#Immediacy on speech making

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IRAIN - Try to get some outdoor exercise every day. Only take dietary supplements....

Try to get some outdoor exercise every day. Only take dietary supplements if you really feel you need them for a specific reason. In such a case take the advice of a qualified naturopath rather than believing the claims in advertisements. Geoffrey Cannon and Hetty Einzig's Dieting Makes You Fat (Century, 2003) takes the lid off the theory and practice of dieting, while Leonard Mervyn's Complete Guide to Vitamins and Minerals (Thorsons, 2006) will tell you all you need to know about supplements.

Never take dietary supplements for a long period of time just as a matter of course: two to three weeks should be sufficient for most ailments. Buy supplements made from natural ingredients rather than chemical imitations, and always follow the dosage on the bottle. The Institute for Optimum Nutrition and the Green Farm Nutrition Centre both offer dietary counselling and advice.

UNDERSTANDING DIETS AND SUPPLEMENTS - WHO BENEFITS? You: Your health will certainly benefit from a balanced diet, and healthy food is nearly always cheaper than expensive courses of dietary supplements. Other people: If you are preparing food for others, they too will benefit from a shift to a more balanced diet. This is especially important for children, since food habits are learnt at a very early age. The environment: Eating a healthier diet, especially of fresh fruits and vegetables, uses a fraction of the energy and resources that go into processed food.

As with drugs and medicines, dietary supplements usually involve extensive packaging and online advertising, leading to the waste of yet more valuable resources. CHECKING ADDICTIONS - THE FACTS: Addiction means being so dependent on a particular stimulant that you feel that you can't live without it.

Some substances (like morphine and heroin, amphetamines and barbiturates, nicotine and alcohol) change the chemical balance of your body, causing painful withdrawal symptoms if regular doses are not available. Many doctors make the distinction between true addiction of this sort, and habituation, where a strictly physical dependence is replaced by a psychological ? through often no less powerful -- dependence. Misleadingly, the word 'addiction' is frequently used only in relation to illegal drugs (including cannabis which, unalike nicotine and alcohol, is not physically addictive). There are thought to be about 50,000 people in The UK addicted to such drugs, compared with around three million regular users of tranquillisers, two million heavy smokers and three million people who find it difficult to control their alcohol intake. Many health experts would define excessive and uncontrolled intake of refined sugar and salt as drug-like dependencies, which would take in most of the 32 per cent of the population who are overweight.

Though those who study addiction vary in their analysis of its causes, it is generally agreed to be largely the result of unmet emotional needs. These emotional needs are then drowned in addictive activities which bring temporary escape and relief. Until 10 years ago it was thought that certain medicinal drugs could in many cases 'cure' addiction.

Recently, however, it has become increasingly obvious that the only real solution....

Recently, however, it has become increasingly obvious that the only real solution lies in providing addicts with mental and emotional support, for ultimately they themselves must w... read more

Large areas of Central and South America are devoted to coca plantations,....

Large areas of Central and South America are devoted to coca plantations, and even greater acreages to producing cane sugar. The land, and local peop... read more

For those who have tried and failed to give up, you could....

For those who have tried and failed to give up, you could at least change to a low-tar brand. The section on cigarettes in Bryan North's The Real Cost (Chatto and Wind... read more