World report - 8 August
• BRIT SANDWICHES SALT RICH
PRE-PACKED sandwiches are loaded with salt and saturated fat, according to a UK study.
Conducted by The Daily Mail and Channel 4, the study found Subway’s 12-inch Meatball Marinara contained 7.2 g of salt – the same salt content as 18 packs of chips.
While Pret a Manger’s ‘Picnic cheddar, roast tomatoes and pickle bloomer’ sandwich contained 2.27 g of salt and 16.6 g of saturated fat, 80% more fat than in a Big Mac.
The UK’s Foods Standards Agency recently called on the catering industry to revise their recipes to reduce alarming levels of salt and saturated fat in their products.
• TESTING TIME FOR DOCTORS
RADICAL medical legislation will see UK doctors facing mandatory annual reviews in an attempt to weed out poor performers, The Times reports.
Senior doctors will be appointed to assess GPs’ competence, prescribing habits, patient interaction and any alcohol or drug abuse problems.
Proposals from the General Medical Council and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges will see doctors, hospital consultants and private practitioners having to renew their licences every five years.
Doctors who fail practice standards risk deregistration under the new regime, expected to start within two years.
• WORRY A DIABETES TRIGGER
ANXIETY, depression and sleepless nights double the risk of diabetes in men, a Swedish study has found.
Men with high levels of psychological distress had 2.2 times the risk of developing the condition than those with lower levels, independent of risk factors, including BMI, family history of diabetes and tobacco use, researchers found.
However, no increased risk was identified in women with high psychological distress.
The study measured levels of anxiety, insomnia, depression and fatigue in 2127 men and 3100 women, followed by diabetes tests conducted 8-10 years later.
The authors suggested psychological distress might affect the way the brain regulates hormones.
• TWO JABS BETTER THAN ONE
NEW research has confirmed additional, early vaccination can significantly reduce measles outbreaks in developing countries.
Researchers have recommended vaccinating infants at 4.5 months of age, in addition to the original World Health Organization-recommended vaccination at nine months.
The monthly incidence of measles was 0.7% in children who received two doses versus 3.1% in children who received one dose at nine months.
According to the authors, the introduction of measles vaccination campaigns in low-income countries had resulted in many mothers being immunised and transferring only half the maternal measles antibodies compared to naturally immune mothers.
• DENGUE VACCINE TRIALLED
BRAZIL is currently trialling a vaccine against the potentially fatal dengue fever virus transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
According to an AAP News report, the Sao Paulo Institute in Brazil has announced human clinical trials are currently in progress and a pilot plant would be producing the vaccine by the end of the year.
The virus commonly causes fever, aches, rashes, vomiting and, in rare cases, death. A dengue fever epidemic killed 120 people in Rio de Janeiro earlier this year.
The vaccine will need to offer protection against all four serotypes to be effective, with full-scale production of the vaccine planned for 2010.
• SMS ALERTS ON FOOD PRICE
IN a bid to combat rising food prices, the Italian government has introduced a price checking system for consumers delivered via a short messaging service (SMS).
A BBC News report said a joint venture set up by the Italian Agriculture Ministry and consumer associations allowed shoppers to check the average price of different foods in northern, central and southern Italy.
Shoppers can obtain the best price by typing the name of the food product they want to price-check into their mobile phone and sending a free text message to a dedicated number.