tip off

FRONJACKSONWEBB | April 14, 2014 | FOOD | |

Fat free and 100% natural: seven food labelling tricks exposed

Sandra Jones writes: If you’re confused by food labels, you’re not alone. But don’t hold your breath for an at-a-glance food labelling system that tells you how much salt, fat and sugar each product contains. Australia’s proposed “health star rating” labelling scheme was put on hold in February, following pressure from the food industry. And it’s unclear whether the scheme will go ahead.

Marketers use a variety of tricks to make foods seem healthier and more appealing than their competitors, particularly when it comes to products aimed at children. One of the most powerful advertising tools a food manufacturer has is the packaging, as it’s what we look at immediately before deciding which food to purchase.

Next time you’re shopping for food, look out for these seven common labelling tricks: [...]

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MICHELLE HUGHES | April 10, 2014 | EVIDENCE-BASED ISSUES | 1 |

Tamiflu drug ‘largely ineffective’ in reducing hospitalisation: study

Many thanks to The Conversation for allowing us to republish this article by Reema Rattan.

Antiviral drugs are largely ineffective for reducing hospital admissions and complications from influenza, and come with serious side-effects, according to a research review published by the Cochrane Collaboration today.

The drugs were stockpiled by governments across the world, including Australia’s, in response to the 2009 swine flu pandemic.

Cochrane, along with the British Medical Journal, is asking governments to consider whether they would choose to stockpile well-known antiviral Tamiflu in light of these findings, arguing the original evidence leading to the stockpiling was incomplete.

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MICHELLE HUGHES | April 10, 2014 | PRIMARY HEALTH CARE | |

PHC Research Conference: an opportunity to expand your contribution to improve primary health care

Thanks to Amanda Carne from the Primary Health Care Research and Information Service for this reminder about the upcoming conference in July 2014. Networks are increasingly regarded as essential in permitting health research to influence practice and policy.  Yet there has been limited research on the role networking can play in researchers’ careers or the [...]

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MICHELLE HUGHES | April 10, 2014 | CLIMATE CHANGE | 1 |

Environment and health round up: The ticking clock, Palmer’s plans and a challenge to the medical fraternity.

According to an article in the SMH this week, the IPCC are preparing to release a report which will show that time is rapidly running out to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees. The report will discuss mechanisms of cutting carbon emissions including renewable energy sources and “clean” fossil fuels. The draft report apparently acknowledges that [...]

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MICHELLE HUGHES | April 09, 2014 | E-HEALTH | 1 |

Equity and parity of service provision is essential to transforming the lives of those with mental ill health

Professor Patrick McGorry, Executive Director, Orygen Youth Health Research Centre writes: Australia can be very proud of the substantial progress that has been made in recent years in bringing the subject of mental ill-health and mental illness from out of the shadows and into the mainstream of public discourse, however timely access to high quality mental [...]

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MICHELLE HUGHES | April 09, 2014 | COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINES | 3 |

End of the road for homeopathy?

A new report from the NHMRC regarding the evidence base for homeopathy raises questions regarding the funding of a range of homeopathic treatments.  Many thanks to Lorretta Marron, CEO, Friends of Science in Medicine for this overview.

Will homeopathy finally disappear into history?  The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) “concludes that the assessment of the evidence from research in humans does not show that homeopathy is effective for treating the range of health conditions considered”. It’s now official: according to Australia’s peak medical research body, homeopathy doesn’t work!

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FRONJACKSONWEBB | April 08, 2014 | FEDERAL BUDGET 2014-15 | 1 |

Rationing care vs increasing taxes – the health system sustainability myth

Stephen Duckett writes: In the lead-up to the May budget, the seemingly inexorable rise in health spending has unleashed a “sustainability panic”: rhetoric that health system costs are out of control and drastic measures are needed to make the system affordable.

Sustainability panic is often used to justify shifting the burden of controlling health spending from the wider society to a vulnerable few – people with [...]

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MICHELLE HUGHES | April 08, 2014 | EDUCATION | 7 |

Train in vain: How the Queensland contract dispute leaves junior doctors floundering

 Croakey has previously reported on the crisis engulfing senior medical staff in Queensland.  As the turmoil continues, the knock on affect of a potential mass exodus of medical staff on junior doctors and medical training is coming into focus.  Many thanks to Dr Gemma Robertson for this personal perspective on the loss of senior doctors in Queensland.

I remember my first day as a junior doctor vividly. That first shift is, all at once, terrifying, exhilarating, and mortifying.

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MELISSA DAVEY | April 07, 2014 | CLIMATE CHANGE | 1 |

The Health Wrap: Workplace mental health, an Indigenous health mix-bag, and health budget predictions

By Melissa Davey Employee well-being is being addressed, but needs work Mental health in the workplace is becoming an increasingly discussed issue as mental illness becomes less stigmatised, and workplaces are seen as key partners in its prevention and treatment. Writing for Croakey, Jaelea Skehan and Brian Kelly say it is promising to see workplaces given a [...]

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MELISSA SWEET | April 06, 2014 | INDIGENOUS HEALTH | |

A wealth of stories and lessons – from the Lowitja Institute’s recent CQI conference

Efforts to improve health promotion campaigns and healthcare services were profiled at the Lowitja Institute’s recent Continuous Quality Improvement conference, reports Marie McInerney. The conference yielded many pithy tips, including: ‘A good motto for CQI innovation: Steal shamelessly, share generously’; and ’Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; but include me and [...]

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