Fizzy drink health crisis?

A report released by Cancer Research UK revealed children’s shocking fizzy drinks habits, but is this the full story? 

Newspapers are no stranger to doom and gloom,  just today we were told that every day Scottish children consume 600,000 fizzy drinks a day. However this isn’t the full story.

The report released by Cancer Research UK looked at the diets and obesity levels of Scottish children. They found that 1 in 4 were obese, with fizzy drinks being a contributing factor.

Despite consumption of fizzy drinks being high sugary fizzy drink consumption has actually fallen by 21%.

Researchers have been calling on the Scottish Government to further the limit the advertising and sale of junk food special offers. despite the average Scot consuming 12 kilocalories less in fizzy drinks everyday, the consumption of junk food such as confectionery biscuits and cakes has been steadily increasing since 2010.

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Fizzy drinks currently on the market.

There are calls for the Scottish Government to do more when tackling the obesity with suggestions that restrictions on multi-buy offers on junk food and fizzy drinks which could limit children’s intake.

However, the government is holding a consultation for restricting the advertising of unhealthy food. Members of the public have until the 9th of January 2019 to take part.

Sturgeon offers cash injection to combat climate change

Nicola Sturgeon has pledged £200,000 to fight climate change ahead of her appearance at Poland climate change summit.

The money will be given to the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action – the body responsible for enacting the Paris Agreement strategy.

It is hoped that the funding will help all levels of Society to come together to reduce climate change. The first Minster said this about the funding.

“We have a moral responsibility to do what we can to prevent, and mitigate the effects of, global climate change.

“Scotland has been widely praised internationally for our work to tackle climate change, and I am absolutely determined that there will be no let-up in our efforts.”

“It requires everyone in society – individuals, businesses and governments – to play their part in changing behaviours, and I’m pleased that the Scottish Government is able to support the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action in its work.”

David Attenborough kicked off the conference with a speech about climate change being humanities greatest threat.

The conference has came under fire for being hosted in Poland’s coal country with the Polish Government have announced the opening of a new coal mine next year near the conference centre.

The conference will run from the 2nd to the 14th of December.

Fallout 76 Controversy – Game Developer Fails to Fulfil Promises

Fallout 76 – the latest game in the retro-futuristic, post-apocalyptic Fallout series – has left publisher Bethesda with a bit of a fallout on their hands. 

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Expectations VS Reality: The advertisements (right) compared to what was delivered (left).

Bethesda has been forced to backtrack after a canvas bag included in the £175 “Power Armour” edition of the game turned out to be made out of nylon. Bethesda blamed expensive materials on the switch, but it later emerged that they had given the canvas version to YouTubers and journalists reviewing the game.

Some fans called this false advertising and are pursuing a class action lawsuit. Last night it emerged that players with proof of purchase would be given the canvas bag in a surprise turnaround from Bethesda.

This was a particularly surprising development considering the origin of the controversy, an email from Bethesda to a consumer which stated: “We aren’t planning on doing anything about it.”

The game has been mired in controversy since its announcement and has received criticism from the close-knit community for moving away from the series’ story heavy single player roots.  

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The original email, which caused the firestorm after being posted to social news site Reddit.

It’s not just the design decisions that fans are upset about. Bethesda has also been under fire from the community for false advertising and releasing what is essentially a broken game. At launch players found that they were unable to progress in the story when an object they needed to interact with simply couldn’t be clicked on. Also, glitches that were present in Fallout 4 have reared their ugly head again in 76, and this has led some in the community to call the game an ‘asset flip cash grab’. 

What can consumers do who feel swindled by this horror show? There are some options. Bethesda have decided to make a dedicated launcher for their games, meaning that most PC gamers bought 76 directly from Bethesda – as opposed to distribution platform Steam, the source for most PC games. 

Steam has an under two-hour refund policy meaning if a player has played a game and quickly decided they don’t like it then they can get a refund, but Bethesda considers even downloading the game files using the game meaning even players who downloaded the game and couldn’t get it to work may not be eligible for a refund. 

