Month: October 2019

Can smaller plates help us to eat less?

© shalunx – Fotolia “Replace your large dinner plates with smaller ones, and you will eat less.” For everyone who has struggled to lose weight for a while, this claim must sound almost heavenly easy. So it is no surprise that when an effect of plate size on consumption was first identified in the late 1990s, it was quickly taken up by the media and desperate dieters. In the following years, several teams of researchers have conducted studies on this effect. However, not every study supported the claim that smaller plates led to eating less: Some found that the...

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China contributes to the global elimination of neglected tropical diseases

Chinese countryside. Image credit: Erik van der Horst / What are neglected tropical diseases? The term “neglected tropical diseases” (NTDs) was coined some 15 years ago, referring to a diverse group of diseases that are intimately linked to poverty and primarily occur in tropical and subtropical countries. In its first report issued in 2010, the World Health Organization (WHO) listed 17 NTDs. In the meantime, the list has been expanded to 20 NTDs, which are caused by a diverse set of agents, including bacteria, parasites, and virus, in addition to snakebites. Over a billion people are affected by...

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Four ways to address the heart disease-related outcomes of malaria

(Image by Raman Oza from Pixabay) It has been several years since I last had malaria, but I still vividly remember my high temperature, throbbing head, torturous sleep, severe body aches, and non-existent appetite. I was totally knocked out mentally and physically, unable to perform even basic tasks like house chores. I took time off work. However, I know my situation could have been so much worse if the disease had led to heart issues as well. Recent research shows malaria increases the risk of heart failure by 30%, implying a double jeopardy for the health and wellbeing of...

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Strategies to counter vaccine misinformation on social media

Flickr: Government of Prince Edward Island Concern about vaccine hesitancy has grown dramatically in the last few years, with the World Health Organization flagging it as a top global health threat. This is hardly surprising given worldwide outbreaks of measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases. Misinformation relating to vaccines is widespread on social media; a recent survey found half of parents with young children were exposed to negative messages about vaccination in this environment. The hazard of misinformation is its potential to decrease public confidence in vaccines. The challenge is knowing when and how to address vaccine misinformation without accidentally...

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We are getting side-tracked by our focus on anti-vaccine activists

In this Q&A, Maryke Steffens and Adam Dunn, authors of a new paper published in BMC Public Health and of this blog post sharing details about their study, shed light on the anti-vax rhetoric and misleading tactics, and tells us more on how anti-vax activists should not be the focus when addressing low confidence in vaccines. Anti-vax: a new problem? Anti-vaccine rhetoric is not new – it has been around since the introduction of the first vaccines. The current perception of a burgeoning anti-vaccine movement is likely due to the influence of social media. The growth of platforms such...

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