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Analysis and Comment (24)

Discussions of erectile function can be challenging but it’s important for more than your sex life. Discussions of erectile function can be challenging but it’s important for more than your sex life. Tom Small/Flickr

Erectile dysfunction may be more than just a problem in bed

Erection problems are common but they can be embarrassing for men to discuss with partners and doctors. The sales of erection drugs on the internet or billboard advertising are boosted by keeping erectile…
Antioxidants are often portrayed as the good forces that fight evil free radicals. Antioxidants are often portrayed as the good forces that fight evil free radicals. Markus Lütkemeyer

Health Check: the untrue story of antioxidants vs free radicals

Antioxidants are a commonly promoted feature of health foods and supplements. They’re portrayed as the good forces that fight free radicals – nasty molecules causing damage thought to hasten ageing and…
Nearly a third of agriculture workers are over 55. Nearly a third of agriculture workers are over 55. Image from www.shutterstock.com

A more sustainable Australia: staying in work as we age

A more sustainable Australia As we hit the half-way mark of the 2013 election campaign, we’ve asked academics to look at some of the long-term issues affecting Australia – the issues that will shape our…
Drinking one can of soft drink a day is linked to a 20% increase in the risk of developing diabetes. Drinking one can of soft drink a day is linked to a 20% increase in the risk of developing diabetes. Damien Ayers

A soda a day keeps the doctor in pay: soft drinks and diabetes

Recent research linking soft drinks to type 2 diabetes reminds us, once again, that we are what we put in our mouths. This large study from Europe found drinking a 12 ounce (about 355 ml) can of soft drink…
Social, environmental and economic forces affect a person’s health. Social, environmental and economic forces affect a person’s health. Sander van der Wel.

The growing movement to increase health equity

It’s a story that wouldn’t normally make the headlines. A middle-aged man in a central Queensland town found himself stacking on a lot of weight unusually quickly. His blood pressure was on the rise, and…
Exercise isn’t a substitute for traditional therapies but should be part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Exercise isn’t a substitute for traditional therapies but should be part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Image from shutterstock.com

Why exercise should be added to cancer treatment plans

One in two men and one in three women will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime. The good news is that with earlier detection and improved treatments, the survival rate for many common cancers…
The best way to prevent type 2 diabetes is to lose your excess fat. The best way to prevent type 2 diabetes is to lose your excess fat. Image from shutterstock.com

Explainer: what is diabetes?

To keep your body functioning, glucose must always be present in your blood. It’s as important as oxygen in the air you breathe. The brain can only function for a few minutes without either before it stops…
Some GPs are reluctant to broach the issue of weight for fear of offending their patients; others aren’t convinced by the evidence. Some GPs are reluctant to broach the issue of weight for fear of offending their patients; others aren’t convinced by the evidence. Image from shutterstock.com

Are GPs doing enough to help patients lose weight?

Almost two-thirds (62%) of Australian adults and one fifth (21%) of children aged five to nine years are either overweight or obese. The prevalence has increased by 5% in the last decade and is strongly…
Health problems due to poor eating habits are becoming the leading cause of death and disability in the world. Health problems due to poor eating habits are becoming the leading cause of death and disability in the world. stu_spivack/Flickr

No place for industry in the fight against lifestyle diseases

The biggest causes of ill health in all but the very least developed countries are now non-communicable or chronic diseases. Lung cancer from smoking, obesity from an unhealthy diet and liver problems…
Too much sugar is harmful to your health but it’s not the only driver of obesity. Too much sugar is harmful to your health but it’s not the only driver of obesity. joshbousel

Silent killer or occasional treat? Settling the debate on sugar

Forty years ago, British nutritionist John Yudkin wrote a book about sugar. Titled Pure, White and Deadly, Yudkin argued that consumption of sugar, not fat, was driving the epidemic of heart disease. But…
Urban environments are increasingly bombarding us with unhealthy food choices. Urban environments are increasingly bombarding us with unhealthy food choices. John Walker

Rethinking how we live to stop the chronic diseases epidemic

We are in the midst of a global epidemic of chronic diseases – diabetes, heart disease, cancers and respiratory disease are on the rise across the world. Posing a real and increasing threat to health and…
Excess alcohol consumption is one of the leading risk factors for death and disease globally. Excess alcohol consumption is one of the leading risk factors for death and disease globally. Martin Cathrae

