Monday, January 16, 2012

Use a red plate to lose a bit of weight: People who eat off them cut their food intake by 40%

I would find it unpleasant to eat off a red plate and might therefore eat less from it but I would then choose a plate easier on the eye and catch up on my dinner

Eating from a red plate could help dieters lose weight, scientists claim. Serving up meals on red plates or drinking from red cups cuts consumption by about 40 per cent, according to one study carried out by German and Swiss academics.

Researchers say the colour red may encourage diners to avoid snacking because it is commonly associated with the idea of ‘danger, prohibition and stop’.

They claim the discovery means the Government and food industry could use red packaging on unhealthy foods as a deterrent – and could even use more red in pubs to prevent people drinking too much.

In the study, 41 male students were asked to drink tea from cups marked with red or blue labels. They drank 44 per cent less from cups with red labels.

In the second part of the study, 109 people were given ten pretzels each on either a red, blue or white plate. Those with a red plate ate fewer pretzels.

The results were published in the journal Appetite.

Ursula Arens, from the British Dietetic Association, said: ‘Red may be associated with alarm or something primeval.'


Blood test could help to diagnose deadly mad cow disease

A bit concerning that is being released before it is fully validated. A false positive could cause great distress

A new blood test to identify the human form of mad cow disease is being developed by British scientists. Researchers have created the test for the deadly variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), which is being offered to British patients for the first time.

Experts said the test represented a “significant step forward” in the fight against the disease as it will enable doctors to find out how many people are infected with vCJD.

Neurologists across the country have been told by the NHS National Prion Clinic, part of the University College London Hospitals Trust, and the Medical Research Council's Prion Unit that the new blood test is now available.

Until now the only way of confirming the diagnosis has been through tonsil biopsies or after the patient has died when brain samples can be taken.

Prof John Collinge, who is leading the MRC team, told Channel Four News that the blood test was "extremely good news". "In principle, it may allow us to find how many people in the population are infected so we can target risk management strategies and ensure the safety of our blood supply," he said.

"It could also enable us to make an earlier diagnosis and as treatments become available it is going to be desperately important to get to patients early before there is extensive damage to the brain.”

Further testing will now occur to ascertain its reliability, which will involve examination of 5,000 anonymous samples supplied by the American Red Cross.

Figures from the Health Protection Agency show there have been 176 cases of vCJD from since it was first detected in humans in 1995.

Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease is the human equivalent of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), which affects cattle. Identified in the 1990s, the illness was traced to the consumption of beef products containing contaminated meat.

VCJD progressively causes the brain to become riddled with holes, leading to mental problems, loss of body function, and eventual death. There is no cure. The Department of Health's working estimate is that 1 in 4,000 people - or about 15,000 individuals - are infected.


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