Category Archives: Training and Advice


Are you over the age of 50?


Would you like to develop or join a social network for oldies?

Such a network could provide support, break isolation , organise activities and more…………

come to a first get together on :-

             Monday 20th February  – 10am until 5pm


                       Ealing Quakers Meeting House

                            17, Woodville Road,W5  2SE   


                                                 refreshments available 

              Drop in anytime stay as long as like, come with ideas to share

For more information contact Andrée 

Tel:  02085673446

                                 Everyone Welcome

Welcome phrase in different languages. Word clouds concept.


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Cardiac arrest As part of our obligation as a doctor we have to have annual update cardiopulmonary resuscitation training and this also applies to the whole practice team.

We have found over the past few years that it makes sense to have sessions which include a cross-section of staff and even opening it up to patients that want to participate aswell as the the young adults of staff.

A report of a rare miraculously saving of a life 

On December 23rd 2017 Dr Livingston was cosily at home recharging her batteries after a very busy surgery watching “Love Actually” with her daughter and her boyfriend when there was a loud frantic knock at the door. It was the  nextdoor neighbour she was totally beside herself. Her husband had collapsed.

Dr Livingston knew he had heart problems so she immediately went into ‘doctor mode’ She instructed the 2 teenagers ( her daughter had attended CPR training ago but her boyfriend had never attended any training) to bring their phones  ( not usually far from there sides, anyway!) Her daughter who remembered that there was a pocket mask strapped to the stairs in the hall had the presence of mind to grab that as well and the team hurriedly followed the neighbour to the house.  Sure enough the husband was sited against a wall in a collapsed state. Immediate assessment demonstrated he was unrousable, not breathing and with no pulse. He had had a cardiac arrest.

The team managed to drag him onto the kitchen floor. Instantly  the learnt procedure was put into action, and Dr Livingston allocated instructions to her team- the boyfriend called 999 and was communicating with the ambulance service ,very calmly listening and responding appropriately to their questions.

Meanwhile, Dr Livingston had immediately started CPR (basic life support with my daughter). Her daughter maintained good airway and Dr Livingston commenced chest compressions. She commented how exhausting it was and infact had not performed  this for many years in a ‘real situation’ and then only in a hospital situation. Her daughter astutely observed that her mother was getting tired and then took over cardiac compressions. Before the ambulance arrived a police car arrived with a defibrillator. Although she had had training on this but she had never actually used and automated external defibrillator. They followed the spoken voice instructions it gave them.

After about 3 shocks the A.E.D said in a clear voice ‘movement detected’. The team paused in shear amazement ‘It was incredible,’ commented Dr Livingston.

Subsequently, two ambulance crews arrived and they took over and when he seemed stable the patient was transferred to Ealing Hospital. On arrival at hospital the Glasgow coma scale was used to assess the severity of brain injury and prognosis. The initial Glasgow Coma Scale provides a score in the range 3-15; patients with scores of 3-8 are usually said to be in a coma, remarkably his was 15.

This was a true miracle, as it is reported that of cardiac arrests in a hospital set up only 7% of people survive this man not only lived to tell the tale but survived his near-death experience without any damage to his heart muscle or his brain, an outcome extremely rarely seen following an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

When Dr Livingston and myself discussed this, I felt empowered to blog about this and Dr Livingston felt it was paramount to share her story with other GP’s by posting on a closed facebook page called Resilient GPs. Usually she would get 1 or 2 responses  but on this occasion had over 700 !!

Many GP’s after reading the account  decided to open up their basic life support training to the staff’s teenagers and family and purchase pocket masks and keep them at home and in the car. Dr Livingston will be advocating to all staff and both her daughters to put a pocket mask in their  cars.

Moreover, the practice would be prepared to offer hosting CPR courses at the surgery for anyone interested or facilitate where a course could be done. 


When the team  got back home after lots of cups of tea Dr Livingston asked her daughter how she was feeling and was she upset by it?

She admitted it was scary but even though it was 2 years since she had attended the course she said the thing she particularly remembered the trainer saying, 

‘If you dont do anything they will die so you may as well try. Even if just do chest compression that will help. That is what everyone needs to know- have a go !!’

 Dr Livingston felt immensely proud of these teenagers , who not only immediately jumped into action without thinking  but ‘saved a life’.

Well done – an absolute game – changer. 

A week after this there was routine practice training update. The first time with the new practice defibrillator. The trainer simulated a cardiac arrest, which was brilliant, but completely forgot the practices had it’s own device.!!

