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Showing posts from March, 2014

Organic food does not protect against cancer

The Soil Association[1]was founded in 1946 and today is the main body for the certification of organic farms in the UK. It’s website has a section on pesticides, which states the following: “Around 31,000 tonnes of chemicals are used in farming in the UK each year to kill weeds, insects and other pests that attack crops. There is surprisingly little control over how these chemicals are used in the non-organic sector and in what quantities or combinations. What we do know is that 150 of the available 311 pesticides commonly used have been identified as potentially causing cancer and many of us would have been exposed to these pesticides before we were born”. It then goes on to state: ”Even food that we think is healthy, such as non-organic Cox's apples, can be sprayed 18 times. The most dangerous chemicals used in farming, such as organophosphates, have been linked with a range of problems including cancer, decreasing male fertility, foetal abnormalities, chronic fatigue syndrome i…

Food outlets, schools and obesity related outcomes

Understandably, there is a very strong focus in obesity research on the diets of schoolchildren with many schools now attempting to implement healthy eating policies.Equally, there has been considerable concern about the existence of food retail outlets nearby to schools to which the schoolchildren have access. A group at the University of Oxford has recently published a meta-analysis of all relevant studies, which set out to examine the relationship between obesity outcomes and the proximity of food retail outlets to schools[1].
The authors completed a search of 10 on-line library databases and identified several thousand studies but, as ever, in meta-analyses, many of the initial studies were rejected for a variety of reasons leaving the authors with 30 full studies which met all of the a priori inclusion criteria. Each study had to have defined exactly what was meant by the retail food environment and to have measure quantitatively the relationship between food purchase patterns an…