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  1. Martin Ward Platt
  1. Neonatal Service, Neonatal Service, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Martin Ward Platt; m.p.ward-platt{at}ncl.ac.uk

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'HELP' does not help

You may have spotted this comment on the front cover. The paper by Christie et al reports that The Healthy Eating and Lifestyle Programme was no better than a single educational session for reducing obesity among adolescents. HELP joins the ever lengthening list of plausible approaches to obesity that have a good theoretical basis but when rigorously tested, fail to work. The accompanying Editorial tries to be upbeat, but you sense the struggle. The only good thing to emerge from this litany of failure is that it will help to avoid wasting far more money than the studies cost by avoiding the implementation of costly interventions that don’t work. At a time of severe resource constraint, this is really important. See pages 689 and 695.

Growing up, catching up

There is a widespread belief, backed up by some older studies, that babies born much smaller than they should be remain small throughout childhood, even if they show some catch-up weight gain in the first few postnatal months. Beukers et al distinguished between babies who were merely small but normal (for genetic/familial reasons) and those for whom there was good evidence that they suffered from fetal growth restriction. …

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