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Lunchtime league table for hospital meals, App developers can't sell health information to advertisers, and more educated women have lower cholesterol

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Friday 29 August.

Jeremy Hunt has pulled another policy out of the cabinet today, eschewing a tick box to implement a new league table and inspection regime: ranking hospitals on the calibre of their cuisine, the Telegraph reports.

Trust canteens will now be legally bound to adhere to strict rules on fat, salt and sugar content, with inspectors to assess the grub on a number of points, rank them on meal quality and then list it on NHS Choices.

Food must be sustainably sourced, and those who fail to meet the requirements could be fined, but the lo-fat phobic needn’t fear as shops and food outlets within the hospital will still be exempt from the rules.

Apple has told health and wellbeing app developers using its ‘HealthKit’ development platform that the health information they collect from users about activity, diet, exercise must not be sold to advertisers.

The Guardian reports the rules are intended to waylay privacy concerns that the information would go to data brokers, information resellers or advertisers.

But developers can still pass information on to third parties for the purpose of medical research, as long as they have obtained the user’s consent.

And finally, the Daily Mail poses a tricky question: could a university degree lower cholesterol?

Well Pulse has had a stab that the short answer is ‘No’, but a study by researchers at Cambridge University did find that women educated past age 15 have lower levels of LDL cholesterol on average.

The study surveyed 22, 451 people from Norfolk aged between 39 and 79, asked their BMI, alcohol consumption, ‘social class’, educational level and level of deprivation in their area, and measured LDL and HDL cholesterol.

Lead researcher Kay-Tee Khaw, professor of clinical gerontology, said there was ‘a well-recognised social gradient in cardiovascular disease,’ but warned the impact of socioeconomic factors was complex.

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