Healthy habits 'deliver extra disease-free decade'

Women can gain 10 and men seven years of life free of cancer, heart problems and type-2 diabetes from a healthy lifestyle, a study in the BMJ suggests.

They must exercise regularly, avoid alcohol,

have a healthy weight BMI 20 -24,

good veg salad diet and not smoke.


Intermittent fasting, often referred to as IF, is an increasingly popular eating plan that involves significantly restricting your food intake on certain days, while eating normally on others

Huge claims have been made for IF around enhanced weight loss, including improved mental functioning, a reduced risk of disease and even a longer life.

So how does it work?

There are a number of ways to approach IF depending on how often you decide to fast each week and how much you eat on fasting days.

One of the most popular IF regimes is the 5:2 plan, where each week is made up of five days eating normally (preferably healthily) and two days fasting. The latter are not technically fasting days, as you're allowed to consume 600 calories on each day if you're a male and 500 calories if you're a female. The final rule is that the two fasting days should not be consecutive.

Some practical tips and considerations

You're obviously going to feel some degree of hunger and even some lack of energy on the fasting days, so you should carefully consider how this will affect your life.

Fasting on days when you're busy can be a good idea so that you don't have too much time to think about eating. Exercising on a fasting day however is not advisable, as your energy levels will be lower and you're likely to feel even hungrier for the rest of the day.

Stay hydrated on fasting days with plenty of water and fruit or herbal teas - this will prevent dehydration and help you to feel more full, as well as have a mild detoxifying effect.

And finally, if you have any medical conditions whatsoever that may be affected by changes to your diet, then you should talk to your doctor GP first before starting.

The healthiest men and women in the study had never smoked

Childhood obesity has become a global epidemic, not easy to treat.

Now children and their families to make lifestyle changes - Denmark.

Have the Danes cracked childhood obesity?


A typical weight loss programme

The child's doctor creates a tailored plan with 15-20 strategies, which could include:

1 - No crunchy muesli or fruit yoghurts for breakfast - choosing oatmeal, dark brown bread, meat and fish instead

2 - No fast food or white bread for lunch; choose brown bread, meat, fish and vegetables instead

3 - Portions served up in the kitchen - no pots and pans at the dining table

4 - Plate proportions for dinner should be: half vegetables, a quarter brown rice, pasta or potatoes, and a quarter low fat fish or meat

5 - Wait 20 minutes before having second helpings - this allows time for the body to feel full

6 - Feel satisfied after each meal

7 - Only two pieces of fruit per day

8 - Fast food only once a month

9 - Sweets only once a week

10 - Snack only once a week

11 - Limit juice, iced tea, cocoa, soda or lemonade to once weekly - only half a litre in total

12 - Cycle or walk to school

13 - Organised physical activity eg dancing, handball or gymnastics

14 - Free physical activities like walking/biking after school, walking the dog or trampolining

15 - Screen time (television, computer or tablet) limited to two hours per day

16 - No television/computer access until 5pm

17 - Set a regular, early bedtime

The programme requires the whole family to embrace it.

Obesity: Study of 2.8 million shows increased disease and death risks

The study also showed:

  • BMI of 35-40, the risk of Type 2 diabetes was almost nine times higher, and 12 times higher for sleep apnoea

  • severe obesity BMI of 40-45 were 12 times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnoea that was 22 times greater

  • BMI of 40-45 had triple the risk of heart failure, high blood pressure, and dyslipidaemia

  • BMI of 40-45 was also linked to a 50% higher risk of dying prematurely from any cause

The BMI result is assigned to a standard category:

Less than 18.5 - underweight

18.5 to 24.9 - healthy weight

25 to 29.9 - overweight

30 to 39.9 - obese (split into two categories for the new study)

40 and over - very obese (also known as morbidly obese)


Sugar 'not necessary' for a good cup of Tea / Coffee

It might be a ritual for many but scientists say your cup of tea does not actually need a spoonful of sugar.

A study found participants were able to cut it out without their enjoyment being affected -

suggesting a long-term change in behaviour was possible.

