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Clearer food labelling to keep us off the junk, no cheese for aspiring fathers and why you should puff less heavily on your cigarette

A round-up of the health news headlines on Wednesday 24 October

Ministers have agreed with leading food producers and retailers to adopt a Government-designed, consistent food-labelling system from mid-2013 to tackle Britain’s growing obesity problem.

It aims for consumers to be able to quickly tell the fat, salt, sugar, saturated-fat and calorie content of particular foods from colour-coding and the words high, medium or low to describe certain ingredients, The Guardian writes.

Morrisons, Aldi and Lidl, which had previously opposed the ‘traffic lights’ system, have now agreed to introduce them in some form while Iceland was the only one among top 10 supermarkets ‘left out in the cold’ by opting out of the new system.

“We are delighted that the government has finally agreed to recommend front-of-pack traffic-light labelling,” said Charlie Powell, director of the Children’s Food Campaign. “You won’t have to be a maths genius any more to work out which is the healthier product to buy.’

You may also want to lay off the Iceland frozen pizzas if you are hoping to become a father.

The Daily Mail writes that young men who eat more than three slices of cheese a day may be risking their chances of becoming fathers, according to research. Even small amounts of full-fat dairy food have been shown to dramatically impair their fertility.

Harvard academics have discovered that men who eat just three portions a day had poorer quality sperm compared to others, writes the Daily Mail. A portion included an ounce of cheese (28g), a teaspoon of cream, a scoop of ice cream or glass of full-fat milk.

The researchers believe that female hormones that occur naturally in milk may be interfering with men’s ability to reproduce.

Meanwhile if you are smoker and want a healthier lifestyle, the new suggestion is to ‘inhale less’.

The BBC reports on new NICE guidance recommending that heavy smokers use the technique as a stepping stone to quitting in the future.

NICE public health expert Mike Kelly said: ‘If you are a smoker, quitting smoking is the best way to improve health and quitting in one step is most likely to be successful. However, some people - particularly those who are highly dependent on smoking - may not feel able or don’t want to do this. Harm reduction approaches provide an alternative choice… for some people this can kick-start a gradual change in behaviour that eventually leads them to quit smoking.’

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