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Health ‘bribes’ only work for a few months, Government ‘shame over killer salt’ and EU plan to label alcohol calories

So-called ‘health bribes’ – financial incentives to help people get fit, lose weight and quit smoking only work for three months, the Daily Telegraph reports on its front page this morning.

Researchers looked at 34 studies of such schemes and found the only successful one was for smoking cessation – and even then the benefits ended within three months of the payments ending.

Elsewhere the Daily Mail splashes its front page news of a health ministers’ ‘shame over killer salt’.

Apparently experts writing in the BMJ say the Government’s ‘responsibility deal’ – involving health initiatives led by the food industry – has derailed a national salt reduction programme.

Professor Graham MacGregor, professor of cardiovascular medicine from Queen Mary, University of London, said the deal had been ‘responsible for a major step backwards in public health nutrition’.

The EU is due to vote on whether drinks manufacturers should be forced to label up alcohol products with the amount of calories they contain, the BBC reports.

The move comes as researchers reported that drinkers consume as much as 10% of their daily calorie intake through alcohol – yet 80% have no idea how many calories their drinks contain.

Glenis Willmott, MEP for the East of England and supporter of mandatory labelling, said: ‘Europe is still the heaviest-drinking region in the world but many people don’t realise that a large glass of wine contains the same number of calories as a slice of cake.

‘In order to reduce the burden of alcohol-related harm, we must make sure people are given clear information to enable them to make informed choices.’