Intended for healthcare professionals

Minerva Minerva


BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 23 September 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:774

Among the many lessons to be learnt from the fuel crisis earlier this month should be the recognition by motorists that driving slowly saves petrol. The BMJ (2000;320:1160) and more recently Injury Prevention (2000;6:163-6) have both called for lower speeds to reduce road casualties, but maybe an appeal to motorists' pockets will be more successful.

American paediatricians who want to know whether their patients live in a household with a loaded gun should ask the parent who is likely to own the gun—the father—rather than the one who presents to the paediatric department—usually the mother. A telephone survey in Pediatrics found that women are often unaware of a hazardous firearm in the house, particularly if it is kept loaded in an unlocked cupboard (

Coconut oil and palm oil have high contents of saturated fatty acids and so may be dietary risk factors for coronary heart disease and hypertension, says a review in the West Indian Medical Journal (2000;49:128-33). On the other hand there is some evidence that coconut oil has antioxidant properties as well as some antimicrobial and antiviral activity. The conclusion of the review is that, on balance, coconut oil may be useful as a food for infants

Exercise is widely perceived as only good, but …

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