Tag Archives: Exercise

'Fat tax' on unhealthy food must raise prices by 20% to have effect, says study (Guardian)

“Fat taxes” would have to increase the price of unhealthy food and drinks by as much as 20% in order to cut consumption by enough to reduce obesity and other diet-related diseases, experts have said. Such levies should be accompanied by subsidies on healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables to help encourage a significant shift in dietary habits, according to research published in the British Medical Journal.

Academics led by Dr Oliver Mytton and Dr Mike Rayner of the Department of Public Health at Oxford University examined the evidence from around the world for what they call health-related food taxes. Denmark has brought in a “fat tax”, Hungary a “junk food tax” and France a tax on all sweetened drinks. Peru intends to add levies to junk food and Ireland may also introduce such taxes. David Cameron last October said the UK should considering following suit.

While it is unclear how such taxes could be brought in and enforced, they could help ensure that poor diet plays less of a role in future in a range of illnesses such as heart disease, type two diabetes and tooth decay, as well as obesity.

Although the less well-off are affected more by health-related food taxes, they may also ultimately benefit because “progressive health gains are expected because poor people consume less healthy food and have a higher incidence of most diet-related diseases, notably cardiovascular disease”, the authors say.

Evidence suggests that bigger health gains result from increasing the price of a broad range of foods rather than a narrow one, and sugary drinks offer the best proof that such a move can be effective. Research in America found that a 35% tax on drinks sweetened with sugar sold in a canteen, which added about 28p to the price, led to a 26% drop in sales. Studies have estimated that a 20% levy on such drinks in the US would cut obesity by 3.5% and that adding 17.5% to the cost of unhealthy food products in the UK could lead to 2,700 fewer deaths from heart disease.

But the food industry attacked the research. “When the whole of the food industry is focused on continuing to give hard-pressed families great tasting food at an affordable price, discussion of adding 20% to food prices seems fanciful if not irresponsible,” said Terry Jones, director of communications for the Food and Drink Federation, which represents food producers and retailers. Firms were working with the Department of Health through its Public Health Responsibility Deal “to make meaningful improvements in public health through pledges in areas such as salt and calorie reduction, and our commitment to improving the health of our employees”, he added.

Anne Milton, the public health minister, said the Department of Health was keeping an eye on all the evidence emerging internationally about such taxes. She defended the policy of relying on voluntary deals with food firms, which critics have criticised as an inadequate substitute for regulation of the food industry. “We are working with food companies through the Responsibility Deal to reduce calories and ensure healthier options are available. We believe that collective voluntary action can deliver real progress quickly,” Milton added.

Health & fitness in the news – 06/04/2012

1. Call to action for World Physical Activity Day 6th April 2012: Help patients get active!
BMJ Group

World Physical Activity Day on the 6th April 2012 is an opportunity for sports and exercise professionals to lead the way on global exercise advice. Every health professional should give exercise advice to patients and the public. The medicine behind exercise as a critical public health intervention is now no longer debatable.

BMJ Group

2. Deaths from womb cancer rise by a fifth: Cancer Research UK
Telegraph

More women are dying from cancer of the womb as diagnoses increase due to obesity, figures have shown.

Telegraph

3. The ‘baloney mass index': Why BMI can give false readings and it means 40% of people in U.S are heavier than first thought
Daily Mail

The obesity epidemic could be far worse than previously realised because of serious flaws in the way body fat is measured, according to a study. Researchers said the Body Mass Index – the formula usually used to determine fat – drastically underestimated how many people should regard themselves as unhealthily overweight or obese.

Daily Mail

4. Only 1 qualified fitness instructor for every 8,000 elderly people in the UK, says The Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs)
People

Data from the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) suggests that an increasing number of older adults in the UK could be at greater risk of injury or long term health complications when exercising.

People

5. Keep fit to beat blues, elderly told
Express

Keeping fit helps older people avoid mental health problems. The reverse is also true. Older adults who suffer psychological distress are more than four times more likely to experience “physical limitation”, says a study.

