

I was a very fortunate young elf as one of my worst memories is of being made to sit in front of a plate of marrow until I ate it, which isn’t going to make much of a misery memoir, is it? The marrow got colder and (I swear) slimier. I still hate marrow. Still, there is [read the full story…]

Cranberries ineffective for preventing urinary tract infections (but still nice with turkey)

Remember when Delia Smith put cranberries in all those winter recipes, creating such a demand for them that they were the 1995 equivalent of the iPhone 5, if with a little less functionality? If domestic goddesses were excited by the thought of putting this fruit where previously there’d only been sage and onion, others bought [read the full story…]

Do lifestyle interventions for preventing weight gain in young adults work?

Here in the Woodland I’ve been quietly checking out the young adult elves amongst us. Trying to figure out if the research that shows that younger generations are gaining weight faster than their parents is indeed true. It’s a crazy time isn’t it, the action packed years between 18 and 35? You head out into [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 guides to evaluating dietary and physical activity interventions from the National Obesity Observatory

If you are involved in dietary or physical activity interventions, as a commissioner, manager, local authority lead, practitioner or evaluator, this is for you! You are the people the National Obesity Observatory (NOO) had in mind in producing two new Standard Evaluation Frameworks on these two topics. All too often, the impact of an intervention [read the full story…]