Occupational health: news in brief

NHS staff to lose weight in government initiative

Overweight NHS nurses, midwives and health visitors are to be encouraged to lose weight as part of the Department of Health’s new Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives initiative, which has estimated some 700,000 NHS staff are overweight or obese. Programmes for staff will be devised over the next 12 months.

Catering firms ready to count the calories

Eighteen major catering companies – including high street names such as Burger King and Pizza Hut – are to introduce calorie information on their menus for the first time. The move is part of an initiative by the Department of Health and the Food Standards Agency that should see more than 450 food outlets piloting the idea by June.

Melanoma alert

By 2024, malignant melanoma will be the fourth most common cancer for men and women of all ages, rising from around 9,000 cases diagnosed each year now, to more than 15,500, the charity Cancer Research UK has predicted. The skin cancer has already become the most common kind of cancer for women in their 20s, it added.

Drink tremors risk

Daily boozing can double the risk of involuntary tremor in later life, a study in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry has concluded. Regularly downing three units of alcohol a day could double the likelihood of developing involuntary (essential) tremor, a common neurological disorder affecting an estimated 650,000 people in the UK over the age of 60, it said.

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