pic7pic4Eminent colorectal surgeon Mr Richard Cohen captivated his audience at Kinloss Community Centre last week as he offered a series of lifestyle tips on diet, lifestyle and disease prevention.  “Smoking – the worst thing you can do – outweighs everything else although obesity, inactivity and alcohol follow close behind,” Mr Cohen warned during his overview of simple ways to look after our health as Jewish tradition and observance advises us to do.

Are we programmed to inherit certain conditions or are there other factors that trigger disease?  Mr Cohen considered the role played by familial conditions likely to exert an influence on future health.  These include the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis which are four times more prevalent in the Ashkenazi Jewish community.

The Kinloss function  was also the occasion of the official launch  of the Crohn’s and Colitis charity Jewish Digest, a website designed to help and support people living with these chronic debilitating diseases that can exert a serious impact on lifestyle. Jonathan Jay, who together with Deborah Eckstein and Dr Adam Levine set up the charity, spoke of the incredible medical advances in the treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD), outlined the range of services offered by Jewish Digest, including up to date information, gut friendly recipes and articles by gastroenterologists and allied professionals. A twice weekly helpline staffed by a specialist IBD nurse was made possible by an award from the Big Lottery Fund.