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    Random thoughts, some science, and the latest research.

    The bit of the GP consultation that I love the most is the bit I rarely get time for in my surgery – health education and lifestyle medicine. A year ago I found my tribe with team BSLM and felt that I had the chance to be able to contribute, with support, to do what I became a doctor for – helping to better the health and wellbeing of my community “in sickness and in health”.

    The world of lifestyle medicine is one that recognises the whole individual, their community, the environment and many interacting components. The lifestyle medicine complexity presents some significant challenges…

    As a population we are gaining weight and the majority of people in the UK are now overweight or obese. Obesity is a complex medical condition requiring intervention from multiple sectors of society including the medical profession, pharmaceutical industry, food manufacturers, media, advertising companies, government and others…

    You may not think you are interested in gut health and the microbiome, or perhaps you have a basic understanding, but watch this video to learn about why this is one of the most exciting areas of Lifestyle Medicine and what simple changes you can make to your life to make you happier and healthier…

    Last week, my 6 yr old son was innocently squatting in his pyjamas on a bright red hard wooden kitchen chair (pictured above) eating his breakfast. Totally at ease in his chosen position, and remarkably skilled at placing porridge into his mouth without any spillage…

    I’ve always understood Coke to be cancer in a can, and Diet Coke to be even more full of chemicals. How can the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine be advocating people drinking Diet Coke, because this just goes against everything I believe in?

    I was at a ‘wellness’ presentation the other day. It was a very well put together evening that looked at the sustainability of the NHS on the Isle of Man, given the rise in obesity and the associated health complications. At the end of the presentation members of the audience were allowed to ask…

    Humans are not separate from nature, but part of it. As a society, we urgently need to relearn this concept, for the sake of our health. Our survival depends on the natural environment. By this I mean intact ecosystems…

    We know vitamins and minerals are good for us, actually they are essential for us and essential for life, but does more necessarily mean better health? In the UK, use of supplementation increased in 2015-2016, with 65% of all adults having taken some form of vitamin or supplement either daily or…

    The thinking goes that if we are going to reduce the rates of cardiovascular disease (CVD) we need to look at the things that cause CVD, at the people who are suffering from CVD and at ways of helping to reverse CVD.  The same applies for other maladies and forms the basis of medical research…

    This is a question I have been putting to delegates at meetings around the UK at which I have had the honour of presenting on behalf of our BSLM. The numbers contributing are small but nonetheless the outcomes strike me as being representative of the views I have heard from many more meetings…

    The World Cancer Research Fund, Cancer Research UK and The National Institute of Health of the USA all estimate, based on the available scientific data, that about 50% of cancers Read More

    It’s hard these days to dine in a group without declaring your dietary orientation. You might be: a carnivore, a simple vegetarian (and who’s that basic these days?), a lacto, ovo-lacto, or pesco vegetarian, a flexitarian, or (a vanishing species), an omnivore…

    When it comes to eating well, we not only have to consider our own health, but the health of our planet. I have to admit, I was a little hesitant to write about this topic as I am not an expert in environmental and agricultural affairs but I have done extensive research…

    At face value, this seems reasonable: ‘Eat that donut and you have to walk a km to make up for it!’ But an understanding of the complexities of bio-energetics shows how far it is off the mark. Couple this with the requirements for successful health promotion and you can see the trouble we have with prescription compliance in lifestyle-associated activities.

    Movement and fitness have become optional extras for modern humans. Most of us now spend the majority of our lives sitting for prolonged periods – at our desks, in our cars, on our sofas.

    Greed: Good or bad? Gordon Gekko or St Thomas Aquinas? It should be a simple question. But is it? And what does this have to do with health?

