Hello and happy Friday everyone!
I hope you’re all looking forward to the Bank Holiday weekend; we have some serious house DIY projects to be getting on with at this end which I expect is the same as half of the population; why is that one extra day makes you so much more productive?!
Actually, it would be a lie to say that I’ve only got one extra day off- I’m currently taking a break between jobs which means that I finally have some time to get on with my much neglected to-do list; redesigning Twins in Trainers was one of them and I hope you love it as much as we do! We thought we’d outgrown the previous design a little and it didn’t really represent our content or us anymore, so after delaying the update for about 6 months it’s finally done!
During my time off I’ve also been having a think about the blog and what direction it’s going in. I really love writing my health articles and they seem to get a good response so I’m going to try and post them a little more often alongside our other yoga, fitness and lifestyle posts.
This week I’ve had the luxury of being able to read as much as I like and in the process came across loads of interesting health related content; either from medical journals, blogs or online newspapers. I know that most of our readers are really interested in health but it can be quite an effort to keep up to date with what’s going on in the world. With that in mind I had the idea of sharing a weekly feature called “This week in health” where I’ll share the interesting things I’ve read with you all. Hopefully it will be a good read for you but also keep me accountable for my own learning!
So, here’s the first post. I’d love to hear your feedback and whether it’s something you’d like to see regularly on the blog.
- We all know that the NHS is under a huge amount of strain and it’s only going to get worse with both our increasing population and rapidly growing rates of diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately a new analysis by the charity Diabetes UK shows a 60% rise in the number of people with diabetes in the last decade, 90% of which are type 2 diabetics. That equates to 1.2 million new diagnoses since 2005…and we wonder why the NHS is in crisis?!
- It seems that the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leonne is finally beginning to improve as for the first time since it started there’s been no new cases diagnosed in the last week. The World Health Organisation thinks this is due to rapid response teams working out there as well as the strong community involvement in finding new cases of Ebola 
- I couldn’t have been happier when the stop smoking ban came in a few years back. Not only was I pleased that my clothes and hair would no longer reek of smoke after a night out but I was hopeful that we’d see an improvement in the population as a whole. I was really interested to read that in the first four years following the new legislation to control smoking in public places, the number of stillbirths and neonatal deaths (the death of a baby in the first 28 days of life) fell by 1500, most likely due to reduced numbers of adults smoking and reduced passive smoking. That number is just staggering to me. When I thought about the health implications of the smoking ban I was more focused on reducing the rates of cancer and smoking associated lung disease, so to see this improvement in neonatal outcomes is really amazing! 
- That said, unfortunately e-cigarettes aren’t a completely perfect alternative. Although I think e-cigarettes are a great method for some people to quit smoking they may not be quite as a good as they seem. A US study showed that teenagers that take up smoking e-cigarettes are 30% more likely to smoke tobacco in the next 6 months than teenagers who don’t. My thoughts are they’re great if you’re trying to quit smoking, but don’t take them up thinking they’re harmless if you’re already smoke- free. 
- On a slightly more serious note, next month the UK will decide whether or not to legalise assisted dying. This bill would allow mentally competent adults who have a terminal illness with less than 6 months to live the possibility of assisted death by taking self- administered prescription drugs after having their case reviewed by two doctors and a high- court judge. I’ve been reading a lot about this and the ethics involved, so I’ll be interested to see what the outcome is. 
- Helen, a Registered Dietician and blogger over at Food & Nonsense is my go to blogger for anything diet and lifestyle related. If you want to know the science (or lack of) behind a fad diet she’ll break it down for you and put you back on the straight and narrow. I read two posts that I loved on her blog this week, this first post highlighted the difference between eating for health and eating for abs, which shows not only how different they are, but that having abs doesn’t automatically equate to good health. She also featured a guest post from dietician and sport’s nutritionist Sharmain Davis highlighting the common weight loss mistakes in women, another great read which inspired me to get out of bed and head to Body Pump!
- I love the health section on The Guardian online for it’s relevant, thought provoking and reliably witty feature articles. A couple of posts stood out for me this week, especially this post discussing whether food intolerances are fact or fad. It seems that everyone is intolerant to something these days, whether be gluten, dairy or fun. These so-called intolerances often undermine the significance of diseases such as coeliac disease, not only causing annoyance for its sufferers but causing caterers to take it less seriously. Another post on following a gluten- free diet looked at why this trend is here to stay, finding that 15% of households avoid gluten and wheat as they believe it to be healthier, despite many people not knowing what gluten actually is. Anyhow, they both make a good read with a cup of tea and (gluten- free?) biscuit 😉
So that’s it for this week!
What do you think of “This week in health?” Is it something you’d like to see regularly on Twins in Trainers?
Was there anything in the content that particularly interested you? If so, please feel free to discuss below 🙂
- BMJ 2015;351:h4484
- BMJ 2015;351:h4469
- BMJ: 2015;351:h4471
- BMJ: 2015;351:h4471