Lose weight by eating less salt! - Go on! - Try it! - You will feel so much better!
See my website
Wilde About Steroids

Read my Mensa article on Obesity and the Salt Connection

Read my Mensa article on Cruelty, Negligence and the Abuse of Power in the NHS: Fighting the System

Read about the cruel treatment I suffered at the Sheffield Dental Hospital: Long In The Toothache

You can contact me by email from my website. The site does not sell anything and has no banners, sponsors or adverts - just helpful information about how salt can cause obesity.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

If your medication causes sodium retention you will gain weight and may become obese

There are many medications that cause sodium retention/fluid retention/water retention/weight gain/obesity/edema/swelling. Here are some of them: steroids and HRT, most antidepressants, antipsychotics, anti-epileptics, anticonvulsants, and more.

If you have become overweight/obese because of drug-induced sodium retention, you need to reduce your salt intake in order to lose weight. If you do not reduce your salt intake you will continue to gain weight, regardless of how many or how few calories you eat.

Ann Widdecombe on Richard Bacon's afternoon radio show

It was good to hear Ann Widdecombe, former Conservative politician, in conversation with Richard Bacon on Radio 5 this afternoon. It is uncommon these days for someone in public life to have unambiguous principles and to have the moral courage to state them unambiguously and to defend them. Ann Widdecombe does this and it is admirable. You know where you are with such a person. I don't agree with all her opinions, or even, perhaps, many of them. But I definitely like and admire her straightforwardness and honesty, and her attention to detail. She does not hold her views in any lazy sort of way. She has definitely given them a lot of thought.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Cancer specialists warn about the high costs of excessive unproved cancer treatments

BBC News informs us that a "group of 37 leading experts from around the world say the burden of cancer is growing and becoming a major financial issue... Lead author Prof Richard Sullivan told the BBC: "It's not just pharmaceuticals. Biomarkers, imaging and surgery are all getting through with very low levels of evidence - the hurdles are set too low." The report calls for a proper evaluation of the relative merits of conventional surgery and less invasive robotic surgery."

This is a view that certainly finds favour with me. With the incidence of cancer so much on the increase, it is more and more clear that cancer prevention is of paramount importance. Most people know that smoking is the main cause of lung cancer. As well as cigarette smoke, many other chemicals, including household chemicals, are carcinogenic. Also radiation, so avoid scans unless they are strictly necessary. - See http://www.patient.co.uk/health/Cancer-What-Causes-Cancer?.htm And be wary of artificial sweeteners. And do you know that breast feeding reduces cancer risk in mothers? There is a great deal more information about cancer prevention on this page.

Added later: I forgot to draw attention once again to the need for a legal ban on food manufacturers adding transfats to so many of their products. Transfats have been linked to breast cancer risk, as well as to many other health problems. So these cancer experts may like to consider pressing Andrew Lansley, the 'Health' Secretary, to get transfats banned pdq, instead of leaving it to the food industry to go at their own, s-l-o-w, voluntary rate of reduction.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

The Warping of Wisdom: Evidence or Opinion?

There seems to be a view these days that one person's opinion is as good as another's, regardless of whether the opinion is an informed opinion or an uninformed opinion. This may well not do too much harm in itself, but the boundaries have become smudged and too many people now confuse opinion with facts that are well supported by evidence. My especial concern is in the matter of whether more exercise reduces obesity in people in general and in overweight children in particular.

