In the news: Air pollution increase GP visits and ready meals

Date: 12/07/2018 Written by: Rosie 3 minutes to read.
Research Review

Air pollution has been linked to spikes in hospital and GP visits, ready meals have been revealed as problematic for the future, night shifts have been found to disrupt gut 'rhythm' and the UK's favourite ice lolly has been revealed! We want to get you thinking and talking, so below we have given you a brief overview of the research topics which have caught our eye over the past couple of weeks.

Air pollution linked to spikes in hospital and GP visits

A new study has uncovered an “absolutely clear” link between poor air quality and health problems. It has been said that this news should serve as a “warning to politicians” about the “serious impacts” of toxic air.

This report is one of the “most comprehensive” carried out in the UK, studying data from the past 15 years concerning air pollution levels in Dundee, Perth and the surrounding area. These figures were “matched to medical records of 450 patients who suffer from bronchiectasis”. This study comes after the UK government has “lost three times in the high court for failing to deal with illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide pollution”. The UK government will be taken to Europe’s Highest Court over this matter.

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Ready Meals – ready in minutes, but not ready for the future

Research has been conducted into UK ready meals to understand the lack of “healthier plant-based options” and the inclusion of meat that “is falling shot on animal welfare and provenance”. While taking on this research, “struggled to find ready meals that were good for you or the planet” and only 3% of all ready meals sold across all the popular supermarkets were plant-based.

90% of vegetarian ready meals were cheese-based. These products were found to be higher in calories, saturated fat and salt in comparison, meaning that these typically ‘healthier’ options were not considered healthier in the ready-meal market. Although supermarkets include “animal welfare standards on their fresh meat” the research uncovered that this wasn’t the case with meat included in ready meals. Of the meat-based ready meal variety, nearly 30% did not include the country of origin of their meat.

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Nightshifts disrupt rhythm between brain and gut, study shows

Research has revealed that working night shifts can “mess up” the body’s natural rhythms so much that “the brain and digestive system end up completely out of kilter with one another”. Scientists found that three night shifts in a row had “little” impact on the “body’s master clock” but it did interfere with the natural gut function cycle by a full 12 hours. The night shifts also disrupted “the rhythms” of two metabolites linked to chronic kidney disease.

This research has promoted the beginnings of further studies into how they can minimise the “detrimental effect of mistimed sleep and meals”. This could have a profound effect on those who work shifts, both day and night.

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UK’S favourite ice lolly revealed!

The highly anticipated survey concerning Britain’s favourite ice lolly has been revealed this week. Research conducted by YouGov has revealed that the answer is Magnum. “The Walls classic” came out “miles ahead” of the rest. Fab and Solero took joint second place closely followed by Twister in fourth place and Feast in fifth.

In a controversial twist however, some have argued over the specific definition of ‘ice lolly’ with some believing these are specific to flavoured iced products, and not ‘ice cream on a stick’. With this mixed mindset, there is the distinct possibility that many will ignore these findings, and simply continue picking their favourite iced treat to suck on when the sun is out.

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