"Reducing sugar in tea doesn't affect liking, suggesting long-term behaviour change is possible."

Ultra-processed foods 'make you eat more'

Ultra-processed foods lead people to eat more and put on weight"

"It's suggestive that this may be playing a role in the larger population."

the "obesity epidemic"..........ultra-processed food more palatable, ate more quickly and consequently more -

possibly because it took longer for them to feel full.

"A very interesting outcome of the study is the cost-per-energy:

the ultra-processed diet was considerably cheaper than the unprocessed control diet, and this is likely to have implications from a public health point of view."

Ultra-processed food linked to early death


Ultra-processed foods - such as chicken nuggets, burgers, ice cream and breakfast cereals - have been linked to early death and poor health, scientists say.

Their studies suggesting ultra-processed foods lead to overeating.

Overweight or obese make people ill and sick.


Why is being obese a risk?

The more overweight you are, the more fat you're carrying, the less fit you are and the lower your lung capacity.

This means it is a bigger struggle to get oxygen into the blood and around the body.

This impacts on the heart and blood flow too.

"Because people are more overweight, they also have a demand for more oxygen.

So that means their system is actually undergoing greater pressure," says Prof Naveed, from the University of Glasgow.

During an infection like coronavirus, this can be serious.

"Eventually the obese body becomes overwhelmed by the lack of oxygen getting to the major organs," says Dr Dyan Sellayah, from the University of Reading.

That is one reason why overweight and obese people in intensive care are more likely to need assistance with breathing and support with kidney function.

The ability of the body to fight off the virus - known as the immune response - is not as good in people who are obese.

That's due to inflammation driven by immune cells called macrophages interfere with how our cells respond to infection.

According to scientists, this can lead to a 'cytokine storm' causes excess inflammation and serious harm.

This may explain why people from Asia, African and ethnic minority backgrounds (BAME), who have more of this type of tissue, "have elevated rates of diabetes, and may be more vulnerable to the virus," Dr Sellayah says.

Obesity often comes with other health issues, such as a weak heart, lungs, kidney or type 2 diabetes.

Blood clots are also more likely to develop, but it's not clear why.

What about hospital care?

There can be challenges when it comes to managing patients with obesity, more difficult to intubate them, and to scan them because of weight limits.

What can I do to be healthy?

The best way is to eat a healthy, balanced diet and exercise regularly.

Fast walking, cycling are good options, even with social distancing measures in force.

Eat slowly and eat healthy.

How bad is obesity problem?


Clear link with deprivation.............

As well as putting people at risk of complications from coronavirus, being obese is also linked to a higher risk of other conditions - from heart disease, diabetes and cancer, to problems during pregnancy and joint pain.

Supplements: a waste of time?

The majority of clinical trials to date have found no evidence that taking individual or combinations of antioxidants can offer healthy people protection against disease.


A quick fix for good health?

Eating a diet rich in some antioxidants has been shown to protect against the development of coronary heart disease, strokes, some cancers and age-related diseases.

Luckily nature has provided us with a balanced package of antioxidants.

There is certainly no evidence to suggest that eating plenty of fruit and vegetables can be bad for you.

Taking many vitamin supplements can lead to unwanted side effect


The pills could irritate the oesophagus, or allow some stomach acid to creep back up the oesophagus when it enters the stomach.

The pills could irritate the oesophagus, or allow some stomach acid to creep back up the oesophagus when it enters the stomach.

There's no definitive evidence that they confer health benefits.

Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, and whole grains, should help to regain the extra nutrients that the body needs……..it may be a good idea to stop taking the supplements altogether.

Liquid vitamins could be an alternative. It will be easier to swallow and minimise irritation.

Vitamin D pills, fish oil no guard against cancer or heart diseases

Vitamin D and fish oil supplements do not lower the risk of heart disease and cancer in healthy adults, says a study.

Vitamin D was no better than placebo for lowering the risk of heart disease and cancer. There were similar conclusions for omega-3 fatty acid supplements, which people consume as fish oil.


