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Daily digest October 12 2015

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

Edith Cavell centenary: was she a spy?

At dawn on October 12 1915 the British nurse Edith Cavell was killed by a firing squad after a German military court found her guilty of helping Allied soldiers escape from occupied Belgium.

Today, on the 100th anniversary of her death, the Guardian is reporting how it was strongly implied at the time that she was also involved in espionage, passing German military information back to the UK. 

The British government denied she was a spy, but recently the ex-head of MI5, Dame Stella Rimington, has revealed new evidence that strongly suggests Cavell was involved in smuggling information as well as men.

However much Cavell knew about the information being carried on the bodies of the men she saved – sewn into clothes or hidden in shoes – her death made her a popular martyr.

Read more on the Guardian website

Two thirds of Britons will be overweight or obese by 2025

Within just ten years 70 per cent of men and 62 per cent of women will be overweight, placing a huge burden on the NHS, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Weight gain is a risk factor for diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some cancers. Obesity and diabetes already cost the UK more than £5 billion every year – and this is likely to rise to £50 billion by 2050.

Currently, around 66 per cent of men are overweight or obese and 57 per cent of women. However, according to new figures, 74 per cent of men will be overweight or obese by 2030 along with 64 per cent of women.

The figures are in sharp contrast to countries such as Belgium, Germany and Finland, where the number of overweight or obese people is expected to barely change in the next decade.

Read more on the Telegraph website

NHS treating patients for online addictions

Online addictions can have as devastating an effect on people’s lives as drinking alcohol, misusing drugs and gambling, doctors warn.

The problem is so widespread that the NHS is treating patients who are addicted to a range of web facilities, such as gaming, porn and even shopping.

The Mirror reports how tens of thousands of pounds is being spent on treatment to help patients stop playing games such as World of Warcraft, Gran Turismo, Dragons of Atlantis or League of Legends.

GPs from England and Wales are referring online addicts to a clinic in London, where more than 100 people are currently receiving treatment.

Read more on the Mirror website

First 'in womb' stem cell trial to begin

The first clinical trial injecting fetal stem cells into babies in the womb has been announced.

It is hoped the cells, which are able to transform into a range of tissues, will reduce the symptoms of brittle bone disease.

The BBC reports that the trial, starting in January, will be led by Sweden's Karolinska Institute and Great Ormond Street Hospital, London.

The stem cells will come from terminated pregnancies.

Read more on the BBC News website

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