Daily digest May 26 2015

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

Obesity strategy 'is failing’ 

NHS chiefs are wasting millions of pounds on a doomed anti-obesity strategy because they do not realise that babies start to become fat even before they are born, the country’s most senior children’s doctor has said. 

In a stinging assessment of healthy eating messages, Neena Modi said that government anti-obesity campaigns directed at adults and young people ‘have all been failures' and efforts should be devoted to pregnant women and babies instead.

The Times reports that Professor Modi, who took over this month as president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said programmes to train toddlers to like healthy food and make breastfeeding ‘trendy’ should be tested to find ways of stopping people ever becoming overweight.

Read more on the Times website

One in five GP patients may be dehydrated

Millions of patients are visiting their GP with symptoms that can be caused by not drinking enough water, researchers claim.

It is ‘surprisingly common’ for appointments to be taken up by patients suffering from dehydration, according to the research carried out by the Natural Hydration Council, which represents bottled water firms. 

The survey of 300 GPs found one in five patients go to the doctor with symptoms – such as tiredness – that can be attributed to not drinking enough. Just 4% of the doctors said they believed patients were aware of how much water they should be drinking each day, the Daily Mail has reported.

Read more on the Mail Online website

Breakthrough could prevent blindness in diabetes

The sight of many people with diabetes could be saved after scientists found a way of preventing a disease that causes blindness, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

Diabetic retinopathy is a common complication of diabetes. It occurs when high blood sugar levels damage the retina and, if left untreated, can cause blindness. It is the most common cause of blindness among people of working age in Britain.

New research into lab-grown human cells found that blocking two blood vessel growth proteins could offer a new way to treat and prevent the disease.

Read more on the Telegraph website

Hormone surge in pregnancy can permanently affect brain

Having children can permanently affect women's brains because the surge in hormones during pregnancy can influence development of key parts of the central nervous system, a series of studies has shown.

The findings suggest that giving birth can affect the female brain, but they could also help clarify whether hormone replacement therapy during menopause affects the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease in later life, scientists said.

As reported in the Independent, the research looked at two of the oestrogen hormones used to treat the symptoms of menopause and found they could have a complex effect, depending on the age of the women and whether or not they had previously given birth.

Read more on the Independent website


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