16:20 Health campaigners are ‘dismayed’ that the meningitis B vaccination programme will not be extended to all children under two.
Since last year, babies aged up to 12 months receive the vaccine free on the NHS. And, following several high-profile cases of the disease affecting older children, parents have been campaigning for an extension of the vaccine.
But the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said today that there was not enough of the vaccine available to run a catch-up programme, reports BBC News.
15:34 The never-ending saga about what makes you fat and what doesn’t is continuing with its next instalment today. Headlines are now claiming fat is to blame after all.
University of Glasgow researchers studied diet questionnaires completed by 130,000 UK adults, finding that the strongest BMI predictor were total calories consumed and calories from fat, writes the Daily Mail.
The researchers concluded: ‘The proportion of energy from fat in the diet, but not sugar, is higher among overweight/obese individuals.
‘Focusing public health messages on sugar may mislead on the need to reduce fat and overall energy consumption.’
12:49 Fertility rates are higher among women over 40 than women under 20 for the first time since 1947, according to data from the Office of National Statistics.
The Guardian reports that fertility in over 40s increased by 3.4% in 2015, while fertility in under 20s decreased by 7.1%. The average age of mothers has risen to 30.3 in 2015.
The report said: ‘In most developed countries, women have been increasingly delaying childbearing to later in life, which has resulted in rising fertility rates among older women.’
‘This may be due to a number of factors such as increased female participation in higher education and the labour force, the increasing importance of a career, the rising costs of childbearing, labour market uncertainty and housing factors.’
12:05 People who are overweight have different brain structure to their slimmer counterparts, researchers have found.
Using brain scans, scientists found overweight study participants had less white and grey matter in areas of the brain associated with ‘motivation, willpower, and the ability to persevere through physical and emotional challenges’, reports the Telegraph.
The Canadian study authors said: ‘It has been suggested that body composition itself might somehow affect the neural systems that underlie cognition, motivation, self-control and salience processing, which would in turn affect one’s ability to make better lifestyle choices, forgoing immediate and/or highly salient rewards for the sake of longer-term health and wellness goals.’
11:23 People with a ‘ginger gene’ have a heightened risk for skin cancer equivalent to spending 21 more years in the sun, a new study has found.
Although people with two copies of the MRC1 gene have red hair and freckles, people with just one copy were also more receptive to skin cancer, but may have brown or blonde hair, scientists warned.
The Daily Mail quotes Dr David Adams, from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, as saying: ‘It has been known for a while that a person with red hair has an increased likelihood of developing skin cancer, but this is the first time that the gene has been proven to be associated with skin cancers with more mutations.’
09:35 NICE is urging doctors and nurses to treat sepsis in the same way as heart attacks.
This includes reacting to signs of sepsis with the same urgency as to patients with chest pain.
The Guardian reports that 44,000 people die of sepsis in the UK each year, out of 150,000 cases.