2:07 pm

Coke is probably more popular than water. And rightly so. It is  a customary drink that has only grown over the past 100 years into a very global brand. However, as popular it is and despite begrudgingly admitting it is rather tasty, the drink is extremely unhealthy. It is said if you were to swallow the amount of sugar whole that is within Coke, you would vomit. Coke has also been seen to do wonderful things in DIY such as floor grouting and coin cleaning.

Coke is the face of fizzy and carbonated drinks. It always has been and despite varieties that offer slightly healthier options, carbonated drinks are a danger to the health. With the amount of sugar that resides within them, these drinks pose an Obesity risk to the younger children that are so addicted to them. But it is not only the so called ‘full fat Coke’ that can cause some harmful effects. A lot has been made of the diet variety range of carbonated drinks.

While not having any or minimal sugar, it is said that the amino acids and other ingredients can halt weight loss. amongst other things. Other drinks such as Lucozade are also particularly high in sugar content which links to added risk in teenage obesity as well as obesity for example.

11:30 am

Smoking has long been one of the thorn points for many people. There is absolutely no benefit to smoking and if there is i.e relieve stress, there are many better ways to relieve stress rather than smoking. It is very harmful and it is said that for every cigarette that is smoked, that person will have at least one transformation of cells into potentially cancerous ones. Smoking got its public ban in the UK in the mid-2000′s and now we are seeing the price of cigarettes being risen.

The question is smoking finally anti-social? Well from the outset it certainly does seem that way. Smoking in public places is now illegal such as restaurants and other public places where smoking was at one point rife. A lot of people do still smoke and you can generally guarantee upon every walk down a main street, you will walk past someone that is indeed smoking. The effects of second-hand smoke from others smoking is well documented.

The potential harms can be just as serious as those that smoke themselves especially towards infants and younger children. A good thing that is being set in motion is banning smoking in cars while children are in the car. After all, the effects of second-hand smoke will only harm children and the driver of the car should be more responsible about his/her actions.

There is greater knowledge about smoking nowadays and that had led to smoking being seen in a not so positive light. Developments have been made to push smoking into obscurity and those that do smoke are seen as irresponsible. While I would not go that far, the effects of smoking are there for everyone to see and continued smoking is just not good for anyone.

12:44 pm

In some interesting health news, it has been reported on the BBC that scientists say there is not much known about the risks of chemicals used in food packaging. Apparently some could cause cancer. The Scientists have stated that research is needed to understand the effect on the human body and embryonic development of at least 4,000 chemicals used in packaging. The links between cancer, obesity and the packaging need to be explored but some have said the concerns are alarmist.

Scientists Jane Muncke, John Peterson Myers, Martin Scheringer and Miquel Porta called for the investigation into the health risks of food packaging in a commentary piece published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. It was noted that chemicals such as formaldehyde were  in plastics used for fizzy-drink bottles and tableware.

These substances could leach into food. It was also alarming according to the researchers that the “added risks of lifelong exposure to such chemicals were not documented. .Whereas the science for some of these substances is being debated and policymakers struggle to satisfy the needs of stakeholders, consumers remain exposed to these chemicals daily, mostly unknowingly,” they said.

The call for research has attracted criticism most notably from Dr Ian Musgrave, senior lecturer in pharmacology at the University of Adelaide. He said it was “very hard to take seriously” the claims that formaldehyde in plastic bottles could cause cancer.

He said it was present in many foods naturally, and to consume as much formaldehyde as that in an apple someone would have to drink “at least” 20 litres of plastic-bottled water. Dr Musgrave added: “Obviously the concern about formaldehyde from food packaging is significantly overrated, unless we are willing to place ‘potential cancer hazard’ stickers on fresh fruit and vegetables.”

Indeed it looks that way. The calls for concern do fall on the side of alarmist as lets face it, millions of people drink a lot of carbonated drinks from plastic packaging. But, if indeed there is a minimal risk, then ways in which the packaging could be made more beneficial to people should be explored.

12:26 pm

It is no secret that in the UK, people like to drink a lot. You go anywhere in your local Village, Town or City Friday night and you will see more than a fair few people being heavily under the influence of alcohol. It is so common even during most nights in the week where some will gather at Pubs and/or clubs.It is also a growing concern mainly for University students as the sort of lifestyle the majority lead during their time studying.

Excessive alcohol abuse on the body can cause damage to various organs and parts of the body mainly the Liver which is a critical small organ to the body. The liver acts as a filter for anything inbound into the body and by filtering whatever is consumed, it then helps relieve the strain on other organs such as the Kidneys.

Alcohol damages the Liver by gradually eating it away through prolonged alcohol abuse. Because the Liver is that important to the body that it is said that most people that get Liver cancer or when cancer spreads to the Liver, the chances of survival are reduced considerably. Another downside to excessive drinking on a regular basis is the calorie intake. Alcohol is jam packed full of calories.

