Welcome to this week’s edition of the news summary blog. This blog will cover the highlights in medical news from 12th to 18th of June. This week has seen data published that indicates the cuts are being made to drug addiction services despite the fact the UK is now the drug overdose capital of Europe. Additionally, studies have shown that eating chips more than twice a week can double your risk of dying and the “health food” coconut oil is as unhealthy as butter.
A study published in a leading nutrition journal indicates that eating chips more than twice a week can double your risk of dying. People in the UK now consume three times as many chips as they did in 1974. The increased risk of mortality was seen in all participants regardless of age or sex. It is thought that chip consumption is an indicator of an unhealthy western diet which includes high fat and salt intake. Researchers found that eating potatoes overall did not increase the risk of death, it is only influenced by fried potatoes.
An annual report published last week found that the UK has the highest proportion of heroin addicts and is now the drugs overdose capital of Europe. Almost one in three deaths in Europe due to drug overdose occur in England. Despite the increase in the number of those suffering with drug addictions, investigations indicate that local authorities are cutting funding for drug and alcohol services. The cuts vary between different councils but have been up to as much as 45% in some areas such as Staffordshire. Experts have stated that the cuts particularly affect those addicts with long term mental health problems as they are less likely to access drug support services.
Coconut oil which is commonly marketed as a health food has been shown to be as unhealthy as butter and beef fat. The American Health Association (AHA) has updated its health advice to raise awareness that coconut oil is high in saturated fat which can raise bad cholesterol. The AHA have recommended that coconut oil is swapped for unsaturated forms of oil such as vegetable or olive oil. Although fat is need in the diet for essential fatty acids and to absorb vitamins it is recommended that it is kept below a recommended amount.
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