SIRC Media Watch Archive
The Pick – October 2004

After the French paradox comes the Italian enigma. Frequent consumers of Italian pizza had less than half the risk of an acute myocardial infarction compared with those eating pizza only occasionally, says a research article in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2004:58;1543-6). Even those who ate fewer than four portions a month seemed to gain some protection …The results show that the greater the consumption of pizza, the lower the risk of heart attack (odds ratio 0.78, occasional eaters; 0.62 regular; and 0.44 frequent). BMJ

Boredom, work and other illnesses. In our increasingly healthy world, people are coming up with ever-more imaginative ways to be sick, says John Naish. We all carry the germs of hypochondria. We evolved mild doses of it as a survival tool. Our Neanderthal brains are hard-wired to be obsessed with threats. We relish tales of strange and deadly illnesses like horror stories on a winter night. Thanks to modern sanitation and medicine, those dangers are no longer anywhere near so real. But civilisation has given us more time, cash and energy to fixate on sickness. So the Western world has enjoyed a huge drop in mortal illness – and witnessed a leap in new diagnoses. Telegraph

Diets: 'If I have to die, I'd rather die happy'. Health chiefs fear the childhood obesity campaign is backfiring. And to listen to these teenagers, they have every reason to … an internal Food Standards Agency report … warns that the drive to alert teenagers to the dangers of obesity is backfiring, because the "healthy eating" message is boring and negative. Independent