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MPs call for transparency over hospital staffing, grim news from NHS finance directors and why you should ditch the burgers and biscuits

A round-up of the health news headlines on Wednesday 18 September.

The BBC reports that MPs have urged hospitals to be open over the number of nurses they have on duty on each ward - and whether that figure is high enough.

The Health Committee said in its response to the Francis Report on the Mid Staffs scandal that having a more transparent system would improve care, though there is debate about what constitutes appropriate levels.

The call comes amid concerns over staffing ratios. Earlier this year, the Safe Staffing Alliance claimed wards were regularly breaching the one-to-eight nurse-to-patient ratio that it recommends.

The Guardian brings grim news from a King’s Fund survey of 42 NHS finance directors. According to a survey of how the health service performed in England in April, May and June, NHS finances, A&E waiting times and bed shortages are all getting worse.

Over at the Daily Mail we find the news that burgers and biscuits can make you depressed, but eating fruit and vegetables can ward off the blues.

Researchers from the University of Finland found that middle-aged men who eat lots of junk food are at greater risk from depression. Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables was associated with a lower risk of depression.

Losing weight by improving diet and exercising more was associated with fewer cases of the condition.

Nutritionist Anu Ruusunen, of the University of Eastern Finland, said: ‘The study reinforces the hypothesis a healthy diet has potential not only in the warding off of depression, but also in its prevention.’

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