“The Smart Health Choices Book”

I have recently had the opportunity to have a look at a new book aimed at health consumers published by a great team of medical researchers from Sydney University.

The aim of this book is to help you make the best health decisions you can for yourself and your loved ones from the vast and sometimes bewlidering range of information available. Whether you are looking at vitamin supplements or life-saving surgery, this e-book helps you make the best decisions for your health.

They have produced the information as an e-book and it is a great resource for all health consumers and it comes at no cost. It is called “The Smart Health Choices Book”. I would encourage you to have a look at it.

Simply click here to have a look at the book and, if you want, download it to your browser straight away.

Enjoy the read and enjoy your health

A crikey statistic on population growth and carbon use

In an article on population growth in Crikey.com, Charles Berger from the Australian Conservation Foundation gave the following statistics (and yes I know … lies, damn lies &…) about population growth and carbon usage which certainly give pause for thought and consideration about just how sustainable our current lifestyles are.

He was talking about figures by that Prime Minister of ancient history, Kevin Rudd, set for reducing Australian pollution levels by 60% of 2000 levels by 2050. This figure is based on the current Australian population of 21 million.

Now if the Australian population stabilises around the 27 million mark by 2050, this would mean that we need a per capita reduction of around the 72% mark. However, if our population were to increase to 36 million by 2050, this would mean a per capita decrease of 79% to meet that same goal.

This does mean that in a high-growth population scenario, carbon-intensive activities will become considerably more expensive.

Another topic in his essay is on water use. he cites the example of the Victorian government setting a target of 155 litres per person per day water usage for Melbourne residents. If Melbourne were to grow from its current population of 3.8 million to 5 million, to maintain this total amount of water usage for the Melbourne basin would mean Melburnians would have to decrease their water usage to 118 litres per head per day and further reductions needed as population grew. That certainly cuts out my long showers.

The article  certainly paints a picture of a world where many of our everyday lifestyle options and habits will need to change and it should make us ponder our lifestyle choices, so many of which we take for granted.

Population & Sustainability

Population and sustainability are much more than local political sloganeering. These are huge global issues that we will all be facing in the coming years.

a review of a new book by Australian science journalist and author Julian Cribb called “The Coming Famine” with the subtitle ‘The global food crisis and what we can do to avoid it” is published here in a review in the New York Times.

The argument presented here is certainly ‘food for thought’ for our bloated first world bellies and while it provides an eerie Orwellian picture of one hand, it does provide pictures of hope for a sustainable global future

The Male Menopause

Everywhere we look lately we are being presented with the various issues, especially around health, of the aging population. Having reached the half century myself and working in the health industry these are issues that I see every day.

I was interested to read an article recently in Science Daily talking about age-related hormone changes that occur not only in women but also in men. while menopause has been mainly talked about in terms of woman’s health, men also may suffer from some this in what is medically termed hypogonadism, where the testicles start decreasing their production of testosterone leading to a male menopause

The hormone changes in women occur more quickly with the cessation of ovulation leading to a relatively quick decrease in hormone levels. In men this happens much more slowly but it is estimated that testosterone levels begin dropping by about one percent a year starting in the late 30’s.

Symptoms include fatigue, mood swings, decreased desire for sex, hair loss, lack of concentration and weight gain. Diagnosis is, not surprisingly by blood test and treatment is via hormone replacement therapy with very quick and effective results.

The Drugs Debate

Recently the British government’s chief drug advisor, professor David Nutt  has has argued that alcohol and cigarettes are more dangerous than cannabis, LSD and ectasy, based on scientific evidence. In his argument, he claims that all drugs, regardless of their legal status should be ranked by a “harm” index. On this index he puts alcohol fifth behind cocaine, heroin, barbituates and methadone. He places tobacco ninth ahead of cannabis, LSD and ecstasy. He claimed that the legality/illegalityof a  substance was an artificial separation which decreases the public’s ability to be better informed of the risks they are taking.

A prominent scientist with a valueable argument in an area that needs enlightened debate.

The interesting postscript to this is that, following his comments, he was sacked from his position by the British Home Office.

I wonder of this will gag the debate or give it further fuel