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One in six cancers caused by treatable infections, obesity experts attack McDonald's, and 17 million face 'tsunami of pain' by 2030

A round-up of the health news headlines on Wednesday 9 May

A study published in the Lancet Oncology has revealed that one in six cancers worldwide are caused by treatable or preventable infections. Both the Guardian and The Daily Mail report that of the 7.5 million cancer deaths in 2008, 1.5 million began with infection. 80% of infection-related cancer cases occur in the developing world.

The Mail quotes Dr Catherine de Martel from the International Agency for Research on Cancer: ‘The 2011 UN high-level meeting on non-communicable diseases highlighted the growing global agenda for prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.

‘But although cancer is considered a major non-communicable disease, a sizable proportion of its causation is infectious and simple non-communicable disease paradigms will not be sufficient.'

Indeed, since cervical cancer was found to account for half the infection-related cancer cases in women, commentators on the study have also said that it reinforces the need for HPV vaccination programmes.

 

McDonald's is in the firing line today, for a drink that promises to give kids one of their five-a-day fruit and veg portions. The Daily Mail and The Telegraph report that a cup of Fruitizz contains 200 calories and 49 grams of sugar – which we are informed is more sugar than a can of Fanta.

Although the sugar apparently comes from fruit juice, the National Obesity Forum is not impressed. Representative Tam Fry said: ‘For a drink purporting to be healthy having this much sugar is appalling. The danger to children is incredible.'

 

In other public health news, The Telegraph reports that it's not just what you eat that could cause diabetes – it's how fast you eat it. A study presented at the International Congress of Endocrinology compared people recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes to similar but healthy people and found that people who said they ate their food faster than others were twice as likely to be in the diabetes group.

 

Also in The Telegraph, we read alarming prophecies of a ‘tsunami of pain' that will engulf us all by 2030. A report by Arthritis Care warns that, given our ageing population and rising obesity rates, the number of arthritis sufferers in Britain could reach 17 million over the next two decades.

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