Not the correct question

Three quarters of pensioners support tax rises to pay for improvements to NHS, polling has found.

Rather than asking people if other people should spend more on them one should ask everyone else whether they’d like to spend more on the first group.

Seems fair really

Nurses have been told to shape up so they are fit enough to do their job and to set an example to patients, in new standards from their regulator.

Amid spiralling obesity levels, the watchdog’s new rules for the first time say that Britain’s 650,000 nurses and midwives have a “professional responsibility for adopting a healthy lifestyle”.

More than half of NHS staff are obese or overweight, contributing to a £5bn annual bill for the health service on conditions caused by obesity.

Nurses will be told they must “maintain a level of personal fitness and wellbeing required to meet people’s needs for mental and physical care,” amid concern that too many are too unfit to carry out physical tasks.

Physician heal thyself and all that.

Wonder what the punishment for breaching professional standards will be though…..

Finally, a decent use for 3 D printing

I’ve long been very puzzled by this enthusiasm for 3 D printing. Partly because I simply do not share the usual male joy at tinkering. I don’t program for exactly the same reason. Nor play with engines etc. Just isn’t me at all.

But I’ve also found it terribly difficult to think of things which people would both want and which would not be better/cheaper through he normal mass manufacturing routes. And now someone has worked that out:

However, having learned how far lighter limbs could be created on a 3D printer, he began to experiment in his garden shed.
He has now set up Team UnLimbited, which creates customised ‘cool’ limbs for children, featuring their choice of colour and pattern.
The father of three said: ‘We’ve done Iron Man designs, Harry Potter, Lego and Spider-Man. The key is making something the child actually wants to wear and feels is cool enough to show their friends.

Customised prosthetics. Full marks there, full marks, for the man and his shed.

Action brings reaction – I’m sure Marx said something about this

The maker of Marlboro cigarettes has been accused of trying to sidestep new UK laws on plain packaging by rolling out durable tins that look just like ordinary cigarette packets.

Philip Morris, one of the world’s largest tobacco companies, came under fire from MPs and anti-smoking campaigners on the eve of the biggest change in tobacco regulation since the smoking ban.

From Saturday, retailers will no longer be able to sell branded cigarette packets, as a 12-month grace period to allow tobacco firms to phase out old cartons comes to an end.

Instead, retailers will only stock plain packets featuring graphic pictures designed to deter smokers. They will also no longer be allowed to stock packets of 10 cigarettes or smaller sizes of rolling tobacco, as part of a package of measures designed to limit the appeal of smoking.

In the run-up to the change, Philip Morris has distributed tin containers, the same size as a 10-pack of cigarettes, to convenience stores around the country. The tins, which were available at chains including Sainsbury’s, Londis and Budgens, are printed with Marlboro branding, and feature deterrent pictures and the message “Smoking kills”.

It’s always, but always, second and third order effects which trip these people up, isn’t it?

Just shoot them

Fast food should be banned from buses and trains, as part of efforts to “nudge” the public out of round-the-clock snacking, obesity experts say.

The call for radical restrictions, in an attempt to reset social norms, came amid warnings that “guzzling on the go” is fuelling Britain’s weight problem.

Experts at the world’s largest obesity conference urged politicians to make sweeping changes to limit the availability of junk food on public transport.

We’re moving smartly past second hand obesity here and into third hand:

Professor Jason Halford, from the European Association of Obesity, urged British politicians to back a ban, saying it would help shift people away from a culture of endless snacking.

He said other cities should follow Manchester’s Metrolink tram system, which already has such restrictions. Other obesity experts said passengers would be grateful to be saved either from tempting aromas – or the “nauseating” smell of junk foods late at night.

My scientific analysis here is that these people aren’t getting laid enough. People with even adequate sex lives just would not fuss so.

Have any of these people ever been to Southern Italy?

A Mediterranean-style diet could cut the risk of obesity by almost half according to a major new study.

The research on 16,000 people found a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grains and olive oil cut the chance of becoming dangerously overweight by 43 per cent.

