The Health News Australia October 24 2017

  • For the first time, a UK feminine hygiene company has shown a pad absorbing red — not blue — “period blood” in an advertisement. Bodyform said an online survey it conducted found 74% of men and women wanted to see a “more realistic representation of periods in advertisements.”
  • The soft drink industry said its fight against a sugar tax was “consuming vast amounts of resources”, but by lobbying politicians and bureaucrats it had managed to keep the policy off the table. In its annual report, the Australian Beverages Council – representing many large soft drink makers including Coca-Cola and Pepsi – claims it has successfully warded off “any legitimate threat of a discriminatory tax”.
  • Bladder cancer affects almost three thousand Australians each year and causes thousands of deaths. Yet it often has a lower profile compared to other types of cancer such as breast, lung and prostate. For bladder cancer this went up from 0.3 (about 30%) in the 1980s to 0.4 (40%) in 2010 (compared to 0.2 for breast and colon cancer and 0.8 for lung cancer). While the relative survival (survival compared to a healthy individual of similar age) for most other cancers has improved in Australia, for bladder cancer this has decreased over time.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 24th of  October 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-21/period-blood-shown-advertisment-effort-to-confront-taboos/9072252

For the first time, a UK feminine hygiene company has shown a pad absorbing red — not blue — “period blood” in an advertisement. A woman in the shower with blood running down her leg is also shown in the ad, with Bodyform saying it hoped it would help confront “period taboos”.
Bodyform said an online survey it conducted found seventy four percent of men and women wanted to see a “more realistic representation of periods in advertisements”.
Doctor Elizabeth Farrell, a gynaecologist and medical director of Jean Hailes for Women’s Health, said any campaign that acknowledges a woman’s normal biology is positive.
Doctor Farrell added:  “Menstruation is a normal part of being a woman, but no-one talks about it. It’s considered so negatively in so many cultures.’’
….
Many took to social media to respond to the realistic portrayal, saying, “It’s about bloody time”.
One person wrote on Twitter: “Bravo to Bodyform for finally being honest about menstruation. I might even stop banging on about the blue juice now.” Another wrote: “This may seem like a minor change, but it’s a massive step forward and it makes me very happy! Nice work.” However, it was not all praise. Some complained about the sight of blood, which can make people feel ill or faint. “I don’t agree with the campaign … we all know what sanitary products are used for. We don’t need visuals thanks very much,” one person wrote.
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Last year, another ad for Bodyform was praised for stamping out menstrual taboos by focusing on women’s ability to push past their physical limits during exercise.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/beverages-industry-praises-itself-for-turning-politicians-away-from-sugar-tax-20171020-gz520t.html

The soft drink industry said its fight against a sugar tax was “consuming vast amounts of resources”, but by lobbying politicians and bureaucrats it had managed to keep the policy off the table. In its annual report, the Australian Beverages Council – representing many large soft drink makers including Coca-Cola and Pepsi – claims it has successfully warded off “any legitimate threat of a discriminatory tax”. The peak body is at loggerheads with a coalition of thirty four health, academic and consumer groups who are urging the federal government to slap a twenty percent levy on sugary drinks in a bid to reverse Australia’s obesity crisis. The beverage council warned that a sugar tax was never far from morphing into a draft bill for debate and, based on the experience of its overseas counterparts, it must “constantly challenge” any such threat before it reaches parliament.
….
It said an annual board meeting at Parliament House in Canberra had allowed members to engage with key politicians and on reflection, the politicians’ expressions of support last time the sugar tax debate flared up “was due in part to the positive outcomes from this meeting”. It also revealed it had “broadened defensive lines” to stop the tax. This was the main idea, it divulged, behind the creation of a sugar roundtable, whose key members include the Australian Food and Grocery Council and the Canegrowers Association.
….
In Mexico, it has been reported a tax of about ten per cent on sugar-sweetened beverages saw a seventy point six per cent drop in purchases of those drinks over two years. This is disputed by the beverage industry. Health Minister Greg Hunt’s spokesman said he categorically rejected the assertions made. “The Coalition’s policy on this matter has been consistent and unchanged for many years now,” he said. He said the government was tackling the obesity crisis by encouraging Australians to live healthy lives and focusing on driving grocery prices down.
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Sugar and soft drink manufacturers maintain a strong lobbying presence in federal parliament. Industry leader Coca-Cola has four registered external lobbyists in Canberra, all of whom are former government employees.

https://theconversation.com/australias-high-rates-of-bladder-cancer-deaths-show-why-blood-in-urine-should-always-be-investigated-83214

Bladder cancer affects almost three thousand Australians each year and causes thousands of deaths. Yet it often has a lower profile compared to other types of cancer such as breast, lung and prostate. The rate at which Australians are diagnosed with bladder cancer has decreased over time, which means the death rate has fallen too, although at a slower rate. This has led to an increase in the so called mortality-to-incidence ratio, a key statistic that measures the proportion of people with a cancer who die from it. For bladder cancer this went up from zero point three (about thirty percent) in the nineteen eighties to zero point four (forty percent) in two thousand ten (compared to zero point two for breast and colon cancer and zero point eight for lung cancer). While the relative survival (survival compared to a healthy individual of similar age) for most other cancers has improved in Australia, for bladder cancer this has decreased over time.

Environmental risk factors are thought to be more important than genetic or inherited causes when it comes to bladder cancer. The most significant known risk factor is cigarette smoking. Australia’s anti-smoking measures and effective quitting campaigns have led to a progressive reduction in smoking rates over the last twenty five years. This is undoubtedly one key reason behind the observed decline in bladder cancer diagnoses over time. Bladder cancer risk also increases with exposure to chemicals such as dyes and solvents used in industries like hairdressing, printing and textiles. Appropriate workplace safety measures are crucial to minimising exposure, but the increased risk of occupational bladder cancer remains an ongoing problem. Men develop bladder cancer about three times as often as women. In part, this may have to do with the fact that men are exposed more to the risk factors. Conversely, women have a relatively poorer survival from bladder cancer compared to men. The reasons for this are unclear, but may partly relate to difficulties in diagnosis.

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