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North East consumers unaware of what's in low-sugar products

Health-conscious consumers in the North East may be increasing their calorie consumption by choosing to buy low-sugar or low-fat products.

Over half (57%) of consumers polled in the region said they believed reformulation - the process of replacing, reducing or removing an ingredient such as sugar - would lead to a reduction in calories in a product.

And nearly two in three (65%) of those who favoured low-fat or low-sugar food and drink products viewed them as the healthier option, the research from AB Sugar found.

However, many consumers are unaware that when removing sugar from a product, the proportion of fat can increase - which may result in an increase in total calories.

The OnePoll national survey of 2,000 people also revealed that once consumers in the North East realised that reformulation could increase calories, 47% said they were against the process.

Dr Julian Cooper, head of food sciences at AB Sugar, said:

The food and drinks industry has actively been looking into reformulating products for a number of years, in order to offer consumers a greater choice and, more recently, as one of the options available to help tackle obesity. However, reformulation is not a straight forward solution to creating lower calorie products.

We are in favour of reformulation - including the removal of sugar - but only when it results in a total calorie reduction. So, it's of utmost importance for consumers to take into consideration total calories when looking at labels, rather than just focusing on one ingredient.

– Dr Julian Cooper

AB Sugar has recently launched a Making Sense of Sugar campaign to help educate people about sugar, the role it can play as part of a healthy balanced diet, and to help people to make better informed choices about what they consume.

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Thousands walk for Alzheimer's

More than a thousand people have attended a Memory walk on Tyneside to raise awareness about dementia.

The Alzheimer's Society says there are 34 thousand people in the North East living with the disease.

Lesley and Ruth Crowe cut the ribbon Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The walk was started by Ruth and Lesley Crowe, the widow and daughter of former Newcastle player Charlie Crowe - who died of dementia.

Walkers set off across the Millennium Bridge Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

"Memory Walk sees whole families coming together to fight dementia and is an excellent opportunity for people to get together and enjoy a day to remember whatever the weather. We want this year to be the biggest yet and to raise even more money to provide services and support to help people to live better with dementia today and fund research for a cure for tomorrow."

– Rebecca Scott, Alzheimer's Society Community Fundraiser
People could walk 2 or 10k Credit: ITV Tyne Tees
The walk then headed off along the Quayside Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Washington meningitis survivor was in a coma for 9 weeks

A Washington Meningitis survivor is warning the public to know their symptoms during Meningitis Awareness Week (15th - 21st September).

Vivienne Bellfrom Washington said: “ I contracted meningococcal septicaemia in May 2008. The doctor said I was 97% dead when I was taken to hospital. I was in a coma for 9 weeks, I had my fingers amputated in August and my legs amputated in November and I finally went home on 24th December! I'm supporting Meningitis Awareness Week as everyone needs to know the symptoms so they can seek medical help fast.”

Know the symptoms

Meningitis and septicaemia can be hard to recognise at first. Symptoms can appear in any order, but the first symptoms are usually fever, vomiting, headache and feeling unwell, just like many mild illnesses.

Not everyone gets all the below symptoms. Septicaemia can occur with or without meningitis and in some cases of meningitis, a rash may not appear at all.

The two below images show ticks to demonstrate symptoms that are more specific to meningitis and septicaemia and are less common in milder illnesses.

Meningitis and septicaemia symptoms Credit: Meningitis Research Foundation
Meningitis and septicaemia symptoms Credit: Meningitis Research Foundation

Thyroid cancer: Facts and symptoms to look out for

Check your neck

People are being urged to check their necks for bumps during Thyroid Cancer awareness month this September.

Thyroid Cancer is rare but is one of the fastest increasing cancers in the world. At the moment around 2,100 new cases are diagnosed in the UK each year.

The cancer is twice as common in women as men and is most commonly diagnosed in women in their late 20s/early30s and in their 60s.

It has an 80-90% cure rate if caught early, so people are being urged to check their necks for lumps and visit their doctor if they are concerned.

Thyroid facts

The thyroid gland is located at the base of the neck below where a man's adam's apple sits.

It is shaped like a butterfly with a wing, or lobe, on either side of the windpipe.

Symptoms to look out for

  • A lump in your neck especially one that rapidly increases in size.
  • Changes in the voice.
  • Difficulty swallowing, not associated with a cold.
  • Difficulty breathing.

Extra care should be taken if their is a family history of thyroid cancer or if people have been exposed to radiation during childhood i.e in treatment for other cancers.

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Thyroid cancer surviver urges public to 'be neck aware'

Kate Farnell MBE founded the Butterfly Thyroid Cancer Trust, a charity she set up after being diagnosed with the condition.

From her base on Tyneside, Kate provides information, help and support to people across the country and also works internationally.

She has joined the 'check your neck' campaign and is urging the public to "be neck aware".

'Check your neck' campaign launched in Newcastle

Former Thyroid Cancer patients have been raising awareness at the RVI in Newcastle. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

People are being urged to check their necks for bumps during Thyroid Cancer awareness month this September.

Thyroid Cancer is rare but is one of the fastest increasing cancers in the world. At the moment around 2,100 new cases are diagnosed in the UK each year.

The cancer is twice as common in women as men and is most commonly diagnosed in women in their late 20s/early30s and in their 60s.

If It has an 80-90% cure rate if caught early, so people are being urged to check their necks for lumps and visit their doctor if they are concerned.

Former Thyroid Cancer patients have been raising awareness at the RVI in Newcastle.

Newcastle supporting Gutierrez after cancer diagnosis

Newcastle United has confirmed that winger Jonas Gutierrez is receiving treatment in Argentina after being diagnosed with testicular cancer.

The club said it has been aware of his condition for some time, but respected his wish for privacy.

"We have and will continue to offer Jonas our full support.

"We thank our fans for their kind messages of support for Jonas and the thoughts and best wishes of everyone connected to Newcastle United are with him at this time."

– Lee Charnley, Managing Director

Common signs and symptoms of testicular cancer

Following the news that Newcastle midfielder Jonas Gutierrez is being treated for testicular cancer, ITV Tyne Tees looks at some common signs and symptoms of testicular cancer.

5 common signs and symptoms of testicular cancer:

  • A lump can be felt in 97% of cases and in approximately 86% of cases this will be painless. A malignant testis may not feel unduly uncomfortable or painful whereas a testis inflamed by infection will usually be very tender and painful.
  • Dragging sensation 29%.
  • Recent history of trauma 10%, leading to examination and discovery of a lump.
  • Breast swelling or tenderness (called gynaecomastia). This is rare but may be caused by hormones, which are produced by some types of testicular cancer.
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the groin area, which have enlarged either due to spread of cancer or where infection is also present.

For more information on diagnosis, support and life after testicular cancer, you can visit the Your Privates website.

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