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A spoonful of sugar helps the nation go round, three in four over 45s are overweight, and a health warning for Ramadan fasters

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Friday 27 June.

The big health news of the day is the revelation that, far from being a medicinal aid, a spoonful of sugar could be pushing the British public towards an ‘obesity crisis’.

The BBC reports that a draft report of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition has called for health advice to halve the accepted level of added sugars, reducing it from 10% of calorie intake, to 5%.

The proposed limit could now be reached with a single can of fizzy drink, and could even be a bitter pill for fruit juice and smoothie makers as Public Health England will now review whether they are fit to be included in the 5-a-day campaign.

And in the Daily Express, the proof of the puddings being eaten as 75% of Britain’s over-45’s are overweight according to new figures from the National Obesity Forum.

The report calls for more of a focus on healthy eating and lifestyle in the older sectors of the public, saying the debate is too focussed on the young – who were the only group to average a healthy BMI.

Tam Fry from the NOF, said: ‘If you think that obesity is just for the young and the middle aged then you are wrong. There needs to be a clear message that everybody needs to take control and watch what they are eating.’

And the Guardian’s Health Professionals network has reported that health professionals are concerned at the lack of health advice available for vulnerable or diabetic patients preparing for Ramadan.

The risk of fasting for diabetics is particularly acute, though the Qur’an makes an exception for the sick a study by Manchester University psychologist Dr Neesh Patel found more than half of diabetics still attempt the month long fast.

And Manchester GP Dr Faizan Ahmed from Moss Side Family Medical Practice in Manchester has called for clarity: ‘At the moment there is a social stigma in some community groups about not fasting, and the onus is very much on the individual to make a decision.’

Readers' comments (1)

  • It is misleading to call Ramadan as a " month-long fast". It is a dawn to dusk fast for a month.

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