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COUNTING CALORIES: Focusing too much on reducing sugar intake might detract from a need to cut down on fat, experts have said. 

The warning comes after a study found that the calories consumed by overweight or obese people are more likely to come from fat.

Co-lead author Jill Pell, director of the Institute of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Glasgow, said: “The critical message is people need to reduce their overall calories. If focusing attention on sugar results in people compensating by eating more crisps then we will fail to combat obesity.”

Compared with normal weight people, those in her study who were overweight or obese obtained a higher proportion of their calories from fat but a lower proportion from sugar.

SWEET NOTHINGS: Consuming food and drink containing artificial sweetener makes you feel hungry and eat more. Experts at the University of Sydney studied the effects of artificial sweeteners on the brain in regulating appetite and in altering people’s taste.

Writing in the journal Cell Metabolism, they found that fruit flies fed a diet with artificial sweetener for more than five days ate 30% more calories when they were then given naturally-sweetened food.

Experts believe the sweetener prompts the brain to believe not enough calories have been taken in.

The researchers also found artificial sweeteners led to hyperactivity, insomnia and poorer quality sleep.

MEDICATION FIRST: Antibiotics could be used to prevent the need for surgery for children with acute appendicitis.

Surgeons at Southampton Children’s Hospital are leading a study to examine whether antibiotic medication, which has been shown to be as effective as operating on adults, could also be used for youngsters.

The condition, which causes the appendix — a small organ attached to the large intestine — to become inflamed due to a blockage or infection, affects mainly children and teenagers.

Appendicitis is currently treated through an operation to remove the appendix, known as an appendicectomy, and it is the most common cause of emergency surgery in children.


Lifestyle

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