Checking blood sugar levels
Could we be getting it wrong when avoiding dairy products in a bid to be healthy? That’s what Dr Fumiaki Imamura and Dr Nita Forouhi from the MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge hope to find out. Here Fumiaki tells us about their latest research and why it may be time to question the link between high-fat dairy products and conditions like type 2 diabetes.
Many people believe that low-fat dairy products are healthier than high-fat dairy products. Indeed, many public health guidelines recommend low-fat dairy over high-fat dairy. However, our latest research, published in PLOS Medicine, found that people who had higher levels of biomarkers of dairy fat had a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Biomarkers are tell-tale molecules in the body that can be measured accurately and consistently, and act as indicators of dietary consumption. Read more
The places where we live, study and work shape our behaviours and health. To give members of the public a new perspective on their surroundings, MRC Epidemiology Unit researchers shared their science for the MRC Festival of Medical Research. Oliver Francis and Paul Browne tell us how they organised their event ‘Are you in a healthy place? Travel, food and our neighbourhoods’ and what made it a success.
Bikes, takeaways and conversations
When you say ‘medical research’, the first things that spring to mind probably aren’t cycling and takeaway food. But we do all know that doing a bit more of one and eating a little bit less of the other could be good for our health.
What we don’t always realise is that these health-related decisions aren’t always individual or personal and that the world around us has a huge influence on many of our choices. We also have to remember that much of the world around us is shaped by decisions made in Westminster and our local councils. Read more
How many hours a day do you spend sitting down? If you’re on your feet for the majority of your working day then perhaps you enjoy some (sitting) down time. However is our increased use of computers and digital technology in medical research and the work place encouraging an increasingly sedentary working life? Isabel Baker investigates.
Standing while you work turns out to be an, erm, long-standing tradition. Famous historical figures including Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway and Charles Dickens all worked at standing desks, and of course researchers at the lab bench or in the clinic are used to spending hours on their feet.
Sedentary behaviour has been recognised as a public health issue only in the past 10 years, and recent research has suggested that standing is a healthier alternative to long periods of sitting1,2. Read more