This Week – Edition 68


Tom Harvey takes us on a whistle-stop tour of five interesting articles observed by team Haelo this week (commencing 29 June 2015).

1. No need to overfeed, it’s greed. ‘Britain’s obesity epidemic fuelled by sheer abundance of food’ claims The Telegraph. A study published in the Bulletin of World Health Organisation has found that food has become more calorific and more easily available, with 50 per cent more calories than needed being available to each Briton.

The study also suggests that one driving factor behind this calorie increase is the rise of ultra-processed foods, which often taste good, are widely advertised and inexpensive; it makes overconsumption all too easy. Shockingly, one in four Britons are obese today, compared with just three per cent in the 1970’s. Obesity and diabetes costs the UK over £5billion every year and this figure is expected to rise drastically in the coming decades.

2. Life changing surgery. A little boy born with no upper jaw, nose or eyes has just undergone 18-hour reconstructive surgery in order to rebuild his face, all thanks to a good Samaritan in Australia. Three-year-old Moroccan Yahya Jabaly was born with the deformations after his skull didn’t form properly in the womb. A friend’s father posted a plea on Facebook urging people to try and help the boy and it was spotted by Fatima Bakara, a Moroccan-born resident of Melbourne.

After months of trying she eventually convinced surgeon Tony Holmes of Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital to perform the operation; he constructed models in order to prepare for the incredible surgery. Since the procedure Yahya has learned to smile and there is hope that one day he will be able to speak.

3. A doctor to my daughter. This article written in The Guardian tells the story of paediatrician Salvatore Rotondetto and his daughter Sofia, a cystic fibrosis patient. It’s a first hand example of the struggles of incurable illness in the real world and the effects it can have on family life and work.

4. Have you ever wondered why your Grandparents seem to have more friends and often a much better social life than yourself? I know I have. Facebook would tell me I have around 700 ‘friends’, although I fear removing those two zeros would give much more accurate reflection on the number of actual best friends I have; the ones that I consider almost like family. I’ve grown up in the digital age; social media is used by almost every young person nowadays and forming friendships online is as normal as brushing your teeth.

Although it does make you wonder, is this lack of face-to-face communication stopping us from forming those ‘real’ bonds with people, things that seem much more likely to have happened in yesteryear, long before Facebook…or even the internet for that matter. The pensions and savings provider Standard Life has surveyed over 3,000 people of various ages and has found pensioners have more close friends than those aged between 20 and 30. I would ask my Gran and Grandad for confirmation, but they’re probably at Bob’s, or Sue’s, or bowling, or out for afternoon tea, or on holiday… you get the picture.

5. Walking tall. This video shows a paralysed 31-year-old man walking for the first time in two years with the use of robotic legs. Simon Kindleysides suffers from a functional neurological disorder but has been given a new lease of life with the £90,000 REX robot by PhysioFunction.

What do you think?

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