Classic illnesses thought long since buried are making a comeback in the UK, with cases of gout and rickets on the rise as a mixture of poverty and generally poor modern diets impact upon the health of those who think "five a day" refers to cans of Stella.
John Middleton from the Faculty of Public Health warned in a letter to the Observer: "The vitamin deficiency states of gout, malnutrition being seen in hospital admission statistics are extreme manifestations of specific dietary deficiencies or excesses, but they are markers of a national diet which is poor."
Rickets is commonly caused by a lack of vitamin D and calcium in childhood. Gout is triggered by eating poorly. The UK Faculty of Public Health is asking for a sugar tax to be put in place to help skew the nation's diet away from processed things and back to the healthier staples. [Guardian]