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Victorian disease back for more, salad woes and the ‘frankfurter diet’

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By Ellie Broughton

Our round-up of the health headlines on Friday 3 June.

Mass inoculation for newborns against tuberculosis made the front page of the Times today [link behind paywall]. Ten of thousands of babies will be vaccinated as part of a strategy to fight the resurgence of the disease in the UK, says the newspaper.

Experts say the disease is 'out of control' in some urban areas, despite the widespread assumption that it had been relegated to the pages of history textbooks. The scheme kicks off for all children born in London next year.

A new strain of E. Coli has caused the latest outbreak of the disease, the papers confirm this morning. From the Daily Mail's screaming front page, mutant E.coli is in Britain, to the Guardian's interactive map of disease spread, the story is still riding high in the public consciousness. Following in hot pursuit comes the discovery of a new strain of MRSA discovered in cows' milk and human flesh wounds.

As with so many public health issues, the broadsheets are a mix of hand-wringing advice and table-sweeping comment – Is it safe to eat salad? on the one hand, and The antibiotic era has put lives at risk on the other.

One team who are ignoring the fracas altogether are those on the frankfurter diet.

As disgusted as you feel about such a thing, you're unlikely to have been as cross as British Heart Foundation executives – who discovered the fad had been marketed under their name.

Thousands have been conned into following a fake diet involving frankfurters and cabbage circulated as 'the official British Heart Foundation diet'.

It promises that dieters will lose 10lb in three days by sticking to unappetising meal plans where dinner is little more than processed sausages and cabbage.

Victoria Taylor, senior heart health dietician at the BHF, said: 'Apart from being wholly unappetising with the likes of two frankfurters with a cup of cabbage and half a cup of carrots for a meal, this diet is so restrictive in terms of the range and quantity of food that it lacks a number of nutrients we need to stay healthy.'

'The lack of fibre means followers could develop constipation while long-term use could also leave you deficient in calcium and iron, which can result in fragile bones and teeth and feeling constantly tired.'

'It's important people find effective ways of managing their weight – but this so-called quick fix is not one of them.'

Almost makes salad sound appetising again…

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