A recent study co-authored by Oxford University researchers has proposed a twenty per cent tax on sugary drinks that it estimates would reduce the number of adults who are obese and overweight by 285,000.The measures would add 12p to the price of an average 330ml can, and would, the study estimates, raise £276million a year, which could be used to help the NHS to treat obese patients.Researchers from the British Heart Foundation, Oxford University and the University of Reading published the study in the British Medical Journal last week. They based their research on drink consumption data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey of 2008-2010, in which 2,126 people completed a four day food and drink diary, and statistics on the cost of food and drink from the Living Costs and Food Survey of 2010. This information, alongside the results of similar studies intothe effects of food and drink pricing on consumption, allowed them to forecast the effect of a tax on spending habits.Dr Adam Briggs, the lead study author from the Nuffield Department of Population Health at Oxford University, believes that this tax would be an effective measure. He said, “Sugar-sweetened drinks are known to be bad for health and our research indicates that a twenty per cent tax could result in a meaningful reduction in the number of obese adults in the UK.“Such a tax is not going to solve obesity by itself, but we have shown it could be an effective public health measure and should be considered alongside other measures to tackle obesity in the UK.”Their findings follow calls by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges earlier this year to impose a higher tax on sugary drinks and ban pre-watershed advertising of junk food, claiming that obesity in the UK was a “huge crisis” that is particularly damaging to young people.However, critics have pointed out the fact that this would not be drastic enough to deter the people most at risk. Tom Sanders, professor of nutrition and dietetics at King’s College London, said, “The cost of sugar-sweetened beverages is currently so low that any price increase would be so marginal that it would be unlikely to affect intake. You can buy three litres of orange squash for £1 in discount stores.”People aged sixteen to thirty are the most frequent consumers of soft drinks, yet reactions amongst Oxford students have been generally negative. Most feel that it is only addressing a small part of a wider problem, and that raising awareness about the harmful effects of sugar drinks is more important than changing the price.Oisin Kidney, a medical student, said, “Even if this reduces sugary drink consumption, people will find something else to fill the void. It could just encourage people to buy in bulk and end up drinking more.”Tom Jackson, a PPE student, said, “If you have sugary drinks often enough to endanger your health, you won’t be put off by a small increase in price. You’d need a much stronger campaign to make any difference.”
Mountain biking always struck me as a spring, summer, or fall sport. The short daylight hours of winter and colder temperatures make it difficult to squeeze in trail bike rides in the winter. After picking up the sport of cyclocross this fall, I decided that I would take the plunge into the world of night riding. It took me a few weeks of thinking and talking about night riding before I decided I was ready to commit. A couple of months ago I purchased a relatively expensive bike light. I also decided to purchase a couple of Cree XML T-6 bike lights based on the recommendation of a friend. After using both the expensive light and the Cree, the Cree bike lights have exceeded my expectations, especially given the price point.Based on my shopping experience and anecdotal evidence, quality bike lights are notoriously expensive. When spending that much on an electronic device, however, I expect it to do more than simply act as a flashlight. One thing that makes the Cree bike lights such an attractive option to the novice night rider is that they are a not cost prohibitive barrier to night riding. With Cree, you can test the waters of night riding without making a huge investment. The Cree lights claim to have 1,600 lumens, have three settings, high, medium and strobe. I have not tested the lumen output to verify this claim, but suffice it to say, this light is bright. The Cree lights are rechargeable and a full charge last about 4 to 5 hours, which is pretty similar for much more expensive options. The lights easily mount to a helmet or your handlebars and come with accessories for mounting. I suggest you buy a pair of Cree bike lights, one for your helmet and one for your handlebars and get out and explore the trails after dark. Adventure awaits.MSRP $29.99
Facebook0Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Thurston CountyThurston County Commissioners today, approved a proclamation honoring the many volunteers who serve county government and the citizens of the county.The proclamation declares the week of April 18 through 22 as “Volunteer Recognition Week” honoring the more than 825 women and men who give their time in support of more than 40 boards, commissions, advisory groups and other programs and organizations.Thurston County Commission Chair Sandra Romero says volunteers are a cornerstone of many county programs. “Just about any program provided by county government is impacted in a very positive way by citizens who give of their own time and expertise. Without their selflessness, we just would not be able to provide the range of services that we do.A review of the efforts of county volunteers shows:Volunteer hours donated in a year are in excess of 25,000The estimated value of the donated time is more than $476,000 dollarsVolunteers are vital in such organizations as the Medical Reserve Corps, Search and Rescue, Office of Assigned Counsel, Veterans’ Advisory Board, Victims’ Advocates, Stream Team, Sheriff’s Office Reserve Deputies, Fair Board and dozens of other bodies.County Commissioner Cathy Wolfe says, “Many of the volunteers give up evening time and weekends to assist county government and we really appreciate their willingness to serve.”Commissioner Bud Blake says the donations of volunteers really make a difference. “A single person cannot do everything, but everyone can do something. The hundreds of people who give to county government contribute greatly to making this a great place to live. Their efforts are truly outstanding!”In one example alone, The WSU-Extension Master-Gardener/Master-Recycler program totaled more than 12,000 volunteer hours last year, which would equal six full time employees.