It’s not exactly known as the home of the thin and elegant now, is it?

Middle and upper class Italians perhaps but the poor not so much at least.

Quite remarkable really

Switching daily beer for water cuts risk of obesity, study finds
Researchers from Spain also find that swapping one sugary soft drink for water each day cuts risk of obesity by 15%

Ingesting fewer calories reduces your weight.

Astonishing, isn’t it?

Eating their own

Advising women not to drink when pregnant is “sexist” and causes “needless anxiety”, senior academics have said.

Pregnancy charities and researchers have called for a change to the “alarmist” official Government guidelines, which warn expectant mothers to avoid alcohol completely.

They say the policy has no basis in evidence and ends up “stigmatising” women and excluding them from society.

If they’d not got hysterical on the subject in the first place then they wouldn’t have to do this now, would they?

Up next, dementia no bar to remaining a pilot

NHS nurses with dementia should be allowed to carry on working, according to the profession’s top body.

The Royal College of Nursing voted overwhelmingly yesterday in favour of making dementia a special case when interpreting rules on whether a medical diagnosis signalled the end of a career. The move aims to keep experience, skills and knowledge in the NHS, nurses said,

Rather the point or dementia is that you can’t recall that experience, isn’t it?

But no matter, forgetful pilots up next. No, don’t worry, we know it won’t be a problem. RyanAir has been forgetting where airports are for decades now.

And now for something true

Don’t bother with a low salt diet – it may not lower your blood pressure after all, study finds
Researchers followed more than 2,600 men and women over a period of 16 years
They discovered that consuming less salt wasn’t linked to lower blood pressure
New findings call into question salt limits recommended by dietary guidelines

Quite, that’s one of the things kidneys are for, regulating salt levels.

You only need one word to understand this report

Saturated fat does not increase the risk of a heart attack by clogging up arteries, three cardiologists have said in a challenge to medical thinking, sparking a furious backlash.

In an editorial published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine the cardiologists also write that relying on foodstuffs marketed as “low fat” or “proved to lower cholesterol” to avoid heart disease is “misguided”.

A key previous research study, they say, “showed no association between saturated fat consumption and all-cause mortality, coronary heart disease, CHD mortality, ischaemic stroke or type-2 diabetes in healthy adults”. Instead they say that a Mediterranean-style diet and 22 minutes of walking a day are the best ways to prevent heart problems.

The paper co-authored by Pascal Meier, a cardiologist at University College London and editor of the journal BMJ Open Heart; Rita Redberg, the editor of the American journal JAMA Internal Medicine; and Aseem Malhotra

And when we reach that word Malhotra we can stop because we know the whole thing is bollocks.

Doesn’t even matter if they’re right, it will be woo and bollocks.

The Lancet’s being an unbiased and reputable journal here then, eh?

You can’t buy time – except, it seems, in America.

Increasing inequality means wealthy Americans can now expect to live up to 15 years longer than their poor counterparts, reports in the British medical journal the Lancet have found.

Researchers said these disparities appear to be worsened by the American health system itself, which relies on for-profit insurance companies, and is the most expensive in the world.

Their conclusion? Treat healthcare as a human right.

“Healthcare is not a commodity,” wrote US Senator Bernie Sanders in an opinion article introducing the issue of the journal, which is devoted to inequality in American healthcare. “The goal of a healthcare system should be to keep people well, not to make stockholders rich. The USA has the most expensive, bureaucratic, wasteful, and ineffective healthcare system in the world.”

Sanders, like authors of the lead report, called for single-payer health insurance or what Americans might know as “Medicare for all”, a reference to an existing public health program for older Americans.

An actual consideration of health care financing systems would be useful of course. But I doubt the Singapore system gets a look in, does it?

Woo lives on

Homeopathic medicines will escape an NHS prescribing ban even though the Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies has dismissed the treatments as ‘rubbish’ and a waste of taxpayers money.

Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, has previously voiced his support for the controversial treatments and even asked Dame Sally to commision a review of evidence into their efficacy.

