Health

It’s about as common for someone who’s never smoked to start vaping as it is for them to start using nicotine patches or gum

E-cigarettes save lives

In the 1970s, a group of students in South Africa were planning a campaign against tobacco. I was one of…

21 Feb 2015
Running for life: Sebastian Coe in record-breaking form in 1979

Exercise is for everyone

The benefits of exercise are well documented. Whatever your age, there’s strong scientific evidence that being physically active can help…

21 Feb 2015

Eat to beat cholesterol

He sat there, looking woebegone but resigned, and asked the inevitable question. ‘OK, Doc, so tell me — what mustn’t…

21 Feb 2015
Communal fun and games: a grandmothers’ outing sets off from the East End, 1933

Home shopping

Speed dating on morphine probably isn’t the best way to choose a long-term partner. But it’s a bleak necessity for…

21 Feb 2015

Should you take the prostate test?

You probably know your blood pressure numbers, have a fair idea of your weight, perhaps even your waistline, but —…

21 Feb 2015

An expert’s guide to eating disorders

  What are eating disorders?   Eating disorders are characterised by abnormal attitudes towards food that lead to a change…

21 Feb 2015

The cure for the common cold…

It’s that time of year — the weather gets cold, the heating gets turned up and my waiting room fills…

21 Feb 2015

The other half of the heart

What’s your circulation? Unless you’re a newspaper editor, I bet you think of it as the heart pumping oxygen-rich blood…

21 Feb 2015

Curing hypochondria

These days it’s difficult not to be ill. In fact, it’s impossible to be well. Few of us do not…

21 Feb 2015

An eye for a book

It’s quite hard, growing up as a bookwormy kid. It’s rock and a hard place, Scylla and Charybdis (bookwormy, see?).…

21 Feb 2015

The power of protein

What are the first things that come to mind when you think about protein? Meat? Cheese? Muscle? Weight lifters? All…

21 Feb 2015

Alternative activities

  ‘Who can tell … What the Hell … Women want?’   So runs the men’s chorus from Act Two of…

Migraine mysteries

Since I relinquished my Sunday-night Chinese takeaway — with emphasis on the seaweed starter and crispy duck pancakes — I can honestly…

21 Feb 2015

It’s behind you

Call it what you want — spine, vertebral column, backbone or back — it’s there to support us throughout out…

21 Feb 2015

Ordinary pain

Treatment for lower back pain is undergoing a sea change. Why? Well, mainly because it has to: according to a…

21 Feb 2015

‘Do those funny-looking chairs help?’

Q Is it true that sitting on those large exercise balls or funny-looking chairs where you kneel help back pain?  A One…

21 Feb 2015

Teenage fathers and mental health: a true story unfairly reported

There’s a difference between something being true, and something being fair, as I’m sure you realise. I’m going to look…

20 Feb 2015

Policymakers must address high male suicide rates

It’s pretty tough to find good news in suicide statistics, but today’s figures for 2013 are particularly grim reading. The number…

19 Feb 2015

‘Smoking kills, nicotine doesn’t’: a huge boost for campaigners who say e-cigs save lives

Dr Derek Yach has done more than any man alive to eradicate smoking. A former professor of global health at…

19 Feb 2015

A true feminist will defend the unborn girls being aborted in the UK because of their sex

Question: Is abortion on gender grounds illegal in the UK? Answer: yes and no and maybe – depends who you…

17 Feb 2015

Hyperbole about the dangers of ‘skunk’ won’t help those at risk – but a change in the law might

Can I write an entire blog post about one sentence? I’d certainly like to. The sentence in question is ‘The…

16 Feb 2015

The moral argument for three-person babies

If all goes according to plan, the first baby with the DNA of three people will be British, and could…

7 Feb 2015

To reform the NHS, use the politics of envy

‘Let’s make the rich pay more.’ Does that sound so right-wing? To me it has a positively socialist ring. It…

6 Feb 2015

Bad news for the lazy – jogging isn’t actually bad for you

There’s nothing the health editors of the nation love more than a counter-intuitive story. We’ve been over the red-wine-is-good-for-you, chocolate-is-good-for-you…

6 Feb 2015

Even Lord Winston has seemed confused about mitochondrial transfer

One expert who sounded off to great effect in the run-up to yesterday’s vote on three parent babies was Robert…

4 Feb 2015

The mitochondrial debate seems suspiciously short for a topic few MPs are experts on

MPs are currently debating changing the law to allow mitochondrial donations. This is a very complex area that few people…

3 Feb 2015