While Lager and Beer are generally the drinks rammed with Calories, spirits such as Vodka are also high in calories which can lead to increase in weight etc. The damage to skin and teeth can also be seen through prolonged alcohol abuse. Alcohol can be quite damaging to the teeth as it can make them decay faster than the normal rate. Skin can also turn different colours and can appear more damaged than normal. Sustained excessive drinking is bad for the body as we all know.

It is arguably a pandemic for various reasons including the way in which drinking is represented in the media and also on TV adverts which bombard our senses everyday.

1:23 pm

One of the better things about the people in the UK is that most people are not afraid to voice their opinion and the media is very vocal against the Government also. Health awareness and obesity is just something that is properly realised now more so than ever before. Consider the UK 10 years ago when the School Dinners that were served to our children were not healthy in the slightest. I remember at my High School 10 years ago they would sell Burger+Chips in the Dinner Room.

Since then though, things have improved dramatically. No longer when I was in my Sixth Form days did I see anything of that kind served within the School. Instead, there was a variety of meals on offer and for the younger people, it was great to see. This was impartially inspired by Jamie Oliver and also the efforts of the Government to tackle this growing trend amongst younger people being able to consume food such as this on a regular basis.

Now, awareness of Healthy food is good. Though we all often look down on it rather unfavourably at times, healthy food is good as in this day and age, we don’t necessarily do as much exercise as we used to. Granted food can be much healthier than ever before yet most things can be done online whether that be work or socialising, striking that balance between diet and exercise is now more important than ever.

Overall, health awareness has risen immensely. Smoking is now banned in public places and the amount of people that do smoke has fallen drastically. Alcohol addiction is a growing concern for many as the British do like their alcohol so it seems. Once that is tackled, full awareness of health, dieting and other abuses will be well recognised in the hope that we see how important this is for British people of all ages.

2:35 pm

Sometimes, we don’t have enough time to dedicate that time to exercise in which we want to do. Things get in the way whether it be work or children or worse yet exhaustion from working. That said, there are ways in which people can retain that appetite for exercise without dedicating over the odds time for it. These suggestions are catered towards those that may only have an evening or so to spare.

-Martial arts: Taekwondo is probably the most active martial art to do. While not always practical for self defence, Taekwondo is very good in enhancing short swift bursts of energy and can help burn calories. The general length of a martial arts class is an hour to an hour and a half. They are also good classes as parents can take their children along if they are over 5 to get some fitness in.

-Running: Running a couple of miles every other day can only take around 20 minutes to do. Granted running is not always the most pleasant exercise to be doing. However, running is excellent to help anyone with general fitness and also to burn fat. Though its not recommended, doing a series of sprints can burn just as much as general running can. The only problem is everyone is susceptible to an injury with running the likes of plantar fasciitis being common.

-Press ups/Sit Ups: The idea we get of the gym being the only pace in which anyone can effectively lose weight and tone is wrong. Most exercises can be done at home in which can only take 5 or 10 minutes to complete. These exercises target the areas in which most have bane’s with their weight. Even doing 30 of each per day will help immensely.

-Walking: Though running is better for burning fat, walking long distances can be equally as effective and also doing so reduces the risk of incurring more injuries. The way in which you can walk can also help lose weight. It is said that walking with your hands placed long your sides will force the body to work harder while walking. Walking can be very relaxing, soothing and doing more than 3 a week will help tone.

11:09 am

Drug abuse has always been rife where ever it is widely available. In the UK, Ketamine is a popular drug and has risen in popularity in the past couple of years especially in the London area. The drug is generally used in Veterinary care mainly to help with medically induced coma’s. It has also been used for Human care also. The drug is of course harmful and has some sincere side effects such as the delirium and ‘psychomotor retardation’. If the last side does not put of those that consume it I am not sure what will.

In the UK last week, the drug was upgraded from being a ‘C’ class illegal drug to now a ‘B’ class drug which of course means those consuming, storing or dealing the drug will be the subject of more ‘sincere’ consequences.  The drug has been made more away in recent times such as the rapper Dizzee Rascal singing against the drug in one of his records. It remains a dangerous drug which should be avoided naturally.

Ketamine rose to being somewhat popular in the dance scene in Hong Kong during the 1990′s where it is said to ‘enhance’ the rave effect or is used for after a night out partying. The side effects though on the other hand tell a different story as to what the drugs are capable off. In other countries such as Hong Kong, the drug is illegal to the equivalent of being a UK class ‘A’ drug as the drug originated from Hong Kong.

The drug has finally been given the legal status it deserves. Ketamine is a dangerous drug and is only used in medicine for only the most extreme reasons such as aiding a medically induced coma. In the UK, it has been popularised in the past couple of years but the upgrade in class level will only mean good things in making people more aware of just how dangerous Ketamine can be.

