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Bad news for those of you who like smoking, drinking … and vitamin D

The Guardian today reports on Government plans to introduce options for a minimum price on alcohol.   It says that Prime Minister David Cameron will this week launched a consultation on his attempt to crack down on cheap booze, blamed for fuelling anti-social behaviour and drink problems.

The report, due on Wednesday, is thought to recommend three possible prices for each unit - measured as 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol - of 40p, 45p or 50p.

The minimum pricing policy has been strongly backed by health professionals: last week the Alcohol Health Alliance, whose members include the British Medical Association and the Royal College of Nursing, wrote to the Sunday Times urging the government to set the unit price at 50p to protect the heaviest drinkers and those around them, including children.

Elsewhere the BBC reports on research by King’s College London, which found that smoking “rots” the brain by damaging memory, learning and reasoning.

The study published in the journal Age and Ageing of 8,800 people over 50 showed high blood pressure and being overweight also seemed to affect the brain, but to a lesser extent.

Scientists involved said people needed to be aware that lifestyles could damage the mind as well as the body.

Meanwhile the Daily Telegraph warns that Britain faces an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency because of the poor summer. 

It says that Professor Norman Ratcliffe, from Swansea University, has warned that the dull summer will lead to high levels of deficiency in the sunshine vitamin.

Other experts said vitamin D deficiency was a ‘major public health concern’ and Britain was heading back to the 1920s when large numbers of children suffered bone pain and bowed legs from the effects of rickets.

The article tells readers that the combination of a 21st century childhood of not playing outside, being driven to school and constantly wearing high factor sunscreen will be compounded by the poor weather this summer.