Ignore the latest fad theory. The ‘secret’ of weight loss is to eat fewer calories than you burn

Before I got sidetracked by bogus obesity predictions, I was discussing the equally bogus controversy about whether physical inactivity is…

11 May 2015

Check up

  The hidden perils of dining out For many, eating out is associated with a treat. According to a new…

9 May 2015

A cure for what ails you?

I’d better declare a conflict of interest straight away: I am rather taken by anything to do with garlic, have…

Illustration by David Humphries

Junk policy

In 1982 a doctor called John Marks walked into a grey little GP surgery in the Wirral, in the drizzly…

9 May 2015

The bureaucrats’ boom

Is it time to put a halt on professional management ruining our public services?

9 May 2015
Heads up: even among older people the brain can form new pathways

Get your balance back

I don’t remember with any clarity the first time I fell, just a sudden awareness that rather than being perpendicular to…

9 May 2015
Are your tests up to date? New techniques such as endobronchial ultrasound are twice as readily available in France

Our lung cancer shame

General elections come and go — and pub bores bray about it not mattering who you vote for because the…

9 May 2015

The great water myth

For years we have been continually told that we aren’t drinking enough water, but what is the truth behind those eight glasses of water?

9 May 2015

Know yourself better

New gadgets — so-called wearables — are mapping our every waking move, helping us to track everything from calories to…

9 May 2015
Green green grass… drinking milk gave early Europeans ‘a big survival advantage’

Scary dairy and silly moos

On the shelves of Whole Foods, a vast and vastly expensive American supermarket in west London, you will find 14…

9 May 2015

Testing eastern promises in the chic heart of Paris

 Mandarin Oriental, Paris   Visitors to the city of love are spoilt for choice when it comes to top-notch hotels.…

9 May 2015

Acne as an adult? It really isn’t fair

At some time in our lives we all hark back to blissful, carefree teenage years. We conveniently forget the tricky…

9 May 2015

Can you count to five?

Getting your ‘five a day’ has become a slogan as popular as any brands, but is it actually worthwhile?

9 May 2015
Mr El-Amir in his surgery

Vision of the future

On the wall in Ahmed El-Amir’s consulting room in the Harley Street Eye Clinic is a framed antique poster depicting…

9 May 2015

A fear-free guide to post-mortems

A post-mortem (also called an autopsy) is an examination performed after someone has died. There are two main reasons for…

9 May 2015

Five steps to happiness

Like Christmas, Eurovision and tube strikes, it happens too often — a phone call that begins: ‘Hi Patrick. [Name] is…

9 May 2015
Shore thing: leave sunbathing to reptiles or end up looking like one

Sunshine on wrinkles

Nothing concentrates the mind of a 23-year-old medical student more than the failure to buy a drink in a bar.…

9 May 2015

Happiness is…

Happiness has become a serious health issue. If you Google the words ‘happiness and longevity’ you’ll get over a million…

At your convenience

Hotel based disorientation, two-way mirrors, and the slow evolution of our loo lives.

9 May 2015

I don’t trust these latest obesity predictions from the nanny state

Seventy-four per cent of men and 64 per cent of women in Britain will be overweight or obese by 2030, or…

6 May 2015

Why elections are bad for your health

The excitement and anxiety was tangible during the election of 1997. Even as a child I was able to pick…

6 May 2015

Why are we getting fat while exercising so much? Try reading George Orwell

Last week I mentioned a widely reported article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine which claimed that ‘physical activity…

5 May 2015

Liver disease – another nail in the coffin of the Atkins Diet?

We had a health panic in the media at the weekend. ‘Killer disease on rise due to overeating,’ said the Sunday…

5 May 2015

‘Don’t Google this’, the doctor told me when I got my daughter’s test results

‘Don’t Google this’, the doctor ordered. The command – with its authoritarian tone; implied threat (if I did, I’d find out something…

5 May 2015

Cheap alcohol leads to violent crime, say ‘experts’. Where’s the evidence?

Stanley Cohen, the legendary criminologist and author of Folk Devils and Moral Panics, once commented on ‘the unique dilemma of…

29 Apr 2015

The dodgy science behind the claim that exercise doesn’t help you lose weight

You may have heard the news that the nation’s doctors have had a change of heart about physical activity and…

27 Apr 2015