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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The New York Tobacco Control Program may be cost-effective

Money, cigarettes and health

Reducing the prevalence of tobacco use is best achieved through a range of tobacco control measures designed to both prevent or reduce uptake, and encourage and support existing smokers to stop smoking. These measures can include education, taxation and cessation support, but while all of these have been shown to be effective, there remains uncertainty [read the full story…]

The UK’s chlamydia mass media campaign encouraged high risk groups to get tested

Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) today in the United Kingdom, and sexually active young people (15 – 24) are most at risk.  It can be difficult to know if you have chlamydia as most people do not have symptoms, and if left untreated can lead to serious long-term health consequences including [read the full story…]

Uptake of plain packaging was associated with reduced satisfaction from smoking and increased will to quit

A packet of fags

We are constantly told by the tobacco lobby that we need more evidence for plain (i.e. unbranded) cigarette packaging as a public health measure. This in spite of the vast sums they spend on, er, packaging, marketing, lobbying etc.  Presumably for no benefit to themselves.  This tremendous example of commercial philanthropy in support of the [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…]

How can we get kids to be more active at school? New review highlights gaps

boy looking through hole in playground equipment

What do you remember about school break times? Did we fall into predictable groups, with boys playing football and girls walking round arm in arm, sharing gossip? It seems to me, looking back, that it was a time spent on the move, one way and another, and from a health perspective that was a Good [read the full story…]

New guidance on brief advice for adults undertaking exercise in primary care

Asleep at the desk

“Nudging” people to change their behaviour is one of the concepts du jour.  In the cash- and time-strapped environment of health care delivery, the idea that small scale interventions can have a big collective impact particularly appeals. NICE has recently released guidance for primary care professionals on how to deliver brief advice on undertaking exercise.  [read the full story…]

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How can we help parents keep their children safe from injury at home?

young dad kissing baby

We’ll wrap up our look at evidence on injuries this week with a move away from sports into the home. Not many of us run marathons, but we all run the risk of injury from everyday hazards and need to think how we can minimize the risks and keep ourselves and our families safe. So [read the full story…]

Injury prevention apps: Are they making substantiated claims?

Staying injury-free is an important piece to living a healthy, ongoing and active lifestyle. While taking part in physical activity always puts you at greater risk of injury, research in the past two decades has helped us better understand measures we can take to both better prevent and treat injuries, potentially decreasing some of the [read the full story…]