SIRC Media Watch Archive
Panics and Scares – October 2004

Swallowing magnets is a bad idea for babies. American scientists have identified a new and improbable accident waiting to happen. Don't, they warn, ever let your baby swallow two magnets at the same time. One magnet, no problem, two magnets, however, could set up a potentially fatal attraction. Guardian

The hidden hazards which lurk silently in your home. It Is the latest item to hit the insurance blacklist. The innocuous window box has been outlawed as a potential health risk by an insurance firm – joining gravestones, conkers, trousers and teddy bears as potentially lethal hazards inside and outside the home. Scotsman

Lifestyle MOTs fail the test. According to a leaked white paper, the government is planning to introduce free health checks for everyone. But there is little evidence that they will do any good, argues GP Margaret McCartney. My cynicism rests on my concern that the very people who are existing on junk food, smoking heavily, overweight or drinking dangerously are the least likely to come along for an appointment to talk about what they are doing and how best to improve on it. Guardian

Trans fat is linked to weak intellect. As if eating badly and being overweight weren't already harmful enough, research announced yesterday suggests that consuming too much of several kinds of fat can damage memory and intellect. Baltimore Sun

Car fumes and traffic stress trigger heart attacks. Travelling in traffic, either in a car or on public transport, almost trebles the risk of a heart attack for at least an hour afterwards, a study has found. Independent

THE ASTRO PLAN DIET. Find sticking to diets impossible? The answer could be written in the stars. Whether you’re a picky Virgo, a quick-fix Aries or a sweet-toothed Sagittarian, this fantastic astro diet is designed to have you shedding that excess flab – fast. The Mirror [link no longer available]

There's nothing like a nice cuppa (to induce stress, sleepless nights and anxiety). For 300 years it has refreshed a nation, quenching the thirst of builders and politicians alike. But tea, Britain's favourite stimulant, may soon find itself in hot water. Independent

Eight out of 10 vets say pets are overweight. The obesity epidemic is spreading to the animal world, with veterinary surgeons reporting an alarming increase in the number of overweight cats and dogs. Eighty per cent of vets surveyed said that pet owners were putting their animals' health at risk by overfeeding them, not taking them out for regular exercise and giving them a diet rich in sugar, salt and fat. Telegraph

Pupils told to wear goggles for conkers .Children at a primary school have been banned from playing conkers unless they wear safety goggles. Their headmaster bought two pairs after pupils came back from a field trip weighed down with conkers and asked if they could play. Telegraph

Warning: medical websites damage your health. Health obsessives will be breaking out in a sweat when they read the latest research: browsing medical websites can be bad for you…the health profession has coined the term cyberchondria for people using the internet for self-diagnosis and presenting this misinformation to their GP. Independent