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Ban sugar in schools, GPs warn mental health cuts cause more harm, and sportsmen sharing towels brings superbug risk

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines.

Sugary snacks should be banned from schools and hospitals and guidelines on daily sugar intake should be lowered further, to 14g a day, the Telegraph reports.

Research found stronger than expected links between population sugar consumption and tooth decay , and found the lowest levels in areas with little or no sugar consumption even accounting for factors like dental hygiene.

Co-author Professor Philip James, honorary professor of nutrition at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said: ‘Vending machines offering confectionary and sugary drinks in areas controlled or supported financially by local or central government should be removed.’

GPs are warning that cuts to mental health services have resulted in one in 10 with mental health issues are waiting more than a year to be assessed, and one in six of these made an attempt on their life while waiting.

The Independent reports that a survey of 2,000 patients with mental health conditions found two thirds felt their condition deteriorated while on a waiting list, and GPs are the ‘huge rise’ is a result of cuts to mental health posts across the country.

Dr Martin McShane, NHS England’s director for long-term conditions, said: ‘We would like to be in a position to introduce for the first time access standards/waiting times for mental health services, on a phased basis, beginning next year.’

And finally, rugby players and footballers are putting themselves at risk from superbug infections by sharing towels and ice baths according to a Public Health England report.

The Daily Mail reports that these behaviours are particularly risky in close contact sports and those, like rugby, which may lead to abrasion injuries that make players more susceptible to infection.

Dr Deepti Kumar, a consultant in communicable disease control at PHE said: ‘We would urge any sportsperson who plays a sport where cuts and grazes are commonplace to practice good hygiene and not share any item with fellow team members to reduce their risk of developing an infection.’

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