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Fire up the barbecue – red meat’s ok. New study.

The Thaiger

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Fire up the barbecue – red meat’s ok. New study. | The Thaiger

Cutting back on red meat is standard medical advice to prevent cancer and heart disease over recent decades. But a review of dozens of studies now concludes that the potential risk is low and evidence “uncertain”.

In new guidelines published yesterday in the “Annals of Internal Medicine”, a panel of researchers from seven countries suggested that “adults continue current unprocessed red meat consumption.” The advice – immediately drawing a sharp reaction from other experts – added that adults should also “continue current processed meat consumption.”

The research, published in the journal edited by the American College of Physicians, analysed multiple studies that, taken together, showed reducing red meat consumption by three servings per week could lower cancer mortality by seven deaths per 1,000 people. Researchers said any such decline was modest and that they had found only a “low” degree of certainty about the statistic.

They added that the quality of evidence linking processed meat with cardiovascular diseases and diabetes was “very low.”

“There are very small risk reductions in cancer, heart disease and diabetes, however the evidence is uncertain,” Bradley Johnston, an epidemiology professor at Canada’s Dalhousie University and director of the NutriRECS group that put together the guidelines, told AFP.

“So there may be a reduction, or there may not be. People need to make their own decisions. We are giving them the best estimate of the truth.”

Steaks, sausages back on menu?

The researchers said they want to change the “old school” approach of giving general nutritional recommendations, and to bring more focus on evidence of individual benefit.

“People should look at this and hopefully make more well-informed personal choices, rather than being told what to do by authoritative organisations.”

But eating less red meat and processed meat has been a cornerstone of dietary guidance for decades in many countries and from leading health groups. The World Health Organisation International Agency for Research on Cancer says that processed meat is carcinogenic, while red meat is “probably carcinogenic.”

In response to the latest guidelines, the World Cancer Research Fund said it would not change its advice.

“We maintain our confidence in the rigorous research conducted for 30 years,” said its director of research, Giota Mitrou.

Many in the nutrition community also disagree with the assessments in the report.

“Their recommendations are really irresponsible,” says Dr. Frank Hu, chair of the nutrition department at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and co-author of a recent BMJ study that linked eating red and processed meat to higher mortality risk.

Marji McCullough, epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society, said the researchers had taken into account people’s personal values and preferences.

“It’s kind of like saying: ‘we know helmets can save lives, but some people still prefer the feeling of the wind in their hair when they ride bikes. And let’s face it, most people won’t crash’,” she said.

“But everyone agrees you should wear a helmet.”

Kevin McConway, emeritus professor of applied statistics at Britain’s Open University, said the lack of hard scientific evidence meant there were few clear answers.

“Depressingly, all this tends to indicate that after all these years and all these millions of research participants, we still don’t know much,” he said.

SOURCE: Agence France-Presse

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Thailand

Top 5 reasons why Aussies choose medical tourism in Thailand

The Thaiger

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Top 5 reasons why Aussies choose medical tourism in Thailand | The Thaiger

“With more than 15,000 Aussies travelling to Thailand each year for medical tourism, the country is a burgeoning market for cosmetic procedures. There are numerous Thai doctors who already have more than a 90% Australian client base. The landscape is certainly changing when it comes to price, surgical quality, convenience and post-recuperation.”

Darren Lyons from medical information site MyMediTravel has seen an influx of Australian medical patients flocking to Thai destinations; from Bangkok to Phuket. And the facts don’t lie.

Australians are now spending in excess of US$300 million on a variety of diverse treatments from rhinoplasty and facelifts to breast augmentation and even cardiology. Due to an ageing population and long waiting lists, many Aussies are turning to Thailand to help them achieve their healthcare goals. So, what are the five main reasons Australians are heading all the way up to South East Asia for their medical and cosmetic requirements?

1. Exclusive Hospitals

Groundbreaking technology across Thai hospitals and clinics are a real attraction for medical tourists. Heavy investment into Bumungrad International Hospital and Bangkok Hospital Bangkok in the capital makes them two of the largest private medical facilities in the country which has seen an influx of Aussie patients.

The latter utilizes Specialist Beam Surgery to treat cancer patients whilst open heart surgery is becoming popular thanks to Off-Pump Coronary Artery Bypass or OPCAB. Meanwhile, an entire sports injury rehab wing exists where a host of Australian sports stars from soccer, Aussie Rules and boxing have been successfully treated. There is even an on-site shopping center and a McDonalds!

Across the 60-plus JCI-accredited hospitals, hotel style amenities also attract Aussie patients looking for state-of-the-art medical services. Since 2013, Bumungrad Hospital has treated more than a staggering one million patients including more than 10,000 from Australia.

Catering to international patients’ needs, hospital wards have transformed into plush buildings filled with luxury amenities. These feature dedicated check-in, complimentary lounges, travel agents for arranging visa extensions and boutique style rooms. Accommodation comes complete with separate living room, en-suite, kitchen and WIFI providing the opportunity for family and visitors to stay.