    Are you eating your medicine? If not, perhaps you need a visit to The Doctor’s Kitchen. On Monday 4th December, Dr Rupy Aujla – author of The Doctor’s Kitchen (pictured Read More

    As health professionals, we are always trying to treat the patient in front of us. With the input of lifestyle medicine, we are being encouraged to treat the ‘whole patient’ Read More

    Experts are great. They can tell you all manner of things about their area of specialism. They are especially good at telling you about stuff you’ve never even heard of. Read More

    We all know exercise is good for us – it increases fitness levels, assists with weight loss, reduces blood pressure and decreases our chance of strokes, heart attacks and premature death. Being fit also makes us feel good.

    How much sleep are you getting? It’s a question we don’t usually think about. And why should we? We’re constantly reminded that life is 24 hours now, after all. We have the night tube, 24-hour gyms and a FOMO-inspired nightlife just waiting for us to stay out of bed for. There’s no time for sleep. And chances are, you’re probably already sleep deprived as you read this.

    Lifestyle factors of exercise, nutrition and sleep are vital for optimising health. In the illustration shown, ideally we should be in the green zone representing a balance between these lifestyle factors. Slipping into the peripheral red zone represents an imbalance…

    Diets. We’ve all tried one, and we probably all know someone who is on one. Paleo, Keto, Low-carb, 5:2 fasting, Blood-sugar, No-Sugar, Atkins, The Cambridge Plan, Slimming World…this list could easily fill a page.

    One hundred and ten years. According to Dr Kelly Starrett, that’s how long the human musculoskeletal system is designed to last. Why, then, does this system fail for so many people so much earlier? KStarr, as he is affectionately known, attempts to answer this question in his book Deskbound.

    I have just been to the Public Health Collaboration annual conference in Manchester. Unfortunately I was only able to make it to the second day of what was a weekend packed with inspirational speakers promoting the key message of improving health through a “Real Food” approach to eating.

    Such trips allow time to wander and people watch. When travelling on public transport or sitting in public places almost everyone I observed was head down and staring at small screens with wires extending into their ears. The unintended consequences include bumping into things, tripping over uneven pavements…

    Humans are without a doubt the most consciously powerful species on Earth. We have found methods to manipulate our lifespan and rapidly expand our population, we have domesticated animals for our own benefit, and we are a dominant influence on the world’s ecology.

    This link says it all. Let’s work at the environmental and cultural elements which will bring us healthy longevity. Incidentally, a local charity in East Lothian wants to get actively Read More

    Major depression is the second leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a significant contributor to suicide and heart disease. Therefore it is imperative that we strive to find new Read More

    I recently came across the interesting concept of sustainable healthcare. The NHS is the largest single emitter of greenhouse gases in the public sector, and contributes 25% of all public Read More

    Here in the UK we suddenly have two elections (maybe even a third in Scotland) coming up. Local and now UK. And who knows maybe another Independence referendum (aka neverendum). Read More

    Kent, Inner Mongolia and Calgary of course! It also happens to be the point at which, heading northwards in the winter months, no Vitamin D is produced from sunlight when it hits our skin.

    “Loneliness is a killer – a solitary problem”. The words of the song sung by Seal. Most people assume Lifestyle Medicine is about what we eat and how active we are. It is but it there are greater issues, social issues, which predict our health.

    Intimate kissing leads to 80 million bacteria being exchanged within 10 seconds. We all have our unique bacterial signal. The interest in our microbiome is rising – treating bowel disorders, Read More

    If selling products based on patient (person) outcomes is the goal then who would gainsay it? With Pharmaceutical companies, the NHS and the AGA companies (Amazon, Google, Apple) all pushing into this field I guess we all have to be aware.

    Either way it is painfully miserable! How many of us have suffered migraines I wonder. My wife gets lots whereas I have had two in my entire life. I’ll bet you know people who ‘take’ migraines.

    Tight blood sugar control as measured by what is called a surrogate marker (HbA1c <7.0%) does not reduce risk of death overall including death from suffering a heart attack or stroke.

    Socrates warned against writing for fear it would result in “forgetfulness in the learners’ souls because they will not use their memories”. A head teacher recently remarked that schoolkids have a habit of outsourcing their memories to Google.


    21 to 22 June 2019 • Cardiff