The Health News – 13 October 2016

Overview:
•  A 20 per cent price increase on the price of sugary drinks like sodas, sport drinks and even 100 per cent fruit juices could reduce consumption of sweet drinks by the same proportion, the WHO said in Fiscal Policies for Diet and Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases, a report issued on World Obesity Day.

• Perth doctors are to trial peanut clinics in a bid to reduce rising rates of allergy among infants and children by exposing them to peanut products early. Researchers were planning to use the clinics to test 400 infants to determine the possible benefits of early exposure.

• The South Australian Government is looking for a private provider to prop up medical imaging services due to a shortage of radiologi sts at Adelaide’s Lyell McEwin Hospital (LMH). The Government’s Transforming Health plan will see services from other hospitals shifted to the Lyell McEwin, including from Modbury Hospital.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  13th of October 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-12/tax-sugary-drinks-to-fight-obesity-un-health-agency-urges/7924594

Governments should use tax policy to increase the price of sugary drinks like sodas, sport drinks and even 100 per cent fruit juices as a way to fight obesity, diabetes and tooth decay, the World Health Organisation says.

A 20 per cent price increase could reduce consumption of sweet drinks by the same proportion, the WHO said in Fiscal Policies for Diet and Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases, a report issued on World Obesity Day.

Drinking fewer calorific sweet drinks is the best way to curb excessive weight and prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes, although fat and salt in processed foods are also at fault, WHO officials said.

In the 36-page report, the WHO also cited “strong evidence” that subsidies to reduce prices for fresh fruits and vegetables can help improve diets.

Obesity more than doubled worldwide between 1980 and 2014, with 11 per cent of men and 15 per cent of women classified as obese — more than 500 million people, the report said.

WHO guidelines say people needed to roughly halve the amount of sugar they consume to lower risks of obesity and tooth decay.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-12/peanut-clinics-to-test-if-early-exposure-reduces-allergy-rates/7924042

Perth doctors are to trial peanut clinics in a bid to reduce rising rates of allergy among infants and children by exposing them to peanut products early.

Researchers were planning to use the clinics to test 400 infants to determine the possible benefits of early exposure.

Current guidelines suggest that those at high risk should be exposed from as early as four months old.

The research could involve those infants being given soup, with a gradual introduction of peanuts in a paste.

West Australian Health Minister John Day said some Australian parents’ apprehension to peanuts was delaying exposure.

Children with a family history of allergies to peanuts are expected to be involved in the clinics.

Researchers will be able to compare the incidence of allergy among children exposed early to those exposed later.

It is believed about 3 per cent of children are affected by peanut allergies, with rates having risen over the past 20 years.

The project is expected to start next year, funded by grants from the State Goverment’s Research Translation Project.

If the trial is successful, the concept could be rolled out across GP practices and child health clinics.

Research published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed the early introduction of egg (from four to six months) and peanuts (from four to 11 months) was linked to lower rates of allergy.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-11/lyell-mcewin-hospital-radiology-services-to-be-outsourced/7923692

The South Australian Government is looking for a private provider to prop up medical imaging services due to a shortage of radiologists at Adelaide’s Lyell McEwin Hospital (LMH).

Increasing the hospital’s size is a key plank of the Government’s Transforming Health plan but a failure to attract radiologists has seen it put a tender out for service providers.

The tender document, …, calls for the supply of full or partial medical imaging services at the Elizabeth Vale site, including staff.

Under the arrangement the staff would use the hospital’s equipment.

…Transforming Health will see services from other hospitals shifted to the Lyell McEwin, including from Modbury Hospital.

There are currently three radiologists employed at the hospital and the Government said it had tried for two years to recruit more.

The document stated the demand for services was expected to increase.

Currently Modbury and LMH provide imaging services for 1,850 in-patients, 2,000 out-patients and 2,950 emergency department patients each week.