The news of the death of Tessa Jowell on Saturday from a brain tumour was greeted by an outpouring of affection. The tributes were to a woman who – above all – was thoroughly decent, warm, friendly and principled and who had gained respect and admiration from all sides of the political spectrum.
Her career saw many notable moments, including advancing equal pay for women, the SureStart programme for children and, of course, bringing the Olympics to London in 2012.
I’ve decided to do one of those mad challenges that people occasionally embark on. I’m going to be taking on a Sahara Trek next February – five days ploughing through arduous terrain in Morocco and it’s all in aid of The Brain Tumour Charity.
I promise not to bore you too much over the next year, but I will be sharing my ‘journey’, where appropriate.
I’m not exactly in great shape, so part of the challenge will be getting fit again and ready to spend hours in scorching temperatures, trudging through sand with a pack om my back.
It would be wonderful to be able to count on your support – there will be as many lows as there will be highs, I’m sure.
On the face of it, great. There are 152000 cases of stroke in the UK every year, so if this is true it’s a great weapon in the battle against it.
But, of course, thats not the full story. If you read more closely, you’ll see that the lead scientist admitted that: “research is needed to understand the connection between egg consumption and stroke risk”.
What was worse was that there’s no UK stroke expert included in the article – only someone from the ‘clearly unbiased’ Egg Nutrition Centre.
That’s why I was relieved to see that the Stroke Association were more cautious in their reception of the research.
Our comment: It is very hard to establish a single item in a person’s diet that will have a positive or negative effect on their health https://t.co/hUFf7h2DqS
Medical reporting is generally fairly suspect in mass-market media. One small-scale piece of research can sometimes be trumpeted as a major cause for celebration or change in diet, when clearly there’s more to it than that.
It’s why cause-related charities have such a big role to play in how we perceive sensationalist stories.
The claims that strawberries/coffee/red wine/chocolate can prevent cancer/heart disease/dementia (delete as appropriate) have been around for years – most of them with very little substance.