Fish oil pills 'no benefit' for diabetes / cancer


"This is really expensive stuff.

If somebody's at risk of diabetes, there are much better things to spend money on, like a physical activity.

Douglas Twenefour, deputy head of care at Diabetes UK, said:

"Eating a healthy, varied diet is incredibly important, - including fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, yoghurt and cheese - can help to lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Complementary cancer therapy pills 'do more harm than good'


Cancer patients should tell their doctors if they are taking herbal products because some of the ingredients could stop their treatment working, a cancer conference has heard.

Garlic, ginger and ginkgo pills, for example, can delay the healing of skin wounds when breast cancer spreads.

There was no evidence that herbal therapies or creams worked.

If in doubt, it was best not to take anything.

With a lot of unproven information available online and little reliable research into these products.

Therapies like yoga, mindfulness could have a positive impact on patients' quality of life.

Scrap 'quick-fix diets and tea-toxes'


If you have to lose some weight, avoid fad diets, because they don't work and can be harmful, says NHS England's top doctor.

Diet pills, "tea-toxes" and appetite suppressant products are no quick fix.

Products making this claim can have side-effects, including diarrhoea and heart issues, he warns.

Getting in shape safely takes time and requires eating sensibly, and exercise.

Party drips

Model Kendall Jenner was hospitalised following a bad reaction to a nutrient therapy IV drip, made up of saline solution, magnesium, calcium, B vitamins and vitamin C.

In extreme cases, regularly resorting to drips for hangover cures can cause nausea, liver damage, or death due to a toxic overdose of vitamin A.

The NHS has tips to help people achieve their New Year health goals:

How to spot a fad diet

The British Dietetic Association (BDA) advises people to stay away from diets that promote a magic ingredient or product to solve your weight problem, without you having to change your lifestyle in any way.

Any diet that promises rapid weight loss of more than 2lbs (0.9kg) of body fat a week is also dubious.

Fad diets often promote eating only one type of food or avoiding whole food groups.

  • And don't be fooled by celebrity endorsement - if it sounds too good to be true, the chances are it is.

The BDA says: "Eat a nutritionally balanced and varied diet, and be physically active."

The notion of "detox" is nonsense, says the BDA

Avoid alcohol and get more sleep, fresh air and exercise.

The body has its own built-in system to detoxify and remove waste.

There are no pills or specific drinks, patches or lotions that can do a magic detoxifying job.

Is it better to avoid milk?

While calcium is good for bones.............................

the evidence that consuming more calcium will prevent bone fractures is unclear.

A number of studies have found no significant decrease in fracture risk from drinking milk.

Some research suggests that milk could actually contribute to fracture risk.

One study in Sweden found that women who drank more than 200 ml of milk daily – had a higher risk of fractures..

The UK National Health Service recommends children between the age of one and three consume 250 ml milk for calcium.

But when it comes to adults, research as to whether cow’s milk helps to keep our bones healthy is conflicting.

“Only very high milk intake can be bad, but there’s no research suggesting that moderate intake is harmful,” he says.

Soya milk is the best replacement for cow’s milk in terms of protein, as it’s the only one with comparable protein content.

But the proteins in alternative drinks may not be “true” protein

Whatever you decide, you won’t necessarily be missing out on vital nutrients if you eat a balanced diet.

In most cases, a substitute, or substitutes, can be used in place of milk.

It’s not necessary to drink milk.

“It can be replaced with other products – there’s no single food that’s absolutely necessary to our health.”


Watch out for sports drinks

Sports drinks contain salts and sugars.

Many of them are packed with carbohydrates however – which means they also contain calories.

Unless you have over burnt as professional atheletes, it’s wiser to choose simple water, or a zero-calorie electrolyte drink and avoid the hidden calories.

Activity doesn’t just mean the gym

Moving more doesn’t mean you need to join a gym.

From walking up stairs to gardening, any activity that gets your heart rate going and your muscles moving will have an effect.

Walk your way to weight loss

You don’t necessarily need to take up a high intensity Zumba class to lose weight either.