Scottish Daily Express

6. How Tai Chi in later life is good for the heart: Elderly who perform exercises lower blood pressure
Daily Mail

Practising the ancient martial art of tai chi can boost elderly people’s hearts, a study has found. Older subjects who regularly performed the traditional Chinese mind-body exercise now enjoyed worldwide were less likely to suffer high blood pressure and were physically stronger.

Daily Mail

7. Why taking a break is good for your health
Red Online

Does this seem like your life? You’re sitting at your desk starting the day, about to trawl through emails etc and before you know it it’s half past five and you haven’t looked up once. Any takers? If so, join the 36 per cent of employees regularly work through lunch without taking a break, and the quarter of us who admit taking no breaks at all during their working day.

According to The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy who is organising Workout at Work Day on Tuesday 19 June, to show people how they can build regular exercise into their day, this lack of movement can play havoc with our health.

Red Online

8. From the Army to boot camp: How ex-soldier made his career dream come true
Mirror

Dan Smith could not imagine how he was going to survive life in civvy street after serving in the army since he was a teenager.

Today, 15 months after the leap into the unknown, he and his wife Caroline are running their own business, Northern Boot Camp, which provides residential camps for people looking to boost their fitness, lose weight, or transform their lives.

Mirror

9. Exclusive: Thousands back petition against VAT on sports nutrition supplements ahead of London 2012
Mancunian Matters

Sports nutritionists and health food stores are uniting in a petition against government legislation following the budget – and have nearly 12,000 names in less than three days.

Mancunian Matters

Health & fitness in the news

1. Grab a coffee after the gym? Study finds caffeine and exercise ‘work together to ward off skin cancer’
Express

Caffeine and exercise may work together to ward off skin cancer, research suggests. An early study found the combination reduced the number of skin tumours in cancer-prone mice by 62 per cent.

Daily Mail

2. Warning on Sports Drinks at the desk
Express

Millions are putting their health at risk by downing sports energy drinks – designed for use with intense exercise – while sitting at their desks.

Express

3.’High Doses Of Sugar Is The Same As Poison’ Warns Doctor Robert Lustig
Huffington Post

Dr Robert Lustig has become a pioneer in the war against sugar and believes that all types of the sweet stuff should be taken more seriously and be classed as a toxic health hazard.

Huffington Post

4. LTA chief Roger Draper’s job under scrutiny as funding is cut by Sport England over drop in players
The Telegraph

Roger Draper’s underwhelming performance as the Lawn Tennis Association’s chief executive will come under further scrutiny after Sport England revealed it was cutting £530,000 of tennis funding.

The Telegraph

5. Health special: Fit and flat at every age
Daily Mail

Each age group has to adopt a slightly different approach to eating and exercise for a flat stomach. Here are some general rules…

Daily Mail

6. New ‘Zombies, Run!’ app beats Nike+ to the top of the fitness charts.
Evening Standard

Zombies, Run! is a new app developed by games-designer Adrian Hon and novelist Naomi Alderman, in which you must run or die. The game was launched last month and it has already been downloaded over 100,000 times, beating the Nike+ app to the top of the fitness charts.

Evening Standard

7. Olympic beauty
Evening Standard

As beauty brands race to sign up the stars of Team GB, Emma McCarthy picks the products that guarantee dedicated gym bunnies glowing faces and shiny hair

Evening Standard

Health & fitness in the news – 03/04/2012

1. Last chance to attend world-leading events
Fitpro News

From 19-22 April, FIA’s FIBO event will be held in Essen, Germany. The event includes a networking dinner on 19 April and a fitness, wellness and health tradeshow. Bookings for this event close on 4 April.

To book your free place at FIBO, email Georgia@fia.org.uk

Fitpro News

2. Bannatyne’s fitness empire profits slump
Scotsman

Duncan Bannatyne’s fitness clubs empire suffered a slump in profits last year as the economic downturn took its toll, accounts have revealed. Bannatyne Fitness, which operates 59 clubs, saw pre-tax profits fall to £7.8 million in 2011 from £12m a year earlier.
In their report, directors said they were “disappointed with the results” and said they expected “the industry to remain tough”.

