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Healthy new year

silhouette woman 2017 new year

Happy new year! Many of us are starting 2017 with a new year's resolution, with improving health among the most popular. The Pharmaceutical Journal marks the start of a fresh year with its special report on smoking cessation, weight loss, and healthy living.

News and analysis

Champix (varenicline) smoking cessation blister pack

Study provides reassuring data on neuropsychiatric side effects of smoking cessation drugsSubscription

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Smoking cessation medicines varenicline and bupropion do not increase the incidence of moderate or severe neuropsychiatric adverse events, compared with nicotine patches or placebo, according to new research.

Someone putting out a cigarette in an ashtray

Abrupt smoking cessation is the most effective way, research suggestsSubscription

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Smokers who quit ‘cold turkey’ are more likely to stop longer term compared to those who give up gradually, a study has found.

Close up of tomato plants at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, Norfolk

Diamond in the roughage: can foods prevent and treat disease?Subscription

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Evidence is emerging that biologically active compounds in foods could play an important role in the development of disease.

No other medical intervention can influence overall wellbeing as positively as physical activity. In the image, an illustration of people running

Tracking down the optimum dose of exerciseSubscription

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Prescribing physical activity could soon become as routine as prescribing drugs, and at least as beneficial.

Research

Close up of a man smoking an e-cigarette

E-cigarettes in smoking cessation: a harm reduction perspectiveSubscription

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Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are novel devices that simulate aspects of cigarette smoking and deliver nicotine to users. Evidence for their efficacy in smoking cessation, based on several randomised controlled trials of older devices, suggests a modest effect. They appear to be far less harmful than tobacco smoking, but the health effects of long-term use are unknown. Possible adverse population effects of widespread e-cigarette use, such as renormalising smoking ...

Opinion

Food as medicine: the importance of nutrition in disease

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‘Food. The Forgotten Medicine’ was a conference convened by the College of Medicine last month. Here, Fawz Farhan, who attended the conference, discusses the importance of nutrition in disease.

Healthy living advice for elderly patientsSubscription

By Malcolm Brown

Pharmacists, particularly community pharmacists, have much contact with the public, especially older people. I have read the book ‘Sod Seventy!’ by the senior medical figure Sir Muir Gray. SAGA magazine publicised his advice in January 2016. I suggest that pharmacists consider sharing with appropriate patients my take on the guidance from Sir Muir.

The sugar tax is the first right step to fight child obesitySubscription

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UK Chancellor George Osborne’s announcement that a tax is to be placed on sugary drinks is most welcome. Although this is a hypothecated tax that will generate money specifically for schools, it is important to congratulate the government on its valuable first step to improve several aspects of child health.

‘The diet myth: the real science behind what we eat’ by Tim Spector

Looking beyond dieting for weight loss and healthSubscription

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‘The diet myth: the real science behind what we eat’ by Tim Spector.

The author states that if we rely a bit less on pharmacotherapy, and give a bit more consideration to the environmental implications of our inner fish we can deal with the obesity problem more effectively. In the image, a fish out of water, in a city

Weight loss drugs: the wrong answer to the obesity problemSubscription

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Weight loss drugs are not the solution to achieve sustainable weight loss and improve overall health.

A history of how our taste buds became adapted to liking sweet-tasting foods

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How did our desire to consume sugary foods come about and what public health measures are needed to reduce this excessive consumption?

Foods high in salt, sugar and fat should be taxed to discourage unhealthy eating and slow rates of childhood obesity

A tax on junk food is the way to fight the childhood obesity crisisSubscription

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Foods high in salt, sugar and fat should be taxed to discourage unhealthy eating and slow rates of childhood obesity, says Colin Michie.

Combating obesity: bariatric surgery or lifestyle intervention?

Is bariatric surgery the right approach to obesity?Subscription

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 Up to a million more people could be offered weight loss surgery on the NHS after NICE lowered the threshold for which patients are eligible for bariatric surgery. David Haslam, GP and chairman of the National Obesity Forum UK, and David Katz, director, Yale University Prevention Research Center, discuss the merits of the decision, and the use of ...

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