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Low birth weight is associated with smoking. Ariel Schalit/AP

An incontrovertible truth: smoking harms foetuses

Tobacco smoke contains thousands of compounds, many of them toxic and capable of causing injury throughout the body. Because of this high toxicity of tobacco smoke, many diseases have long been causally…
A 20% tax on sugar drinks could change the habits of young Australians, which would benefit future generations. Shutterstock / Creativa

Sugary drinks tax could swell coffers, shrink waistlines

A study published in the journal of the British Medical Association, BMJ, today says a tax on sugary drinks could cut the…
Tobacco use causes more than five million deaths every year across the world. MilitaryHealth/Flickr

Medical journals refuse to publish tobacco-funded research

Editors of journals published by the BMJ Group will no longer consider publishing research that is partly or wholly funded…
There’s support for a causal role of carbohydrate-rich diets in the obesity epidemic but such diets also tend to be rich in calories. Felix Cohen

Have we got the science on why we’re getting fatter wrong?

An article published recently in the BMJ argues that we have been pursuing the wrong hypothesis on the causes of obesity. Along with substandard science, this wrongheadedness has apparently exacerbated…
Antidepressant prescribing has been increasing in most developed countries since the the late 1980s and early 1990s. PrettyPills/Flickr

Are antidepressants over-prescribed in Australia?

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) has just published two opposing views on the vexed question of whether antidepressants are being over-prescribed. The issues raised by debate are by no means unique to…
Basic statistical literacy is important for communicating and understanding medical risks. Janet Ramsden

Understanding risk statistics about breast cancer screening

An article published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) today says a US charity “overstates the benefit of mammography and ignores harms altogether.” The charity’s questionable claim is that early detection…

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