The most important thing if some one has a cardiac arrest is to fibrillate as soon as possible

A few days later Dr Livingston  passed the gentleman’s son in the street and asked how his father was feeling. He replied, ” he seems fine but that his ribs were aching a lot” he was virtually totally unaware of the magnitude of what had happened and not only had he survived but that his life had been restored without brain injury.

As days went by it gradually it registered this man’s life had been saved by a team that was confident and empowered to act quickly and efficiently and then the team were showered with gifts!


You could easily learn this skill and be a potential life-saver.

The British Heart Foundation are determined to transform the UK into a Nation of Lifesavers: a country where everyone knows how to save a life.

Also you could inform the surgery that you wish to participate in training and when enough people have signed up they will arrange a session.


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Have you ever yearned after being a ballet dancer – that is often the case in growing up and mothers often dutifully take their children to ballet classes as I did for my three children until the tummy aches occur before lessons or with competing interests they can’t fit it into their busy schedules.

But there are some children who feel they have missed out  Or feel they want to rekindle that yearning and as adults they find a studio to reconnect or even start as a beginner.  Moreover, there are significant number of middle – aged adults who decide to join ballet classes and reap the physical and mental benefits of this challenging dance form.

I remember my daughter and friends who dance at any opportunity  often attended a well known studio ‘Pineapple’ in Convent Garden. They have classes for a wide variety of different types of dance classes.

women who do ballet over 50

L to R These women are all keen ballet dancers, or use ballet movements to stay fit and active –-these ladies are aged 50-68yrs

Subsequently  I came across an ex-ballerina from Sadlers Wells Ballet company in an acupuncture class as she wanted to learn to treat common injuries. She was teaching middle – aged pupils at Pineapple and was proud of the fact that she had a pupil of 76yrs!

Isabel McMeekan was principal dance at the Royal Ballet now runs classes for adults including Assoluta class for the over 60’s.  This is a unique class specifically created for 60 year olds and over, involving gentle stretching, core work, barre work and centre practice.



Hence, I was not shocked when a professional colleague told me she had just enrolled for regular ballet classes. As we talked I could appreciate the positive health benefits of maintaining flexibility and bone density well into your later years to stall the onset of osteoporosis and could also ward off dementia. That’s as well as improving your figure, looks and confidence, relieving stress — and maybe even helping your love life.

We know that about 9 percent of adults age 65 and older report having problems with balance. Poor balance can be a contributing factor to falling, which can result in broken bones and hospital admissions.

Hence, because it is well recognised that:-

The single most serious threat that older people face is falling

Good balance is essential to being able to control and maintain your body’s position while moving and remaining still. Good balance helps you:

• Walk without staggering
• Arise from chairs without falling
• Climb stairs without tripping

You need good balance to help you stay independent and carry out daily chores and activities. Problems with sense of balance are experienced by many people as they age.

Inevitably practising ballet is going to be invaluable in addressing maintaining good balance.

My story of joining an adult ballet class

I did ballet as a child until about the age of 12 when transitioning to secondary school and puberty meant focussing on other things in life. It wasn’t until 9 years ago, in my late 30s, when I joined an adult ballet class, that my love of ballet was reignited! The combination of dance to classical music is unique to ballet, and though I have tried and have enjoyed many other activities (yoga, ballroom, Zumba and flamenco amongst many other things), ballet is what I have stuck at with a passion for the last 9 years! Certainly the movements and positions we get into remind me of my childhood, and the music makes me feel nostalgic and emotional. Perhaps it is all this emotion combined with the fact that I’ve had a seriously good work out keeps me so addicted to ballet!
Music is an essential part of ballet, and through ballet I have learnt to love the piano again too. I found I was enjoying the music so much at the class, I would go home to bang out the tune immediately on the piano! Memories of my old piano teacher came flooding back…and I have since made contact with her through email. These two pastimes have brought me much joy and satisfaction in recent years, I feel my childhood has returned to me in middle age!



You may feel this is something you thought was too late to start but there is a chance out there and with the added bonus of physical and mental health benefits.










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Posted by on February 9, 2017 in Training and Advice


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Several weeks I literally bumped into Florence Wilks at the front door of the surgery. Our eyes fixed on each other momentarily, my delay was quickly assessing how she was before I spoke, hers was to make a request.

