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Outdoor-smoking ban ‘paternalistic’, WW1 explosive could treat diabetes, and can too much sleep really kill?

Proposals to ban smoking in outdoor spaces, such as parks and tourist hotspots, have sparked debate in the medical community with experts, writing in the BMJ, condemning the suggestion as ‘paternalistic’, the BBC reports.

Responding to the public health proposals by Lord Darzi last year, Prof Simon Chapman of the University of Sydney said the clear health benefits of reducing ‘passive smoking’ by banning smoking indoors, couldn’t be compared to the ‘near homeopathic’ levels of risk from smoke exposure in parks.

A First World War explosive that caused ‘inexplicable weight loss’ in those who were exposed to it, could be used to combat diabetes the Telegraph reports.

DNP (2,4-dinitrophenol) was a key component in munitions manufacture in France,  and it was previously marketed as a weight loss drug as it massively increases the metabolic rate of those exposed to it.

It has previously been used as a weight loss drug, but was banned as unsafe, and now researchers at Yale University believe it could be used to reverse Type 2 diabetes after animal trials with a 100-times diluted solution of the drug were successful.

And finally the Independent deploys an excellent bit of hedging, reporting that too much sleep could increase your risk of a stroke after a study of more than 10,000 participants by the University  of Cambridge found those sleeping more than eight hours had a 45% higher risk of stroke.

The study followed participants, aged between 42 and 81 for 10 years and 346 participants suffered a stroke, oversleeping has previously been linked with health problems such as diabetes or obesity.

The Independent goes on to point out that this is a correlational effect and that over sleeping could simply be a symptom of an underlying condition, and the causative mechanism is unknown. That’s still a great deal more analysis than the Daily Express who’s headline claims ‘Too MUCH sleep could KILL YOU’.