The Health News – 15 September 2016

Overview:
•  A study of tooth decay in 11,000 West Australian children ound children in areas without a fluoridated water supply in the South West were 1.5 times more likely to have decayed or missing teeth, compared to children in Perth where the water is fluoridated.The group named Fluoride Free WA is behind the petition and believes ingesting fluoride is dangerous.

• A study commissioned by the Art Gallery of New South Wales has found viewing art creates a heightened sense of joy for people with dementia, alleviating anxiety by allowing them to stay in the moment. Australian Centre for Arts and Health executive director Margret Meagher said there was no doubt art brought enhancement to the lives of people living with dementia.

• About 50 per cent of Australians are living with a chronic disease and 63 per cent of adults are now considered overweight or obese, according to the latest report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. The report provided disturbing rates of chronic diseases caused by lifestyle choices, prompting calls for a large injection of funds for prevention programs.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  15th of September 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-13/study-confirms-benefits-of-fluoride/7841278

A study of tooth decay in 11,000 West Australian children has reinforced the dental benefits of drinking fluoridated water.

The research found children in areas without a fluoridated water supply in the South West were 1.5 times more likely to have decayed or missing teeth, compared to children in Perth where the water is fluoridated.

The Health Minister John Day, who is a former dentist, said more than 92 per cent of WA’s drinking water had been fluoridated since the policy began 50 years ago.

A petition with more than 8,000 signatures is being presented to the WA Parliament on Wednesday, calling on the Government to abandon its fluoride policy.

The group named Fluoride Free WA is behind the petition and believes ingesting fluoride is dangerous.

But Mr Day dismissed the concerns.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-13/study-finds-art-helps-people-with-dementia/7840654

A dose of art is often prescribed to people living with dementia, and new research has shed light on exactly why it is so beneficial.

A study commissioned by the Art Gallery of New South Wales has found viewing art creates a heightened sense of joy for people with dementia, alleviating anxiety by allowing them to stay in the moment.

The study specifically examined the gallery’s art access program, which invites people living with dementia and their carers to view and discuss iconic works in the collection.

The program has been running since 2010, and was created off the back of a similar project at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

While dementia impacts memory, emotions remain intact, and the head of learning and participation at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Heather Whitely-Robertson, said the study found art allowed people with dementia to tap into their imagination.

The study found staying “in the moment” spared people with dementia the stress and frustration of trying to recall memories.

Australian Centre for Arts and Health executive director Margret Meagher said there was no doubt art brought enhancement to the lives of people living with dementia.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-13/one-in-four-australians-have-two-or-more-chronic-diseases/7840184

About 50 per cent of Australians are living with a chronic disease and 63 per cent of adults are now considered overweight or obese, according to the latest report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Despite those findings, the report also found 85 per cent of Australians said they thought they were in good or excellent health.

The report provided disturbing rates of chronic diseases caused by lifestyle choices, prompting calls for a large injection of funds for prevention programs.

It also said that 95 per cent of Australians did not eat the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables, more than 10 per cent smoked daily and almost 20 per cent drank to ‘risky levels’.

And while there were some improvements in the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, they continued to have lower life expectancy rates than non-Indigenous Australians — more than 10 years shorter.

Health Minister Sussan Ley said one in four Australians have two or more chronic diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, arthritis, asthma, back pain, diabetes or a mental health condition.

Ms Ley said the report found people living in rural and remote parts of Australia tended to have lower life expectancy than people living in major cities.

She said those living in remote and very remote areas had higher mortality rates from traffic accidents, suicide and diabetes.

A recent report published by the Sax Institute found preventable chronic illnesses in those aged 45 and up were costing the health system billions of dollars.

Emily Banks, a professor from the ANU’s School of Public Health, said Australia could be doing “a lot better in prevention”.

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