We are in the happy position of being able to check out research on this matter. Researchers from the University of Glasgow found no evidence that exercise either prevented obesity in children or promoted weight loss in children who were already overweight. See http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2006/oct/06/health.food where we read that the research was lead by John Reilly, a professor in paediatric energy metabolism at Glasgow University. His "team set out to establish whether greater physical activity would prevent children from becoming overweight. They recruited 545 children in their last year at 36 nursery schools. Half the schools instituted three extra half-hour sessions of physical play and activity every week, and parents were given information packs encouraging them to give their children more activity and less television. The other half had no extra activity or information. All the children were regularly weighed and measured and their body mass index (BMI - the relationship between weight and height used to check for obesity) was calculated, and there was no difference between the groups. "Despite rigorous implementation, we found no significant effect of the intervention on physical activity, sedentary behaviour or body mass index," wrote the researchers. The BMJ article about the research is here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1647320/

Dr John Briffa is a UK medical doctor with a particular interest in nutrition and he also has an interest in weight loss for people who are overweight/obese. Here is one of his blog articles, entitled Does exercise promote weight loss? No. He examines the evidence and gives references to relevant scholarly studies. His conclusion is, "There are plenty of good reasons for taking regular exercise. Weight loss isn’t one of them."

There is evidence that obesity is 'set before age of five'. Professor Terry Wilkin, of the Peninsula Medical School, Plymouth, the lead researcher in this research, said, "When they reach the age of five the die seems to be cast, at least until the age of puberty. What is causing it is very difficult to know." He said there must be a factor now that was not there 25 years ago which is making today's children obese. And, given the young age, this is likely to be in a child's home rather than school environment and linked to upbringing rather than schooling. Rather than lack of physical exercise, he believes diet could be to blame. "

As obesity in childhood is an increasing problem, it is most important that advice about remedial measures be supported by evidence, rather than hallowed by tradition, authority and unsupported assumptions. The evidence is clear. The belief that exercising more 'must' bring about weight loss - while fervently and sincerely held by many people - is wrong. It is disturbing therefore to have Bupa, a health insurance company, suggest that exercise helps overweight children lose weight. And of course there is a preponderance of doctors and other health professionals who continue to claim that exercise helps reduce obesity despite the fact that this is incorrect. When authoritative people give flawed information and advice, they bear a heavy responsibility for the harm that results.

Friday, 23 September 2011

We Need More Vitamin D

Vitamin D has emerged as the nutrient of the decade. Numerous studies have found benefits for nearly 100 types of health conditions. These health benefits include reduced risk of bone diseases, many types of cancer, cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes mellitus, bacterial and viral infectious diseases, and autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, neurological conditions such as cognitive dysfunction, and improved athletic and physical performance.
Read news release at orthomolecular.org

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Prescription pain and anxiety drugs now cause more deaths in USA than traffic accidents

The Los Angeles Times reports: "Propelled by an increase in prescription narcotic overdoses, drug deaths now outnumber traffic fatalities in the United States, a Times analysis of government data has found. Drugs exceeded motor vehicle accidents as a cause of death in 2009, killing at least 37,485 people nationwide, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.""

A big part of the problem is that so many of these drugs are highly addictive. And of course when drugs are 'legal' drugs, and when it is legal to advertise them, people are more likely to think of them as 'safe'. But these powerful pharmaceutical drugs, which include OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax and Soma, are very clearly not safe. Pharmaceutical drugs have adverse effects/side-effects, one of which can be addiction, and another of which is premature death.

It is best to avoid prescription drugs as far as you can, and if you feel you must take them, then take them at the lowest effective dose and for the shortest necessary time. Always check out the possible side-effects and cautions and look out for these side-effects. Obesity and degenerative health conditions are often side-effects of prescription drugs: see HRT and other prescribed steroids and amitriptyline and other antidepressants.

A safe, drug-free way to reduce pain and anxiety is to optimise your nutrition and, as far as you reasonably can, cut down on salt and salty food. You will feel so much better. - Dieting is a frequent cause of ill-health, pain and depression, so avoid dieting. If you are overweight, lose excess weight the safe, easy way, without drugs or dieting.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Dr LeFanu talks sense about the effects of advertising antidepressants

Read Dr LeFanu's article in the Telegraph. You will see that brand advertising techniques have been the main driver in increasing the prescribing of antidepressants. I remind you that antidepressants work no better than dummy pills but unlike dummy pills, antidepressants can and do cause many harmful side-effects, including weight gain and breast tenderness. It shocks me that bearing all these facts in mind doctors still prescribe this pharmaceutical junk and, indeed, that they are allowed still to prescribe antidepressants. The health service could save a lot of money by no longer prescribing these pills and by no longer having the consequent adverse side-effects on health to have to deal with. More importantly, if these harmful pills were no longer prescribed it would save a lot of avoidable illness and suffering.

