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16/12/2019 10:40:22  

One in three low- and middle-income countries affected as junk food and sugary drinks reach every corner of globe

Babies and children who have been stunted for lack of food are also in danger of obesity in poor countries, as junk food and sugary drinks reach every corner of the globe.

Experts warn of a double burden of malnutrition, with underweight and obese children living in the same communities and even within the same families. One in three low and middle-income countries are now affected, according to experts led by the World Health Organization.

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16/12/2019 01:38:00  

Food systems are behind poor growth and over-eating in many low-income countries, a report says.
12/12/2019 18:31:16  

Residents smeared in faeces and attacking staff at Orbis Abbey Rose, inspectors report

A children’s home for young people with autism and learning difficulties has been condemned as inadequate in all areas after inspectors reported serious and widespread failures which put those in its care “at significant risk of harm”.

Inspectors who visited Orbis Abbey Rose in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, last month, described children and staff smeared with faeces, pupils fed on a diet of junk food and children engaged in “highly dangerous behaviours” including smashing car windows, throwing furniture and assaulting staff.

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12/12/2019 15:31:16  

Excess alcohol, lack of sleep and junk food can leave skin looking puffy, dull and dehydrated. Here’s how to mitigate the damage

While “hangover skin” might sound like a party season bogeyman, or a made-up marketing term designed to tempt you into buying more products, after a month of late nights, almost exclusively beige food and – possibly – too much booze, a lacklustre, puffy complexion is as inevitable as a banging headache – and just as unappealing.

As Dr Anjali Mahto of the British Association of Dermatologists points out, “the problem with party season is that it’s an entire season. The odd night out isn’t terrible for your skin, but sustained going out can definitely cause problems.” Fortunately, there are steps you can take to mitigate the damage – and not all of them involve buying more products.

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11/12/2019 00:31:17  

Saying how far consumers need to walk to burn off the calories could change eating habits

Labelling food and drinks with how much walking or running is needed to burn them off could help tackle the obesity crisis, researchers say.

While all packaged food must display certain nutritional information, such as calorie content, there is limited evidence that the approach changes what people buy or eat. Meanwhile, waistlines continue to expand.

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11/12/2019 00:27:49  
06/12/2019 19:30:16  

Mode of delivery unrelated to whether a baby is overweight as a young adult, study suggests

Delivery by caesarean section does not increase the chance of a baby ending up overweight or obese as a young adult, researchers have found, contrary to previous research.

The authors of the study say their work drew on a huge number of people and more fully takes into account a wide range of possible factors that could explain why babies born by caesarean tend to end up heavier.

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04/12/2019 02:31:24  

Annual health report also found that millions are overweight and drink too much

Health bosses have raised the alarm about the prevalence of gambling after official figures found more than half of people aged 16 or older in England gambled at some point during 2018.

The results are contained in the Health Survey for England 2018, which also showed that millions of people are overweight, drink too much alcohol, eat badly or fail to do enough exercise.

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29/11/2019 15:31:30  

Depriving your brain of stimulation can rewire your frazzled neural circuits – but the problem runs deeper than that

The problem with ridiculous Silicon Valley lifestyle trends used to be the risk that people might take them seriously: that it might seem sensible to eat an all-carrot diet, while bathing in liquid nitrogen and administering electric shocks to your brain, just because some tech billionaire was doing so. Now that we’re adjusting our views of tech titans, the risk is the opposite: that if they actually came up with something good, we’d be too busy jeering to realise. So it goes, I think, with “dopamine fasting”, which got its moment in the mockery spotlight a few weeks back. The idea is to deprive yourself of dopamine hits, to break your addiction to our hyperstimulating world, thereby finding pleasure once again in life’s more meaningful but less buzz-inducing delights, such as natural beauty, good literature, or time with old friends.

To be fair, it’s still nonsense in many ways. Stimulation is more complex than dopamine hits; it’s misleading to talk of addiction; and there’s no evidence that a fast will “reset” your levels. (“Reset”, here, seems like a classic case of importing a computer metaphor into human biology.) But I like the concept anyway, because it shifts the focus from individual sources of stimulation to the brain being stimulated. If your goal is to end your dependence on excitement, and the treadmill effect whereby you require ever more of it, then it’s definitely helpful to spend a day without, say, social media. But it’ll be of limited use if you fill that time with different forms of stimulation – watching thrilling movies, taking drugs, eating junk food, shopping. The most radical proponents of dopamine fasting swear off any conversation at all.

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22/11/2019 15:27:48  

We thought tech would bring us closer together. Instead it has scrambled our minds, our politics and our relationships. Can we burst our filter bubbles?

In 2010, I joined Twitter. This momentous development went unnoticed by the world’s press – but to be fair, it went almost unnoticed by me, too. Certainly, I had no particular trepidation about getting involved in social media. The internet still embodied more promise than threat: the iPad was just arriving; Uber and Airbnb were finding their feet; “gamification” was going to solve everything from obesity to voter apathy, by turning tedious chores into fun digital challenges with points and prizes; the Arab spring, coordinated on social media, was a few months away. This was before the Rohingya genocide, before the teenage anxiety epidemic, before Cambridge Analytica and the alt-right and “fake news”. In October 2010, the Guardian news blog ran a brief item on a darkly comical nightmare scenario for US politics: “Donald Trump considers running for president,” the headline read.

What changed in the 2010s was not so much the arrival of new technology as the rapid evolution of a business model, the monetisation of attention. This wasn’t a recent invention; indeed, it dated back to the “yellow journalism” of the 19th century, which used sensationalist stories and cheap cover prices to build big audiences that advertisers would pay to reach. But ubiquitous high-speed mobile internet has sent the attention economy into hyperdrive, plunging us into an online world structured to prioritise not the truth, or what matters most, but whatever’s most compelling, which often means whatever makes us angriest.

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22/11/2019 13:31:48  

From feminist Ts to Love Island bodies, this is how fashion looked in the 2010s

With Michelle Obama’s signature look – a sleeveless dress that made a feature of her worked-out arms – she reset the dial for alpha females. For a speech to launch her Let’s Move campaign, encouraging young people to be fit and healthy, she wore a chic sheath dress and a string of pearls (so far, so Camelot) but her bare arms grabbed the fashion headlines. Beneath the sniffy controversy over whether the look lacked gravitas was an establishment unease with this new kind of first lady, who radiated energy and strength rather than decorative decorum. Where Michelle led, a decade of glamour players followed. (See also: Gwyneth Paltrow, CEO with killer abs.)

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16/11/2019 17:27:07  

Fat-shaming is a cruel response to a health problem that affects millions in the UK

A report from Diabetes UK says that the number of obese people in the UK has doubled over the past 20 years, with record numbers treated for type 2 diabetes.

There are now 13 million adults with a body mass index (BMI) of at least 30 (defining obesity), which is just under 30% of over-16s, with 20% of children obese by the time they leave primary school. This puts extra strain on the NHS, with care required for cancers, heart problems, knee replacements and other obesity-related conditions. All of which recalls Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, terming the obesity crisis “the new smoking” in terms of the calamitous effect on the NHS. However, obesity differs in one key societal respect: people suffering from smoking-derived illnesses aren’t routinely mocked and insulted.

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