Humans are too fat for the planet, the 'healthiest meal ever' and the 'scandal of mental illness'
A round-up of the health news headlines on Monday 18 June
We are getting too fat for our planet, according to a new study reported in the Telegraph. Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have estimated that global adult population weighs 287 million tons. 15 million of that is due to people being overweight and 3.5 million is obesity.
Most of the extra weight is concentrated in the richest countries, with the US being the worst offender. Britain comes in at 18th – responsible for 3% of the extra fat despite being home to only 1% of the world's population.
Professor Ian Roberts, who led the research, believes that ‘fatness' contributes to climate change by effectively enlarging our populations. He said: ‘Unless we tackle both population and fatness our chances are slim.' (Pun intended?)
And if that's got you feeling flabby, you might want to check the Daily Mail for the ‘healthiest meal ever'. Researchers collated over 4,000 health claims used by food manufacturers and supermarkets, narrowed those down to the only 222 that were judged to have scientific justification, and then concocted a ‘superdinner'.
The extra-nutritious menu includes a salmon terrine starter packed with Omega 3 and docosahexaenoic acid, and ends with a live yoghurt blancmange to aid digestion. And you're even allowed hot chocolate!
The Guardian reports on the ‘scandal of mental illness': a report published by the London School of Economics has suggested that only a quarter of those who need mental healthcare are getting it.
The report, compiled by economists, psychologists, doctors and NHS staff, argues that nearly half of the adult population's ill health is caused by mental illness and that millions of pounds are wasted by not addressing that root cause.
Mental health receives only 13% of the NHS budget while mental illness accounts for nearly half of absenteeism at work and people on incapacity benefits. In the last quarter of 2011, there were 6.1 million people with anxiety or depression in England but only 13,100 (2.1%) received talking therapy.
Lord Layard, who leads the Mental Health Policy Group, said: ‘If local NHS commissioners want to improve their budgets, they should all be expanding their provision of psychological therapy.'