MIND, the mental health charity, recommends a walk in the country as being helpful in lifting depression. I personally would also recommend avoiding salt and salty food and optimising nutrition. And very importantly, if you are dieting by eating less food than your body requires, I urge you to give it up! - Dieting is harmful to your health. It is a frequent cause of depression and does not reduce obesity.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Poisoned for Profit: Toxic Transfats still Allowed in UK Food

The Independent has a feature article about the continued scandal of UK food manufacturers being allowed to add transfats to their food products. "Within many shop-bought pastries, cakes, doughnuts, crisps, processed meats, soups, frozen food, biscuits, chocolate bars, breakfast cereals and takeaway food, exists an ingredient that the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared toxic in 2009. It's hydrogenated vegetable oil, otherwise known as trans fat, and it doesn't even have to appear clearly on ingredients labels. Have a look, and you might find it called 'shortening', or 'hydrogenated fats', maybe 'hydrogenated vegetable oils' (HVOs), perhaps 'partially hydrogenated vegetable oils' (PHVOs), or... not mentioned at all. " Outrageous, isn't it?

Trans fats are useful to the food industry principally because they increase the shelf life of the harmful products they sell as food. But trans fats are not food. They are manufactured substances that do not exist in real food. - Real food, i.e. the natural fresh food that's good for you, tends to go off once it has been kept too long and is no longer fresh. Food that can be stored 'safely' for very long periods of time by means of highly unnatural processes is not really 'safe' at all. - If even germs and other microbes turn up their little noses at it, it should have no place in our stomachs! Since trans fats cannot be metabolised by the body they can only get up to a heap of no good once we've eaten them.

Why are consumers being sold this garbage then? With the health damage (individual suffering and national financial cost of treating the diseases caused) that inevitably accompanies it? Thousands of people dying before their time? - It's pretty clear we have Andrew Lansley, the Dark Lord of UnHealth, to thank for this lamentable state of affairs. His evident conflict of interests leads him to favour food company profits over the health of the citizenry (his ostensible job). Some other countries have managed to Ban Transfats from food despite the blandishments of big business. Our country should do the same. If you want to sign a petition about it you can do so here: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/330 though to be honest, I don't think it will do any good.

Friday, 9 September 2011

What qualities would make you think of someone as a saint?

I used to know a disabled Irish lady called Marie. I used to call on her on Saturday mornings to do a bit of shopping for her. She had been a nurse, I think, but her life had changed utterly one day. As she was coming down the stairs on a bus that fateful day, the bus had lurched and she had lost her footing and fallen down the rest of the curved stairwell. The damage to one of her feet entailed surgery. Then further surgery. Then more. A complicated bone problem developed. She couldn't walk much and was in pain and often lost her balance and so spent most of her days in her flat. When she fell down, she would, as she put it, 'say a little prayer and get up again'.

She asked me once to make a phone call for her. I did so and during the call I explained to the person on the phone, that Marie was a cripple. It was a crass expression to use and not one I would use these days, but I knew no better at that time. - Marie quietly interrupted me: "Say that I'm disabled, dear, not crippled."

She had a brother but he did not live nearby - except in her heart. Every week she would record a cheery little tape to send to him and he would do the same for her. They had both mastered whatever arts there are to making a tape recording sound pretty much like a normal conversation.

Marie was a courageous woman, kind and truthful, patient and cheerful in adversity. Years ago when I went to her (Roman Catholic) funeral, the priest described Marie as a saint, and I realised that he was right.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Female and got Big Feet?

