Occupational health news in brief

Families are to blame for obesity epidemic


Parents and families are most to blame for the obesity epidemic, according to research from healthcare mutual Benenden Healthcare. Three out of four UK adults blamed parents and families rather than food manufacturers (one in two) or a lack of sporting facilities (two out of five).


Hepatitis C on the rise


The number of newly diagnosed cases of Hepatitis C infection in England reached 8,346 in 2006 – 10% higher than in 2005 – according to latest figures released by the Health Protection Agency. The agency suggested this was most likely down to raised awareness encouraging more people to be tested.


Worst week for sick leave


January saw the UK suffer its worst ever week for sickness absence, according to absence management firm FirstCare, with more than 3.6 million employees ringing in sick during the first week alone. Flu, winter vomiting, coughs and colds were all to blame, with the Health Protection Agency saying it had seen a doubling in reported cases of the norovirus vomiting bug.


Business growth for Health Management


Occupational health provider Health Management has been listed as one of the UK’s fastest-growing businesses. The East Sussex-based firm, which has achieved growth rates of 117% for the three years from 2003 to 2006, now ranks 24th in the Sunday Times’ survey of the UK’s fastest-growing companies, making it the first occupational health provider to appear on the list during its 11 years.

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