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Christmas is coming – Could you pay it forward?

Christmas is the time of consumption. Some of those extra calories at Christmas are about celebrating and feasting and sharing food and drink with family and friends at this special time – not a time for skimping… But media reports suggest we consume around 6,000 calories on Christmas Day (never mind what we do on Boxing Day, Hogmany, etc.) and it seems like it is too easy for our seasonal consumption levels to get way off balance.

It is also easy to contribute to that excess by giving the usual chocolates and bottles, though there are alternatives and one of these is to think about a ‘pay it forward’ approach to some Christmas gifts.

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Christmas is coming – and New Year resolutions are around the corner.

No one can give the gift of health but we can help support healthy interventions – both by giving and sharing and supporting healthful activities. Whether the gift is the promise of a shared mystery walk, a basket of herbal teas or a basket of yummy fruits and nuts – there are some lovely gifts to help get family and friends through the dark days of winter and achieving those health resolutions.

Continue reading “Christmas is coming – and New Year resolutions are around the corner.”

Christmas is coming – and the parties are getting closer.

Mega discussion in the office – can you go to the neighbour’s festive gathering without a bottle of alcoholic beverage and an offering of food?

Well it probably depends on whether you intend to drink or not, who the neighbours are and expectations. Driving (especially for rural dwellers) might also come into the decision. Either way great alternative gift ideas for those neighbours

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Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fatter… Aren’t we all?

Remember those days we used to give big boxes of cigarettes as Christmas presents to the aunts and uncles who smoked? Maybe you don’t, because our culture around tobacco has actually changed!

But I am sure you will recall seeing bumper boxes of chocolates being given to colleagues, friends, and family who struggle with their weight or those extra bottles of fizzy gifts in December. Scots are known for hospitality and generosity and as often happen the poorest give most (my mother would turn in her grave if she knew I did not bring packets of biscuits with me when visiting friends). No one wants to be a kill joy (I still want a box of chocs at Christmas but not 10 boxes!!) and sharing “goodies” is part of the enjoyment of families and friends.

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#ScaledownCancer: How Cancer Research UK is challenging obesity in Scotland

Scotland’s Weight

Normal weight is no longer normal. In Scotland, more people are overweight or obese than a healthy weight. The impact of this on our nation’s health and well-being now and into the future is not easily overstated. And general understanding and awareness of this problem has certainly shifted in the past couple of years, which is always a good start. At Cancer Research UK we have a particular interest. If you don’t smoke, then maintaining a healthy weight is most important thing you can do to stack your odds against cancer. Overweight and obesity is linked to 13 cancers and it’s now a top priority for us.

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Dundee: Leading the way on childhood obesity?

Returning to the office after a jam-packed day of sharing thoughts and ideas; the first thing I wanted to do is reflect on some of my personal highlights as a participant at #dhwdnd yesterday.

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Junk Marketing – No Thank YOU

I saw an exciting news item for health and cancer risk reduction in the new Government programme for work in 2017-18 (A nation with Ambition). On page 95 (yes, you have to scroll quite far) I saw this announcement:

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Shifting Evidence of Breast Cancer in Night Shift Work

In 2007, the International Agency for Research on Cancer|World Health Organization (IARC|WHO) concluded that the effects of shift work on the disruption of normal circadian rhythm had a probable link to breast cancer. IARC suggest that our endogenous 24-hour body clocks may be subject to interference by factors such as exposure to light at night, and it’s impact on melatonin levels may be linked to breast cancer. However, a recent meta-analysis led by Dr Ruth C. Travis published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute concludes that night shift work may actually have very little effect on breast cancer risk.

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Would You Miss Red and Processed Meat?

There aren’t many good things to report about dietary trends in Scotland but one that does stand out is our decreasing consumption of red and processed meat – albeit by a modest amount.

Continue reading “Would You Miss Red and Processed Meat?”

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