I heard the item about women's big feet on Woman's Hour a few weeks ago and resolved to write about it, but being so tired, I've only just got round to it. (At the bottom of the webpage you can click on "CHAPTER 4" and listen to the item on big feet.) "New research has found that most women with size 8 or 9 feet are ashamed by their shoe size, and nearly half lie about how big their feet are. So, why all the fuss? Jane chats to Keren Miller a long time sufferer of big feet blues who has taken matters into her own hands, and asks podiatrist Lorraine Jones whether big footed women are fast becoming the norm."

Keren spoke about difficulties in buying shoes for bigger female feet and mentioned particularly the distress caused to her teenage daughter (who has size 11 feet) by the reaction of tactless staff in a shoe shop that did not have shoes big enough for her feet. Ms Miller enterprisingly and laudably decided to do something about the situation and now has this helpful website: http://www.prettybigfeet.co.uk/

My own feet/footwear problems lie not in large size as such, but in the fact that my once size 5½ width AA (i.e. narrow) feet have become much bigger. They are now size 7 and are wide - probably extra wide. Podiatrist Lorraine Jones explained how obesity causes bigger feet because with increased weight to carry, the arch of the foot gets more flattened and splays out, making the foot longer and wider. She also spoke of how insoles are helpful to her patients. I fully agree with her there; properly fitted cushioned insoles can makes shoes much less painful for the overweight wearer.

The women (and men too) whose feet have become longer and wider because of increased weight often have the additional extremely painful problem of their feet being swollen. Specifically, the swelling is swollen veins resulting from sodium and water retention, aka fluid retention. In my case the fluid retention was caused by inappropriately-prescribed prescription drugs. Prescribed medication is a very common cause of fluid retention/swollen feet/obesity. The swelling can be reduced by seriously reducing salt intake: see here. And see Obesity and the Salt Connection. See also prescribed HRT and steroids and prescribed antidepressants.

People whose feet are swollen, rather than just naturally large, do not need shoes with just extra length and width, they need extra depth too, especially in the toes region. Otherwise the already painful swollen veins will be squashed and become even more painful and damaged. There are special shoes, etc for painful, swollen feet. Cosyfeet is one such supplier. And Ecco and Hotter make shoes with very well-cushioned insoles. I'm sure there are many other good makes too. It is very important to get shoes that are big enough. It is better to shop for shoes later on in the day because swollen feet become more swollen as the day wears on and gravity sends more fluid to the feet.

Friday, 2 September 2011

New warning about high salt content of bread

BBC News reports that Consensus Action on Salt & Health (CASH) campaigners are warning again about the high salt content of bread. "A third of breads contain more salt than recommended under guidelines being introduced next year, a survey found. Most breads were within the current guidelines of 1.1g of salt per 100g - but this is being cut to 1g per 100g. Campaign for Action on Salt and Health (Cash), which looked at 300 breads, said it was "outrageous" that bread contained even the current level."

These are the groups of people who are vulnerable to salt. If you are vulnerable to salt you may like to consider cutting down on the amount of bread you eat. At any rate, you could benefit your health by choosing a lower salt bread, using the information given on the CASH website.

The Department of Health remains complacent: "The Department of Health said "considerable" salt reductions had already been made." - That's as in 'considerable' salt reductions from the scandalously high levels of salt most bread has contained for many years. The bread industry has assuredly played a major part in the distressingly high incidence of high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease and obesity in modern times. It has also helped to cause most people in our country to develop a taste for salt - like an addiction - such that food with little or no added salt tastes too 'bland' to them.

"British Retail Consortium food director Andrew Opie said retailers and manufacturers are to fund independent research to look for ways of meeting the 2012 target - "while still making foods which consumers want to buy"." - I'll translate that for you. - It means that they are doing their damnedest, by means of additives and technology, to lower the salt content by the minimum they can get away with, while retaining the same degree of salty taste in order to keep their customers addicted to salty bread.