In the news: Blocked sugar research, Android ‘betrayal’ and self-harm

Date: 23/11/2017 Written by: Rosie 3 minutes to read.
News Review

It has been revealed that research into the effects of sugar was blocked 50 years ago, Android have been tracking user location even when location services were switched off and there is a continued increase in the number of teenage girls who self-harm. Below, we've given you an overview of some of the news stories which caught our eye over the past couple of weeks to save you the time of looking yourself!

Stamp Duty abolished for first-time buyers on homes costing up to £300,000

Chancellor Philip Hammond announced last week has abolished of stamp duty ‘for the first £300,000 spent by first-time buyers’. This would mean 95% of first-time buyers would see stamp duty cut, whereas 80% of first-time buyers would pay none at all. These charges apply to England, Northern Ireland and Wales (Wales up until the end of march). This charge does not apply in Scotland.

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Does alcohol alter your mood?

Research conducted by BMJ (British Medical Journal), questioned 30,000 people aged 18-34, in 21 different countries to uncover if different types of alcohol alter our mood in different ways. Why is this important? Because, “Understanding emotions associated with alcohol consumption is imperative to addressing alcohol misuse.”

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Minimum alcohol price 'could hit drinkers on low incomes'

Staying on the subject of alcohol, a think-tank has concluded that the proposed 50p minimum unit price in Wales, could hit drinkers on low incomes and lead to some young people turning to drugs. Although research claims the policy will lead to 66 fewer deaths and 1,281 fever hospital admissions a year, critics claim it’s unfair that the poor once again will be hit the hardest. The worthy aims of the law change are to be noted, but due to very few areas in the UK adopting this minimum alcohol price, ‘concrete evidence is scarce’.

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The sugar industry blocked research linking sucrose to heart disease and cancer from publication 50 YEARS ago, damning report reveals

Researchers at the University of California in San Francisco have found research data indicating that sugar has strong links to heart disease and cancer. The documents show that the Sugar Association funded an animal experiment to explore the effects. As soon as the data showed links confirming sucrose and poor health, they ‘pulled the plug’. Links between excessive sugar consumption and poor health have been explored in numerous articles, however this research indicates a clear level of dishonesty from the sugar industry. Furthermore it presents a potential missed opportunity for regulation of sugar by the FDA, which could have improved the livelihood of countless individuals.

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Self-harm has surged among teen girls ‘due to cyberbullying and smart phones’, CDC report declares

On 19th October, the BBC reported that the BMJ saw a ‘steep rise’ in self harm among teenage girls. However, the Centres of Disease Control and Prevention’s have released their latest data that indicates that nearly 20% more young women ‘have been hospitalised for self-injury each year since 2009’. The CDC suggest that the growing stress of continuous and constant pressure to showcase their ‘best versions’ on social media, is leading to increases in anxiety, depression and suicidal tendencies.

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'Third of mothers' experience mental health issues

BBC Radio live and YouGov conducted a survey of 1,800 British parents to gain a deeper insight into their mental health. The research uncovered that a third of mothers experience mental health issues, compared to 17% of fathers experiencing similar issues. 15% of mothers and 25% of fathers said they didn’t receive any emotional support to help with their parenting. This is despite a growing understanding that postpartum depression affects men as well as women.

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Android phones ‘betray’ user location

Last week it was uncovered that a large marjority of Android smartphones are transmitting location data to Google, even when location services has been switched off. Google have responded with an explanation for this ‘background service’ however some privacy advocates have slated it as a “Betrayal” of users, while others also adding that these findings show that consumers have “little control” over what smartphones do in the background.

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What are your thoughts on any of the stories we have read this week? Comment below. We would love to hear from you.

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