I have known Florence for several years and she openly admitted to all around her as well as on at least one radio programme that she has suffered a late diagnosis of ovarian cancer and has had several relapses but rather than become overpowered with anger and resentment  she has directed her energies into raising money and awareness to fund research and better education for women and doctors into ovarian cancer. Just a reminder about symptoms we should be aware of:-

Carcinoma ovary

The  impact has been profound and I know on a personal level I felt empowered to educate patients, medical students, my peers as well as anyone reading my blog  to make people aware of how to diagnose and manage this disease. My partner, Jane and I have been much more vigilant about potential signs and symptoms and insisting getting a good quality pelvic ultrasound and a well written report not satisfied with ‘ovary not well visualised’ and a test for tumour markers CA125.

I was pleased to be able to say “hello, you look great” and she then told me about the book she was compiling of poems, musings and stories in order to raise money for ovarian cancer. I started to tell her that I was sure I could find sometime to contribute but her eyes fixed on me and said that she wanted my contribution and the deadline was the end of October! I hadn’t written a poem for 50 yrs and then not easily! But she made it quite clear it was the contribution rather than the standard of writing – how could I refuse – she had fought cancer and she meant business!
I put if off wanting to believe I was too busy, hadn’t time, lost her email address but then I was struck down with a viral illness and too weak to do much but I did have time and I was thinking! Then that day I just put the words down on my iPad and realised I had written a poem. I sent it to my children and Jane hoping they would say, ‘good try, but…..’ They recognised it as a poem and I found Florence’s email and it whooshed away into cyberspace. Her reply was quick and she accepted my  motivated endeavour.


I was asked to write a musing of a GP
My thoughts went blank somewhat a degree
Never wanted to be a GP, paediatrics was my desire,
But sometimes in life think about what we require.
A string of Jobs for General Practice took me to an interview
And I was accepted along with the chosen few.
Paediatrics, A&E, obstetrics, General Medicine and ENT
Also including 12 months as a GP trainee.
Fully qualified I returned to my paediatric dream
But overwhelmed with hospital bureaucracy decided to go back to the GP team.
Children are part of families, with parents, siblings, grannies and grandpas too
Patients in the cottage hospital and birthing unit, long stay hospital to visit and view
I wanted to be part of a community, providing a service to all ages with acute and chronic illnesses as well

I started as a GP in South Wales amongst hard grafting men
Chiselling out diamond coal, damaging their lungs again and again
I loved their humour, their ongoing rugby banter, their voices in full swing
Helping them get enough breath to get to the club, that was the important thing
I watched them live a life of courage, I watched them dying a death of suffering
I was part of a great primary care team who took an important part in everything
Patients and staff alike taught me how to care holistically and what empathy really meant
Children with cystic fibrosis and spina bifida who helped with ways to treat and prevent
The high prevalence in this place pioneered the vital research to lead to what we now see.
Now all women take folic acid in pregnancy and others benefit from stem cell therapy
I loved my work in the Llynfi valley even on those wet cold days and nights serving the people
The hours were long the work was tough but the great rewards there was nothing to equal
I had become part of a community, infact I was the news agent’s daughter now come back what better compliment than that!

Then the knight in white armour swept me off my feet to pastures new
I was married in London cheered on by the bus load from Llynfi too
Then after 3 children gradually returned to General Practice in Ealing
What a contrast, a culture shock for me but the new challenge was appealing
Lords and homeless , patients spanning the World from all occupations including the BBC,
Unimaginable varied diseases as well as patients from every trouble spot in the globe to see.
A high prevalence of severely mentally ill often neglected by primary care
But not forgetting those with the stresses of everyday life you have to be aware
Medical students, astounded by the amount of serious disease attend the surgery frequently
We care for diabetics, asthmatics, COPD and heart and stroke patients in the community.
We keenly look out for cancer patients to diagnose early and provide supportive care
Our team look after pregnant ladies and along with families and children’s welfare
I have now become part of this community and despite national low morale I am passionate about my work as an ordinary GP.

Florence is so enthusiastic about her fund raising activities and has such an overwhelming desire and grim determination to fight her disease. It is patients like her that inspire doctors to go that extra distance, to be keen to get to the root of a problem and find out what is the real cause and make it all worthwhile. Be part of the positive energy she exudes as it will only make your life richer and more purposeful.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on November 1, 2015 in Training and Advice


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Day after day in the surgery we hear about the hardships and sadnesses. Often  what we hear or read in the news is all too much and many people have stopped watching or reading the news as they can’t cope with what they see or read. Many of us have challenges of our own which are a struggle in themselves and hearing about things which we can’t do anything about is all too much. For those who do struggle or know what it is like to go through bad times this poem might strike a note.

