Intended for healthcare professionals



BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 12 June 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:1634

Tobacco farming consumes a lot of wood, mostly for drying and curing the leaves. The resulting deforestation is destroying the fragile environments of 35 developing countries, according to estimates in Tobacco Control (1999;8:18-28). Tobacco farming is responsible for 1.7% of global deforestation each year, and for nearly 5% of the deforestation in the worst affected regions, which include southern Africa, South America, and the Caribbean. The losses are not sustainable, the report concludes.

Undergraduate examiners who need to increase their stock of multiple choice questions should consider asking the students to write their own. Paediatrics students from Edinburgh set their own questions, which were tested on peers in a mock exam a year later (Archives of Diseases in Childhood 1999;80:573-5). The spread of marks was better in the mock exam, and students surveyed afterwards said the questions were fairer and more relevant than the questions in their real exam.

There is still fierce debate about why slimmers often fail to stay slim. A meta-analysis, which tries to make sense of a quagmire of poor research, concludes that people who have been obese have a lower resting metabolic rate than controls (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1999;69:1117-22). An accompanying commentary, however, cuts the data another …

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