11:53 am

The recent controversy surrounding Nigella Lawson and her alleged cocaine abuse has cast a shadow over her whole career. It has been reported that she began the habit at the time of her first husband’s death. Will the British public take to her again? It is incidents like this that the public quickly turn on one of our most beloved TV chefs. A dislike now centres around her for what she did despite her problems with marriage as well as her recently divorced second husband also.

Nigella Lawson is not the only TV chef that has a split opinion. Gordon Ramsay very much splits opinion despite his obvious successful talents. Gordon Ramsay takes a different style approach on screen frequently berating his staff with abuse and swearing. It often does not make for comfortable viewing sometimes when he turns on his staff even if they make the most minor of mistakes. The worst one is his American show Hells Kitchen USA which has Gordon swearing an awful lot.

So why do we have a dislike for TV Chefs such as Gordon Ramsay? A lot of people or have themselves worked in catering at some point. This then gives people an insight as to what it is like to work in catering and can sympathise with those that are in that situation when faced with Gordon Ramsay. A lot of what he says falls on the wrong side of fair and often leads him to the brunt of Television Critics as well as general TV enthusiasts.

Catering is the single most popular sector in the world. That means a great deal of us know what it is like to work in catering and can sympathise with the situation in which the staff find themselves in with Gordon Ramsay. He is a very talented chef for sure. But his style and demeanour on screen while may have made him what he is certainly splits opinion. More often than not, it falls the wrong side of fair and kind.


11:28 am

Neknominations has been an early demonstration in 2014 of the power of social media. What it is essentially is a social drinking game. Someone concocts a nasty drink that should involve alcohol, down it while recording themselves doing it and then nominate friends to partake also. What it also brings into light is the understanding amongst people of the dangers mixing drinks does have as well as mixing alcohol with other substances also such as raw eggs?

So if you have been involved in one of these drinking games or have been asked to, try to recognise the dangers they possess as the game and peoples’ lack of understanding has cost some their lives:

-Using large quantities of spirits whether it is Vodka for example can be very dangerous. Anything more than half a pint can cause damage to the Liver and worst case scenario can result in death. Also, mixing multiple types of spirits is also not recommended as the potency of the drink just increases.

-Speaking of mixing, mixing drinks like spirits with beer and wine can also cause damage to health. Wine and Beer may not be heavy on Alcohol but that alcohol is highly compressed into the drink making it stronger than it originally appears.

-Raw food such as Eggs for example can be potentially dangerous to use in this drinking game. A raw Egg can be consumed in whole not that it is particularly pleasant however. The risk here being that there is a chance a raw Egg can carry Salmonella which will cause severe food poisoning to anyone that gets it. It is better probably that if you are involved in this game and you want to use an egg is that you cook it first.

-Now there have been some people that have included their own samples into their drinks which is nothing short of ridiculous and disgusting. These body samples can be extremely acidic at first which can cause damage to the stomach lining and other internal organs.

Neknomination is a drinking game which will fizz out soon enough. It is not a clever game in the slightest as it targets young people who think they are untouchable and have complete knowledge that they won’t be harmed through whatever drink they make in this game. If you are going to do it, be cautious and know your limits. Not knowing could be the biggest mistake you will have ever made so play it safe or don’t do it at all.

1:51 pm

It is new year and you have been royally stuffed from all the good food you have had over Christmas. We can all be honest and its acceptable at that time of year to enjoy the food no matter what it contains. The new year is now well in motion and if you are like me, you need to shift a few pounds that your body has carried over the Holiday period.

So how should you about this? Well, the problem with trying to diet at this time of year is the weather and cold. You see, as a way to keep your body warm it will seek food. Having food in your stomach warms the body and takes the mind of the temparatures. So if you diet like you do in the Summer, the body won’t like it and will crave more in order to be warm. Dieting in January certainly separates the men from the boys.

I recommend balance. Don’t expect to shed stones but pounds. Keep it realistic-it is still cold outside so the chances are that the amount of exercise you do won’t be as much as you would do in Summer. Do enough exercise at convenient times of day-before and after work are really good times before your body has time to settle. Drink plenty of water and avoid the hot drinks or limit them. They are jam-packed with sugar and other additives.

Running is a great way. Even if its a light jog for a mile or two, it helps all muscles as well as your breathing which will be helpful as you go through the new year blues. I also recommend martial arts particularly Taekwondo. This martial art focuses on cardio-vascular exercise and instant, fast energy burning. Its great and you get to kick people-what’s not to like?

As for your diet-try to reduce things like protein and sugary foods. You will have eaten many over Christmas. Opt for alternatives like Ham or Gammon instead of Chicken. It has far less fat than other meats. Drink more water and eat at least one fruit a day. It helps with weight loss as it helps flush your body out.

My advice is this-don’t expect too much too soon. The weight will cling on for dear life in the Winter months. Instead of trying a radical diet, do more exercise instead. That way, your not harming your body and you get to keep a healthy mind.