Health and Medicine

BMI keeps on going up – and reflections on the Diabesity Symposium - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Mar 24, 2017

Professor Tony Blakely, Dr Kirsten Coppell, Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Dr Andrea Teng Is body mass index (BMI) relentlessly increasing in NZ, or plateauing? In this blog we present trends in BMI by ethnicity in NZ going back to the 1980s. Over the last four decades the annual increase in BMI is linear, relentless increasing; no sign of a plateau, yet. Read More

Activist confusion at fluoridation bill hearing (and coffee) - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Mar 24, 2017

I have been in Wellington for the Parliamentary select committee hearings on fluoridation. Well, that was the excuse – I was really there to catch up with my family (always a joy and am amazed at how tall my grandson has become) and to enjoy the great food in Wellington cafes. Havana Coffee Works in Tory Street, Wellington. Great coffee … Read More

Quality of relationships matter for fathers and their children’s development - The Psychology Report

Sarb Johal Mar 20, 2017

In this Psychology Report, I talk with Associate Professor Claire Vallotton from the Department of Human Development and Family Studies and Michigan State University in the USA, about father’s parenting stress and its relationship to cognitive and language development in toddlers. This interview is based on the findings of this paper, and you can listen to the podcast as … Read More

Why detox diets don’t work – the science behind how your body removes toxins - Nano Girl

Michelle Dickinson Mar 17, 2017

The health store shelves are filled with optimistic claims of weight loss products. It’s tempting after what may have been weeks of “I’ll start the diet tomorrow” to think about cleansing out your system to kick start your new body. Quick fix detox teas, juices and supplements are heavily marketed, enticing you to drink a magical natural potion which will rid … Read More

Why do so many fear the bicycle? - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Mar 14, 2017

By Prof Alistair Woodward, Auckland University “It is too dangerous.” This is the reason given most commonly for not riding a bike on the road in New Zealand. In this blog, I summarise a paper we have just published quantifying the risk of cycling injury. We found it to be low compared to other activites that New Zealanders commonly engage … Read More

Anti-fluoride authors indulge in data manipulation and statistical porkies - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Mar 12, 2017

Darrell Huff & Irving Geis wrote a classic book – How to Lie With Statistics. They outline various ways data can be presented to give the wrong story. However, there is an even more naive use of statistics to misrepresent data – just declare that a relationship is statistically significant, don’t show any data or statistical analysis. Unfortunately, many … Read More

Book review: Doctors in Denial - Scibooks

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Mar 11, 2017

One of the doctors who blew the whistle on National Women’s Hospital’s ‘unfortunate experiment’ has written about his experiences in an attempt to set the revisionist history straight. Ron Jones was a junior obstetrician and gynaecologist when he joined National Women’s Hospital in 1973, by which point Professor Herbert Green was well into his study that has since become … Read More

Aunty Cecily - Kidney Punch

John Pickering Mar 09, 2017

This International Women’s Day I read a re-post of a wonderful article about Otago University women in science.  I thought I’d add another one, my Aunt Cecily, or to the rest of the world Dame Cecily Pickerill. Dame Cecily Pickerill. Aunty Cecily was clever, determined, and, yes, a tough woman.   It was those qualities that helped her … Read More

Dental plaque DNA shows Neandertals used ‘aspirin’ - News

Jean Balchin Mar 09, 2017

Ancient DNA found on Neandertal teeth has revealed fascinating new insights into the behaviour, diet, use of plant-based medicine and the evolutionary history of our nearest extinct relatives. “Dental plaque traps microorganisms that lived in the mouth and pathogens found in the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract, as well as bits of food stuck in the teeth—preserving the DNA for … Read More