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Impressed by fantastic work

Letters from the Fenland Citizen, fenlandcitizen.co.uk, @FenlandCit on Twitter
Letters from the Fenland Citizen, fenlandcitizen.co.uk, @FenlandCit on Twitter

On the way to church I was most impressed to see a group of volunteers busily sprucing Wisbech up in preparation for the In Bloom judges visit.

I want to congratulate Penny, Brian and the team for their fantastic work.

Seeing this level of enthusiasm is most impressive and speaks volumes of the spirit which is spreading through the town.

Sean Finlay,

via email.


Treatments not working

There is a fat chance that people who become obese can return to a normal weight and size.

The NHS refuses to prescribe drugs as it costs them money, despite most people paying prescription charges.

Bariatric surgery is available with a private health care policy, not on the NHS.

A study by the researchers at Kings College in London said that obese men have just a one-in-210 chance of getting back to normal; while the figure for women is one-in-124.

Alison Fildes, from Kings College London said “these findings highlight how difficult it is for people with obesity to achieve and maintain even small amounts of weight loss”. She also added that “GP led weight management programs are not working”.

Mr Nick Finer, of the national centre for cardiovascular prevention and outcomes, said “the findings showed that the NHS should start considering drug treatments”.

Obesity-related conditions cost the NHS £6 billion a year yet current treatments are not working – whereas gastric bands and by-passes help patients lose about 58 per cent of the excess weight within a year. Obesity drugs can help patients lose 9 per cent of body weight and keep it off!

Scientists have now identified the gene “FTO” which is inherited and therefore present at birth.

The “FTO” gene is responsible for obesity, but as yet they haven’t concluded why it has become such an epidemic over the last 30 years. It could be down to processed food additives and environmental factors!

Mark Burton,


Right to tax drinks

With warnings that a third of the population will be obese by 2030, the British Medical Association is right to recommend a 20 per cent tax on sugar-sweetened drinks to subsidise the sale of fruit and vegetables, and help tackle the increasing level of obesity and diet-related health problems.

As a GP I see a growing number of over-weight patients with diet-related illnesses and am increasingly concerned about the impact of poor diet – responsible for up to 70,000 UK deaths and £6bn of costs to the NHS every year.

While sugar-sweetened drinks are very high in calories they are of limited nutritional value and there is increasing concern about how they contribute towards conditions like diabetes. We know from other countries that taxation on unhealthy food and drinks can improve health outcomes, and the strongest evidence of effectiveness is for a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.

If a tax of at least 20 per cent is introduced, it could reduce the prevalence of obesity in the UK by around 180,000 people and reduce the harm of diet-related illness.

Dr Ian Hume,

BMA representative for East Anglia.


Support is needed

There are nearly 15,000 people living with dementia in Norfolk, but we know that many of them aren’t receiving the help they need. A UK wide study found three-quarters of GPs feel patients with dementia aren’t getting enough support from adult social services.

The result is unpaid family carers are filling in the gaps. We are calling for two things to happen.

Firstly, we need readers to speak to their GP if they are worried about their memory. It might be nothing, but if it is dementia then getting a diagnosis opens the door to support.

Secondly, we need to see more funding going to services for people with a diagnosis.

The number of people with dementia is continuing to rise. It is time for the government to realise its ambition to make the UK a global leader on dementia care.

Debbie Foster,

Alzheimer’s Society,operations manager.

Norfolk and Suffolk

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