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The dangers of fruit juice, the blood test that predicts when women will go into labour, and patients in hospital not told they are dying

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Thursday 15 May.

The Guardian reports fewer than half of NHS patients who were in their last hours or days were told that they were dying by hospital staff, while a high number of families and relatives are left feeling they have no emotional support, according to a report from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP).

The report also highlights a perpetual lack of specialist palliative care at weekends, ten years after NICE recommended that that it should be offered seven days a week.

Elsewhere, the BBC reports scientists have developed a blood test that can predict if women having early contractions will go on to give birth too soon.

The blood test predicted premature birth in 70% of cases in a study at a hospital in Australia. Premature birth is the main cause of death for newborns in the Western world.

The appalling diets of the nation’s teenagers have been exposed by a report which shows that many are already putting themselves at risk of diabetes, obesity and heart disease, The Daily Mail has revealed.

Health experts also warned that fruit juice – seen by many as a healthy option – should be drunk no more than once a day because of its high sugar content.

The report, the Government’s National Diet and Nutrition Survey, also shows that children aged ten and under typically exceed the recommended daily limit of sugar by 34%. 

Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the British Heart Foundation, said: ‘This study paints a clear picture that too many people, especially children, are not eating healthily enough.’

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