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Richard Smith: What I learnt about non-communicable disease in one afternoon

27 Jun, 12 | by BMJ

Richard SmithMost of my work is concerned with non-communicable disease (NCD) in low and middle income countries, so I’ve got to know a fair bit about the subject. But yesterday I spent an afternoon at Imperial College listening to a series of short presentations on NCD in low middle income countries (LMIC), and I learnt a lot. I thought that you might be interested in what I learnt, and I’ve found it best to summarise my learning in a series of short statements (some of which I’ve Tweeted). more…

David Buck: Obesity and public health – a taxing issue

29 Nov, 11 | by BMJ Group

Obesity, and its control, is high on the public health agenda. Recently the Lancet published a series of important papers on the science and social science of obesity and its prevention. According to conservative estimates the projected obesity trends in the UK to 2030 imply 5,450,000 new cases of diabetes, 330,000 cases of coronary heart disease and stroke, and 87,000 cancers leading to an overall loss of 2.2 million quality adjusted life years in the population, all this costing almost £2bn per annum extra in health service costs. more…

Peter Lapsley: Effecting behavioural change

17 Aug, 11 | by BMJ Group

Peter LapsleyIt seems unlikely that many of the BMJ’s readers are able to listen to Radio 4 between 8.30 and 9.00 am on a weekday, and even less likely that they could find time to read a 96 page paper by the Institute for Government, signposted on the Today programme a week or so ago, although its accompanying “Practical Guide” is at least as useful and rather more digestible, as is its paper “Using social influence to reduce DNA rates in healthcare settings.” Being semi-retired, I am fortunate in being able to listen to the radio over breakfast, and the signposting in question was sufficiently intriguing to encourage me to read all three papers. more…

Research highlights – 3 June 2011

3 Jun, 11 | by BMJ Group

Research questions“Research highlights” is a weekly round-up of research papers appearing in the print BMJ. We start off with this week’s research questions, before providing more detail on some individual research papers and accompanying articles. more…

Guy Rughani: A waist of money?

26 May, 11 | by BMJ Group

Guy Rughani“Cash for blubber” is how the Twitter community have dubbed the UK government’s latest bid to tackle obesity. As revealed in the Sunday Telegraph, plans have been made to pay GPs extra for giving their patients “weight management advice” and referring them to publicly financed dieting clubs. But will this nudge fatten wallets or slim waists?

There has been much written lately about the government’s passion for nudging. In case you haven’t read the book that Cameron told his coalition colleagues to read (“Nudge” by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein), healthcare nudging is essentially modifying the environment to make the healthiest choice the easiest option. It’s called “liberal paternalism.” more…

Richard Smith: Managing hypertension in a South African township

10 Mar, 11 | by BMJ Group

Richard Smith

South Africa suffers from a “quadruple burden” of disease—infectious disease, particularly AIDS and TB; trauma from road traffic injuries and violence; perinatal and maternal health problems; and non-communicable disease. I thought of this burden as we visited the community clinic in Khayelitsha, the largest “township” in Cape Town. more…

Julian Sheather on fat and human freedom

6 Aug, 09 | by BMJ Group

It was the White Queen who told Alice that she had at times thought six contradictory things before breakfast. We humans have a remarkable tolerance for incompatibility, happily living with any number of self-cancelling beliefs about ourselves and the world. So difficult is it to imagine – or at least for me to imagine – what an entirely coherent set of beliefs would look like that I’m tempted to think it impossible, something best left for angels, or even, hallowed be their name, philosophers. more…

Paul Vincent: Practise what you preach

27 Nov, 08 | by BMJ

“Judge not, lest you be judged,” so goes the popular Christian refrain. Less known, but equally striking is “Never trust a fat preacher.” Is it ok to judge if you’re a preacher? How can you guide your flock without making the judgement that they need guiding? If you do so judge, do you then have to be perfect to be a preacher? If you are not (and most of us aren’t) does that make you a hypocrite? more…

Siddharta Yadav: Waist size story

5 Aug, 08 | by BMJ Group

Last week I attended the 29th Asian Medical Students’ Conference (AMSC) in Tokyo along with 450 other medical students like me from 20 countries in Asia and Pacific. Our aim: to fight non-communicable diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle in the Asia and Pacific. more…

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