Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Cut your sugar intake by HALF: New health warning says limit should be cut to five teaspoons a day over fears it contributes to heart disease

United Nations guidelines! What a joke.  I suppose a small serve of terrorism is also recommended -- or one hour per week of hating Israel

Adults could be advised to halve the amount of sugar in their diets under new guidelines from the World Health Organisation.

Experts are considering lowering the recommended limit of ten teaspoons a day to just five over fears that it is contributing to heart disease, obesity and tooth decay.

Food companies may have to change their products to lower the sugar content, which would be hugely expensive and could prove unpopular with some consumers.

A single can of cola contains ten teaspoons of sugar, a Mars bar has five, a bowl of Coco Pops has about four and there are eight in some ready meals.

The average Briton consumes 12 teaspoons a day, although research has found that some adults in industrialised countries are eating as many as 46 daily.

Philip James, president of the International Association for the Study on Obesity, which works with the WHO, described the suggestion as ‘political dynamite’.  ‘The food industry will do everything in their power to undermine this,’ he said.

The guidance suggests lowering the amount of sugar added to food – excluding that which occurs naturally in fruit or starch - from 10 per cent to five per cent of the daily allowance, which is equivalent to five teaspoons.

The policy would almost certainly be adopted by the Department of Health.

Professor Shrinath Reddy, a cardiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health and member of the WHO panel of experts, said: ‘I would agree with the recommendation to reduce it to five per cent.

‘There is overwhelming evidence coming out about sugar-sweetened beverages and other sugar consumption links to obesity, diabetes and even cardiovascular disease.’

The proposals were discussed at a meeting earlier this year after a study by Professor Paula Moynihan, an expert in nutrition and oral health at Newcastle University, highlighted  the danger of sugar to dental health.

‘Part of the problem is that sugary foods and drinks are now staples in many people’s diet in industrialised countries, whereas once they were an occasional treat,’ he said.  ‘We need to reverse this trend.’

The WHO panel will consider the guidance over the coming months before making a final decision.

Sugar Nutrition UK, an industry-funded research body, pointed out that UK manufacturers had been lowering the level of sugar in recent years to make products healthier.

‘There is no data to show that reducing intake below current levels is beneficial to health,’ said a spokesman, who claimed that the guidance was based on studies ‘of very low quality’.

Research three years ago by the Emory School of Medicine in the US found that some adults were eating 46 teaspoons of sugar a day. This included six in a bowl of cereal, 14 for lunch including a slice of pizza and a fizzy drink, and 16 for a ready meal in the evening with another sugary beverage.

Kellogg’s was criticised last year by the Advertising Standards Agency for claiming that high sugar was not linked to obesity.

Its Coco Pops website claimed: ‘A panel of world health experts recently reviewed all the evidence and concluded that a high sugar intake is not related to obesity, or the development of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or cancer.

'Nor was it connected to behavioural problems, such as hyperactivity, in children.’


Hidden dangers of essential oils: The frightening truth about natural remedies such as Olbas Oil which can cause heart problems, convulsions and eye ulcers

Reassured by the list of natural-sounding ingredients, parents are happy to sprinkle them on a child's pillow, in their bath or on a tissue.

But paediatric consultant Hester Yorke, who works at a busy central London emergency department, says she has dealt with a string of cases where children and babies have required hospital treatment after drinking or otherwise ingesting harmless-sounding oils.

A doctor has warned of the dangers of children accidentally ingesting products containing essential oils - this photograph shows chemical burns caused by Olbas Oil which show up green under blue light

Dr Yorke, 39, who works at the emergency department at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London, is calling on the manufacturers of such oils to put a child-proof cap on the bottles to reduce the numbers of young - and old - patients needing urgent treatment after misusing the products.

She said: 'In the last five years we have seen at least 38 children, and probably more, who have presented having ingested, put in their eyes or up their nose some kind of essential oil-containing substance.

'These included Olbas Oil, Karvol, room diffuser liquids, liquid air freshener, citronella oil and other aromatherapy oils, and of these 38 children, six had significant clinical findings.'

Dr Yorke said all 38 children were admitted to the ward for observation or required observation for at least six hours.

She said of the six with 'significant' symptoms, two children had corneal ulcers, one had nervous system findings (drowsiness and unsteadiness walking), and three had breathing difficulties.