The government has it wrong on alcohol’s role in chronic diseases

The Commonwealth government looks set to lose its top position in preventative health measures. Despite its world-first efforts on tobacco control, when the government next steps onto the world stage…
Rates of diabetes amputations have risen 30% over the past decade. Rates of diabetes amputations have risen 30% over the past decade. justinicus

How Australia can reduce diabetes-related amputations

Diabetes is arguably the nation’s greatest public health challenge, affecting over one million Australians. People with diabetes have high sugar levels in the blood which can damage nerves and blood vessels…
We all know obesity increases our risk of chronic disease, but how does excess fat actually affect our body? We all know obesity increases our risk of chronic disease, but how does excess fat actually affect our body?

Explainer: how does excess weight cause disease?

OBESE NATION: It’s time to admit it - Australia is becoming an obese nation. Today we launch a series looking at how this has happened and, more importantly, what we can do to stop the obesity epidemic…
Better diets and more exercise could prevent 43,000 cancer diagnoses a year. Better diets and more exercise could prevent 43,000 cancer diagnoses a year. joshbousel

One in four cancers preventable – but first we need the willpower

Cancer is one of the most common public health threats facing Australians and accounts for nearly one-fifth of the disease burden in this country. The direct cost to the Australian community is approaching…
There aren’t any miracle cures but there are a number of treatments that can reduce its severity. There aren’t any miracle cures but there are a number of treatments that can reduce its severity. Flickr/Algo

Monday’s medical myth: osteoarthritis can be ‘cured’

Switch on daytime television on any given day and you’d be forgiven for thinking there was a cure for the debilitating and dreaded condition, osteoarthritis. Unfortunately, there’s not. And that’s not…
Government policies promoting economic growth have contributed to global crises of overconsumption such as obesity. Government policies promoting economic growth have contributed to global crises of overconsumption such as obesity. colros/Flickr

Shaping up: a blueprint to reverse our 40-year weight gain

Obesity has been on the rise for some 40 years and will continue to create an enormous burden on global health systems if governments around the world do not take decisive, policy-driven action, according…
Illness is inextricably linked to lifestyle stressors. Illness is inextricably linked to lifestyle stressors. Michael Clesle

To improve men’s health, treat the cause not just the illness

Whichever way you look at it, men’s health in Australia is uniformly worse than women’s. Men die, on average, five years earlier than women born at the same time and are likely to experience more health…
Statutory guidelines only limit junk food advertising to children for about an hour a day. Statutory guidelines only limit junk food advertising to children for about an hour a day. a fc o/Flickr

Side-stepping the censors: the failure of self-regulation for junk food advertising

Industry self-regulation has failed to change the amount of fast food advertising targeting Australian children, according to new research from the Prevention Research Collaboration and NSW Cancer Council…
Marijuana provides effective relief in some cases where other therapies have failed. Marijuana provides effective relief in some cases where other therapies have failed. AAP

Health should take a pot shot: making a case for medical marijuana

Lawmakers in the United States introduced legislation overnight to legalise marijuana while giving states the right to regulate, tax and control it. Meanwhile, Australia doesn’t even allow the use of medical…
Keeping weight off is much harder than losing weight in the first instance. Keeping weight off is much harder than losing weight in the first instance. AAP

Weighing up the options on obesity

Prevention is the cornerstone of society’s response to the current obesity epidemic. But even if no more people were to gain much more weight, those who are already obese face serious health problems…
Despite Buddhist origins, mindfulness meditation is a secular practice. Despite Buddhist origins, mindfulness meditation is a secular practice. AlicePopkorn/flickr

Mindfulness meditation offers help with the travails of chronic illness

Drugs to relieve pain for people with chronic diseases are expensive and can have harmful side effects. But there are alternatives that promise benefits exceeding pain relief. Mindfulness meditation…
Dialysis is one of the only currently available treatments for kidney disease. Dialysis is one of the only currently available treatments for kidney disease. AAP

Why stem cells have a stake in kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a significant and growing global public health problem. But the creation of a new type of stem cell offers new hope for therapies and drugs for this worldwide problem. In…

Research and News (3)

Research Briefs (6)

Chronically ill benefit from religion

Religious and spiritual support improves health outcomes for both men and women who face chronic health conditions, psychology…