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Weekly News Summary – 6th February 2017

Welcome back to this week’s edition of the news summary blog. This blog gives you the highlights in health news that occurred 30th January to 5th February. This week there has been a call for hospitals to ban junk food and smoking on site to promote healthy living. Research has also been published that shows a new way antibiotics can destroy bacteria and ibuprofen may be ineffective for treating back pain.

Vending Machine
There are calls for hospitals to do more to promote healthy living

There are calls for hospitals to do more to promote healthy living such as banning junk food and smoking on the hospital site. The National Obesity Forum has called for a blanket ban on the selling of junk food to both patients and staff, expressing that hospitals should be “role models” for healthy living. The Welsh Government said that the Public Health Wales Bill will make the Welsh NHS an “exemplar” to follow in terms of promoting public health. In 2008 health boards were barred from stocking vending machines with unhealthy snacks. The British Medical Association have previously called for hospital food standards to be made law rather than guidance.

Scientists have discovered a way to modify existing antibiotics to overcome antibiotic resistant superbugs. The majority of current antibiotics bind to a bacteria cell in order to kill it however, scientists have found that one drug acts on bacteria by exerting a strong force and ripping the bacteria open. Researchers are now looking to highlight antibiotics that act on bacteria in a similar way and could be used to overcome resistant superbugs.

A group of researchers at the University of Sydney have found that ibuprofen for people with back pain has no significant effect. The results of the study found that only one in six patients treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, achieved any significant reduction in pain. Back pain is a leading cause of disability and it is commonly managed by prescribing ibuprofen. The study has highlighted the need for further research to be done into the management of back pain.

Words: Joelle

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