Scotsman

3. Fast food ‘gives you the blues’, study finds
Telegraph

A study showed people who often ate hamburgers, hotdogs and pizza are 51 per cent more likely to develop depression than those who rarely or never ate them.
Those who regularly indulged were also found to be more likely to be single, less active, smoke and work more than 45 hours a week.

Telegraph

4. Spring into shape now: From fitness ‘snacking’ to the three-chew challenge – here’s how to lose that winter flab
Daily Mail

‘One of the big fitness trends is sharing a personal trainer,’ says Matt. ‘I’ve seen an increase in small groups of friends hiring a personal trainer and splitting the cost.’
Gym chain David Lloyd has also launched group personal trainers or ‘GPTs’. ‘You get the benefits of a personal trainer but you share the cost with friends,’ says Anna-Marie Muldowney, of David Lloyd.

Daily Mail

5. Springing into fair weather fitness
Reuters

Before attacking that Saturday softball game or weekend charity run, experts say, prepare your body for the switch.

Reuters

6. TV ad shows danger of ‘invisible secondhand smoke’
BBC

Making houses and cars smokefree is the only way to protect children from second-hand smoke, according to a new government campaign in England.

BBC

7. I shed 8st after shock of facing a gastric band op
Daily Express

Secretary Hayley Cahalarn was shocked into shedding eight stone after she got so fat her GP offered her a gastric band on the NHS. Hayley, 28, was mortified when she realised she weighed 18 stone and her doctor suggested she needed surgery to lose the flab.

But she refused to go under the knife and lost weight just by eating healthily and joining a gym.

Daily Express

8. Women in UK die years earlier than in much of Europe
Independent

Britain’s healthcare system trails the rest of Europe in a number of crucial areas, including female mortality, cancer survival rates, and levels of obesity, according to a study produced for the Government.

Independent

Health & fitness in the news – 30/03/2012

1. Half of all Brits are unhappy with work-life balance, ONS says
Telegraph

The ONS found that just over half of all adults – 54 per cent – participate in sport at least once a month, however the activities they do vary greatly. One in seven people visit the gym, while one in ten get their exercise from cycling.
Meanwhile, one in nine Britons admitted that the only type of exercise they take is on an interactive computer console, such as a Nintendo Wii console.

Telegraph

2. Feel the burn: Big earns spend more time at the gym
Daily Mail

High earners are up to three times more likely to be found in the gym than those on low incomes, says a survey. It found top earners spent on average almost three hours a week at fitness centres. But people on less than £20,000 a year were in the gym for barely an hour a week, says the online survey of 1,600 people by healthcare charity Nuffield Health.
Chris Jones, head of physiology at Nuffield Health, said: ‘Evidence tells us that keeping fit and healthy can benefit your performance at work, which may in turn impress the boss and help secure that much-wanted promotion.’

Daily Mail

3. The science of falling in love: Finding the perfect partner online
Metro

Researchers also discovered we are not attracted to people with the same sense of humour as our own, couch potatoes aren’t anyone’s ideal date and yoga is the most appealing form of exercise to potential partners. ‘What’s interesting is that we found any sporty activity, whether it’s marathon running or yoga, is appealing to men and women,’ adds Dr Gonzaga. ‘It’s a proxy for “taking care of myself” and suggests to a single, without them even having to see a photo, that person is healthy and in reasonable shape.’

Metro

4. Kidney cancers: Major rise ‘linked to obesity’
BBC

Obesity is fuelling a major increase in the number of cases of kidney cancers diagnosed in Britain, experts say.

BBC

5.Mid-life Britain opens doors for disease research
Reuters

The world’s biggest and most detailed biomedical database opened its doors to researchers on Friday, offering scientists a unique glimpse into the health and lifestyles of 500,000 middle-aged Britons.

Reuters

6. Kick butt with Cosmo’s Angry Workout!
Cosmopolitan

Our resident personal trainer Niko Algieri knows exactly which exercises will diffuse your rage when you’re in danger of boiling over. Exercises that will calm us down and make our skinny jeans fit better? Here’s how….

