O MUCH absurdity, so few column inches. Welcome back to Diary where we ask for interesting and
entertaining medical anecdotes from our readers, get nothing in reply and so make up our own. But let us not be bitter...
POO-POO TO STOOLS It’s out with the stool and in with the poo at the nhs.uk
website. After much analysis of research and feedback, a team of content designers have revealed the words and phrases that they believe are easiest for users to understand. Among the most hotly contested areas is that concerning toilet habits. Diary can officially confirm that peeing and pooing is preferable to urinating and bowel movements. Diuretics are no longer “water tablets”, but “tablets that make you pee more” and stools are something you sit on. They decided against “wee” as this can be too easily confused with “we” or “wee”, meaning small. In a blog introducing the new A to Z list, content designer Sara Wilcox admits: “We get some complaints when we use words like ‘pee’ and ‘poo’. People tell us they see it as ‘dumbing down’, ‘simplistic’ and ‘patronising language’.” But she defends the word choices and says most people describe the language as “clear, direct and pitched at the right level.” So now you know. Get your vocab up-to-date at tinyurl.co
DOCTOR DOWN Spare a thought for the rugby doctor who unexpectedly became part of the action during England’s recent Six Nations win against Italy. Dressed in his hi-vis yellow vest, clearly marked with a capital D, he bravely ventured onto the pitch to assist a player while play continued around him. With 10 minutes to go and his job done, he made for the exit only to find himself on the wrong end of England wing Jonny May as he charged at an Italian flanker. There was no escape for the medic who ended up in a heap on the ground, with his bag flying out of his hand. Fortunately he was unharmed in the collision and was able to walk off the pitch unaided. And who says doctors aren’t dedicated to their job?
CEREAL KILLER It might be churlish to take The Association of Cereal Food Manufacturers to task when they say: “Breakfast cereals are an important source of fibre, vitamins and minerals”. More interesting perhaps is what they don’t say. A recent study published in the British Dental Journal found that some top-selling UK breakfast cereals are 35 per cent sugar by weight. The packaging does
recommend maximum portion sizes of 30g which is fine until – as the researchers observe – you look at the front of some cereal boxes with photographs of bowls “brimming to the top”. Eating the estimated 90g of cereal in these images would lead to children aged four to 10 exceeding their daily limit
of “free sugars” by 12.5 per cent with just a single bowl.
JAM IN A JAM Sticking with the theme of sugar shaming, it seems Public Health England (PHE) bears some blame for the drop in popularity of jam. Sales of the
fruity spread in Britain fell by 2.9 per cent in 2017, down to £106 million. This follows PHE’s drive to reduce children’s sugar consumption by 20 per cent by 2020. Jam has fallen out of favour as it contains a whopping 10g of sugar per tablespoon. But jam’s loss is peanut butter’s gain, with sales of the nut spread up by nearly a fifth in 2017 thanks to the introduction of new “healthy” and less-sugary upmarket versions. Ironically, marmalade (which contains 12g of sugar per tablespoon) has seen its fanbase increase thanks to the popularity of the film Paddington 2 which is credited with driving a three per cent surge in sales. Who said life is fair?
PRESCRIBING HAPPINESS Having read the article on social prescribing on p4 of this issue, Diary couldn’t help but cast a sceptical eye over a recent report in the Times highlighting a new US import to London – cannabis yoga. It seems a popular gym chain in the city is among the first to offer “cannabliss” yoga classes, which promise to help customers recover from their “static nine to five”. Participants are given a patch infused with cannabidiol, known as CBD, before doing a series of stretches and yoga poses. The article is quick to emphasise that CBD is derived from the cannabis plant but does not make you high because it contains only tiny levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive element of the plant. CBD, which comes in the form of an oil, has apparently become increasingly popular in Britain over the past year, with capsules for sale in Holland & Barrett. Those in favour of the practice say CBD and yoga “amplify each other’s restorative gifts”, but one yoga
instructor admitted that some people felt no
effect from the patches and that those who did might have been benefiting from a placebo effect. No word yet on whether cannabliss will make it onto the government’s list of approved social prescribing activities…
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