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Overdoses in women over thirty and why you should eat chocolate but avoid hospital food

A round-up of the health news headlines on Thursday 30 August

Populated by doctors and nutritionists, you'd think hospital food would be healthy. Apparently not, according to the Sun, who found that hospital dinners were packed with more saturated fat than a fit adult should eat in an entire day.

An investigation from The Campaign for Better Hospital analysed 35 hospital meals served in at least 80 NHS trusts in England.

Five of the meals- three types of triple cheese pizzas, cannelloni and lasagne- contained more than 25g of saturated fat.

27 meals had such high levels of salt and fat they would be deemed unfit for patients in Scotland and Wales, where nutritional guidelines are stricter.

The news comes after Health Minister Simon Burns declared that it was up to individual trusts to provide nutritious food.

While the Sun bashed triple cheese pizza, the Telegraph reported on the benefits of chocolate, as Swedish researchers have found it may reduce the risk stroke in men.

The researchers followed more than 37,000 men for a decade and found that those who ate the most chocolate- the equivalent of one-third of a cup of chocolate chips- lowered their risk of stroke by 17 per cent compared to men who avoided chocolate, even when other factors such as smoking, weight and high blood pressure were taken into account.

A study published last year showed similar results for female chocolate fans.

Susanna Larsson, the study's lead at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm said: ‘The beneficial effect of chocolate consumption on stroke may be related to the flavonoids in chocolate.'

Others said it would be dangerous to switch to a diet of Dairy Milks on the basis of this study.

Richard Libman, vice chair of neurology at the Cushing Neuroscience Institute in Manhasset, New York told the Telegraph it was important to take the news on chocolate ‘with a grain of salt'.

He said: ‘You can't start advising people to eat chocolate based on this. Think of the negative effects that could result, like obesity and type 2 diabetes.'

The paper moved from chocolate to stronger vices, reporting that more older women are dying from drugs than younger ones.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show the death rate from accidental overdoses and suicides was higher for women in their fifties and sixties than those in their twenties, last year.

The death rate for women in their forties was also ‘significantly higher' than a few years ago, reports the Telegraph.

The majority of drug poisoning deaths among women involved antidepressants, but cases of paracetamol or methadone poisoning were on the rise.

Disruption to your body clock may be making you fat, says the Daily Mail.

Scottish scientists said that regular cycles of sleeping, waking and digesting over a 24 hour period activates processes in the body which affect the release of hormones controlling metabolism.

Eating and sleeping at regular times, and ensuring you sleep in pitch darkness can help you stay slim, they said, as light controls our body clocks.

Dr Cathy Wyse, from the University of Aberdeen said: ‘Electric light allowed humans to override an ancient synchronisation between the rhythm of the human clock and the environment.

‘Over the last century, daily rhythms in meal, sleep and working times have gradually disappeared from our lives. 

‘The human clock struggles to remain tuned to our highly irregular lifestyles and I believe this causes metabolic and other health problems, and makes us more likely to become obese.'

 

 

 

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