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Daily digest August 12 2015

Missed the news? Read our summary of the latest health stories here

Detention centre cause for ‘national concern’, says watchdog

A report by the prisons watchdog says Yarl’s Wood detention centre has flouted government guidelines by detaining pregnant women and victims of torture.

The prisons inspectorate said the Bedfordshire centre had deteriorated since its last visit and labelled it a ‘place of national concern’, The Telegraph reports.

The watchdog found that 99 pregnant women were detained in 2014, despite Home Office policy that this should only happen in exceptional circumstances.

It also discovered that people who had survived torture and women with mental health needs were still being detained against government guidance, and self-harm had risen significantly.

Read more on The Telegraph website 

Saturated fats not as unhealthy as we thought

The saturated fats found in meat and dairy produce are not as bad for health as previously believed, a study has found. 

However, the scientists who conducted the research have warned against reaching for the butter dish.

A major study into the health implications of dietary fats has failed to find a link between food containing saturated fats, such as eggs, chocolate and cream, and an increased risk of dying from heart disease, stroke or type 2 diabetes, The Independent reports.

The study did find that industrially produced ‘trans-fats’ made from hydrogenated oils, and used in some snack foods and packaged baked foods such as cakes and crisps, are linked to a greater risk of death from coronary heart disease.

Read more on The Independent website 

Eye movements ‘change scenes’ during dreams

Neuroscientists have for the first time measured the activity of individual brain cells during the dreaming phase of sleep, the BBC reports.

They discovered bursts of activity that match what happens when we are awake and see – or imagine – a new image.

The researchers suggest that rapid eye movements are associated with a ‘change of scene’ during dreams.

The recordings were made from patients with electrodes implanted in their brains to monitor seizures.

Read more on the BBC News website 

Mexico bans baby formula handouts to boost breastfeeding rates

The Mexican government will no longer allow hospitals and clinics to give away free samples of baby formula, in a bid to boost low breastfeeding rates.

The government said formula will still be available at stores, and can be supplied at a doctor’s request or for research purposes. But it argued free samples must be excluded from private and public hospitals ‘because it is a commercial practice that may discourage breastfeeding’.

Only one in seven mothers in Mexico breastfeeds exclusively in the first six months, as is recommended by the World Health Organization.

Read more on The Guardian website

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