Category Archives: Health

One in Four People Worldwide Have Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease


“As the global obesity epidemic continues to fuel development of metabolic disorders, the clinical and economic burden of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and its more severe form, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), will become “enormous,” researchers warn in a new paper.
Reuters Health Information”

from Medscape Medical News Headlines See Link via IFTTT

Moralistic gods, supernatural punishment and the expansion of human sociality

“Since the origins of agriculture, the scale of human cooperation and societal complexity has dramatically expanded. This fact challenges standard evolutionary explanations of prosociality because well-studied mechanisms of cooperation based on genetic relatedness, reciprocity and partner choice falter as people increasingly engage in fleeting transactions with genetically unrelated strangers in large anonymous groups … Here we focus on one key hypothesis: cognitive representations of gods as increasingly knowledgeable and punitive, and who sanction violators of interpersonal social norms, foster and sustain the expansion of cooperation, trust and fairness towards co-religionist strangers … Our results support the hypothesis that beliefs in moralistic, punitive and knowing gods increase impartial behaviour towards distant co-religionists, and therefore can contribute to the expansion of prosociality (1).”

(1) Purzycki, Benjamin Grant, Coren Apicella, Quentin D. Atkinson, Emma Cohen, Rita Anne McNamara, Aiyana K. Willard, Dimitris Xygalatas, Ara Norenzayan, and Joseph Henrich. 2016. “Moralistic Gods, Supernatural Punishment and the Expansion of Human Sociality.” Nature advance on (February). Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved. See Link.

Dietary flavonoid intake and weight maintenance


“Higher intake of foods rich in flavonols, flavan-3-ols, anthocyanins, and flavonoid polymers may contribute to weight maintenance in adulthood and may help to refine dietary recommendations for the prevention of obesity and its potential consequences. (1)”

1. Bertoia, M. L., Rimm, E. B., Mukamal, K. J., Hu, F. B., Willett, W. C., & Cassidy, A. (2016). Dietary flavonoid intake and weight maintenance: three prospective cohorts of 124 086 US men and women followed for up to 24 years. BMJ, 352, i17. DOI:

Diabetes and sweetened beverages


“Habitual consumption of sugar sweetened beverages was associated with a greater incidence of type 2 diabetes, independently of adiposity. Although artificially sweetened beverages and fruit juice also showd positive associations with incidence of type 2 diabetes, the findings were likely to involve bias. None the less, both artificially sweetened beverages and fruit juice were unlikely to be healthy alternatives to sugar sweetened beverages for the prevention of type 2 diabetes. Under assumption of causality, consumption of sugar sweetened beverages over years may be related to a substantial number of cases of new onset diabetes. (1)”

(1) Imamura, F., O’Connor, L., Ye, Z., Mursu, J., Hayashino, Y., Bhupathiraju, S. N., & Forouhi, N. G. (2015). Consumption of sugar sweetened beverages, artificially sweetened beverages, and fruit juice and incidence of type 2 diabetes: systematic review, meta-analysis, and estimation of population attributable fraction. BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), 351(jul21_11), h3576. DOI:

Why the Islamic world needs a new ‘golden age’

IMG_2004-Edit.jpg“The Muslim world’s past contributions to science and education were extraordinary. The Islamic “golden age” – during which scholarship and learning flourished across the Muslim world – lasted many centuries, and included the establishment of the world’s first universities. Today, however, Muslim-majority countries lag well behind the rest of the world in terms of education and research. This must change if the region is to provide modern jobs and better lives to its booming population and keep up with global development. (1)”
(1) Guessoum, Nidhal, ‘Why the Islamic World Needs a New “Golden Age”’, World Economic Forum, 2016 <See Link> [accessed 15 January 2016]

Working toward a healthy and sustainable diet

wpid-20150112_151027.jpgIn a recent review in the journal, Frontiers in Nutrition, Ruini et al. state that there is a

“strong correlation between the environmental impact of food and their nutritional characteristics. Specifically, it has been demonstrated that the foods whose consumption should be moderated for health reasons are also those that have a greater impact in terms of soil use, water consumption, and CO2 emission. In other words, to achieve a sustainable, healthy diet is essential to eat more plant-based foods and reduce our consumption of meat, animal products, and other foods, like salted snacks and sweets, which offer little in terms of nutritional value.”

An important observation.  It would appear that a plant-based diet is better for our health, more environmentally friendly and cost-effective. Reminds me of that quote that we are sometimes surrounded by solutions rather than problems!

  1. Ruini, Luca Fernando, Roberto Ciati, Carlo Alberto Pratesi, Massimo Marino, Ludovica Principato, and Eleonora Vannuzzi, ‘Working toward Healthy and Sustainable Diets: The “Double Pyramid Model” Developed by the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition to Raise Awareness about the Environmental and Nutritional Impact of Foods.’, Frontiers in Nutrition, 2 (2015), 9 <Link>



What is Lifestyle Medicine?

wpid-20150112_151004.jpgLifestyle medicine is defined as:

“a branch of evidence-based medicine in which comprehensive lifestyle changes (including nutrition, physical activity, stress management, social support and environmental exposures) are used to prevent, treat and reverse the progression of chronic diseases by addressing their underlying causes.(1)”

According to the World Health Organisation;

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading causes of death globally, killing more people each year than all other causes combined. Contrary to popular opinion, available data demonstrate that nearly 80% of NCD deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Despite their rapid growth and inequitable distribution, much of the human and social impact caused each year by NCD-related deaths could be averted through well-understood, cost-effective and feasible interventions (2).


(1) Sagner, M., Katz, D., Egger, G., Lianov, L., Schulz, K.-H., Braman, M., … Ornish, D. (2014). Lifestyle medicine potential for reversing a world of chronic disease epidemics: from cell to community. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 68(11), 1289–1292.

(2) Alwan, A. (2011). Global status report on noncommunicable diseases 2010. World Health Organization, p vii.

Web Links:
  1. The American College of Lifestyle Medicine
  2. The Australian Lifestyle Medicine Association
  3. The European Society of Lifestyle Medicine

Ban on junk food marketing to nation’s kids takes effect Jan. 1

wpid-20150112_151027.jpg“Foods with excessively high levels of fat, saturated fat, sodium and sugar in five categories — snacks, candy, drinks, cold products, and in places that serve food directly — will be prohibited, the FDA stated in a press release.”(1)

  1. Chao, S. (2016). Ban on junk food marketing to nation’s kids takes effect Jan. 1. The China Post. Retrieved from

Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education


We are currently working on the garden in Ferndale Street. This is my latest audiobook.

Pollan, Michael, Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education (Grove/Atlantic, Incorporated, 2007), xlviii <> [accessed 30 December 2015]

Minister Skinner, why are you selling our land?



2015-02-07-0749 - PWC


“Specialist centres, rather than having many general hospitals have the benefit of improving the quality of care where there is sufficient demand for services. Centres of excellence have greater capacity to attract a critical mass of specialist clinicians, facilitate high standards of training and invest in advanced specialty equipment. (1)”

Minister Skinner, why are you selling our land? (2) Have you seen this report? (1) ‪#‎helpSaveRNSH‬

(1) Coopers, Price Waterhouse. 2012. NSW Infrastructure. Health Infrastructure Baseline Report. Infrastructure New South Wales.…/pwc_insw_health_base….
(2) “EOI for Purchase (Freehold/Leasehold) of RNSH Masterplan Land.” 2015. Government Property NSW.….