The Health News Australia November 25 2017

  • Victoria will enact the only legal voluntary assisted-dying scheme in the country in a move met with mixed emotion. Labor government-proposed legislation won narrow support in the state’s upper house on Wednesday after 28  hours of continuous debate and the second of two overnight sittings. Advocates for voluntary assisted-dying welcomed the passage of the legislation through the state’s upper house despite the amendments.
  • A major new government report has revealed that Australia’s obesity crisis has now hit preschoolers with 1 in five 2 to 4-year-olds now classified as overweight or obese. Today’s toddlers are twice as likely to be obese (9%) as children of the same age in 1995 (4%) and it’s because our food portion sizes have grown by 66% percent. Public health groups are calling for a tax on sugary drinks and restrictions advertising junk food to children to try and control the problem.
  • As lactose-free, soy and nut milks become more common household staples, there is another variety of milk that is becoming increasingly popular — A2 milk. The milk is promoted and sold in supermarkets as an alternative for people who struggle to digest common varieties of cows’ milk. Over the past decade The a two Milk Company, commonly known as A2, has become a major milk player in Australia with about 10% of the market.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 25th of November 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-24/young-adults-with-food-allergies-having-frequent-reactions/9182978

A Melbourne study has found more than forty percent of Australian adolescents with food allergies are experiencing frequent allergic reactions, including potentially lethal anaphylactic attacks. The School Nuts study conducted by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute involved more than ten thousand students aged ten to fourteen. Of the five hundred forty seven children with a food allergy, forty four per cent had experienced an allergic reaction in the past year, while almost ten percent reported a potentially life-threatening anaphylactic reaction.
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The Institute’s Professor Katie Allen said researchers were surprised to find reactions most commonly occurred at home, rather than in schools or at restaurants and cafes. She said teenagers and young adults were most at risk of dying from anaphylaxis but little research had been done on them.
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Professor Allen said the study raised lots of questions about why young people were having frequent allergic reactions. Professor Allen said the food industry’s self-regulated “precautionary labelling”, where consumers were warned the food “may contain traces of nuts” was widely over-used and could lead to complacency. She added:  “It is actually unhelpful for consumers because there is no indication about what is safe to eat.”

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Professor Allen has urged the industry to adopt what is called “permissive” labelling, indicating the product had been through a thorough risk-assessment process and that “we can’t promise you it’s safe but we think it’s reasonably safe.”

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/national/one-in-five-aussie-kids-are-now-overweight-before-they-start-school/news-story/f5582ee3101e6c4a5768c7b0f07de55c

A major new government report has revealed that Australia’s obesity crisis has now hit preschoolers with one in five two to four-year-olds now classified as overweight or obese.
Today’s toddlers are twice as likely to be obese (nine per cent) as children of the same age in nineteen ninety five (four per cent) and it’s because our food portion sizes have grown by sixty six per cent. Public health groups are calling for a tax on sugary drinks and restrictions on advertising junk food to children to try and control the problem.

An astounding eight in ten women aged over fifty five have a waist circumference that puts them at risk of major health problems, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s obesity stock take reveals. But it’s young adults aged eighteen to twenty one who have porked up the most in recent decades. Seventeen per cent of those born in nineteen ninety four to nineteen ninety seven were obese at eighteen to twenty one, more than double the proportion of those born in nineteen seventy four to nineteen seventy seven (seven per cent) at the same age.

Almost two-thirds (sixty three percent) of Australians aged eighteen and over are overweight or obese and men have higher rates of overweight and obesity (seventy one per cent) than women (fifty six per cent).

Internationally Australia now has the fifth highest obesity rate in the world at twenty eight percent of the population aged fifteen, behind the United States of America (thirty eight percent), Mexico (thirty three percent), New Zealand ( thirty two percent), and Hungary (thirty percent). Japan has the lowest rate of obesity (four percent). The report shows that people from lower income backgrounds and those living in regional areas are more likely to be overweight and obese. The consequences of our growing waistlines are alarming with the financial cost estimated at eight point three billion dollars a year — primarily due to lost productivity (three point six billion dollars), health system costs (two billion dollars or twenty four percent), and carer costs (one point nine billion or twenty three percent) .

http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-11-22/a2-milk-vs-ordinary-milk/9177020

As lactose-free, soy and nut milks become more common household staples, there is another variety of milk that is becoming increasingly popular — A two milk. The milk is promoted and sold in supermarkets as an alternative for people who struggle to digest common varieties of cows’ milk. At four dollars and eighty cents for two litres, consumers are paying more for A two milk in the hope it won’t upset their stomachs. Over the past decade The a two Milk Company, commonly known as A two, has become a major milk player in Australia with about ten per cent of the market. The New Zealand-based company owns the patent to the method for identifying the A two  milk cows, meaning it’s the only brand that can sell milk with the A two label. A two refers to the beta-casein proteins found in milk.

Depending on a cow’s genetic make-up, it can produce either completely A one beta-casein, a combination of both, or completely A two beta-casein. The two proteins alleles are almost identical but there are small variations and, while there is no strong scientific research, there is anecdotal evidence to suggest milk containing just the A two protein is easier for some people to digest. Natasha Murray, an accredited practising dietitian for Dietitians Association of Australia said there was some — but not much — evidence showing the A two protein was easier for people to digest.
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Unlike lactose-free milk alternatives, A two milk production is exactly the same as normal milk production. The difference comes in the breeding of the cows.After testing cows to see if they produce A two  or A one milk, farmers will work to breed out the A one genetics from a cow.

In shops, a two milk retails at approximately fifty percent above the value of other common non-a two milk products, despite production costs being almost identical to ordinary milk production. According to a spokesperson for The A two Milk Company this is because the company pays suppliers a premium price for the milk.

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