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Obesity crisis even bigger than we thought, researchers rally around care.data and could a 10-minute test detect Alzheimer's?

A round-up of the health news headlines on Monday 13 January.

The Daily Mail and the Times lead their front pages today with a story on obesity predictions. Or as the Metro puts it, also on its front page: ‘Obesity crisis: Why it’s even bigger than we thought’.

The story is based on a report by the National Obesity Forum which claims that dire warnings that half of the British population will be obese by 2050 (it’s currently 26%) are an ‘underestimate’. It calls for the Government to put less of its focus on prevention and to do more to help those who are already obese lose weight, calling for ‘shock tactics’ and for GPs to offer dietary and exercise advice to obese patients whenever they come in for appointments.

The Daily Express leads on another health story - the development of a short 12-question quiz which, if taken over time, could allow doctors to detect the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. The quiz, which takes ten minutes according to the Express but is more likely to take 15 according to the Telegraph, which also covers the story, was developed by researchers at the Wexner Medical Centre at Ohio State University and is the subject of a study published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, which ‘confirmed its feasibility for community screening of large numbers of people’.

The Government’s controversial records extraction scheme Care.data has been in the spotlight recently, and it gains some much-needed support today from a group of leading health research organisations. The British Heart Foundation, Arthritis UK, Cancer Research UK, Diabetes UK, the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust have all jointly launched an advertising campaign encouraging patients not to opt out of the initiative and highlighting the potential benefits to medical research.

Professor Liam Smeeth, head of the department of non-communicable disease epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, is quoted by Sky News. He said: ‘This sort of information is not just important for running an effective health service, it is absolutely necessary

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