The Health News United Kingdom August 21 2017


  • Women who eat too much junk food are increasing their risk of cancer, regardless of their weight. Studies suggest that these high energy-low nutrient foods contributed to a 10% higher risk of developing cancer in women.
  • Prime Minister Theresa May admits that says the UK’s mental health services are “patchy” but she has pledged to support teenagers through a new strategy and better access to help.
  • Peanut allergy treatment lasts up to four years. Children were given a probiotic called Lactobacillus rhamnosus. The probiotic used has peanut protein, which has been associated with preventing certain allergic symptoms.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 21st of August 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News

Women who eat junk food but are not overweight are still increasing their risk of cancer, a study has found. Previous research suggested the risk of cancer increased because processed foods such as burgers and pizza made people overweight. But this latest study found that such high energy-low nutrient foods contributed to a ten percent higher risk of developing cancer in women even if they were of normal weight. The findings, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, used figures from ninety thousand postmenopausal women in the US assessing their diet and any cancer diagnosis. Lead investigator Professor Cynthia Thomson, of the University of Arizona, said: “The demonstrated effect in normal-weight women in relation to risk for obesity-related cancers is novel and contrary to our hypothesis. The study focuses on high dietary energy density (DED) foods such as biscuits and confectionery.

DED is a measure of food quality and the relationship of calories to nutrients. The more calories per gram of weight a food has, the higher its DED. Whole foods – such as vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and beans – are considered low-DED foods because they provide a lot of nutrients using very few calories. Fibre in foods like whole grains and potatoes with skin can also help to reduce energy density Obesity-related cancers include those affecting the breast, bowel, womb, oesophagus, pancreas, kidney, liver, gallbladder, ovary and thyroid. The study found that women who ate a diet higher in DED were ten percent more likely to develop an obesity-related cancer, independent of body mass index (BMI). Although restricting energy dense foods may play a role in weight management, the researchers found that weight gain was not solely responsible for the rise in cancer risk among normal weight women in the study.

An estimated thirty percent of cancers could be prevented through changes in diet.

Theresa May says the UK’s mental health services are “patchy” and has told Newsbeat she’s going to review them. She’s pledged to support teenagers through a new strategy and better access to help. The Prime Minister explained that The National Citizens Service will build in mental health awareness. She added that “ten thousand members of staff” will be trained in “spotting issues around mental health”. Labour’s accused ministers of letting a generation of young people down and not funding services properly. But Theresa May denies there’s a big problem with mental health provision in the UK. More than six thousand mental health nurses and doctors have been cut from the NHS in England since two thousand ten.

A survey of NHS trusts earlier this year also suggested that mental health services in England risk being overwhelmed by a combination of rising demand and staff shortages. The Prime Minister states: “Intervening early for young people is important. We’ve increased the number of mental health beds for young people and we’re putting record amounts of funding into mental health in the national health service.’’

An oral treatment for peanut allergy is still effective four years after it was administered, a study has found. Children were given a probiotic, with a peanut protein, daily for eighteen months.
When tested one month later, eighty percent could tolerate peanuts without any allergic symptoms and after four years, seventy percent of them were still able to eat peanuts without suffering any side-effects. Food allergies have risen dramatically in recent decades, with peanut allergy being one of the most deadly. Lead researcher Professor Mimi Tang, of Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne, said half the children were consuming peanuts regularly while others were only eating them infrequently. Professor Tang said it was the first time a treatment for peanut allergy had been shown to be effective for this long. The probiotic used is called Lactobacillus rhamnosus, which has been associated with preventing certain allergic symptoms.

Peanuts are now thought to be safe in pregnancy.  If there is no family history of allergies or eczema then health officials say peanut butter and other ground or crushed nuts are OK after six months. If there is a heightened risk then parents should consult a doctor. This research suggests careful introduction of peanut may help such children, but parents should not do this on their own. No child under five should eat a whole nut. The Australian research team now wants to assess whether the treatment has improved the children’s quality of life, as some two hundred fifty million people worldwide are affected by food allergy – a number which greatly increased in the last twenty years.Peanut allergy, which is one of the most common causes of death from food allergy.


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