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Children struggling to concentrate at school due to lack of sleep, MPs told

Apr 2nd, 2017 by

Sleep deprivation highlighted in inquiry into role of education in preventing mental health problems in children

Sleep deprivation is a growing problem in schools, with pupils struggling to concentrate in lessons due to lack of sleep, MPs have been told.

Edward Timpson, minister for children and families, highlighted the issue while being questioned by MPs who are investigating the role of education in preventing mental health problems in children and young people.

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Joanna Cannon vows to keep working in NHS after £300,000 book deal

Apr 2nd, 2017 by

Novelist who began writing to relieve the stress of her psychiatry job says literary success will not stop her listening to ‘real voices’ in hospital

A bestselling debut novelist who wrote her book in a hospital car park as stress release from her job as a psychiatrist is to return to the NHS. Her decision comes despite a £300,000 deal for her second book and a contract for two more novels.

Joanna Cannon, whose first book The Trouble With Goats and Sheep has now sold more than 100,000 copies in paperback in the UK and has been optioned for film by the makers of the Amy Winehouse documentary Amy, said she was returning to the health service because she missed her patients.

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Several home pregnancy tests recalled after false negative results reported

Apr 2nd, 2017 by

Family planning clinic alerts regulator to product’s deficiencies, leading to market sweep exposing more faulty devices

A commercially available, home-use pregnancy test has been recalled in Australia after producing false negative results, prompting a sweep of the market that led to a further nine products being removed and more subjected to regulatory action.

The One Step HCG urine pregnancy test was recalled after a family planning clinic alerted the Therapeutic Goods Administration to three instances of false negative results.

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Step aside Denmark. Norway takes world’s happiest nation crown

Apr 2nd, 2017 by

Knocking their Scandi neighbours off the top of the happiness index, Norwegians put their joyful outlook down to shared experiences, the great outdoors – and lots of country cabins

This week five million Norwegians woke to happy news. Our country now comes top in the World Happiness Report, having leapfrogged several countries. We celebrated our official happiness with an extra piece of brown cheese on our breakfast bread. Best of all, we’re above Sweden, the neighbour we love to beat in skiing, football – and euphoria. And we’ve knocked Denmark, three-time world champion, into second place. How did we do it?

Related: ‘As countries go it really is the golden ticket’: readers on living in Norway

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Less than half of women breastfeed after two months, survey finds

Apr 2nd, 2017 by

Poll for Public Health England reveals many feel embarrassed to feed their babies in front of strangers and family members

Almost three-quarters of women in England start breastfeeding after giving birth but less than half are still doing so two months later, according to NHS and Public Health England data.

PHE recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, as does the World Health Organization, because it boosts a baby’s ability to fight illness and infection. But a comparison of initial breastfeeding rates and those after six to eight weeks in the final quarter of 2015 found that they were 40% lower for the latter (44% compared with 73%).

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Sale of Cambodian breast milk to mothers in US criticised by UN

Apr 2nd, 2017 by

UN agency says trade puts babies of poor and vulnerable at risk of malnutrition as Cambodia moves to block further exports

The UN children’s fund has strongly criticised the sale by a commercial company of breast milk donated by Cambodian mothers to women in the US, warning it could lead to the babies of poor and vulnerable women becoming malnourished.

Unicef condemned the trade by Utah-based company Ambrosia Labs as the Cambodian government intervened. Cambodia’s customs department said the finance minister, Aun Porn Moniroth, had signed a letter blocking further exports, according to the Associated Press in Phnom Penh. Talks will be held to decide whether the business should be allowed to resume.

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Will alcohol ruin my diet?

Apr 2nd, 2017 by

Booze contains plenty of calories, but is it possible to drink and still maintain a healthy lifestyle?

Would you rather have a cheeseburger or a frozen margarita? The calories are roughly the same, as are the calories for a pint of lager and a slice of pizza. If you think alcohol is just too liquid to be calorific, you’re in good company. Only 20% of us know how many calories are in a large glass of wine (228). The Local Government Association, which promotes public health issues, is campaigning for calorie information to be on alcoholic cans and bottles – as it is on soft drinks. It says alcohol provides only “empty calories” and interferes with how efficiently the body burns fat.

Related: Forget the hangover, under-25s turn to mindful drinking

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Will I be healthier if I’m optimistic?

Apr 2nd, 2017 by

Not only is positive thinking linked to a host of health benefits, it can also make you more resilient

In his recent address to Congress, Donald Trump promised that “a new surge of optimism is placing impossible dreams firmly within our grasp”. These American dreams include shiny new roads and an end to illegal drugs. But optimism brings its own rewards – it is linked to a host of health benefits. A recent paper in the American Journal of Epidemiology of more than 70,000 women found that optimists were less likely than pessimists to die from cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung conditions or infections during the eight-year study period. The women were aged between 58 and 83, and the researchers took into account other factors such as economic status, diabetes, high blood pressure and depression.

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A quarter of young men self-harm to cope with depression, says survey

Mar 2nd, 2017 by

UK poll of 16- to 24-year-olds reveals many over-exercise, punch walls, drink heavily and abuse drugs due to anxiety and stress

One in four young men are turning to self-harm as a result of depression, anxiety and stress, according to a YouGov poll.

Of the 500 men aged 16 to 24 surveyed, 24% said they had intentionally hurt themselves. The poll commissioned by three leading youth charities – the Mix, Self-Harm UK and Young Minds – also found a further 22% said they had considered self-harming.

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Ian Thorpe on bullying, depression and athletes’ mental health

Mar 2nd, 2017 by

His history with mental health has been well-documented, but now the former Olympic champion has turned his attention to a new issue: bullying

Ian Thorpe is on the eighth floor of ABC headquarters in Ultimo, Sydney, seated in an empty boardroom. Behind him is a floor-to-ceiling window facing west, looking out onto the city. The famous Frank Gehry-designed “crumpled paper bag” building at the University of Technology Sydney rises from the earth like a giant alien root, consuming much of the view.

I figure it’s fitting to ask, given where we are, if Thorpe has watched Barracuda, ABC TV’s recent miniseries about a young, gay, stop-at-nothing swimmer determined to make the Olympics.

Related: Ian Thorpe: being asked about sexuality too early delayed my coming out

Related: Ian Thorpe: I’m finally comfortable saying I’m a gay man

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