Some gamers have suggested making a charge back claim with their bank. This is when a bank takes the funds out of a merchant’s account, and investigates if consumer protection/advertising standards have been breached. Be aware however that doing this will almost certainly get your Bethesda account banned, and if you brought Fallout 76 from a third party retailer they are likely to put the funds to collection. So this option might be more hassle than it’s worth. In more positive news, some gamers have reported limited success with getting a refund from Amazon.  

Gamers who received the nylon bag have until the end of January to claim the bag originally advertised.  

Click here to view the Fallout 76 trailer.

Edinburgh, Electric Cars and You

The UK Government announced earlier this week that it would be bringing their proposed ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars forward by 8 years to 2032 – the same year proposed by the Scottish Government.

This means that any cars purchased after this date must be ‘effectively zero emission’; one solution for this is the use of electric cars.

But is Edinburgh ready for an electric revolution?

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map2Asset 16@6x-100If you can’t charge at home you can use a charging point.

These are dotted around the country and are easy to find with services such as Zap Map that give you a run down of the charging options available in your area.

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Edinburgh isn’t exactly short on chargers. There are around 20 sites within three miles of the centre, almost double the amount of petrol stations.

But there’s a catch.

This is how long it takes to refill the different types of vehicle

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and when you consider that in Edinburgh,

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twenty charging points might not be enough.

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After the Department of Transport announced that the electric car subsidy was being cut by £1000 in November, a surge of last minute applicants has left the fund ‘days away’ from running out.

If electric cars are to be the future then Edinburgh Council, Holyrood and Westminster have a long way to go to reach the 2032 deadline.

Women in sport – it is for life, not just for the week

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This week is the second ever Scottish Women and Girls in Sports Week. It aims to get women participating more in sport by giving them positive role models across all levels of the industry.

For years Scottish women have participated less in sports and physical activity than their male counterparts.

Between 2011 to 2017 sports such as karate, dodgeball and cross-country were the fastest growing sports for girls. This seems drastically different from the landscape of men’s sports which is dominated by football, rugby and golf.

Maureen McGonigle, the chief executive of the Scottish Women in Sports charity spoke about what the week aims to achieve. She said that the strength of the sports week is that everyone sends out the same unified message across social media.

“It’s been easier in the past for women to go into non-traditional sports as these haven’t been male dominated” said McGonigle.

“We are trying to dismiss this feeling that there are women and men’s sports.”

However, a boost was given to women’s football  last week when it was announced that the women’s national team would receive government funding to train for the 2019 World Cup in France.

“The Women’s national team had funding for UEFA last year but it’s going to benefit the minority as most of the squad is playing outside Scotland. The question is why we can’t get commercial funding so they can train more often in the country?” asked McGonigle.

Funding and commercial viability is a common theme in the discussion of women’s sports. Earlier this week the Scottish Women’s football chair Vivienne MacLaren said that Scottish Women’s football will never accept deals from alcohol or gambling companies, despite receiving offers.

But McGonigle believes losing out on this money won’t harm women’s football; she thinks it will improve it: “This won’t impact commercial viability, it’s the lack of coverage, [people] don’t get to see how good women playing the sport are.”

One of the fastest growing areas for women and girls was martial arts, with karate being the fastest growing sport for girls between 2011 and 2018.

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Linn Haraldsvik is a Krav Maga instructor who runs Rencounter, a school where she teaches both kids and adults self-defence through martial arts. She spoke about why martial arts have been popular with Scottish girls.

“I’ve seen a big increase of girls and women in Krav Maga definitely in the last few years… I’m a female instructor which I think makes a big difference,” she said.

“It’s about being able to identify with the instructor they think if she can do it I can do it. When women see I can do it they think they just need to practice it’s not impossible.”

“Society is changing, it’s more normal for girls to do things like martial arts and to be more physically active.”

One of the main concerns for the women and girls in sports advisory board is not just getting girls into sport but keeping up with it their whole lives. This is something Linn from Rencounter has recognised as well

“Encouraging women and girls to have the confidence to keep doing things is important. Especially for girls, once they hit puberty they get very body conscious…we need to be improving their self-confidence by teaching them that it is OK to make mistakes.”

Women and Girls in Sports week runs from the 30th of September to the 5th of October. You can get involved too by using the hashtag #SheCanSheWill.

By Ryan Traynor

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