It is estimated that NHS spends around £4 million a year on homeopathic treatments, yet although the health service vowed this week to clamp down on the prescribing of ‘ineffective, unnecessary, inappropriate or unsafe’ treatments, homeopathy was not included.

Old joke alert. Just reduce the budget further to make it even more effective

Cuts Can’t Cause Deaths

Moreover, to blame an increase in a single year on ‘cuts’ to the NHS budget is arithmetically impossible given that budget rose by almost £15bn between 2009-10 and 2014-15.

You know, given that there haven’t been any cuts.

An unprecedented rise in mortality in England and Wales, where 30,000 excess deaths occurred in 2015, is likely to be linked to cuts to the NHS and social care, according to research which has drawn an angry response from the government.

The highly charged claim is made by researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Oxford University and Blackburn with Darwen council,


Prof Danny Dorling from the University of Oxford

Ah, yes, obviously it’s bollocks then.

How excellent!

Fat children, not the elderly, are fuelling the NHS crisis, a leading doctor has said.

It’s difficult to understand how, to be sure. No one takes the lardbucket to A&E for treatment, do they?

However, there is good news:

Lord McColl has repeatedly warned of an obesity epidemic, telling peers last year it was “killing millions, costing billions and the cure is free – just eat fewer calories”.

So we don’t need to spend any more money on the NHS then.

So, we know this is bollocks then

The findings were published in the journal Tobacco Control.

All that remains is to find out why it’s bollocks.

Vaping acts as a gateway to smoking, scientists have warned, after finding teenagers who used e-cigarettes were four times more likely to start smoking tobacco within a year.

Researchers from the University of Michigan say vaping may desensitise youngsters to the dangers of smoking, even when they were initially aware of the harms.

The new study 347 teens were questioned about their views on drug use, vaping and smoking and followed up a year later to see if their opinions and habits had changed.


Conclusions These results contribute to the growing
body of evidence supporting vaping as a one-way bridge
to cigarette smoking among youth. Vaping as a risk
factor for future smoking is a strong, scientifically-based
rationale for restricting youth access to e-cigarettes

What the paper doesn’t even attempt to discuss let alone explain is that the rise in vaping has coincided (at the very weakest, caused could be more likely) with a large fall in the rate of teenage smoking. It’s thus really very unlikely that vaping leads to smoking.

Of course we’ll wait for Mr. Snowden to do the proper analysis of this bollocks.

Eh, U What?

An online gambling game featuring Māori symbols has outraged health advocates, who say it’s “bastardising” the culture.

The slot machine-style game released by Czech developer Endorphina depicts Māori men and women, and uses iconic imagery such as pounamu, waka, bone carvings – and the haka Ka Mate.

Images are described by the game makers as being a “golden symbol with stuck out tongue”, or a “canoe with Māori voyagers”.

The game, which is available to children, has come under fire from anti-gambling advocates who are concerned about the impact gambling has on Māori communities.

Māori health advocacy organisation Hapai Te Hauora’s general manager Anthony Hawke says Endorphina is “bastardising” New Zealand’s culture.

Health campaigners are complaining about a Czech computer game?

Presumably there are no actual health problems among Maori in New Zealand then?

They’ve not quite got this homeopathy thing, have they?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today that its laboratory analysis found inconsistent amounts of belladonna, a toxic substance, in certain homeopathic teething tablets, sometimes far exceeding the amount claimed on the label. The agency is warning consumers that homeopathic teething tablets containing belladonna pose an unnecessary risk to infants and children and urges consumers not to use these products.

Homeopathy– – you’re supposed to use smaller amounts.

The Worstall Obamacare reform plan

Make Obamacare plans catastrophic insurance only.

Y’know, the actual insurance part of health care?

Allow sales across State lines.

Drop tax exemptions for employer provided health care.

Insurance expands (for more people will buy plans with the vastly lower price) and the insurance itself becomes hugely less expensive as national systems replace the state hodgepodge. Plus tax revenue rises.

It’ll also piss off absolutely everyone which may or may not be a benefit.