Scientists issue chilling crop top warning
Fashion can kill: official
Brit readers who have ever wondered just what the NHS does exactly with all that taxpayers' hard-earned cash should rest assured that anything which doesn't go on middle management and tabulating waiting list data is dedicated to generating life-saving advice for unwary youngsters.
Not, we hasten to add, that unprotected sex seriously damages your eyesight or smokers are 34 per cent more likely to die from Ebola, but something far, far more chilling: crops tops can kill.
Yes indeed, the BBC reports that "midriff-baring tops and backless dresses could be harming young women's health" because if you wear less clothes when it's cold then you might catch hypothermia and die. Simple as that.
The perpetrator of this astounding revelation is Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale Primary Care Trust whose Service Provision Director, Catriona Logan, declared: "The current fashion is for girls to bare their midriffs, or have backless dresses.
"That's very nice for inside wear or if you're in the sunshine state of Florida or in Ibiza, but it's a bit chilly in the night air during winter, especially if they are coming out of a warm environment like a pub or a club."
Logan continued: "Summer-style clothes are fine if you are inside, but our advice is to wrap up warmly when you go out. Yet a lot of young girls don't seem to bother.
"The message is the same for men too, in that thin T-shirts are ok for indoors, but wear a jacket or coat outside. It's entirely up to each individual of course, but that's our advice."
Right, gotcha - more clothes when it's cold, less when it's warm.
The background research for this solid advice came from the Common Cold Centre at Cardiff University. They demonstrated that "people became more susceptible to illness if their body temperature was lowered" by asking 90 guinea pigs to stick their bare feet in icy water for 20 minutes. Twenty-nine per cent of these developed a cold within five days, compared with just nine per cent in a 90-strong control group who got to keep their socks on.
This will come as a terrible shock to cold and flu remedy manufacturers who have until now been convinced that hot, sunny weather provokes the sniffles and have accordingly centred their TV advertising around the risks of catching cold while sunbathing on a beach in Barbados. Enough said. ®