The Health News Australia December 17 2017

  • According to a new study, Australia is experiencing an “epidemic” of large babies due to the high rates of obesity.  Analysis of more than three thousand pregnant Sydney women shows the number of babies born between 2010 and 2012 classified as Large for Gestational Age (LGA) – weighing more than 4,000 grams or 4 kilos – was significantly higher than expected by the international standard.
  • Use of the potentially addictive painkillers oxycodone and fentanyl is rising in regional Australia, the latest analysis of drugs in wastewater has shown. The analysis of fifty four wastewater sites by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission found that while methylamphetamine, commonly known as ice, remained the most commonly used illegal drug, prescription opioid use in regional areas outstripped that in capital cities.
  • The Salvation Army is defending its decision to back a Coca-Cola marketing campaign slammed by health groups as “cynical”. Last month a Coca-Cola truck embarked on a tour of regional Queensland and New South Wales, handing out gifts along the way as part of a Christmas-themed promotion. Health groups have criticised the campaign as nothing more than a marketing exercise targeting communities with already-high obesity rates.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 17th of December 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/primary-healthcare/49/news/aap/large-babies-being-born-in-australia-is-significantly-higher-than-expected/3082/

According to a new study, Australia is experiencing an “epidemic” of large babies due to the high rates of obesity.  Analysis of more than three thousand pregnant Sydney women shows the number of babies born between two thousand ten and two thousand twelve classified as Large for Gestational Age or LGA – weighing more than four thousand grams or four kilos – was significantly higher than expected by the international standard.

The study published in The Royal Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists found sixteen point five percent of the infants born in this time had birth weights greater than the ninetieth percentile using the international INTERGROWTHTWENTYFIRST standard. Higher maternal body mass index and pre-existing diabetes increased the chances of having a larger baby. The number of infants classified as Small for Gestational Age (SGA) was also significantly lower.

The researchers warned that over-sized babies can cause complications for both the mother and baby. Along with the immediate complications for the baby, studies have also linked birth weight to long term health outcomes.

The researchers say greater interventions to reduce the risk factors before and during pregnancy are needed “if we are to make any significant impacts on the obesity epidemic for the next generation.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/dec/14/opioid-regional-australia-wastewater-tests

Use of the potentially addictive painkillers oxycodone and fentanyl is rising in regional Australia, the latest analysis of drugs in wastewater has shown. The analysis of fifty four wastewater sites by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission found that while methylamphetamine, commonly known as ice, remained the most commonly used illegal drug, prescription opioid use in regional areas outstripped that in capital cities.
….
Regional Queensland and parts of Tasmania and Victoria had the highest overall usage rate of oxycodone, while in capital cities the highest usage rates were in South Australia and Tasmania.
Usage patterns for fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is up to one hundred times more potent than morphine, were similar, with regional centres in almost every state recording values well above the national average. Medical experts have expressed concern in recent months that more Australians are becoming addicted to pharmaceutical opioid painkillers, following in the footsteps of America which is in the grip of of an opioid epidemic that has caused tens of thousands of fatal overdoses.

The Australian federal government announced last year that painkillers containing codeine would no longer be available over the counter from two thousand eighteen, in response to growing concerns about addiction. The commission’s report noted that while oxycodone and fentanyl were legally prescribed by doctors for intense pain, they were open to abuse. In terms of illicit drugs, the report found ice usage has plateaued in the past year, while cocaine and ecstasy use appears to be declining, possibly thanks to big drug busts by police this year.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-13/salvos-defend-coca-cola-campaign-slammed-by-health-groups/9256822

The Salvation Army is defending its decision to back a Coca-Cola marketing campaign slammed by health groups as “cynical”. Last month a Coca-Cola truck embarked on a tour of regional Queensland and New South Wales, handing out gifts along the way as part of Christmas-themed promotion. Health groups have criticised the campaign as nothing more than a marketing exercise targeting communities with already-high obesity rates. Michael Moore, the chief executive of the Public Health Association of Australia said: “It’s actually using people who are on hard times, communities who are on hard times to sell their product, and I actually think it stinks.”
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But Salvation Army communications and fundraising director Leigh Cleave said the organisation was satisfied with the benefits of its relationship. She added:  “The connections and the legacies that [Coca-Cola] left in each community, be they sporting equipment, community halls being done up, was really quite significant.”
….
Coca-Cola is in decline in the US and Australia as consumers move towards healthier drinks.
In a statement, a Coca-Cola spokesperson said the locations the truck visited, which included Tamworth and Townsville, were independently identified as deserving communities. They also said Coke had strict protocols about not marketing its products to children and served low-sugar drinks at Christmas truck events.
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So far, fourteen health promotion organisations, including the Australian Dental Association, have signed a petition to stop the truck’s tour.

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