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GP cancer referrals on the front pages and UK spends more on obesity than war

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

The new NICE recommendations to lower the threshold for urgent cancer referrals have hit the front pages today, with the Telegraph reporting persistently tired patients are set to be ‘fast-tracked’.

The Independent reports that GPs are not expected to recognise every single symptom, and lower thresholds could allow earlier diagnoses in these marginal patients.

Professor Mark Baker, NICE’s clinical practice director said: ‘There are more than 200 different types of the disease so it is unrealistic to expect them to know every single sign and symptom of each one.’

The Meningitis Research Foundation charity has called for an end to the ‘deadlock’ saying the vaccine could save ‘hundreds’ of lives and prevent disability.

And the UKs £47bn annual spend on treating health and social problems related to obesity, now outstrips spending on wars and terrorism-prevention, the Guardian reports.

A study by consultants McKinsey and Company found only smoking costs the economy more, and the report suggests a list of 44 interventions that could cut obesity levels by 20% and save the public purse £16bn a year.

The UK currently spends less than £638m a year on obesity prevention and McKinsey Global Institute director Richard Dobbs said: ‘Obesity is a systemic issue, born of many interlocking factors, and only a systemic response will do.’

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