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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Why Closing Your Eyes is Good for You

Melatonin is a hormone released by a tiny gland in the brain called the pineal gland.  If you've heard of it, it's probably in relation to sleep problems, jet lag and circadian rhythms.  Indeed, melatonin does help to induce the sleep cycle; it is produced by the pineal gland in the absence of light stimulation (ie. in the dark!) which is why humans generally find it easier to go to sleep in dark rooms.

But it's not just sleep that melatonin is involved in, it has a range of other beneficial actions in the body.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Denmark's 'Fat Tax'

In the news this week, we have heard that Denmark is the first country to introduce a fax on foods containing more than 2.3% saturated fat.  This includes things like butter, oil, cheese and some meats.

The aim of the tax is to change the behaviour of the Danish people, prompting them to choose foods which contain lower levels of saturated, and will therefore be better for them.

I am not an expert in public health policy like this, but I can see so many flaws with this approach.
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