Eating and smoking

Overeating, an American study tells us this week, now causes more disability and death than smoking. It’s a depressing thought, although we can squeeze out some new year cheer that it’s partly because fewer people smoke than used to.

So what can we make of news that giving up smoking actually raises the risk of type 2 diabetes, probably because of weight gain in the years after smokers quit? It’s one of those counter-intuitive stories beloved by those who’d like an excuse not to quit.

Actually, the only sensible conclusion is that it’s important to keep an eye on your diet while you’re in the throes of nicotine craving. But sometimes sensible gets a bit wearing, especially in January. Which is why I was cheered by this story about a talking, computerised plate that helps children eat more healthily. Talking plates. Now that’s the 21st century we were promised.

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