Cosmopolitan

7. Biggest Loser contestants to take on Michelle Obama in White House workout (no prizes for guessing who will do the most push-ups)
Daily Mail

Following the discussion, the contestants, their families and the First Lady all work out together at the White House. The show will also see Mrs Obama challenge the contestants to see who can sign up the most participants for the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award. The six-week pledge-based programme is designed to get both adults and children more physically active and healthy.

Daily Mail

8. Councils get £6m boost to help primary schools meet two-hours-per-week PE target for pupils
Daily Record

Councils are to get almost £6million to help meet a key target on physical education in schools. The Scottish Government said that by 2014 every primary school pupil should have at least two hours of PE a week and all students in the first four years of secondary school should have at least two periods of PE.

Daily Record

Health & fitness in the news – 29/03/2012

1. Weight loss, exercise improve mobility in diabetes
Reuters

Losing weight and improving fitness may ward off some of the mobility problems that older overweight people with type 2 diabetes often face, according to a new study.

Reuters

2. Get the best of cross trainers
Evening Standard

The elliptical (cross-trainer) machine was introduced into the fitness world in the Nineties as a treadmill and bike hybrid. It has a unique non-impact standing circular movement pattern, designed for the athlete who cannot run any more due to not being able efficiently to neutralise the impact the body is placed under when running.
But believe it or not, the cross trainer is completely comparable to a treadmill with regards to the intensity it places on the legs, heart and lungs — if used correctly.

Evening Standard

3. Tennis ace Agassi launches gym equipment line
Health Club Management

Former tennis champion Andre Agassi has launched a new range of gym equipment in partnership with his long-time strength training coach, Gil Reyes.

Health Club Management

4. I lost 11 stone in 4 years…now I look picture perfect
The Sun

Comparing myself month by month stunned me. My face was thinner and I could notice the difference in my waistline and arms. “I began looking forward to each month when the time came to take a picture and compare myself to the previous one.”
Nicola also joined women-only gym Curves and began working out twice a week.

The Sun

5. Wellness a Key Component of UK’s Olympic Legacy
Athletic Business

Sebastian Coe, the former Olympic middle-distance runner who chairs LOCOG, the London 2012 organising committee, included as part of the original bid that organisers would use it to inspire two million people to take up sport and physical activity. That effort, begun in January, is organised under the umbrella of “Our Greatest Team” and is being spearheaded by Technogym, the Games’ official supplier of fitness equipment.

Athletic Business

6. A new gym regimen: run for your life
Independent

Do you find it difficult to motivate yourself to exercise? The desire for a bikini body or abs of steel not enough to get you down to the gym? In that case, there’s only one thing that is going to help – the threat of being eaten alive by a zombie horde. At least that’s the thinking behind the popular iPhone app Zombies, Run! (it’s coming to Android later this year).

Independent

7. David Cameron fails to show off badminton skills
Independent

David Cameron attempted to showcase his badminton skills today as he urged the public to get “pumped up” about the Olympics.

Independent

8. Job-related stress to rise, say 80 per cent of Europeans
People Management

Workplace stress will rise over the next five years according to eight out of ten workers across Europe, a major new survey has revealed. The survey of 35,000 people in 36 European countries found that 80 per cent of people believed that job-related stress would increase, while 52 per cent said it would increase “a lot”.

People Management

9. We danced with Len and Arlene: Your Personal Best winners enjoy an active day out
Saga

Stella, Bob and the other participants, aged from 53 upwards and from all round the country, spent the morning talking with the various experts, discussing their health, how much activity they did and what they would like to do. “The experts gave us really good advice on how to gradually get back into a more active lifestyle by taking small steps at a time and enjoying whatever route this might take us”, says Stella.

Saga

10. Just one glass of wine a day linked to breast cancer: research
Telegraph

Women should stick to just one glass of wine a day and those with a family history of breast cancer should abstain altogether as researchers find even moderate alcohol consumption increases chances of developing the disease.

Telegraph

Health & fitness in the news – 28/03/2012

1. Sport and leisure to benefit from new skills investment
Fitpro News

SkillsActive, the sector skills council for active leisure, learning and wellbeing, has received funding to continue its work delivering skills solutions for the sector. The UK Commission for Employment and Skills has appointed SkillsActive to deliver National Occupational Standards, Apprenticeships and Modern Apprenticeship frameworks, and qualification related products for three years from this April.

