SIRC Media Watch Archive
Scares and Miracles – July 2000

Overweight? Put the blame on your friends. Obese people may have "caught" their condition from their friends, their spouses or colleagues, new research claims. Fat people often blame their weight on their genes, metabolism or glands, but now scientists have found that a virus unique to humans can lead to the pounds being piled on – at least in chickens and mice. Express.

Skinny mice defy obesity. Genetically engineered mice which never put on weight could hold the key to a fat-free future for humans, say scientists. BBC.

Researchers link coffee to arthritis. People who drink more than four cups of coffee a day could be putting themselves at increased risk of developing arthritis, researchers reported yesterday. Guardian.

Internet sex risk. People who seek sex partners through the internet may be at greater risk of catching sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), say researchers in the United States. BBC.

Cow burps make for bad air Down Under. Belching and flatulence in cows and sheep annually produce 90 percent of Australia's methane emissions in the agricultural sector, a recent study shows. Environmental News Network.

Telephone mast threat to bats in the belfry. Bats in the belfry might be a thing of the past if churches continue to allow mobile telephone masts to be erected on their towers, a wildlife expert claims. Telegraph.

What risks do you face using your mobile phone? At the behest of a major wireless industry trade group and amid heightening concerns about potential health risks, many mobile phones will soon carry information about radiation levels. CNET News.

Are 'functional foods' dangerous? U.S. consumers spend millions of dollars a year on food products that claim to do more than deliver nutrition, but some consumer advocates and public officials are questioning the safety of such "functional foods." CNN.

Driven to Distraction? As technology works its way into the car, so does the potential for distraction. Today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is holding a public meeting in Washington to address the potential hazards of using high-tech gadgets while driving. ABC News.

Is it safe to swim? School's out, and the sun is starting to make an appearance this summer. What better place to go than the local swimming pool? But how safe will we and our children be there? Can we be confident that the pool is clean and the lifeguards qualified and competent? Times.

Pining for pets may damage your health. People who leave their dogs behind when they go on holiday may be damaging their health. While absence may make the heart grow fonder, it doesn't make it stronger, and, according to psychologists, it maycause cardiovascular problems because of the stress and anxiety of leaving behind a loved one. The immune system too could be compromised by pining because of the mood changes triggered by the two weeks away from the dog. Independent.

Supermarket bans junk food ads. A leading supermarket chain has banned advertising of unhealthy foods and drinks targeted specifically at children…The Co-op said such advertisements "blackmailed" parents into buying products.BBC News.

Public 'underestimates cancer risk'. A major advertising campaign is being launched to raise awareness of cancer following research which showed 91% of Britons underestimated their risk of getting the disease. BBC News.