Today’s BBC News headlines confirmed what many of us already knew to be true, that it’s not possible to be fat and fit. Essentially if you’re obese but still have no risk factors for heart disease, just being significantly overweight in itself is harmful to health in the long term.
Yesterday myself and a number of prominent doctors, nutritionists, sports scientists and health campaigners wrote a letter to the medical schools council, the general medical council and the secretary of state for health calling for mandatory training for medical students and practicing doctors in evidence based lifestyle interventions to prevent and treat chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
I recently saw a lady in her early 60’s who was terrified because her GP had told her that her cholesterol was high. “congratulations” I said, “that will probably help you live longer.” By the end of the consultation she left the room smiling.
A few weeks ago with a number of international researchers I co-authored a paper published in BMJ Open that concluded that not only was there no association with so called bad cholesterol and cardiovascular disease in the over 60’s but a trend to reduced reduction in deaths from all causes the higher the cholesterol. One explanation of our findings is that LDL cholesterol is involved in immune system protection against potentially fatal gastrointestinal and respiratory infections and possibly even cancer.
Read more… Good Health Doesn’t Come Out of a Medicine Bottle
Nuts, olive oil and vegetables are the best heart medicine ( too many prescriptions cause massive waste and harm the public).
It may be hard to believe, but poor diet now contributes to more disease and death than physical inactivity, smoking and alcohol combined (according to The Lancet). We have been guzzling sugar, refined carbohydrates and industrial vegetable oils as never before, with devastating consequences for public health. The combined costs of type 2 diabetes and obesity to the NHS and UK economy exceed £20 billion.
The announcement last week by the British chancellor George Osborne for the introduction of a sugary drinks tax was very welcome news. I have been campaigning for years with others that a tax on sugary drinks would be a major step forward to help combat obesity and many associated chronic diseases. In February 2013, after a year reviewing the evidence the Academy of Medical Royal colleges ( I sat on the steering committee) produced a ten point obesity action plan which included a tax on sugary drinks.
Cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and respiratory disease kill 35 million per year globally. In 2012, the UN advocated a new health goal of reducing avoidable deaths from non-communicable diseases by 25 per cent by 2025. It identified tobacco, alcohol and poor diet as central risk factors.
Aseem Malhotra is a man on mission. As a campaigner and founding member of the organisation Action on Sugar, set up two years ago by a group of doctors and researchers to publicise the harmful effects of junk food and a high-sugar diet, the 38-year-old cardiologist has certainly been making waves.