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Obesity NHS measures 'inexplicable', daily drinking risks liver cancer and warning over internet breast milk

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

The NHS approach to dealing with obesity has been described as ‘inexplicable’ by MPs, the BBC reports this morning.

The Commons Health Committee has released a damning report calling on the Government to do more to prevent people getting unwell as a result of unhealthy eating and lack of physical activity, including controls on the food industry and more support for people at risk of diabetes and obesity to avoid them going on to need bariatric surgery.

The report said: ‘The committee regards it as inexplicable and unacceptable that the NHS is now spending more on bariatric surgery for obesity than on a national roll-out of intensive lifestyle intervention programmes that were first shown to cut obesity and prevent diabetes over a decade ago.’

Professor John Wass of the Royal College of Physicians said: ‘It is welcome to see the findings of this report recognise the importance and benefits of physical activity beyond weight loss, as previous findings have shown regular physical activity of just 30 minutes, five times a week, can make a huge difference to a patient’s health.’

Having a daily tipple - or rather three - is enough to give you liver cancer, the Telegraph warns readers.

Research has shown that around 5 to 6 units of alcohol - equivalent to three glasses of wine - significantly increases the risk of the cancer.

On the other hand, drinking coffee and eating fish regularly, and - you guessed it - taking plenty of exercise seems to reduce the risk of the disease.

Amanda McLean, director of World Cancer Research Fund UK, which carried out the study, said: ‘Around three or more drinks per day can be enough to cause liver cancer. Until now we were uncertain about the amount of alcohol likely to lead to liver cancer. But the research reviewed in this report is strong enough, for the first time, to be more specific about this.’

Lastly, parents are being warned about the risks of buying breast milk over the internet, The Independent reports.

Apparently internet forums where parents can buy and sell breast milk are increasingly popular in both the USA and the UK, but experts warned this is putting babies at risk from infection.

Writing in the BMJ they said: ‘When breast milk is screened and treated appropriately… it remains second to a mother’s own milk as best for infant feeding.

‘At present milk bought online is a far from ideal alternative, exposing infants and other consumers to microbiological and chemical agents. Urgent action is required to make this market safer.’

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