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Nurses Are Being Blamed ..
I do think nurses are being blamed for the wider problems of the NHS.

We tend to extrapolate from individual incidents and attack the entire population of nurses. I think a more measured response is called for.
There are problems with nursing – such as the issue of nurses all having to do degrees these days. But that doesn’t mean to say the entire infrastructure of nursing is falling about and that it is populated by unfeeling psychopaths, which is frankly, the implication sometimes. I was 20 when I started and for 10 years I soaked up a lot of people’s pain.
I don’t think I became hardened to it. I got out before that.
I have seen nurses who have become hardened to people’s pain and it’s not a very nice thing to see – it is chilling to see nurses who don’t care any more.
They exist, but are in the minority. But my friends who are still in the profession are more depressed by the problems and changes to the health service. They simply don’t believe this demonisation of nurses.
Let’s face it, if they are seen to be failing that isn’t going to do any harm to plans to privatise nursing, is it? If the Tories get back in, in two years time, I think that might be the end of the NHS – which would be a travesty.
The 2015 election will be about the NHS more than anything else.
To me, a politician’s job is to listen to constituents’ problems and try to sort them out.
I suspect most politicians feel overwhelmed because people’s lives are a real struggle, full of unhappiness, and you would probably feel powerless to do anything about it. So you have to be a particular type of person to cope with that.
I wonder how members of the present Tory Government can have any idea just how hard it is for most people, given how wealthy they all are.
They don’t understand what being poor means. To me it smacks of George Orwell’s 1984 – the proles, this sub-class of barely human individuals.
I think that is how some Tories see poor people – as subhumans scrabbling round in the dirt with their bingo and their X Factor. They see them as foreign beings – and that patronising attitude is a massive issue for me.
The other problem I have with politics these days is it’s so centrally controlled and there is no room for individual personalities. I was a fan of Mo Mowlam – who was a bit of a loose canon, but there are no characters like her around any more.
I like Ed Miliband very much and think he is a very decent bloke, and I hope the nation is warming to him.
( An extract from an article by Jo Brand, 14.06.2013 )

We have all been programmed to believe we should be enslaved to drug companies and their peddlers, GPs.
I would love to visit a doctor, with a sore throat, to be told: “Go home, have some honey and lemon, some rest, put up with a bit of pain and your immune system (remember that?) will do the rest. If it persists come back and see me.”
( Fiona Phillips, 15.06.2013 )

Fat Is A Necessary Part Of Diet ..
Food used to be the stuff you put in your mouth and enjoyed.
But these days our plates are piled high with ‘issues’ – health, environmental and ethical. Important, yes, but also awkward and confusing.
The biggest surprise, when it comes to health and food, was to discover how little is known for certain. Headlines and advice about ‘healthy eating’ – that dreaded phrase – declare that a certain food is ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
But the proof behind such claims is less concrete than you’d think.
Take fat. For decades we’ve been told that it’s evil incarnate.
But fat is a necessary part of a healthy diet, building our cells, helping our body to function well and to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
Sure, all fats are high in calories and there is good evidence that being overweight increases your risk of heart disease, cancer and type-2 diabetes, but that doesn’t mean we have to push away the butter dish.
In fact, during decades of ‘low-fat’ advice people became more overweight.
One likely reason is that we turned from eating fat, which makes you feel full and stops you from over-eating, to eating more processed carbohydrates, such as sugar and white flour, that lead to blood-sugar spikes and crashes, and to reaching back to the biscuit tin. The truth is nobody knows exactly how diet affects our health.
Sure, there are varying levels of proof-so-far, but bear in mind that what’s most important is that old adage. A balanced, varied diet.
( An extract from an article by Hattie Ellis )

Organic Is A Label, Nothing More ..
Organic foods have no more vitamins and nutrients than traditionally grown produce.
Chicken is chicken, with the same nutritional content, whether it is organic, free range or mass-produced. I’d rather spend 99p on a cheeseburger than £20 on some main course that doesn’t deliver. It’s all about value for money.
I look at organic as a label, nothing more. And a very expensive one at that.
( Marco Pierre White )

Tuna Is Not Really Tuna ..
Non-profit ocean protection group Oceana took 1,215 samples of fish from across the United States and genetically tested them in order to bring us the following astonishing facts. 59% of the fish labeled “tuna” sold at restaurants and grocery stores in the US is not tuna. Sushi restaurants were far more likely to mislabel their fish than grocery stores or other restaurants. In Chicago, Austin, New York, and Washington DC, every single sushi restaurant sampled sold mislabeled tuna.
84% of fish samples labeled “white tuna” were actually escolar, a fish that can cause prolonged, uncontrollable, oily anal leakage.
The only fish more likely to be misrepresented than tuna was snapper, which was mislabeled 87% of the time, and was in actuality any of six different species.
If you’ve ever wondered why the sushi in the display case is so affordable, given the dire state of the world’s tuna supply, well, now you know.

“What’s for dinner at your local sushi joint?
Pretty much anything but what’s on the menu.” ~ Oceana
( Christopher Mims, Quartz News, 21.02. 2013 )

Potassium May Cut Stroke Risk ..
Fruit, vegetables and other foods rich in potassium could help slash the risk of stroke by up to 24%, a study found. Beef, chicken, turkey, fish, milk, seeds and bread all contain it and increasing your intake of these may also reduce high blood pressure. Taking in more potassium does not have an adverse effect on kidney function as previous studies have suggested, scientists found.
They looked at the potassium levels of 128,000 people for the latest research.
A separate study, also published online in the British Medical Journal, found that just a modest reduction in salt for four or more weeks led to significant falls in blood pressure. A Stroke Association spokeswoman said: “This suggests that reducing salt intake and eating more potassium-rich foods such as bananas and spinach could reduce blood pressure and keep your stroke risk down.”
( Andrew Gregory, 05.04.2013 )

The Damaging E Numbers ..
Children are being exposed to banned artificial food colourings that can trigger hyperactivity. Because they are still in medicines prescribed by GPs.
The damaging E numbers are no longer in most sweets, but the restrictions do not extend to many medicines designed for children.
Drugs which include the substances include banana-flavoured penicillin to treat infections and an antibiotic which contains a red food colouring.
Under EU law, all products containing the additives must carry a health warning because of their links to hyperactivity and attention problems.
But although they are banned in the US, Australia and across Europe, the UK’s Food Standards Agency implemented a voluntary ban only in 2008 that asked the industry to remove the additives.
Most have complied, but many medicines still use them.
( Jo Macfarlane )

Kangaroo Meat Linked To Heart Disease ..
Kangaroo meat may not be as healthy as previously thought after scientists found a component of red meat most prevalent in the iconic Australian animal is linked to heart disease. A study published in the prestigious journal Nature Medicine found that a compound in red meat called L-carnitine is associated with the build up of plaque in arteries which causes heart attacks, strokes and vascular disease.
Australian experts said the study was significant because up until now, scientists generally believed cholesterol and fat in red meat was driving the link between high consumption and heart disease. The surprising discovery has caused warnings against the widespread use of L-carnitine as a dietary supplement, particularly among athletes such as footballers and body builders who believe it helps build muscle, burn fat and improve brain function. It has also caused doctors to reiterate warnings about excessive consumption of red meat and especially kangaroo meat, which has long been thought to be one of the healthiest choices because of its low fat content..
The authors of the study, from Cleveland Clinic Foundation in the US, said that when L-carnitine was metabolised by gut bacteria in people who eat meat, it turned into high amounts of a compound named trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), which damages arteries supplying blood to the heart and brain.
( Julia Medew, The Sydney Morning Herald, 08.04.2013 )

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