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Don't miss the new GO! Organic Festival taking place in London next month

This September will see London's Battersea Park transformed into a one-of-a-kind, vibrant weekend celebration of the very best in organic, sustainable and healthy living.

Taking place from 8 to 9 September, GO! Organic is set to feature a raft of big-name and up and coming bands, celebrities, talks, demos in the Organic Kitchen, circus entertainment and much more. Alongside the traders, there will be entertainment for all ages, from live music to fun fair rides and even an animal farm.

Early bird tickets can be purchased via the website www.goorganicfestival.co.uk, with tickets for adults priced at £26, children at £13, and a family of four at £69. Plus, Your Healthy Living have an exclusive 20% discount for readers. Simply quote YHL20 to claim.

Find out more here...

Childhood obesity hits new record level

The levels of severely obese children aged between 10 and 11 have reached the highest point since records began, according to new figures released by Public Health England (PHE). The figures were collated as part of the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) and were measured between 2006 to 2007 and 2016 to 2017. The programme captured the height and weight of over one million children in Reception (aged four to five years) and Year 6 (aged 10 to 11 years) in school each year. The findings also show that levels of excess weight and obesity are higher in the most deprived areas compared to the least deprived.

Other observations include an upward trend of excess weight, obesity and severe obesity in Year 6 children; a downward trend of excess weight, overweight, obesity and severe obesity in Reception age boys; and a downward trend of underweight in Reception age boys and girls, and Year 6 girls. The Department of Health and Social Care recently announced the second chapter of its Childhood Obesity Plan to help halve childhood obesity by 2030. Main actions include mandatory calorie labelling on menus; and restrictions on price promotions on foods high in fat, salt or sugar. These measures will go out for consultation later in 2018.

Probiotics may help in the prevention of osteoporosis

Swedish researchers have discovered that probiotics may help in the prevention of osteoporosis. The team from the University of Gothenburg found that bone loss was halved among older women who took daily probiotics compared to women who were given a placebo. Osteoporosis is characterised by porous and weak bones which can lead to fractures. The majority of women over 80 years of age have the disease.

Over the space of a year, a group of 90 elderly women with an average age of 76 were either given daily probiotics or a placebo. After a year, the women’s bone loss in their lower legs was measured with a CT scan and compared with the measurements taken at the start of the study. The results showed that the women who took the probiotics lost only half as much bone in their skeleton compared with those who received the placebo.

Mattias Lorentzon, a chief physician and professor of geriatrics at the University of Gothenburg said: “The fact that we have been able to show that treatment with probiotics can affect bone loss represents a paradigm shift. Treatment with probiotics can be an effective and safe way to prevent the onset of osteoporosis in many older people in the future.” The findings were published in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

Tea could help with weight management via gut microbiome link

Drinking tea could help weight management by changing the gut microbiome, new research has shown. Dr Catherine Hood, a women’s health expert and member of the Tea Advisory Panel said: “Tea drinking has been associated with weight loss in several studies, a benefit that has until recently been thought to be due mainly to the antioxidant polyphenol content of tea. However, findings from new laboratory studies suggest that tea can lead to the proliferation of beneficial bacteria in the gut. An in vitro study has demonstrated that green tea, black tea and oolong tea extracts all increase the growth of beneficial human intestinal bacteria. A further recent laboratory study also found that oolong tea, rich in tea catechins, produced a large increase in Bacteroidetes bacteria with a decrease in Firmicutes bacteria.”

She continued: “These two types of bacteria regulate fat absorption. Researchers have found that Firmicutes are better at extracting energy from food. So, a person with a large ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes in the gut could convert more of the energy in their food to fat, which will be stored in the body. Obese people have been shown to have a higher Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio than normal and lean weight people. So, the positive effect of tea on the intestinal bacteria, in particular in increasing the Bacteroidetes/Firmicutes ratio may contribute to weight loss.”

Dr Hood added: “Overall, this new and emerging evidence suggests that tea and its polyphenol ingredients may have prebiotic activity, changing the ratio of types of bacteria in the gut which in turn may contribute to weight loss.”

Plastic pollution is the nation’s top environmental concern

Plastic pollution is the most important environmental issue to Brits, according to new research. Data analysts Mintel found that 47 per cent of respondents named this as their number one environmental concern, followed by animal welfare and climate change, both at 37 per cent. The importance of plastic pollution is also highlighted by strong customer demand for plastic-free stores (51 per cent) and packaging-free stores (43 per cent). Meanwhile, the nation’s love of animals is confirmed by the quarter (26 per cent) of Brits who say they are more influenced to buy products that are animal friendly.

Jack Duckett, Senior Consumer Lifestyles Analyst at Mintel, said that the issue of ocean pollution really chimed with the public following the BBC Blue Planet II episode on ocean plastic. He added: “And given the subsequent stream of media coverage about rising levels of plastic waste and contamination, it is little surprise that plastic pollution is the leading environmental concern. This high level of consumer concern has been met by a surge in the number of initiatives designed to cut the amount of plastic entering the environment, while a number of brands are finding new ways to upcycle existing plastic waste.”

The survey also found that 65 per cent of Brits say they are trying to live more ethically than a year ago. But while a conscientious 71 per cent of women are increasing their commitment to ethical living, just 59 per cent of men say they've been living more ethically over the past year.

Long work hours linked to diabetes risk in women

Women who work 45 hours per week or more have an increased risk of diabetes, a new study has found. The study was carried out by a team from the Research Centre of the Quebec University Hospital, Laval University, in Canada.

As part of the study the researchers monitored the health information of 7,065 workers aged between 35 and 74 for a 12-year period. The study participants were put into four groups based on their working hours: 15-34 hours; 35-40 hours; 41-44 hours; and 45 or more hours.

The researchers discovered that women who clocked up a working week of 45 hours or more had nearly a 70 per cent increased risk of diabetes compared to men or women who worked for 30 to 40 hours a week. However, men who worked longer hours did not have the same risk.

The researchers suggested that lengthy working hours might bring about a chronic stress response in the body, thus heightening the risk of hormonal abnormalities and insulin resistance. The results were published in BMJ Diabetes Research & Care.

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