Saturday 20 December 2014

So, is drinking orange juice really bad for you?

...not to mention too much water, watching sports or wearing an ill-fitting bra. Lisa Jewell reports

We all know about the big risk factors that pose a threat to our health -- smoking, drinking too much alcohol, not exercising enough, and countless others.

But new health risks regularly hit the headlines and, more often than not, they're things we don't immediately think of as being dangerous to our well-being.

We take a look at five recent health concerns and discover if they're really hazardous.

1. A glass of fruit juice a day increases diabetes risk

An in-depth study has shown that drinking just one glass of orange juice a day could significantly increase a person's risk of diabetes.

The American study followed the long-term health of 70,000 female nurses over an 18-year period.

It found that the women who had one glass of fruit juice a day increased their odds of developing Type 2 diabetes by 18pc. The researchers suggest that "caution should be observed in replacing some beverages with fruit juices in an effort to provide healthier options".

So while we're all keen to increase our daily fruit intake, should we be careful about loading up on juice?

"It's an interesting study and we already know that fruit juices have lots of natural sugars," says Sarah Keogh, consultant dietitian at the Albany Clinic.

"When you eat a whole fruit, it takes longer for the sugar to break down in the body but fruit juice comes into the blood stream much more quickly and can affect insulin levels.

"I wouldn't advise anyone to stop drinking fruit juice -- it's a fantastic source of vitamins and a good way to take in fluids. I'd recommend drinking fruit juice alongside a meal as food slows the absorption of the sugar into the blood stream."

2. Women wearing the wrong size bras are damaging their breasts

An ill-fitting bra does little to flatter a lady's figure but new research has shown that it can also cause fragile ligaments to become irreparably stretched.

A breast biomechanics research team at the University of Portsmouth has spent the past three years testing 50 bra designs on hundreds of women.

"Women tend to leave long gaps between getting measured when they should really be getting fitted for a bra every six months," she says.

"So many things can affect breast size -- medication, weight loss, weight gain and so on.

"The most common mistake that women make is wearing a bra that is too big around the back. This means that the bust falls forward and isn't getting enough support.

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