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Sugar tax ‘would work’, hospitals told to save money and aspirin helps pregnancy

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has been told a tax on sugary food’s would save lives, even though Government advisors have hinted they would not recommend it.

Appearing before the Commons Health Committee yesterday, Public Health England (PHE) director of diet and obesity Dr Alison Tedstone told MPs a review of sugar reduction policies had concluded that ‘universally all the evidence shows that tax does decrease purchases’, The Independent reports.

’The point of the tax is to nudge people away from purchasing these things towards purchasing things that are more consistent with a healthy balanced diet,’ Dr Tedstone said.

It comes after the government resisted calls for such a tax, and accusations of political interference to delay the publication of PHE’s evidence, the paper says. PHE’s chief executive Duncan Selbie recently told Pulse that the review had not shown strong evidence for a tax, and that the report would prioritise other measures like food reformulation.

Nearly 150 hospitals in England are being given their own individual savings targets in a drive to save money, the BBC reports.

It follows Lord Carter’s review of around 20 hospitals earlier in the year, which found wide variations in spending on medicines and items like syringes, as well as facilities such as heating.

Apparently Lord Carter also believes hospitals could make major savings in areas including common operations like hip replacements, infection rates and through introduction of ‘better staff rotas and management of training and annual leave’.

Elsewhere, women could boost their chances of having a baby if they take an aspirin a day, according to The Telegraph.

Fertility experts said women should consider taking a small amount of the drug – around 81mg a day – to improve their chances, particularly if struggling to conceive or if they have previously lost a baby.

‘It is thought that aspirin targets inflammation in the body, providing a safer environment for a growing embryo,’ the paper explains.