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Cooking meat may increase chances of dementia, overweight children could become the norm, and blood pressure pills raise the risk of fatal fall

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Tuesday 25 February

Bad news for meat lovers - browning meat in the oven, grill or frying pan produces chemicals that may increase the risk of developing dementia, US researchers have suggested.

The BBC reports that advanced glycation end products (AGES) produced in cooking, have been linked to diseases such as type-2 diabetes. AGES are formed when proteins or fats react with sugar. This can happen naturally and during the cooking process.

Researchers at the Icahn school of medicine at Mount Sinai, in New York, tested the effect of AGES on mice and people.

The animal experiments, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that a diet rich in AGES affects the chemistry of the brain.

Meanwhile the Guardian writes that overweight children could become new norm in Europe.

According to a WHO report as many as a third of 11-year-olds in some countries are overweight, as well as two-thirds of UK’s adult population

According to the EU figures, Greece has the highest proportion of overweight 11-year-olds (33%), followed by Portugal (32%), Ireland and Spain (both 30%).

While the UK’s figures are not directly comparable, data from the childhood measurement programme in 2011/12 suggests England has as serious a problem as any country, with 35.4%of 10- to 11-year-old boys and 32.4% of girls overweight. Among those, 20.7% of boys and 17.7% of girls were obese.

Finally, the Daily Telegraph runs a story warning that blood pressure pills ‘raise risk of fatal fall’.

It says that millions of older people taking high-blood pressure tablets, like beta-blockers, may be doing themselves more harm than good because the pills increase the risk of fatal falls, scientists have warned.

Yale University has discovered that the risk of dying from a fall when taking tablets rises by 40% over three years - similar to the risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke over the same period.

The majority of over-70s suffer from high blood pressure and nearly 5 million take medication for hypertension.

But several recent studies have questioned whether the risks and side-effects of medication are outweighing the benefits.

Hypertension drugs lower blood pressure but can lead to side-effects which include dizziness, excessive tiredness and blurred vision.

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