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NEWS IN BRIEF: Call for Cuts Support; Allergy Explosion; Sugary Drinks; Prescribed Walks; Salt


24 Mar 2016

Chemists fighting NHS funding cuts need your support

Chemists in the district are urging people to join their fight against NHS cuts – which they claim could have life-threatening consequences, the Leamington Observer reports.

Around a quarter of the 11,600 pharmacies in England are under threat as a result of Government plans to cut NHS funding by £170million. Petitions have been launched to oppose the cuts.

Mellors Pharmacy in Warwick has been a family owned since the 1800s but the six per cent cut nationally would see the Market Place business lose £22,000 of NHS funding.

Andy McKenna from Mellors told The Observer: “The cuts are a blunt tool – they don’t look likely to save pharmacies valued by communities but rather squeeze costs until it’s impossible for many to continue.”

Allergy explosion as seven-fold rise sees one in three UK adults suffer

An allergy explosion in the UK has seen hospital admissions for anaphylaxis increase seven-fold in a year, the Daily Record reports.

It is now estimated 21 million adults in the UK – one in three – are suffering from at least one allergy and the number is rising.

Today, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence launch quality standards for anaphylaxis and food allergy treatments to improve outcomes.

And the Anaphylaxis Campaign launch Anaphylaxis Information Matters to raise awareness of the risks associated with severe allergies, which can lead to anaphylaxis – also known as anaphylactic shock – and death.

Sugar in fruit drinks for children ‘unacceptably high’

The amount of sugar in fruit juices, juice drinks and smoothies targeted at children is “unacceptably high”, researchers and campaigners say, the BBC reports.

They found an average of five teaspoons of sugar per 150ml serving in the 24 smoothies they surveyed – close to the daily limit for a young child.

In the journal BMJ Open, they argue such drinks should no longer count as one of the UK government’s five-a-day.

But manufacturers say juices can make it easier to reach this target.

GPs should prescribe a walk in a national park for obese patients, say ministers

Doctors should prescribe a bracing walk in a national park to obese patients instead of medication, ministers say, The Telegraph reports.

The Government is backing a “green prescription” scheme being trialled in Dartmoor and Exmoor to encourage doctors to suggest more exercise, rather than more drugs, to help patients combat ailments.

The report also says schools should teach about the importance of Britain’s national parks and teachers should encourage tens of thousands of children to visit them every ear. An official report published on Wednesday said that the UK’s National Parks should be at the “forefront” of helping improve public health and tackling the obesity crisis.

Salt intake falls but public must still monitor diets, health experts say

 Health experts are urging the public to check the level of salt in the food they consume, as adults eat more than a third of their recommended daily amount, the Independent reports.

While the levels of sodium intake have decreased in recent years, adults consume on average eight grams of salt every day which is two grams higher than the recommended limit, according to new figures from Public Health England (PHE).

Consuming too much salt can raise the blood pressure which increases a person’s risk of heart disease and stroke.

A push to reduce salt intake has proved successful, as intake has fallen by 11 per cent since 2005/2006.


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