Tuesday, July 30, 2013

One to infuriate the food freaks

While it may not be the obvious choice to hold a wedding reception, one couple who chose their local McDonald's could at least guarantee their guests' food would arrive quickly.

Fast-food fans Steven Asher and Emily Marshall had spent the past year enjoying a string of romantic dates at the Golden Arches, so it seemed like the obvious place to toast their nuptials when they tied the knot on Saturday.

They arrived in a stretch limo and dined with their 33 guests in a roped-off area at their local branch in Bristol.

Emily tucked into a chicken nugget meal with a coke, while Steven had the Chicken Legend meal with a strawberry milkshake.

The couple were treated to a bottle of champagne by fast food bosses - but had to make do with soft drinks at McDonald's because of its alcohol ban.

Steven, 28, and Emily, 21, are familiar faces at the restaurant and dine there twice a week when they can afford it.

The pair decided to celebrate the start of their new life together at McDonald's, because they wanted to make it 'as memorable as possible'.

Stephen, who works at a warehouse for a chilled food company, today described it as 'the happiest day of our lives'.

He said: 'When I saw Emily in her dress for the first time I couldn't believe my eyes, she looked absolutely beautiful.

'We were both shaking throughout the ceremony, we were so nervous.

'But it was a great day and everyone seemed to find our reception at McDonald's really interesting.

'Everyone enjoyed themselves - everyone loves McDonald's don't they?"


Dementia Rate Is Going DOWN

A new study has found that dementia rates among people 65 and older in England and Wales have plummeted by 25 percent over the past two decades, to 6.2 percent from 8.3 percent, a trend that researchers say is probably occurring across developed countries and that could have major social and economic implications for families and societies.

Another recent study, conducted in Denmark, found that people in their 90s who were given a standard test of mental ability in 2010 scored substantially better than people who had reached their 90s a decade earlier. Nearly one-quarter of those assessed in 2010 scored at the highest level, a rate twice that of those tested in 1998. The percentage of subjects severely impaired fell to 17 percent from 22 percent.

The British study, published on Tuesday in The Lancet, and the Danish one, which was released last week, also in The Lancet, soften alarms sounded by advocacy groups and some public health officials who have forecast a rapid rise in the number of people with dementia, as well as in the costs of caring for them. The projections assumed the odds of getting dementia would be unchanged.

Yet experts on aging said the studies also confirmed something they had suspected but had had difficulty proving: that dementia rates would fall and mental acuity improve as the population grew healthier and better educated. The incidence of dementia is lower among those better educated, as well as among those who control their blood pressure and cholesterol, possibly because some dementia is caused by ministrokes and other vascular damage. So as populations controlled cardiovascular risk factors better and had more years of schooling, it made sense that the risk of dementia might decrease. A half-dozen previous studies had hinted that the rate was falling, but they had flaws that led some to doubt the conclusions.

Researchers said the two new studies were the strongest, most credible evidence yet that their hunch had been right. Dallas Anderson, an expert on the epidemiology of dementia at the National Institute on Aging, the principal financer of dementia research in the United States, said the new studies were “rigorous and are strong evidence.” He added that he expected that the same trends were occurring in the United States but that studies were necessary to confirm them.

“It’s terrific news,” said Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, an Alzheimer’s researcher at Duke University, who was not involved in the new studies. It means, he said, that the common assumption that every successive generation will have the same risk for dementia does not hold true.


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