After a while – Veronica A. Shoffstall

After a while you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn
that love doesn’t mean leaning
and company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn
that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of woman, not the grief of a child
and you learn
to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground is
too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down
in mid-flight.
After a while you learn
that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
so you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone
to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure
you really are strong
you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn
with every goodbye, you learn…

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Posted by on October 24, 2015 in Training and Advice


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Dear GP,

I usually write to you to request a prescription. When I have an appointment, I usually talk to you about my ailments – about what is not good. Nowadays that relates to chronic illness.

Today I write to share positive: the privilege of participating in LIVING WELL – the self management programme that aims to help live with long term health conditions – group engagement with individuals who combine together a broad age group with a broad range of illness. I gained from it; I enjoyed it! I use the word enjoy because we shared the experience of illness in the context of our everyday living and although suffering was there, morbidity was nowhere!

Upon first encounter I was amazed to learn that regardless of age and condition, we all shared a similar experience which presents itself in what we have identified as the ‘symptom cycle’, such as the never ending loop of pain, difficult thoughts and emotions, poor sleep, physical limitations …. I gained tools to help manage and ‘break the cycle, to gain more better moments than moments that feel unmanageable. This was nice. Some of the tools are familiar, ones we put to use in our everyday – at work or at home, such as problem solving, decision making, communication (with doctors, for example), however, it became evident to me that we don’t always identify this so we don’t necessarily put our management tools to use in an effective way in the course of an illness in the everyday.

Hey, one doesn’t train to be a patient!

LIVING WELL encapsulates this and in an intense 6 session period, equips us with a toolbox that we can dig into at any given moment. Practice starts together; the work, we each have to continue to apply later. LIVING WELL is a lesson in responsibility and ownership of one’s condition. True, everything is good in ‘class’ and like learning to swim, you might get the moves when you’re in the pool having a lesson but next time you step into the water on your own, you might still feel you are going to drown. I do know it takes time to master tools but I also know that I have been equipped with a framework. I also now know that there is a strength from experiencing a group face to face.

LIVING WELL has enabled me to form a sense of community thanks to caring instructors who themselves experience long term health conditions and have participated in a course prior to becoming the guide. This is also thanks to an amazing group of people who, like me, may have had a sleepless night last night and not because we were out clubbing but because the challenges to go out to ‘a club’ can be immense. ‘Club’ here merely symbolises engaging with life in the everyday. I have learned new strategies that others use on how they may cope with a sleepless night, I hope they have learned something from me. So, we have gained and you do too. As we have learned about responsibility and ownership of how we engage with our long term health conditions,

LIVING WELL demonstrates how we can better engage with our doctors. You have come to know me overtime through my condition. You can understand the importance of this course for me. I strongly hope there will be future opportunities for existing groups to meet again in session for further learning.

But,without patients wanting to participate in the first place there will be no LIVING WELL. I am apprehensive that the course has now ended; someone else might be apprehensive about starting. Can you please continue to promote the LIVING WELL programme in your surgery to your patients, and amongst your colleagues so their patients can ‘LIVE WELL’ too? It has been a privilege,


Grateful patient



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Posted by on October 20, 2015 in Training and Advice


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Happiness is defined as a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging  from contentment to intense joy.


I would like to share this short story my daughter sent me yesterday:-

The 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully
dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with her hair fashionably
coifed and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind,
moved to a nursing home today. Her husband of 70 years recently passed
away, making the move necessary.

After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing
home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she
maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description
of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on
her window. “I love it,” she stated with the enthusiasm of an
eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.
“Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room …. just wait.”
“That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied. “Happiness is
something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not
doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged, it’s how I arrange my
mind. I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every
morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed
recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no
longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.
Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I’ll focus on the new
day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away, just for this time in
my life.”

She went on to explain, “Old age is like a bank account, you withdraw
from what you’ve put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a
lot of happiness in the bank account of memories Thank you for your
part in filling my Memory bank. I am still depositing.”

