Research has good news for indulgences

Updated: 2008-01-07 13:53


Being overweight is a major risk factor for developing, and for the progression of, osteoarthritis.

Being overweight increases the risk of breast cancer after menopause.

Half of all womb cancers and a type of oesophageal cancer are caused by being overweight or obese.

Being overweight creates an increased risk of kidney cancer, leukemia, multiple myeloma, pancreatic cancer, and breast and bowel cancer.

Excessive weight gain in pregnancy leads to overweight children.


Overweight people are less likely to die from diseases including Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, from infections, and from lung disease. This is not counteracted by the increased risks of dying from any other diseases.


Eating red meat increases women's chance of developing breast cancer. Post-menopausal women who eat as little as 40g (2oz) a day of beef, pork and lamb increase their risk by 56%. This rises to 64% if they also eat bacon, sausages and pies.

Eating red meat does not increase the risk of colorectal cancer.

Red meat and processed meat eaters are 30% more likely to develop bowel cancer.

A safe level of red meat eating is 18oz (500g) a week.

High red meat consumption could be a risk factor in developing rheumatoid arthritis.

Eating red meat and ham increases the risk of endometriosis by 80-100%.

Colon cancer patients who eat red meat, French fries and desserts may raise their chance of relapse and dying early.

Patients on a so-called Western diet were 300 times more likely to have a recurrence than those eating poultry, fish, vegetables and fruit.


Well done red meat, grilled or fried, not does appear to increase the risk of breast cancer.


Just half a joint can trigger short-term symptoms similar to schizophrenia: small amounts of the drug can cause paranoia, hallucinations and delusions associated with other mental illnesses. Schizophrenics' psychotic symptoms worsen with cannabis use.

BUT other research found that one active ingredient in cannabis inhibits psychotic symptoms in schizophrenics.

Aids patients with debilitating nerve pain get as much pain relief from cannabis as from prescription medications, and with fewer side effects.

Occasional use of cannabis is not harmful to teenagers, but those who smoke cigarettes as well develop problems, and are likely to be heavier cannabis users.

Smoking cannabis eased pain induced in healthy volunteers but less was more.

Marijuana skin cream could help with allergies.

Experienced cannabis smokers perform tasks as accurately when stoned as when they're sober.

An ingredient in cannabis may help prevent mad cow disease.

A single joint has the same effect on the smoker's lungs as smoking up to five cigarettes in one go.

Heavy cannabis use among vulnerable young people leads to more social problems.

The greatest number of social problems is found among the heaviest users.

Driving under the influence of cannabis is more common than previously thought, and more dangerous than driving under the influence of alcohol.

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