Obesity – a global issue

A recent report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), has highlighted the ongoing obesity epidemic. Top of the table are United States (38.2%), Mexico (32.4%), New Zealand (30.7%) and Hungary (30%), with Italy (9.8%), Korea (5.3%) and Japan (3.7%%) faring well at the bottom. However, these figures only examine data for 35 countries. In comparison, worldwide obesity figures from the US Central Intelligence Agency show far higher rates of obesity in islands of the Pacific, with 6 countries above 50% and Nauru at the top of the list with an obesity rate of 61%. Although the OECD is projecting a steep increase in the future, current years have shown a slowing down in the percentage of people who are obese in many OECD countries. Obesity continues to be a serious issue, and one that governments and health authorities are failing to tackle successfully. Rather than wasting time and resources reformulating processed foods, the public needs serious re-education about nutrition and lifestyle interventions that promote health and prevent disease. Where government guidelines are slow to be updated, scientifically-based information such as ANH-Intl’s Food4Health guidelines already exist.

Attempts to ‘fix’ the flu vaccine potentially more toxic

Following the admission that the flu vaccine is ineffective in over 65’s, the UK government has followed the USA in approving the use of Fluad - an adjuvanted flu vaccine for the 2018/19 flu ‘season’. This is despite previous safety concerns following patient deaths in Italy. The new vaccine contains squalene, an adjuvant included to enhance the effectiveness of the vaccine. Although squalene occurs naturally in the human body, injecting synthetic squalene is a different matter entirely. The belief is that where there is greater immunogenicity (to act as an antigen) the vaccine is more effective however, this does not necessarily follow. As with current flu vaccines it will continue to be a best guess scenario as to which strains are prevalent and should be vaccinated against. Patients wising to know more about the vaccine and potential side effects should read the patient information leaflet.

Cronyism extraordinaire? Ex GSK boss becomes UK’s Chief Science Officer

The resignation of Dr Patrick Vallance from his role as President, R&D, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), has been announced as he gets ready to become the UK Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor and Head of the Government’s Office for Science. In this role he will be advising the Government on aspects of policy in regards to science and technology. Whilst the revolving door between pharmaceutical companies and government agencies is not unusual it does raise questions as to how this influences health policy. Will this new appointment result in a conflict of interest and bring yet more pressure to bear on those of us who advocate natural health care as Brexit looms large on the horizon? We will be watching closely and reporting.

How to increase Big Pharma profits overnight!

The threshold for being diagnosed with high blood pressure in the USA has been lowered from 140/90 to 130/80 mm Hg. It’s predicted that this change will result in nearly half of the adult US population (46%) being diagnosed with high blood pressure. The American College of Cardiology has said this will only result in a small number of new prescriptions for medication, recommending instead lifestyle changes. Whether or not the pharmaceutical companies encourage doctors to take advantage of this new opportunity remains to be seen! As with many chronic diseases, the best prevention is through diet and lifestyle intervention. For more information on how to make changes to your diet that can support optimal health read and digest our Food4Health guidelines. And don’t forget that sitting kills and isn’t something you can exercise – or eat – your way out of. Instead, include additional activity in your day by getting up for 2-3 mins every half an hour and walking around the office, up and down the stairs or in the garden.