And with a smile, she said: “Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less



Posted by on October 20, 2015 in Training and Advice




imageAs a GP I regularly see young women who are anxious about not getting pregnant and if they have been trying for 12-18 months or sooner if over the age of 36yrs, despite having regular unprotected sex we consider that they may be infertile and need further investigation.
Around one in seven couples may have difficulty conceiving. This is approximately 3.5 million people in the UK.
About 84% of couples will conceive naturally within one year if they have regular unprotected sex.
For every 100 couples trying to conceive naturally:
84 will conceive within one year
92 will conceive within two years
93 will conceive within three years
For couples who have been trying to conceive for more than three years without success, the likelihood of pregnancy occurring within the next year is 25% or less.

There may be physical problems or often they are not conceiving due to a stressful, unhealthy lifestyle or for no apparent reason, which infact amounts to 15% of women. Hence, my first bit of advice is to advise a couple to have some quality time together and forget about babies and not infrequently within a couple of months they report back with a positive pregnancy test! One couple having been trying to conceive for several years and were due to go to India I suggested they forgot babies but to make sure they visited the Taj Mahal and looked into each other’s eyes. Needless to say 9 months later they were blessed with a beautiful son. I have watched some of these babies grow up and I couldn’t help but smile to myself when several of these, now grown up babies have approached me to do a work experience or help with their application to university or even medical school!  (recruiting preconception- has Jeremy Hunt heard about that!)

Moreover, over the decades, the availability of treatment and the type of women receiving it has changed dramatically. Dr Robert Forman worked with the British doctors who “created” Louise Brown, and is now medical director of the CRM Care London clinic, part of the country’s biggest fertility company, with seven “branches” in the UK and Ireland. Care now performs more than 7,000 cycles of treatment a year and boasts success rates of up to 50 per cent. When IVF started, it was purely for women with blocked fallopian tubes,” says Dr Forman. “One of the biggest changes over the years is that we are now increasingly treating people who are not technically infertile. It is single women who are opting for egg freezing or donor insemination, gay couples coming for treatment, as well as those who can conceive but have genetic testing of embryos, for instance, to screen out cystic fibrosis if they know they are carriers of that gene.” Recently we were delighted to facilitate a referral of a gay couple for successful IVF and for this family to be part of our practice and there are others in different situations who now feel confident to ask for support in preparing to conceive and then have their antenatal care within the practice.


However, infertility has become an industry and very costly to couples who take the route of IVF when in some cases a simple alternative could solve the problem. The NHS alone doesn’t carry all this demand: it only funds 41% of the IVF cycles in England and Wales, with more than half of people paying to sort out the problem for themselves – or at least trying to sort it out. We as GPs try to do as much before referral to avoid unnecessary IVF. As I read in one article about infertility,  “If you’re having sex three times a week, you have a much greater chance of success, rather than just waiting for that ovulation window. We need to talk about these things as well as IVF.” It would be useful to read the article on infertility in NHS choices website prior to consulting your GP before rushing off to ask for IVF independently.

Age-based infertility (rather than infertility that would exist regardless of age) is on the increase because it’s more socially acceptable, and indeed more possible, to delay motherhood than it was 30 years ago. This isn’t scaremongering, it is fact. Now they have recourse to a solution; but IVF is expensive and requires an average of four cycles to work – at roughly £5,000 a cycle, if it’s on the NHS – and the more that women “delay” their childbearing years (whether by design, accident or life circumstance), the heavier the demand for IVF. It was recently written in the press that schools are advising girls not to leave it ‘too late’ to have a baby.

Having conceived pregnancy is not always straight forward and employers are not always sympathetic  and women are expected to continue and cope with all that comes their way. There are many questions to be asked as women prepare to enter this new world of motherhood.

Eventually, the precious baby arrives but more and more mothers are isolated with no grandmother or extended family nearby to advise them how to deal with the numerous problems of caring for a baby ensue. We frequently see mothers in surgery coming to ask us for advice, which we are happy to help but attending a surgery or urgent care centre alongside ill patients is not ideal for a new mother and baby let alone being inconvenient for both. Hence, when Diana Hill an award-winning BBC science documentary film-maker.attended one of our Multi-Disciplinary Group meetings to talk about her company, “The Essential Parent Company” which she created with  Dr Rebecca Chicot a Cambridge PhD in Child Development and Parenting I felt it was an excellent resource to share with patients especially new mothers.

For a limited period of time there will be free access and if those viewing the videos give favourable comments there is a chance this may continue.


