Is laughter really the ‘best medicine’? We all feel better for laughing - but is there any evidence it can really improve our health? And if so, is this due to laughter itself or to something else?
Here are our top three health stories. As usual we’ve selected them from the many reported in the media in recent weeks because of their importance for public health.
How do minerals help keep us healthy? Where should we get them from? And are there health risks if we take too much?
Which parts of the world have the healthiest diets? What might diets from Scandanavia, the Mediterranean and Japan have in common?
Winter weather can bring snow, frost and ice. Does it also bring additional health risks? If so, what can we do to reduce these risks?
What is CBT? How does it work? Where is it provided? Is it available through the NHS?
What kinds of anxiety and depression can it help with? Can it help manage pain? Can it help with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? Does it still work if you’re older? How does it work and how can I access CBT if I need it?
Do we need to follow a specific diet plan if we want to lose weight? Which diet plans are most effective? And which are also healthiest?
Does your postcode really affect how long you might live? Do we need to move home to live longer? Or can we stay and find ways to improve our longevity?
What are our Top Ten shopping Tips? Which foods are cheap but healthy? What other tips are there for healthy eating on a budgetr?
Should we be considering a low carbohydrate diet? Can this help us lose weight? Is it good or bad for our health?
Here are our latest top four health stories. We’ve selected them from the many reported in the media in recent weeks because of their importance for public health.
How harmful is sugar? Is hidden sugar a particular health risk? Are some sugars healthier than others? How much sugar should we be consuming?
What is yoga? Is there any evidence of health benefits? Are there any health risks?
Why might chocolate be good for us? How reliable is the evidence? Does it matter what kind of chocolate we eat? Can we become addicted?
What can we do to stay healthy for longer? How important are diet and exercise? What about smoking and drinking? Can mental health affect physical health?
Might physical activity, educational achievement, a healthy diet and an active social life reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s? Might smoking, obesity and depression increase the risk?
What are the possible health benefits of a vegetarian diet? On the downside might you be missing out on important nutrients?
Is having something to live for good for our health? Does having a purpose in life help us live longer? What if we feel we don’t have a sense of purpose?
Are cholesterol and saturated fats really a health risk? Are statins good for us? How important are diet, lifestyle – and not smoking?
Might breakfast, protein, soup and dairy products help us lose weight? These were some of the 'strange but true' suggestions in a BBC programme. What does the evidence show?
Can exercise reduce the risk of cancer? Can it help tackle some of the side effects of cancer treatment? Can it improve your chances of surviving cancer? And what sort of exercise are we talking about?
Might eating less help us live longer? What evidence is there? Are there any health risks if we eat less? What can we learn from experiments with animals?
If you want to eat less, is it better to snack on small, calorie-restricted portions at frequent intervals - or to eat two or three larger meals per day? Or is the way we eat more important than how often we eat?
Is chronic illness pre-determined from our time in the womb? If so, can we reverse any harmful effects, to improve our health and longevity later on?
As we age our immune system becomes less effective and we are more likely to fall ill. Can we do anything about this, so that we stay healthier for longer?
There are seven practical things we can do to increase our chances of living a long and healthy life:
We probably all know we need to look after our body. What we might not realise is how important it is to look after our mind as well. Here are seven ways this can help increase our prospects of living longer, in good health:
This may not be obvious but seems to be another important factor influencing how long we live in good health, as we can see in these examples:
How can we stay active as we get older – and what are the benefits? What else can we do to reduce the risk of illness? How can we keep our brains healthy too?
What are they? Why do they matter? What foods are healthier from a glycemic perspective?
What is healthy ageing? When do we start to age? Why do some people age faster than others? Does what happens earlier in life influence this? So what can we do to slow the pace of ageing? What is new here?
Do we have a built in body clock? If so, what triggers it? Does it influence our sleep? And what are the health implications?
We could spend one third of our adult life drawing a State Pension. So what options are there to help you stay financially healthy in retirement?
Can what is going on in your mind affect your physical wellbeing? If so, how can we take advantage of this to improve our mental and physical health?
Is Vitamin D important for human health? If so, what aspects of health? Why might Vitamin D make a difference? What does research tell us? What questions remain?
Can WHEN and WHY we retire affect our health? If so, what happens AFTER we retire? Is retirement likely to be good or bad for our health?
We need fat in our diet. It is a source of energy. It helps the body absorb some of the nutrients we need. And it provides some essential fatty acids (fats) that the body can’t make itself. But which fat is good for us - and which fat isn't?
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