Minerva

Minerva

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.311.7016.1380 (Published 18 November 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:1380

Fewer Americans smoke nowadays than in the late 1970s, but more are overweight. The links between the two trends are complex but thought provoking. On average former smokers gain 4.4 kg (men) and 5.0 kg (women), and former smokers are more likely than lifelong non-smokers to be overweight (New England Journal of Medicine 1995;333:1165-70). Calculations suggest that around one quarter of the rise in prevalence of overweight in men and one sixth of the rise in women can be attributed to smoking cessation.

Despite the appeal of the method to thriller writers, murder by insulin seems to be a rare event, says Vincent Marks in his Banting lecture published in “Diabetic Medicine” (1995;12:850-64). Only five people have been convicted of murder using insulin, but the numbers killed by this technique may be higher; it is still difficult to detect, and other cases are known in which for various reasons no one has been brought to justice.

Fish and shellfish kept alive in salt water tanks in restaurants provide customers with the certainty that their food will be fresh--but not that it will be bacteriologically safe. An outbreak of 12 cases of cholera in Hong Kong (Public Health 1995;109:389-95) was traced to contaminated …

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