Category Archives: Health and Safety

For Teenagers It’s Not Laziness It’s Biological!

It seems the reason teenagers stay up late at night and find it hard to get out of bed in the morning is biological.

One important change that occurs at night time is increased levels of the ‘darkness hormone’ melatonin, which helps us to fall asleep. Most adults start to produce melatonin at about 10pm. When teenagers were studied in a sleep laboratory, researchers discovered that they only began to produce the hormone at 1am. BBC

Over 50’s Could Benefit From Statins

“If we want to prevent heart attacks and strokes that come out of the blue in people with no previous evidence of problems – and about half such events happen in the absence of any prior history of disease – then we have to identify and treat people who are currently healthy but are known to be at increased risk of developing heart disease,” said Professor Colin Baigent of Oxford University, co-author of the study. The Guardian

It’s only just dawned on me they’re talking about people like me! As far as the study goes, who knows, but I’m sure the manufacturers are going to be happy with everybody over 50 taking their drugs!

We’re All Binge Drinkers

There’s been a lot in the press recently regarding the minimum price of alcohol and binge drinking but did you realise we’re all binge drinkers? The BBC reports

Over 9m people in England (22% of adults) reported drinking at above guideline levels in 2009.

And 19% of men and 12% of women are “binge drinkers” – defined as those who drink more than double the guideline amount for a day.

Not forgetting that the recommendation is no more than 2-3 units of alcohol a day for women and 3-4 a day form men, that’s approximately a pint-and-a-half for women and 2 pints for men and I don’t mean your super charged beers and largers, which is something I achieve about once a week! Which makes me a binge drinker!

NHS Reform Bill

So this weekend the leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg has been defending the NHS Reform Bill:

“Because this is a coalition government, the health bill was stopped in its tracks and rewritten”

“Because this is a coalition competition will be the servant of health care, not the master because this is a coalition government. Because it is a coalition government, this is a bill for patients not profits. It is not a Liberal Democrat health bill but it is a better bill because of the Liberal Democrats, a better bill because of you.” Nick Clegg.

Seems Clegg is totally glossing over the fact that if he and his party hadn’t joined the Tories then there wouldn’t be a Health Reform Bill at all. Claiming to have improved it is a spurious claim. Much like the claim the health service needs reform; it’s about the Tories lining their friend’s pockets with profits from the NHS.

Friends, like John Nash.

The Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley received donations from the wife of John Nash, chairman of Care UK a company which is set to reap vast profits from the Health Reform Bill. In fact Caroline Nash has given £203,500 to the Tories over the past five years. But the donations to Lansley are particularly troubling, surely there’s a conflict of interest that should bar him from the office of Secretary of State for Health, however not something that seems to worry the Tory leader, David Cameron.

As an aside what on earth did Lansley get a CBE for? Running the Tories 1992 election campaign is the answer. Now I could get completely off the point here, I’ll just say it’s about time the bankrupt system of honours was abolished, along with royalty come to that.

Back to the NHS, then there’s Dolar Popat chief executive of TLC Health Care who gave the Tories £200,000 and promptly received a peerage. Then there’s Tory MP Mark Simmonds who’s paid £50,000 a year for ten hours work a month by Circle Health the first company awarded control of a NHS hospital by the Tories.

Clegg’s no better his party have accepted around a million pounds from tax dodging non-doms Alpha Health Care since 2004.

I could go on but the point being made is being under reported by in the media, I guess they want a slice of the action themselves, maybe a nice peerage, maybe they’re afraid they’ll lose access to government ministers? Who knows? But it’s about time we woke up and smelled the bullshit before it’s too late.

Like anything there’s always improvements that can be made and the NHS is certainly no different, but handing it to private companies isn’t the answer, they’ll be motivated by profit, not health, you only have to look at the USA to see how badly that turns out, if you’re in any doubt check out the film Sicko it should dis-spell them.

When is abortion illegal?

I ask because the BBC is reporting the Department of Health is investigating claims that abortions have been carried out based on gender which in the UK is illegal. Now I hadn’t really known that and had rather assumed that you could have an abortion if you wanted and that was that, which is fine by me. I had a vague idea that some women might have to undergo some counselling before being allowed an abortion, but really that was it. Looking on the Marie Stopes website at their Abortion Facts page the process appears even simpler. So the answer to my question when is abortion illegal? Abortion should be legal and that’s it no added caveats.

Obesity USA

Stall at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in California

Stall at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in California

Is it any wonder there’s an obesity crisis in the US? Who’d have thought there’s a market for deep fried butter? Makes the humble chip seem positively healthy.

Hat Tip: The Guardian.

The Breast Milk Alone Question

Six months of breastmilk alone is too long and could harm babies, scientists now say. Sarah Boseley, The Guardian.

One word of caution three of the four authors of the report have performed consultancy work and/or received research funding from companies manufacturing infant formulas and baby foods within the past 3 years. BMJ.

Some Sense at Last

Homeopathic treatments should be banned from the NHS and taken off pharmacy shelves designated for medicines, doctors said today.

Members of the British Medical Association said homeopathic remedies should be relegated to shelves “labelled placebos” and that NHS money should not be spent on treatments that are scientifically implausible. Sarah Boseley, The Guardian.

Perhaps we can also add chiropractors and acupuncturists – I prefer my treatments to be evidence based – not based on belief.

Con-Dem’s Want us to Die for Deficit Reduction

The government is to take the controversial and potentially unpopular step of scrapping four-hour waiting time targets in accident and emergency departments and instead focus on delivering the “best possible results for patients”, it said. Alexandra Topping and Dennis Campbell, The Guardian.

Best possible results for patients! Is it really too much to ask that we be seen within four hours – if our health service can’t do that then surely something’s wrong – what is needed in our A&E units is more doctors and nurses but that costs money – this has nothing to do with patients and everything to do with deficit reduction – the health secretary Andrew Lansley is nothing but a murderer.

Tesco Backs Alcohol Price Minimum

Supermarket chain Tesco says it wants to see curbs on the sale of cheap alcohol during this Parliament.

Tesco has welcomed a promise by the coalition government to ban below-cost sales of alcohol in England and Wales.

The UK’s biggest retailer goes further, saying it would back the more radical step of introducing a minimum price. BBC.

Of course Tesco backs a minimum price – more profit for them – it’s legal price fixing – as always with health and green issues all we get is a tax on the poor – the wealthy can carry on – don’t tell me there aren’t any wealthy alcoholics.

So why doesn’t Tesco put its money where its mouth is now?

During the World Cup, most retailers – including Tesco – are expected to offer significant discounts on alcohol.

In an exclusive BBC interview, Lucy Neville-Rolfe, Tesco’s director for corporate affairs, says in the absence of government action they have to compete on price. BBC.

So that’s anything for a profit then. Still I don’t believe the answer is trying to raise the price – people will still drink the same they’ll cover the extra expense by going without something else – the problems social – it’s what many people do with their leisure time. Dealing with alcohol abuse by bolstering the profits of Tesco and the like seems ludicrous.