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The cheese that’s saltier than a bag of crisps, the baby-boomer health crisis and the test to predict if your newborn will be obese by 16 years



The Guardian reports on campaigners from Consensus Action on Salt and Health who have warned that a slice of cheddar can contain more salt than an entire packet of crisps.

The researchers say that only bread and bacon contribute more salt to the British diet.   Many cheeses, including cheddar, roquefort, processed cheese slices, feta and halloumi, were found to contain more salt by concentration than seawater.

The wide-ranging survey of 772 supermarket cheese products found that cheddar had an average of 0.52 grams of salt in each 30g portion (the size of a matchbox) – more than a packet of crisps. A standard 34.5g packet of Walkers ready salted crisps contains 0.5g of salt.

Among the worst cheddar offenders were Morrisons: Smooth & Tangy Farmhouse cheddar (0.63g salt per 30g) and Waitrose: West Country Farmhouse cheddar (0.58g).

Elsewhere, the Daily Telegraph warns that the baby-boomer generation is facing an unexpected health crisis because the Government has failed to grasp that they will be far poorer than expected in old age.

A combination of pension shortfalls, the cost of care and the effects of recession could have “profound implications” for the health of those currently approaching retirement, they say.

The warning comes in a joint editorial by Professor Martin McKee, professor of European Public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and David Stuckler, a Cambridge sociologist, in Age and Ageing, the scientific journal of the British Geriatrics Society.

Finally, the Daily Mail reports on a newly developed two-minute test that predict if a newborn baby is going to grow into an obese child.

Six simple questions are used to calculate the risk that he or she will be dangerously overweight by the age of 16.

Factors taken into account include the parents’ weight and whether the mother smoked in pregnancy.

The calculator, available online, is the brainchild of researchers at Imperial College London, who say the test could be used to help instill good habits in parents early on so their children do not grow up to be overweight.