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BMA shuns alcohol deal; NHS reform ‘not set in stone’ and breast-fed babies power ahead at school

By Laura Passi

Our roundup of the health news headlines on Monday 14 March.

Six health organisations have walked away from the ‘responsibility deal' on alcohol due to be announced on Tuesday according to the Guardian. The BMA, the Royal College of Physicians, British Liver Trust, British Association for the Study of the Liver, Institute of Alcohol Studies and Alcohol Concern have ‘shunned' the deal, saying that Andrew Lansley has ‘allowed the industry to drive through a series of insignificant pledges that will do nothing to reduce drink-related illness and deaths.'

Coalition may backtrack on NHS reform plans' says the Independent after Andrew Lansley suggested that the reforms were ‘not set in stone and could change'. The BMA will hold an ‘emergency meeting tomorrow to decide whether to oppose the reforms' and over the weekend campaign group 38 Degrees collected more than 80,000 signatures against the plans.

'I would characterise it as the way they treat their cars. Women drive very carefully and make sure they take it into the garage at the right time but men just put their foot down until it's knackered.' – This sweeping generalisation from deputy editor of Men's Health magazine in the Daily Mail is meant to explain why ‘one in five men has 'not visited a doctor in the last year' (and 6% still wouldn't even if they had chest pains)'.

The Daily Telegraph reports that UK researchers have found breastfeeding ‘continues to have an effect on a child's mental ability right through secondary school'. In a study of 10,000 babies, those who had been breast fed ‘exclusively for at least the first week of life consistently outperformed those put on the bottle from birth.'

Spotted a story we've missed? Let us know in the comments and we'll update the digest throughout the day...

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