All entries for Friday 10 September 2010

September 10, 2010

Warwick Comment

A recent report into obesity surgery has shown that it "could save millions of pounds". As reported by the BBC this week: "The Office of Health Economics suggests £1.3bn could be saved over three years if a quarter of eligible patients got treatment through more people working and fewer demands on the NHS."

Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown, Chair of Public Health at Warwick Medical School suggests that surgery isnt' the answer to the problem:

Like so many of the treatments modern medicine offers, obesity surgery has helped and will continue to help some obese people greatly. It will also have created serious problems for a small number of people in whom surgery does not go well and overall, like other modern medical treatments, obesity surgery will have remarkably little effect on the public health.

The epidemic of obesity is very serious and it is not going to be solved by surgery or pills. It can only be solved by changing the obesogenic environment we have created and by making it clear that individuals are also responsible for their health. Obesity is caused by eating unhealthily and not taking enough exercise. So it is a problem individuals can solve for themselves.

Sugar intake is critical particularly in the form of fizzy drinks and snacks. Changing to healthier eating patterns, consuming for example more fruit and vegetables, and becoming more physically active both increase feelings of wellbeing so there are immediate positive returns for those who take these steps. Whatever the results the Office of Health Economics study, let us not fool ourselves into thinking that surgery is the answer.

Warwick Week – Kelly Holmes, Swimming the Channel, World Rankings, Spending Cuts

Warwick in the News

Olympic star Dame Kelly Holmes visits Warwick
Double Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes will be visiting the campus this weekend to work with 21 talented young middle distance athletes who are part of her ‘On Camp with Kelly’ mentoring and education initiative.
Find out more >>

Sociologist swims the English Channel for her research
Prof Karen Throsby, Department of Sociology swam the English Channel in 16 hours and nine minutes last week as part of her research into “embodiment and identity in an extreme sporting culture”.

Vince Cable highlights WMG as “outstanding” centre of innovation and industry partnership
WMG was hailed as a role model of partnership between science research and industry in a key speech by Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Dr Vince Cable at an event on Wednesday.


Warwick ranked 53 in the world
In the latest QS World University Rankings published on Wednesday 8th September, the University climbed five places on the previous year to be ranked 53rd overall in the world.
Read Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Thrifts comments on global university ranking >>

Institute of Digital Healthcare
The University of Warwick has joined forces with NHS West Midlands to create the new Institute of Digital Healthcare, a collaboration aimed at improving people’s health and wellbeing through the use of innovative technologies.
Read the press release >>

Director of the Centre for Lifelong Learning retires after 20 years
Dr Russell Moseley, Director of the Centre for Lifelong Learning has retired after more than 20 years. During his time at the University, Dr Moseley has been a champion for widening participation in education for adults across Coventry and Warwickshire.
Read the announcement >>

Research News

High profile celebrity illnesses can be good for public health
New research suggests that high profile celebrity illnesses can be good for public health. The study from researchers at Warwick Medical School also showed that media coverage of Jade Goody’s illness led to 100,000 more cervical cancer screenings.

Short sleepers at higher risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease
People who sleep less than six hours a night may be three times more likely to develop a condition  which leads to diabetes and heart disease according to new research from Warwick Medical School.


Spending cuts: what the economists say

With the government Comprehensive Spending Review due in October, the BBC asked leading economists for their view on the impact of budget cuts. Read the comments on the BBC website.

In a highly critical speech to the Lords in July, the former Tory peer accused the government of "grotesque exaggeration of the dangers of debts and deficits":

"To advocate capital cutting at a time of recession is the worst remedy that one could possibly have.

"It is an insane policy and it will not only destroy the coalition, but it will do enormous damage to the country."

He rejects the idea that failing to cut the deficit will hurt future generations.

"A deficit does not impose a burden on future generations. There is no repayment burden because the government, unlike private individuals, can and normally does repay their maturing debts by continuing to borrow.

"If, however, the public deficit is cut now, there will undoubtedly be a burden on both present and future generations.

"Income and profits will be lowered straightaway; profits will fall over the medium term; pension funds will be diminished; investment projects will be cancelled or postponed; and schools will not be rebuilt, with the result that future generations will be worse off."

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