The Health News Australia October 5 2017

  • Aboriginal women are less likely to survive breast cancer than non-indigenous women which has prompted a new social media campaign to try to increase early detection. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Australian women yet Indigenous women are 16% less likely to survive compared to others.
  • The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has endorsed marriage equality after bitter criticisms from doctors who accused it of sitting on the sidelines during a debate that affects LGBTI people’s health. The Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Australian Medical Association and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists had all already endorsed marriage equality.
  • The average salt content in chilled ready meals has increased by thirty one percent since two thousand ten, prompting nutritionists to call for tougher salt reduction targets aimed at food manufacturers. According to the National Health and Medical Research Council, most Australian adults have a daily salt intake of about 10 grams per day. The average ready meal from the supermarket freezer contains fifty percent of an adult’s recommended daily salt intake, while some meals exceeded the maximum daily intake in a single serve.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 5th of  October 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-03/indigenous-women-and-breast-cancer-campaign/9009880

Aboriginal women are less likely to survive breast cancer than non-indigenous women which has prompted a new social media campaign to try to increase early detection. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Australian women yet Indigenous women are sixteen percent less likely to survive compared to others. Cancer survivor and Indigenous woman, Jacinta Elston from Cancer Australia, said Aboriginal women tend to put off going to the doctor about breast changes and often do not stick with treatment. “The rates of breast cancer for our community are quite significant and we have much poorer outcomes in terms of survival,” Professor Elston told the ABC.
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She said many Aboriginal women had very complicated lives and like many women generally, did not put themselves first and did not seek medical help. Some Indigenous women may be reluctant to discuss a breast change with their doctor due to shame, embarrassment, fear or stigma but this could seriously impact on their breast cancer outcomes, Professor Elston said.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer fourteen years ago in her early thirties with a newborn and a young child. Fortunately, she was in a large regional north Queensland town and had access to medical treatment and also had financial security, allowing her to take time off work for treatment. But she said it is a different reality for many Indigenous women who struggle financially and have to travel long distances for treatment. She hopes the video Lots to Live For produced by Cancer Australia will be shared on social media by Indigenous women to help get the message out about the importance of early diagnosis in surviving breast cancer. Professor Elston said her own prognosis is “really good” with no sign of cancer.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/oct/03/gps-college-endorses-marriage-equality-after-heavy-criticism

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has endorsed marriage equality after bitter criticisms from doctors who accused it of sitting on the sidelines during a debate that affects LGBTI people’s health. In a statement to members sent on Monday evening the college’s president, Bastian Seidel, said it supported marriage equality “as part of valuing diversity and inclusion”, while recognising the “absolute right” of members to hold and express their own personal views. The Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Australian Medical Association and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists had all already endorsed marriage equality. Five of Australia’s most respected mental health groups launched a public campaign in favour of same-sex marriage, claiming the reform could prevent up to three thousand high school suicide attempts every year. Last week ReachOut.com reported a seventeen percent increase in the number of LGBTI young people seeking support through their service during the postal survey period.

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On Monday the marriage equality advocate Kerryn Phelps, a former AMA president, told Sky News that “people who have a sense of fairness and justice are talking about voting yes”. Nevertheless, she said, many LGBTI people had been “distressed” by the tone of the no campaign.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/oct/03/australian-supermarket-ready-meals-contain-31-more-salt-than-in-2010

The average salt content in chilled ready meals has increased by thirty one percent since two thousand ten, prompting nutritionists to call for tougher salt reduction targets aimed at food manufacturers. A study published by the George Institute for Global Health and VicHealth on Tuesday examined the salt content of one thousand four hundred seventy eight ready meals including chilled, frozen and shelf meals. Not included were pre-prepared fruit or vegetable-only salads, sandwiches, side dishes, marinated meats, pizza and processed meats such as pies and sausage rolls.

The researchers compared the sodium content of the meals to the content of ready meals recorded in two thousand ten, two thousand thirteen and two thousand fifteen. They found the range of supermarket ready meals increased one hundred twenty nine percent from two hundred eight products in two thousand ten to four hundred seventy three products in two thousand seventeen. There was no reduction in the average salt content of the entire ready meal range, despite Australia’s commitment to a thirty percent reduction in population salt intake by two thousand twenty five. Adults should consume less than two thousand milligrams  of sodium, or five grams of salt, per day. One teaspoon of salt equals two thousand three hundred milligrams of sodium. According to the National Health and Medical Research Council, most Australian adults have a daily salt intake of about ten grams per day. The average ready meal from the supermarket freezer contains fifty percent of an adult’s recommended daily salt intake, while some meals exceeded the maximum daily intake in a single serve.
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The chief executive of VicHealth, Jerril Rechter, said Australia’s ready meal industry was growing rapidly, which meant it should be a target of health campaigns.Three-quarters of the salt people consume comes from processed and packaged foods, she said, and eating too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, a major contributor to heart disease. The lead author of the research and a nutritionist for the George Institute, Clare Farrand, said she understood why ready meals were appealing and that it was not necessarily sensible to just tell people to stop eating them. Heart foundation dietitian Sian Armstrong said only about forty two percent of Australian ready meal products met the current UK food standards.

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