Articles on Health Check

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Find a healthy eating regime you can stick to. foshydog/Flickr

Health Check: what’s the best diet for weight loss?

When it comes to weight loss, there are no magic tricks that guarantee success. What works for you is likely to be different to what works for your partner, neighbour or workmate. The best advice is to…
Buying fresh and cooking from scratch is a struggle for some. Shutterstock/sunlover

Health Check: is fresh food always the best choice?

When it comes to food, we’re told to eat what’s in season, buy locally and avoid “food miles” – for good reason. But not everyone has access to grower’s markets, or the time and resources to source and…
People failing to lose weight frequently blame themselves but their physiology is working against them. TipsTimesAdmin/Flickr

Health Check: why diets fail

Almost everyone who has tried to lose weight has tasted the bitter pill of failure. That feeling you get when, despite all your desires to be healthier, to fit into sassier clothes or to shimmy through…
Sometimes vegetables end up everywhere except where they’d do most good. Evan Long/Flickr

Health Check: why kids don’t like vegies and how to change it

So little Harry won’t eat his vegetables? Well, he’s not alone. Poor Harry is just protecting himself from the danger of alkaloid toxins – although he doesn’t actually know this. At the tender age of four…
Keep your high heel-wearing to less than three days a week. Ed L/Flickr

Health Check: how high heels harm and how to make it better

High-heeled shoes are thought to characterise femininity and beauty, making the wearer feel self-assured and elegant. But they also alter alignment of the feet, legs, and back, and can have long-term effects…
Choosing an exclusively raw-food diet can potentially put a person at a small disadvantage. jefah/Flickr

Health Check: are raw food claims overcooked?

Eating only raw foods has emerged as a popular dietary trend. Proclaiming an emotive health message, it is enough to make you think twice before next adding heat to your food. But fear not – on the scales…
Reduce your cancer risk by reducing your alcohol consumption. V31S70/Flickr

Health Check: does alcohol cause cancer?

Alcohol and cancer is a topic that arouses a lot of controversy: many Australians like the odd drink but don’t want to make the connection to cancer, the world’s biggest killer. The World Health Organisation’s…
Good news for vintage cheddar lovers. TheeErin

Health Check: is it safe to cut mould off food?

The short answer is that it’s a lot safer than not cutting it off. Some moulds make and release poisons, called mycotoxins, into the food that could, over time, make you very sick. Why they do it is not…
A diet high in particular saturated fatty acids can increase your body’s cholesterol production. Penn State/Flickr

Health Check: are saturated fats good or bad?

Dietary guidelines cite the fact that saturated fats can increase LDL cholesterol, which is also known as bad cholesterol because it’s a major risk factor for heart disease. Others claim saturated fats…
Women’s ability to conceive and give birth to healthy babies starts to decline before the age of 30. Image from shutterstock.com

Health Check: when does fertility decline?

It’s said that “40 is the new 30” and “50 is the new 40”. But, when it comes to female fertility, 40 is still 40, and the likelihood of successful pregnancy and childbirth has notably decreased from age…
Antibacterial products cost more and might contribute to bacterial resistance. Image from shutterstock.com

Health Check: should I use antibacterial hand sanitisers?

I should start by saying that an important part of my job is encouraging hospital staff to clean their hands. The World Health Organisation has a global patient safety campaign reminding us that Clean…
Just over 15% of Australians smoke daily and a further 1.5% smoke each week. Flickr/benessere

Health Check: how harmful is social smoking?

If you only light up when you’re drinking or out with friends, you probably don’t identify as a smoker or consider the health impact of the occasional fag. Social smokers don’t usually smoke every day…
Bad news: one study suggests bald men have fewer sexual partners. Tony Deifell

Health Check: are bald men more virile?

The suggestion that bald men are more virile than their well-thatched contemporaries is probably an old wives’ tale, but it must be conceded that old wives are likely to be unusually authoritative in this…
Choose a spread that has the lowest amount of saturated fat and trans fat per 100 grams. www.rowenawaack.com

Health Check: what’s healthier, butter or margarine?

Butter gets points for taste; margarine for being easy to spread. But the healthiest option is not strictly called butter or margarine – it’s a “spread”. To improve the health of your heart, choose a spread…
The ubiquitous use of personal music players has radically increased our recreational noise exposure. Andrew Ferguson

Health Check: is your personal music player doing you damage?

It’s happened to all of us – you walk past someone and you can hear every beat, riff and wail coming from their headphones. If you’ve ever wondered whether this could be damaging their hearing, the answer…
It’s the quantity of sugar we consume that’s bad for us. Carol Green

Health check: five sweeteners and what they mean for you

People have been eating sweet foods for eons. Fruit (fructose), milk (lactose), cane (sucrose), and honey (fructose and glucose) provide us with energy for growth and development. But in these days, we…
Choose your over-the-counter painkiller based on the side effects you want to avoid. Image from shutterstock.com

Health Check: how do you choose over-the-counter painkillers?

If you’re anything like me, your medicine cupboard is chockers with various non-prescription pain remedies: liquids, pills, capsules, children’s painkillers, formulations that are “gentle on the stomach…
When it comes to passing stools, ‘normal’ ranges from three times a week, to three times a day. Image from shutterstock.com

Health Check: should we aim for daily bowel movements?

When I was in my teens, I watched the comedy Crazy People, starring Dudley Moore and Daryl Hannah. Moore plays a burnt-out advertising executive who creates (hilarious) “honest” ads. One of the ads is…
No one disputes that extensive training on a specific task will improve performance on that task. Paul Boxley

Health Check: does brain training make you smarter?

No one who has kept their head out of the sand over the past several years needs to be told “brain training” is a hot topic. And it’s big business too, with advocates using claims such as “personal training…

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