Fitpro News

2. LA Fitness renegotiates £63.4m debt pile to work off some of its annual loss
Daily Mail – This is Money

Latest figures for Britain’s third largest fitness group, seen by the Daily Mail, showed member numbers rose by 11,000 in the past nine months, taking the total to 200,000, while underlying sales for the busy January period rose 3 per cent.

Daily Mail

3. IOC chief praises London’s Olympics legacy
Independent

It has not come cheaply, but this morning the president of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, will hold up London’s Olympics as having provided a “legacy blueprint for future hosts.”

Independent

4. Over-drinking can be deadlier than dehydration
Telegraph

A marathon runner who fell ill during a race says that the dangers of drinking too much water should be better publicised.

Telegraph

5. 17st student who swapped junk-food binges for pumping iron is crowned Britain’s Strongest Woman
Daily Mail

Siobhan Hyland went from fat to fit after becoming hooked on pumping iron when she took up weight training in a bid to become healthier. She enjoyed the weight workouts so much that what started as a hobby quickly became something she took more seriously. As the fat fell off and her strength improved, she decided to compete in strong woman competitions – and has since won two national titles.

Daily Mail

6. Is your workout a waste of time?
Irish Independent

A study by biology boffin James Timmons, a professor at the University of Birmingham, found that not only are the benefits of aerobic exercise determined by our genetic make-up, but that some of us are programmed to respond poorly to working out.

Irish Independent

7. Om in the City
Evening Standard

Yoga classes to suit the hours and requirements of overworked London professionals are springing up everywhere. Jasmine Gardner gets stretching.

Evening Standard

8. Three golden girls who love to exercise reveal their fitness secrets
Daily Record

Studies have shown that older people who exercise are less prone to falls and are more agile and less likely to suffer from heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Exercise can also cut the chance of dementia and depression.

Daily Record

Health & fitness in the news – 27/03/2012

1. FIA Research Institute donations round up successful year as charity partner of Help for Heroes
FIA

The FIA has rounded up its year as charity partner of Help for Heroes with a donation from FIA Research Institute participants, who have discovered the health benefits of physical activity.

FIA

2. Aqua fitness: Cool in the pool
Independent

Exercising in water has huge health benefits – but swimming lengths can be repetitive. Now a new wave of aqua fitness workouts is making a splash.

Independent

3. Teachers issue video games warning
Press Association

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) raised concerns about the negative impact of children spending hours a day playing computer games that are inappropriate for their age. The warning came as a survey found more than a quarter of parents say their child gets less than half-an-hour of physical activity outside of school.

Press Association

4. How healthy do you think you are? We give four readers a health MOT
Mirror

We asked four readers to undergo a rigorous health MOT to see, like a car, if they’re running smoothly or are clapped out.

Mirror

5. Better stand up to read this: Sitting down for too long could kill you
Daily Mail

A major study from Australia found sitting down too long increases your risk of dying within three years, even if you are already physically active.

Daily Mail

6. ‘Anti-gravity’ fitness is latest trend as new hi-tech machines help those pounds float away (at least until the end of the class)
Daily Mail

Technologies borrowed from the space programme and the circus are helping fitness fans enjoy new ‘anti-gravity’ fitness routines. ‘Anti-gravity’ classes can help overused joints by reducing the weight on them – and allow even the obese to train without risk of injury.

Daily Mail

7. Chocolate ‘may help keep people slim’
BBC

People who eat chocolate regularly tend to be thinner, new research suggests.

BBC

8. Pierre Dukan: celebrity diet doctor faces ethics charge
Telegraph

Pierre Dukan, whose controversial celebrity diet is said to have helped the Duchess of Cambridge squeeze into her wedding dress, could be struck off the medical register over proposals to award extra marks to schoolchildren who lose weight, it has emerged.

Telegraph

Health & fitness in the news – 26/03/2012

1. LIW and FIA cement relationship
Fitpro News

The renewal between LIW and FIA is important for fitness professionals as it helps to further secure the staging of events such as LIW and FIA Flame – which are important to those in the industry for networking and education purposes.

