SIRC Media Watch Archive
Panics and Scares – September 1999

Certain types of soy sauce have been shown to greatly reduce the levels of harmful cholesterol.  But experts have suggested that other warnings about the high salt content of soy sauce could confuse people aiming to improve their diet. BBC

…Only last week  soy sauce makers were told to alter manufacturing processes after checks found high levels of a chemical that can cause cancer in mice. Guardian
…And now  soybean sales will receive a welcome boost from the government's decision to allow soy-enhanced food products to advertise themselves as reducing the risk of heart disease. Reuters

Sitting in a sauna can silently aggravate heart problems in patients who experience chest pain while exercising. Reuters

Blowing your nose could make colds worse  Researchers have found blowing your nose could blast infected mucus back into the sinuses, making a cold worse and perhaps leading to sinus infections. ABC News

You shouldn't be reading this  according to the Center for Online Addiction. Dr Kimberly Young, the centre's director, says that many people have become Internet addicts and doctors should be better equipped to deal with this new disease. If you want to spend even more time online you could take the centre's addiction test. Or you could pay Dr Young $15 for an email consultation.

Beware of the dog.  About 13,000 Americans are bitten by dogs daily, according to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Better Homes & Gardens

Machismo is unhealthy. The editor of a new book Mens Health claims that men are less healthy than women because they are so macho and take greater risks. Telegraph

…But it would appear that Sindy is taking health warnings rather more seriously! She is still the sassy teenager with the supermodel looks, but Sindy, the doll beloved by little girls for more than 30 years, has finally heeded medical advice: she has lost her tan. Telegraph

Bubonic Plague.  Climate changes and increasing globalisation could bring back the diseases of the Middle Ages, an expert has warned. BBC News

Non-breast milk in infancy increases asthma risk.  Introducing milk other than breast milk to infants younger than 4 months old allegedly increases the risk of asthma and atopy (a predisposition to certain allergies – but only by a little bit. Reuters

Gumshield drive for school children.  As many as one in 20 of Britain's teenagers have permanently damaged their teeth playing sports according to the British Dental Association. BBC News

Newest version of the Pill may cause blood clots.  After women have already been unnecessarily scared once about the alleged links between contraceptive pills and thrombosis (which led to a sharp rise in unwanted pregnancies and abortions) it is now the turn of the Danish Cancer Society to frighten them again. Reuters

Oily fish is good for you?  Not any more apparently. It now contains low levels of deadly poisons and should not be eaten more than once a week, the government has said, even though the levels of poison are not actually dangerous. BBC News