Minerva: August 2003
The consumption of junk food arguably places a greater burden on healthcare systems than healthy food. A spokesman for the Centre for Science in the Public Interest (Canada) says that Canadians should be ready to pay additional taxes on these items, as they already do on tobacco and alcohol, “to pay for the increased financial toll.” The association wants such “sin taxes” to apply at both restaurants and grocery shops (Canadian Medical Association Journal 2003;168:1697).
Do depressed elderly people have a different fatty acid profile than those who are not depressed? Researchers writing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2003;78:40-6) think so. Polyunsaturated fatty acids fall into two camps: n-3 and n-6, and in this study of nearly 4000 people, those with depressive disorders had a higher ratio of n-6 to n-3. The difference was more marked in those with normal concentrations of C reactive protein, suggesting that fatty