17 – 23 January 2019

Alan Dangour provides expert comment on the new EAT-Lancet Commission which sets out the first scientific targets for healthy diets from sustainable food productions systems. Alan said: “The healthy diet would require significant shifts to existing dietary habits in most countries, including the UK, such as large reductions in meat intake and substantial increases in fruit, vegetables, nuts and legumes consumption.  There is a major question about the ability of populations to shift to such dietary recommendations and their wider public acceptability.”

Alan’s comments were covered by The Guardian, CNN, i News and the Financial Times.

Alan was also interviewed by BBC News at One about the research (live link no longer available).

Heather Wardle speaks to BBC’s The Long View about how new technologies can increase gambling-related harms. Heather said: “These technologies are very new and it takes time to really understand the full consequences. There is a lot of concern about the generation who have grown up with this really immersive communicative technology where they know no different and where they can be communicated with by bookmakers and the gambling industry. The question is policymakers – do we sit and wait and do nothing whilst you observe the repercussions.”

New LSHTM-led research finds that many patient groups that are asked to assess NHS drugs for NICE, receive undeclared industry funding. Lead author Kate Mandeville told The Guardian: “More than two thirds of patient organisations had accepted funding from the manufacturer of a technology or a competitor product in the same year that they had contributed to the appraisal of that technology or in the previous year.”

Andy Haines is quoted by CNN on a new study which finds that rising global temperatures could lead to many more deaths than the 250,000 a year WHO estimate. Andy said: “Climate change is not the only environmental problem that threatens our health. The depletion of freshwater resources, unprecedented biodiversity loss, ocean acidification, overfishing, pollution, deforestation and the spread of invasive species, that are related to climate change, but are environmental problems on their own, all compound these public health threats. It is an urgent task to understand how to safeguard health in the face of these dramatic trends, all of which are caused by human activities related to patterns of economic activity.”

Andy also spoke to Journalist’s Resource about the study and climate change risk.

Heidi Larson speaks to the New York Times about the global threat of anti-vaccine messaging. Heidi said: “Trust in vaccines is being so thoroughly eroded that these prevention tools are in danger of becoming useless. The next major disease outbreak will not be due to a lack of preventive technologies.”

Stephen Evans provides expert comment to the Independent and The Telegraph on a new study which finds that using aspirin frequently to prevent heart attacks can increase the risk of major bleeding by more than 40 per cent. Stephen said: “The message for healthy patients is that taking aspirin has a small benefit to prevent heart disease but also at least as large a harm in terms of serious bleeding. For some individual patients the balance may tip more clearly in either direction.”

On social media

The first social media highlight comes from the LSHTM twitter account sharing news of LSHTM’s Dixon Chibanda bringing his innovative Friendship Bench to the World Economic Forum annual meeting. Over the week many influential leaders have been photographed on the bench making a commitment to act on global mental health.


This week also saw new UKRI Global Research Hubs announced. LSHTM will lead the ‘Action Against Stunting Hub’ as well as being involved in 5 of the other 12 hubs working across the globe on diverse research topics. The announcement is another social media highlight from the LSHTM twitter account.

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