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…]

What kind of interventions can help to encourage socioeconomically disadvantaged women to exercise?

This week in the Woodland we’ve been focusing on ways to ramp up the old physical activity in our lives and today is no different. It seemed important to focus a little more on the fairer sex when I read that women are less active than men across the lifespan. We definitely spend a lot [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…]

More evidence that obese children are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease

If you’re an overweight adult, you are at increased risk of a load of health problems you don’t want, including cardiovascular diseases (CVD). These affect the heart and blood vessels and include coronary heart disease and stroke. As for children, evidence for a similar association is building up but the link is less well understood, including the [read the full story…]

Longer, more intensive aerobic exercise programmes more effective for obese children

We finish up the week with a critical appraisal from Health Evidence Canada, on a meta-analysis of studies on improvement in aerobic fitness in obese children and adolescents, following a variety of interventions, which was published in the International Journal of Pediatric Obesity last year. They assessed the review as being ‘strong’ in terms of how well it was [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…]

Scottish evidence briefing highlights knowledge and skills for promoting good food choices and healthy weight

Well the children are back at school and the little elves in my household did a fair bit of moaning on the first couple of days. They had to run round the playing field several times, as fast as they could, trying to beat the others. What happened to loitering at the back, chatting to [read the full story…]

Online obesity treatment programmes show promise

Today I’m returning to the topic of ‘telehealth’, with the latest evidence on how computers may help people who are struggling with their weight. A new Cochrane review, published this week, looks at the evidence for the effectiveness of interactive computer programmes in helping overweight or obese people lose weight and to help maintain weight [read the full story…]