Top 5 reasons why Aussies choose medical tourism in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

2. Healthcare Standards

Adhering to US international standards of care, Australians have realised the potential for quality healthcare in Thailand. The patient to nurse ratio is also another key factor with Australian patients receiving one nurse per eight patients compared to Thailand where it is one nurse per four patients.

3. Accessibility

Travel has never been easier and more cost-effective for Australians benefitting from direct routes to the region. Thai Airways provide non-stop flights daily to Bangkok from major cities including Sydney and Melbourne. There’s also direct flights into Phuket from the east coast cities (with JetStar). Once in Thailand, international patients can select a range of affordable internal airlines offering flights to stunning beach resorts and tropical locations such as Koh Samui and Phuket.

4. Value

Enticing prices on treatment sees Australian patients save around 30%-40% across a wealth of procedures with identical medical care and drugs. With increasing competition to keep prices low, this fiercely-competitive market is a haven for patients. For example, a facelift in Australia costs around A$10,000 whilst facelifts in Thailand are priced around A$4,200.

5. Global Destination

Thailand has recently established itself as a global medical tourism destination turning over more than US$5 billion in the last five years alone. Australian patients are seeing the advantage of combining top-notch, price-busting cosmetic treatment with an unforgettable vacation that has seen half a million plus patients visit the region already.

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Thailand

21% of Thai teenagers are gambling

Greeley Pulitzer

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21% of Thai teenagers are gambling | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Gambling, local style, Rai Et, north-east Thailand – Pinterest

Early in October the Thai Health Promotion Foundation met to discuss the gambling situation in Thailand in 2019. Also present were the Centre for Gambling Studies, Stop Gambling Foundation and related groups.

The meeting was set up after a report revealed that more than half (57%) of the Thai population, or 30.42 million people, gamble. The director-general of the Centre for Gambling Studies at Chulalongkorn University shared the report, which was based on data from a survey of 44,050 people across 77 provinces.

The figure is an increase of 1.49 million people from 2017. While most Thai gamblers are of working age, 2.4% of the total were aged between 15-18 years. This means that 21% of that age group are gambling.

According to California’s Council on Problem Gambling, youth, like everyone else, gamble for many reasons, including entertainment; socialisation; competition; loneliness, and boredom; to get rich quick; to impress others; be the centre of attention; make new friends, and because winning provides an instant, temporary boost of confidence.

“The California Council on Problem Gambling lists depression as one reason youth turn to gambling, noting that depression can just as easily be an effect as a cause. This is especially important to note in a country like Thailand.”

In an article in The ASEAN Post, it was noted that in December 2017, Thailand’s Department of Mental Health (DMH) reported that an estimated one million teenagers are believed to suffer from depression, many of whom go untreated, with two million more are at risk, making upward of three million among a population of eight million teens then.

The DMH said that stress and anxiety may affect a student’s ability to concentrate and perform well at school, and they may show several warning signs, such as lack of attention, loss of interest in daily activities, lethargy, sadness, and sleeping issues.

“It is clear from studies that depression and gambling go hand-in-hand: the unfortunate case in Thailand is that it is affecting children too.”

SOURCE: The ASEAN Post

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Thailand

57% of Thais gamble – new report

The Thaiger & The Nation

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57% of Thais gamble – new report | The Thaiger

The Thai Health Promotion Foundation has hosted a meeting today to discuss the gambling situation in Thailand in 2019, as a report indicating that a whopping 30.42 million Thais, or 57% of the population, gamble. The meeting was also represented by the Centre for Gambling Studies, Stop Gambling Foundation and related associations.

The director-general of the Centre for Gambling Studies, Faculty of Economics at Chulalongkorn University, Dr Nualnoi Trirat, shared the report by the Research Centre for Social and Business Development based on data collected from a survey of 44,050 people aged over 15 across 77 provinces.

According to The Nation, the report indicates the figure of 30.42 million this year is an increase of 1.49 million from 2017 and includes 700,000 new gamblers. The majority of gamblers are of working age, according to the report.

Thai Health CEO Supreda Adulyanon said the World Health Organisation has classified gambling addiction as a psychiatric illness, which is in a group of disorders related to mental health, behaviour and neurological development. Many who are unable to stop the addiction tend to have lifelong problems, including mental and physical health complications, family debt, violence, or crime.

However, youth aged 15-18, or 733,000 young gamblers, are causing the most concern. This group is 20.9% of the youth population. Meanwhile, 3.05 million, or 46.3% of young adults aged 19-25, are also known to bet. The senior group, aged 60 and above, are also a cause for worry as around 3.35 million, or 42.2% of the senior population, love to gamble.

Government lottery, illegal lottery, betting on cards, football gambling, and the Higher or Lower card game are the top five gambling addictions. Football gambling makes the most money – 160.5 billion baht – followed by illegal lottery – 153.1 billion baht– and then the government lottery – 150.4 billion baht.

SOURCE: The Nation

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