Dianthus Medical Blog Archive

Index of Public health

Tamiflu: it's a bit more complicated than that

Tamiflu is in the news again today. You will no doubt have read about how the government wasted vast sums of money on stockpiling Tamiflu, which today's new research shows is completely ineffective.

Well, that's what the press release said, anyway. And journalists are pretty good at regurgitating press releases. Here are some examples (though to be fair, they do at least all include a very brief mention that Roche disagrees, if you read that far). The reality, however, is a bit more complicated than that.

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Should we eat 7 portions of fruit and veg a day?

Today's big health news story is a new study showing that eating 5 portions of fruit and veg a day is not enough, and that we all need to eat at least 7.

According to The Guardian, "Eating at least seven portions of fresh fruit and vegetables a day was linked to a 42% lower risk of death from all causes." That's one of my pet hates in health reporting right there: nothing you do lowers your risk of death from all causes. Your risk of death remains 100% no matter what you eat. Few things are more certain in medicine.

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Minimum alcohol pricing

A lengthy article was published in the BMJ today about the decision the government made last year to abandon their previously-stated plans on minimum alcohol pricing. As you might expect from the BMJ, with their strident anti-industry agenda, the article claims this is all about a terrible conspiracy in which the evil drinks industry and the government collude together to put the interests of the evil drinks industry ahead of public health.

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