The Health News – 12 January 2017

Overview:
• Scientists at London’s Francis Crick found out that there is a biological reason for why we overeat when we drink alcohol. Alcohol activates specific brain cells or neurons, which stimulate the urge to eat. These nerve cells make a protein known as AgRP neurons and alcohol is modulating the effect of these neurons in increasing food intake.

• Donald Trump is looking into the possibility of forming a presidential panel to review vaccination safety and science, appointing Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to oversee the program. Trump is exploring the possibility of forming a commission on autism, which affects so many families. However, no decisions have been made at this time.

• In India, poor sanitation is blamed for persistent malnutrition and child stunting in India. In most part of India, defecating anywhere is a common sight and changing centuries-old habits like these to improve the country’s worst health problems is definitely not easy.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  12th of January 2017. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-11/why-does-alcohol-make-you-hungry/8176220

Have you ever woken up famished after a big night of drinking? New research has found there is a biological reason for why we overeat when we drink alcohol.

Overeating and eating junk food while drunk has popularly been blamed on a simple lack of self-control, but scientists at London’s Francis Crick Institute have found there could be a scientific reason.

They discovered that the specific brain cells or neurons which stimulate the urge to eat can be activated by alcohol as well as by hunger.

“The alcohol is active in the brain on a group of nerve cells in the area of the brain that regulates food intake, and these nerve cells make a protein …[known as] AgRP neurons,” said Gary Wittert, the head of the School of Medicine at Adelaide University.

“And when these neurons make this protein, they regulate food intake and alcohol is modulating the effect of these neurons so as to increase food intake.”

In an experiment, mice subjected to a three-day “alcoholic weekend” — the equivalent of 18 standard drinks — were found to eat significantly more food than their sober counterparts.

The researchers found that blocking the activity of the hunger-promoting neurons in some of the mice eliminated alcohol-induced overeating.

Professor Wittert said it is quite possible the activation of the neurons could also distort the food choices we make.

He said while there is more to learn in this sphere, it is clear people should never plan to binge drink.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-11/donald-trump-appoints-vaccine-sceptic/8174560

US President-elect Donald Trump is looking into the possibility of forming a presidential panel to review vaccination safety and science, with vaccination sceptic Robert F Kennedy Jr being sounded out to oversee it.

The potential appointment of Mr Kennedy — a son of the late US senator Robert F Kennedy and who has raised questions about the safety of vaccines — is likely to reignite debate despite now-debunked research that tied childhood immunisations to autism.

A Trump spokesperson said that while Mr Trump “enjoyed” his conversation with Mr Kennedy, he had not yet commissioned a panel.

“The president-elect is exploring the possibility of forming a commission on autism, which affects so many families; however no decisions have been made at this time,” said Hope Hicks.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-11/toilet-fines-part-of-push-to-end-indias-outdoor-habit/8173094

In a bid to solve some of India’s worst health problems, one village in the country’s north is fining people caught defecating outside.

Poor sanitation is blamed for persistent malnutrition and child stunting, and changing centuries-old habits is not proving easy.

A group of women applauded as tiny fines were imposed on villagers caught going to the toilet outside.

“We told you — if anybody defecates in the open, we’d fine them, said … a respected elder among the women of Mewat in Haryana, not far from New Delhi.

“Ten rupees is a lot for us poor people, that is what we charged them, and now nobody goes,” she said.

Across India though, its a different story. People squatting in fields, on the railway tracks — anywhere there is space, with or without privacy — is a common sight.

Around 650 million Indians either don’t have or don’t use a toilet.

“We lose 100,000 babies a year due to poor sanitation,” said Madu Krishna, the Gates Foundation program director for water sanitation in India.

Current Prime Minister Narendra Modi has vowed to provide toilets for all in just three years’ time, as part of his Swachh Bharat [Clean India] policy, an initiative which draws on Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy urging Indians to take pride in cleanliness.

But even between word of mouth and Government support, it is widely thought spreading that message across India will take 10 years at least.

 

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