Fitpro News

2. Comfort eating and drinking is costing us our lives
Telegraph

Most people are eating far too much sugar, salt and fat, and moving around too little. The younger ones are binge-drinking, floating through the pubs and clubs on a sea of cheap spirits. The older ones are regularly consuming well above the advised limit, downing three or four large glasses of sauvignon to “relax” once the children or grandchildren are in bed. A quarter of all the people in England are now officially obese, rather than simply overweight.

Telegraph

3. Mel B chats health, fitness & keeping motivated
Closer

Get yourself a gym membership; it’s like a whole new world. A lot of gyms open for a long time too, so you can go in the morning before work or even after dinner. You can also just try and incorporate fitness into your routine, like walking to the shops or the kids to their school.

Closer

4. Train Like a Tribute: New York gym jumps on Hunger Games bandwagon with themed workout class
Daily Mail

A New York gym is the latest business to cash in on the popularity of the hit trilogy, The Hunger Games. In a fitting tribute to the story’s well-trained protagonists, an uptown branch of The New York Sports Club has created what it calls its ‘Train Like a Tribute’ workout.

Daily Mail

5. In the search for a legacy, Coe could learn from the past
Independent

What happens after the Olympics is almost as important as the event itself. Tom Peck looks back at the lessons of our other Games.

Independent

6. Five BILLION fewer calories a day: Food firms pledge to make products healthier to help curb obesity
Mirror

Food firms are to limit the calories in bars of chocolate and fizzy drinks as Britain battles an obesity crisis. They have promised the Government they will make their products healthier as part of a “Responsibility Deal” in which five billion calories will be cut from the nation’s diet.

Mirror

7. Boot camp exercise firm flexes its muscles
Scotsman.com

Outdoor fitness firm Burn It is racing ahead with plans to roll out its franchise operations south of the Border as it aims to build itself up into a “household name” across the UK.

Scotsman.com

Health and fitness in the news – 22/03/2012

1. One day left to nominate a colleague for the Future of Flame Award 2012
FIA

There is just one day left to nominate a colleague for the prestigious Future of Flame Award.

This award recognises the industry’s very best on an individual level; rewarding a person who has shown remarkable dedication and commitment to the fitness industry.
The Future of Flame Award is one of five outstanding achievement categories in this year’s FIA & Matrix Flame Awards.

David Stalker, CEO, FIA said: “These award categories recognise the leaders of our industry, at all levels, celebrating and rewarding those who make a profound contribution.

“If there is someone you know who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to show their dedication to the fitness industry, then make sure that you nominate them for the Future of Flame Award.”

How to nominate someone: Industry members are invited to nominate their colleagues with a brief description (400 words max) on why their nominee should win the award. Entry is free. Nominations should be emailed to flame@fia.org.uk by 23rd March 2012 and online voting will close beginning of June 2012.

FIA

2. £50 million to improve your workforce
FIA
One week left to complete the FIA’s survey to help us support your funding applications

A new Employer Ownership Fund has been launched to give employers direct access to public investment to improve the skills and productivity of the UK workforce.

The FIA and SkillsActive can support employers or clusters of employers to submit applications for the fund. To fully understand how we can support employers and their priorities for the fund, we are asking employers to answer a short online survey by 28th March.

FIA

3. Hit the streets: No excuses. The Grit Doctor Ruth Field says run, even if you hate it
Evening Standard

The months of being able to hide our flab under warm knits are finally behind us. But while this brings relief to a fit few, it is more likely to bring horror to many. Mainly those who have been hibernating on the sofa since last November.

Evening Standard

4. Bespoke body
Evening Standard

A new method for improving your movement and poise is proving a hit with both royalty and celebrities

Evening Standard

5. Obesity harms ‘later brain skill’
BBC

Being overweight in later life puts you at higher risk of brain decline, Korean research suggests.

BBC

6. Binge-drinking leads to 25 per cent rise in liver disease
Metro

Alcohol is the main factor in the majority of cases, according to a new report, along with obesity, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.

Metro