This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

A can a day leads to diabetes, fast food menus set for change and midwives win right to refuse termination treatment

A round-up of the health news headlines on Thursday 25 April.

European researchers have shown a link between drinking a can of soft drinks a day and diabetes in one of the less surprising studies of recent times, the BBC reports.

The report in the journal Diabetologia concludes a can of sugary drink a day raises the relative risk of diabetes by about a fifth, compared with one can a month or under.

Previous US studies have shown similar findings.

Around 350,000 individuals were questioned about their diet, as part of a study into links between diet and cancer.

Lead researcher Dora Romaguera from Imperial College London told the BBC: ‘The consumption of sugar sweetened soft drinks increases your risk of diabetes - so for every can of soft drinks that you drink per day, the risk is higher.’

Staying on the theme and with the BBC, American researchers have shown that fast food menus displaying the exercise needed to burn calories in meals can help people consume less.

Researchers from the Texas Christian University found that patients who know it takes two hours of brisk walking to burn off a cheeseburger may be more of a warning than being told how many calories it contains. 

The study divided 300 volunteers aged 18 to 30 randomly into three groups. One received a menu without any calorie information, another menus with the calories displayed, and the third menus that showed both calories and the amount of exercise needed to burn them off.

The group given the menus with the extra information about how much brisk walking would be needed to burn off the food consumed 100 fewer calories, on average, as a result.

Meanwhile, the Telegraph has reported that two Catholic midwives have won the right to remove themselves from any treatment of women undergoing terminations.

Mary Doogan, 58, and Concepta Wood, 52, lost a previous case against NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde when the court ruled their human rights were not affected as they were not directly involved in the procedures.

However, appeal judges have overturned the ruling.  Lady Dorrian, who heard the challenge with Lord Mackay of Drumadoon and Lord McEwan, said the right of conscientious objection should extend not only to the actual medical or surgical termination ‘but to the whole process of treatment given for that purpose’.

Have your say