Professor Robert Winston, a pioneer of fertility and reproductive health pioneer has been a key advisor and provides expert information in maximising the chances of getting pregnant

With expert team of obstetricians, midwives, antenatal dietitiants and antenatal health experts The Essential Parent Company brings the most trusted advice to help you have a healthy and happy pregnancy, labour and birth.


With expert partners The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, UNICEF UK Baby Friendly as well as midwives, paediatricians, sleep experts, paediatric dietitians, development psychologists and The Essential Parent Company present trusted video demos and advice to help have a safe, happy and healthy baby. With advice on feeding, sleeping, crying and everyday care and health they aspire to give a one stop hub for warm, expert advice.




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Posted by on October 18, 2015 in Training and Advice


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MENINGITIS ACWY -catchup for all 17-18yr olds

ALERT FOR ALL 17 – 18 yr olds

It is very important for these students to attend for their vaccination. 


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Posted by on August 4, 2015 in Training and Advice




We are increasingly aware that we are living in an age where sugar consumption is spiralling out of control -outlets selling a wide variety of fizzy drinks, fashionable cupcakes and coffee shops selling cakes to eat at all times of day are al to prominent on the high street. Notwithstanding, the numerous foods on the shelves that contain hidden sugar.


As a child cakes  were considered a treat and kept for birthdays and weekends and fizzy drinks or ‘pop’ as it was known was not bought by every household. I remember the ‘pop’ man delivered the pop on a Friday, but I was told by my parents that it was unhealthy and a waste of money!  In those days if parents said that,  it was accepted and adhered to even if offered out of the home. The only fizzy drink I ever drank at home was ‘Andrews Liver salts’ tempted after watching my father flick off the lid with the handle of the teaspoon and mixing the white  powder in a glass of water.



I remember being fascinated as the water fizzed  and bubbled to the top of the glass and it wasn’t long before I sneaked into the cupboard where it was kept alongside the condiments to try it for myself when my parents were not around  – I was thrilled to have experienced drinking a fizzy drink. For those who don’t  know this medicine it was often taken as an antacid and mild laxative and my father took it regularly.

My first fizzy drink outside the home was ‘ Perrier water’ when I went on a french exchange visit at the age of 13 yrs and believe or not I was too shy to say no and drank it feeling very guilty. I certainly didn’t tell  my parents!

It is not surprising that alarm bells are ringing and people are speaking out about the association of sugar  consumption with obesity and mental health. It was in 2009 childhood obesity expert Prof Robert H. Lustig at the University of California, stated just this and following this the youtube lecture went viral. Similarly, Paul Van  der Velpen, head of Amsterdam’s health service, said that sugar is ‘the most dangerous drug of our time’ and that it is the main cause of the obesity epidemic. He believes this is because sugar is addictive and is ‘as hard to give up as smoking’. He supported research which suggested that when people are eating fats and proteins they stop when they are full, but that when they are eating sugars they will keep eating until their stomachs hurt.

As a grandmother I do feel concerned about what I see young children eat and  drink.  I am staggered by children around me who are apathic  and sluggish and so reluctant to exercise in an enthusiastic manner.

Could  there be an obvious answer in front of our eyes?

When my daughter cajoled  me to watch a film, recently released by Soda pictures a UK distributor


I have to say it seemed to answer many of these  questions.



Moreover,  when a very obese gentleman, who worked as a health care professional came in on Monday morning following my viewing this film and proceeded to tell me how he was putting on weight, feeling lethargic, apathetic and couldn’t stop snacking all day and needed medication to stop him. Infact, he had actually installed a fridge in his office to store his snacks, including his healthy cereal bars, yogurts and fruit juices! Could I help, preferably could I prescribe something?

‘Yes’ I retorted, watch this film, it’s all there!  ‘No’  you don’t need medication!

THAT  SUGAR  FILM is one man’s journey into the effect of eating the sugar that is hidden in food marketed as healthy.     Damon Gameau embarks on a unique experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body, consuming only foods that are commonly perceived as ‘healthy’. Through this entertaining and informative journey, Damon highlights some of the issues that plague the sugar industry, and where sugar lurks on supermarket shelves.

THAT SUGAR FILM will forever change the way you think about ‘healthy’ food.  It is easy family viewing, good catchy music, great graphics and even stars Stephen Fry! The message  is loud and clear and has had a significant  impact on what I eat and I will not be the doting grandmother who tempts  my grandson with hidden or overt sugar and remain slim and enjoy the numerous active sports and games that I enjoyed as a child.





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Posted by on August 3, 2015 in Training and Advice


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