“It’s quite striking,” said lead researcher Ian Needleman (via BBC Sept. 28), whose team published the report. “Our data and other studies suggest that, for a similar age profile, the oral health of athletes is poor.” The findings, which were published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine , revealed that 76 percent of the athletes examined had gum disease (including gingivitis and periodontitis); 55 percent had cavities, and 45 percent had tooth erosion. The results came from examining the teeth and gums of 302 athletes who had visited a dental clinic in the 2012 London Olympic Village. The athletes came from Africa, Europe and the Americas and participated in 25 different sports, including track and field, boxing, hockey and swimming. Needleman, a professor at London-based UCL Eastman Dental Institute, surmised that the high incidences of tooth decay, cavities and periodontitis were due to the sugary sports drinks and energy gels and other high-carbohydrate snacks athletes often consumed during training and competition. The sugar from the snacks coat the teeth and gums and often stay there for hours, since most athletes don’t pbrush their teeth in between events. Research indicates that people who don’t brush their teeth regularly are more susceptible to heart attacks and inflammation. Needleman was especially stunned by the findings because Olympic athletes take superior care of their bodies but seemed to completely neglect their teeth. He underscored that there’s a connection between oral hygiene, athletic performance, and good overall health. Oral health is important for well-being and successful elite sporting performance, he said. It is amazing that many professional athletes people who dedicate a huge amount of time and energy to honing their physical abilities do not have sufficient support for their oral-health needs, even though this negatively impacts on their training and performance. Good oral hygiene is important and is a window to your overall health, according to the Mayo Clinic , which said oral bacteria and periodontitis-induced inflammation is associated with diabetes, endocarditis, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimers, HIV/AIDS, and osteoporosis. Suggested by the author
London transport authority tackles tube etiquette with poetry
From Monday until Friday a collection of London poets, including rising star Amy Acre who appeared at this years Latitude festival, will give recitals at some of Londons busiest train and tube stations as part of a wider TfL Travel Better London marketing campaign encouraging commuters to be more considerate towards their fellow travellers. Poets in residence will be performing at nine London stations, including Liverpool Street, Waterloo, London Bridge and Leicester Square, at lunchtime and during the early evening commute for the entire week, with further pop-up performances around the TfL network. TfLs week of poetiquette recitals coincides with National Poetry Day on Thursday 3 October. The London public transport authority, which has a long tradition of promoting poetry on its tube network, has also set up a Tumblr page which invites travellers to submit four-to-six-line poems inspired by their daily commute. Acre said: I think people when theyre on the tube are so in that zone of huddling in and just getting through it and getting to work. Its nice to give people something a bit different and maybe inspire them and make them think in a different way, even if its just for a minute. This project is a great opportunity to get poetry out there to more people that maybe would never listen to it and it wouldnt occur to them that they might like it. The nine poets will be writing topical verses and giving recitals in busking spots at their local station, with Acre performing at London Bridge. The other poets giving twice-daily recitals are Amy McAllister (performing at Angel), Jacqueline Saphra (Canary Wharf), Sarah Wardle (Embankment), Sophie Herxheimer (Knightsbridge), Richard Purnell (Hammersmith), Joolz Sparkes (Leicester Square), Deanna Rodger (Liverpool Street) and Dan Simpson (Waterloo). Acre, McAllister, Simpson, Rodger and Purnell will also be performing at other TfL locations, along with poets Emma Jones, Keith Jarrett, Raymond Antrobus and Richard Marsh. The recitals kick off a wider TfL marketing campaign that will also feature poster advertising across London public transport including tube, bus, rail, trams and the Docklands Light Railway. Poster ads will feature drawings by graphic artists illustrating poetry urging commuters not to drop litter, obstruct train doors and if they are taken ill on the underground, not to push the alarm button but wait and get off at the next station. One of the ads features the lines: Its tempting to obstruct the doors, until you know what this can cause. It doesnt just delay the train, but can cause damage, hurt and pain. TfL said it was launching the poetiquette campaign to cut down on 400 hours of tube train delays a year, which it said could be avoided by small changes to commuters habits. It added that in 2012 there were 469 incidents involving litter leading to delays, with 81% caused by litter caught in train doors, while more than 1,000 passengers fell ill while travelling on the tube network. Other habits that delay tube trains, according to TfL, include holding doors open and not moving down inside carriages.
London joins with English cities to campaign for financial devolution
The Commissions proposals include devolving control of all property taxes to City Hall and councils, with a pound-for-pound reduction in Government grant. While the change would not give London more cash in the first year, the move from grant settlements would bring greater freedom and flexibility on how to spend the cash. It would also enable the Mayor and borough leaders to commit to long-term projects such as Crossrail 2 in the knowledge that they had a predictable income stream from which to fund them. Investing in such schemes would then boost receipts from some of the retained property taxes, increasing the amounts available to invest in future projects. When the Commissions report was published, Chair Tony Travers said the proposals could also apply to other cities. Professor Travers has since suggested their adoption could depend on backing from other parts of England. The Mayor and London Councils, the body which represents all local authorities in London, have now joined forces with Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield to make the case for greater financial freedom. The group believe that properly funded local government is best placed to tackle unemployment and contribute to the nations economic recovery. It is also suggested that greater autonomy for regions and cities could be the answer to calls for English devolution following the establishment of regional Governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: That Londons government is joining with Englands largest cities to call for change is an historic and significant move. My aim is for the capital to win fiscal reforms in line with those presented by Professor Tony Travers excellent London Finance Commission report, namely those that give residents and businesses a closer say over where their hard-earned taxes are spent. This will enable politicians elected by Londoners to plan and finance the infrastructure we need to prosper in the face of a decade of expansion. By the same token, this formula can be applied to cities across England, ending stop-start finance settlements and instead providing a reliable stream of funding to enable investment, jobs and growth. Sir Richard Leese, Chair of the Core Cities cabinet which represents Citiies outside London, said: Englands great cities have a proud tradition of independence and ambition. Yet our ability to act on that ambition has been eroded as central state control of our finances has increased year on year. Together the Core Cities and London represent more than half of the national economy and almost half the population.