Research shows that moderate exercise, such a walking, can be just as effective for weight loss since it doesn’t trigger the appetite hormones, which can lead to you reaching for the biscuit tin after a hard workout.

Move more, eat wisely

There’s little point in going to the gym five times a week if you’re going to undo it by eating a poor diet and consuming more calories than you’ve managed to burn.

When it comes to food choices and losing weight, it’s a case of eating less and eating wisely.

Alongside upping your activity levels, eating regular meals, avoiding hidden calories in alcohol, shunning saturated fats, increasing your intake of vegetables and snacking wisely will help you to shed those excess pounds.


Remember why you’re doing it

To lose weight, you need to be in calorie deficit from your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).

In plain English, the amount of calories you eat needs to be less than the amount of calories you burn each day.

If you’re embarking on a fitness and weight loss programme, it’s worth remembering the basic principle of this energy balance equation.

To understand exactly why that extra gym class may help to remove whatever deposited quickly, but may be harmful as well.

So do it comfortably by eating sensibly, mindfully along with being very active and sleep well.

Also eliminating that daily bag of crisps at lunch can help you lose weight.

Gym - Excess Training 'as bad as no exercise at all'


Training very hard may be as bad for you as not putting on your running shoes at all, a report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology says.

Scientists studied more than 1,000 healthy joggers and non-joggers over a 12-year period.

The study suggests jogging at a steady pace for less than two and a half hours a week was best for health.

UK guidance says adults should aim for 150 minutes of exercise each week.

'Brisk walking'

"This study shows that you don't have to run marathons to keep your healthy.

"Light and moderate jogging was found to be more beneficial than being inactive or strenuous jogging.

"National guidelines recommend we do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week.

"It may sound like a lot, but even brisk walking is good exercise.

And if you're bit of a couch potato, this is a good place to start."

The dangerous downsides of a fitness addiction


Yet while physical activity and balanced eating are certainly important, the dark side to fitness obsession can pose a serious danger to the people striving for perfection.

Orthorexia nervosa, or addiction to ‘healthy’ eating and over-exercise.

It is a medical condition rising in prominence alongside the #fitspiration Instagram fad.

Untreated, it can lead to malnutrition and mental health complications, and those in the long recovery process are vulnerable to frequent relapses.

“Fitness shouldn’t mean having to work out every day or weighing your damn lettuce,” says Jen Brett, a recovering orthorexia survivor and fitness influencer.

Tips for longevity from the oldest people on Earth


The secret isn’t medication or specific foods, but a connection with their loved ones, enjoy going on walks and swapping stories with her friends........

Staying active through exercise and socialising.............and having a hobby which is driving force and source of passion.

Residents of Okinawa, otherwise known as the 'island of the immortals’, are more likely to live to 100 than people in most other regions of Japan..................

This area in which some of the world’s oldest people live, and has been home to more than 1,000 centenarians throughout the past 40 years.

Vegan diet is much healthier.....


The vegan diet could be one of the healthiest diets, because of higher in fruit, vegetables and legumes and the health benefits from this compensate anything else.

Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables with a variety of colours, nuts, wholegrains and beans and lentils, as well as chia, hemp and flax seeds, which contain omega 3.

“Typically, vegans smoke less, drink less alcohol and exercise more,”

And lower intakes of animal products, scored better on health markers.

These lifestyle factors, which can also contribute to a lower risk of heart disease and mortality..

Staying indoors weakens your immune system


Sunlight and nature are great healers, and they also come for free.

Getting outdoors can also improve the quality of our sleep.

Shut inside during lockdown could have disrupted our circadian rhythms

Vitamin D enables the macrophages – a first line of defence against respiratory infections – to spew out an antimicrobial peptide called cathelicidin, killing bacteria and viruses directly.

It also tweaks the activity of other immune cells, such as B and T cells, which orchestrate longer-term responses.

People with low levels of vitamin D, especially NATURAL sunlight, are at greater risk of viral respiratory tract infections such as influenza.