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Alcohol and pregnancy: mixed messages undermining abstinence advice.

Alcohol and pregnancy: mixed messages undermining abstinence advice.

The complexities for public health messaging around women drinking during pregnancy have been highlighted by new research undertaken at the University of Canberra’s News and Media Research Centre. The study found that women are receiving, and actively interpreting, contradictory information about the risks of drinking alcohol while pregnant from a number of sources. The qualitative […]

The Health Wrap:  The Vegemite news spread; On your bike (sans helmet); a chronic problem; funding medical research and teens' troubling mental health.

The Health Wrap: The Vegemite news spread; On your bike (sans helmet); a chronic problem; funding medical research and teens' troubling mental health.

                  This week’s Health Wrap is compiled by my colleague Megan Howe, the Sax Institute’s Publications Manager. Enjoy the Wrap and tweet us via @medicalmedia or @meghowe68 if you have any ideas for future issues. By Megan Howe The Vegemite news spread The use and abuse of […]

'Drink Coke, Exercise More?': where conflict of interest is a Real Thing

'Drink Coke, Exercise More?': where conflict of interest is a Real Thing

The New York Times prompted much public health concern this week with a report in its Well section that Coca-Cola “is backing a new ‘science-based’ solution to the obesity crisis: to maintain a healthy weight, get more exercise and worry less about cutting calories.” It said: “The beverage giant has teamed up with influential scientists […]

Blocking #marriageequality: 'It is frustrating, hurtful, incredibly exhausting & deeply personal'

Blocking #marriageequality: 'It is frustrating, hurtful, incredibly exhausting & deeply personal'

Prime Minister Tony Abbott put an end this week to hopes for marriage equality this year in Australia, with the decision by the Coalition party room to not allow a conscience vote on the issue – effectively sealing its defeat were it to come to Parliament. Now the focus is on whether a decision might […]

The power of words: 'why we need to stop talking about inequality'

The power of words: 'why we need to stop talking about inequality'

As Australian moves to bring about marriage equality again floundered on Tuesday, this post below from New Zealand campaigner Kirk Serpes looks at the need to shift away from problem-focused messaging that’s aimed at “raising awareness” to tackle some of the most complex issues: poverty, inequality and crime. He discusses how “framing” is a powerful […]

Winter hospital bed crisis – could we be doing better?

Winter hospital bed crisis – could we be doing better?

Most non-urgent elective surgery in Adelaide’s public hospitals was cancelled last week and some patients transferred to neighbouring regional hospitals after SA Health faced its busiest day (so far) this winter. In the post below, Professor Jon Karnon asks what could have and should be done better to both prevent and manage demand, with the […]

A Spoonful of Sugar Makes the Taxes go Up!

A Spoonful of Sugar Makes the Taxes go Up!

Reducing our society’s consumption of sugar is likely to lead to a range of health benefits, including a reduction in the current high rate of overweight/obesity and in related diseases such a diabetes.    The latest piece in the JournalWatch series by Dr Melissa Stoneham reviews a report on the first cost-effectiveness study of a ‘soft drink […]

Public health must get over its conceit and find a voice. So there!

Public health must get over its conceit and find a voice. So there!

Public health advocates need to get over the conceit that their work will inspire political action simply because it is worthy, according to Michael Thorn, Chief Executive of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, and guest tweeter this past week at @WePublicHealth. In the article below, he explains some of the background to a new campaign, […]

On the risks to health, environment that must be dealt with in the TransPacific Partnership Agreement

On the risks to health, environment that must be dealt with in the TransPacific Partnership Agreement

Counting down to next week’s ‘home stretch’, The Economist says the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) looms as the most important free-trade agreement in years. “If completed, it will be the largest regional trade deal ever, with its members accounting for nearly 40 per cent of the world economy.” It also poses significant risks for environment and […]

Will #COAG calls for new focus on primary care, keeping people out of hospital mean reform goes beyond GST, Medicare levy hikes?

Will #COAG calls for new focus on primary care, keeping people out of hospital mean reform goes beyond GST, Medicare levy hikes?

‘Frankly, if we can have a conversation rather than a scare campaign, our country will be so much better off,’ said Prime Minister Tony Abbott as the 40th Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting wound up on Thursday. Chance would be a fine thing perhaps – particularly with lifting the rate of the GST and […]