The consultant, who is so concerned she is keeping a dossier of hospital admissions as a result of accidents with essential oils to strengthen her case for manufacturers, says the chief culprit is eucalyptus oil.  At least 38 patients have been admitted to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London after accidentally ingesting essential oils

She said: 'Eucalyptus oil is particularly toxic - in Australia, where eucalyptus oil is more widely used, there have been reports of children who have drunk it presenting with convulsions.  'We often see children who have put it into their eyes or nose because the size and shape of the bottle makes it easy to mistake for eye or nose drops.

'And children who put it into their eyes are risking serious corneal damage at worst, and quite significant discomfort at best.'

Children who suffer corneal ulcers will need at least one course of antibiotics dropped directly into the eye, as well as flushing with large quantities of saline solution.

A&E paediatric consultant Dr Hester Yorke has treated scores of children who have ingested essential oils and says parents must be aware of the dangers

Dr Yorke said she'd heard of cases where ingestion of essential oil had caused death, but said she had no direct evidence of it at the A&E department she worked in.

Other side-effects can include breathing problems caused when the drops are put into the nose accidentally.  The oil acts as an irritant, which causes mucosal tissue to become inflamed and a dramatic increase in mucusal secretions.

This can cause vomiting, which in turn can see the oil getting into the lungs.

Dr Yorke says the problems are not confined to young patients.  She said: 'Elderly patients have also been known to put it in their eyes because it's in such a small bottle.  'One elderly patient came in after her carer put it in her nose by mistake thinking it was nose drops.'

And she said the 'natural' image of the oils could lull people into a false sense of security.

'These essential oils are seen as natural products so they are not thought of as medicines and are therefore not stored as medicines,' she said.

'People keep them in the last place they used them, which is often beside the bath or on the shelf by the child's bed.

'Given that if ingested, they have the potential to do really nasty things, I think the ones that are sold medically should be more clearly labelled and should have childproof caps so that a child can't take off the top.

'Kids get put off pretty quickly if they're struggling to take the top off and move on to something else.  'I would also like to see the other commonly sold essential oils coming with a childproof cap too.

'Parents must be warned that these products must treated as drugs, not as nice smelly stuff you put in the bath.'

Parents often use products such as Olbas Oil or eucalyptus oil on sick children - but they can be dangerous

Three-year-old John Oliver, from Fulham, south west London, needed emergency treatment at the Chelsea and Westminster after he opened the bottle of Olbas Oil kept in his bedroom, sipped it and put some in his eye.

His mother, Harriet, flushed out his eye with eye drops before ringing NHS Direct who told her she had to take him straight to A&E.

She said: 'He's my third child so I thought I knew what was dangerous and what wasn't, but I had no idea Olbas Oil could cause problems, and had left it in his bedroom after sprinkling some on his pillow when I put him to bed.

'Later I heard crying from upstairs and when I ran up he told me he'd opened the bottle and put some in his eye and his mouth.'

Mrs Oliver rang NHS Direct as a precaution and was shocked when they offered to send an ambulance, saying her son needed to be seen by a doctor within one hour.

She took him to Chelsea and Westminster where he was seen by Dr Yorke, who said he had to have his eye washed out with two litres of saline solution before being checked to see if there was any corneal damage or residue from the oil.

John also had to wear a heart monitor for several hours to see whether his heart rate would be affected by swallowing the Olbas Oil.

Mrs Oliver said: 'It was all quite shocking and frightening - one minute I'd put him to bed with a blocked nose and the next minute we were in A&E having a  heart monitor strapped to him.

'Having his eye washed out was upsetting as I had to pin him down while the nurse flushed his eye with an enormous bottle of salt water and he screamed and screamed.

'We spent the night on the children's ward so his heart rate could be checked and luckily he was fine, but when I talked to my friends with children, none of them had heard that Olbas Oil could be so dangerous.'

Figures from the Health & Safety Information Centre show that between April 2012 and March this year, 5,432 people were treated as inpatients after accidentally poisoning themselves with substances including essential oils.

A spokesman for Lanes health care, manufacturer of Olbas Oil, said: 'We take this kind of incident very seriously and take on board all suggestions for ways we can improve our products.

'Olbas Oil is a safe and effective medicine when used as instructed and like all medicines must be kept out of sight and reach of children.

'We have emphasised this on the packaging which complies with all the necessary regulations and has been approved by the UK medicines authority (MHRA).'


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