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Erythromycin could double CP risk in pregnancy, Preston has Britain's unhealthiest high street, and Tesco's 'healthy tills' pledge sticks in doctor's throat

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

Taking erythromycin, or related antibiotics, while pregnant could double an unborn child’s risk of epilepsy or being born with cerebral palsy, researchers from Great Ormond Street and University College London have warned.

The team are now calling for an urgent safety review of erythromycin and other macrolide antibiotics, after studying a cohort of 200,000 pregnancies – a third of whom received antibiotics – and identifying the trend.

But the risk may be tiny compared to an unchecked infection an MHRA spokesperson said: ‘Any pregnant woman who is prescribed antibiotics should continue to take them as instructed and speak to their healthcare professional if they have any questions.’

Preston, Lancashire has taken first place in a race to claim Britain’s unhealthiest high street according to a new report which has ranked the nation’s unhealthiest towns, the Guardian reports.

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) has ranked 144 high streets based on an analysis of the public health impact on any outlets, including takeaways, tanning salons and betting shops – with second and third places going to Middelsborough and Coventry.

The Local Government Association, who represent councils, said the report mirrored their own concerns, adding: ‘Local authorities are hamstrung by the current planning and licensing systems, under which councils have extremely limited powers to refuse openings, even in places that are already saturated with certain types of businesses,’

And finally, Tesco’s pledge to remove sweets from their checkouts in a bid to drive down unhealthy impulse purchases has been given a hollow ring after doctors shared pictures showing crisps were still available.

The Independent reports that cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra, shared the picture of the ‘healthy’ tills on Twitter, and the paper independently verified this practice in other stores after Tesco claimed it was a one-off example.

Dr Mallhotra said: ‘I think it’s misleading for consumers… The food industry knows and retailers know that people buy products on how they are marketed and not on their nutritional value.’

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