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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 May, 2005, 19:22 GMT 20:22 UK
Charles calls for medical rethink
Prince Charles
The Prince of Wales is a strong supporter of homeopathic medicine
The Prince of Wales has called for a more holistic approach towards medicine and the nation's health.

Complementary and orthodox methods of tackling diseases should be used in tandem, Prince Charles told a conference of medics in London.

And he stressed the important role nutrition had to play in fighting growing health problems such as childhood obesity and allergies.

He also praised TV chef Jamie Oliver's efforts to improve school meals.

Speaking on Tuesday to a conference on integrated health at the Royal Society of Medicine, in central London, Prince Charles said there had been a real shift in thinking since he first raised the issue of homeopathic medicine 23 years ago.

We need to harness the best of modern science and technology, but not at the expense of losing the best of what complementary approaches have to offer
Prince Charles

Then the Prince was criticised for "attacking modern medicine", but today he was rewarded by being made an honorary fellow of the Royal Society.

One in five people turned to complementary therapies and three-quarters of people would like to see them available on the NHS, he said.

But he also urged individuals to take responsibility for their health by "choosing nutritious, organic, locally grown food".

He claimed that years of over-refining, processing and polluting food had led to the adverse health problems people suffered and inflicted on their children.

An over-reliance on packaged, processed food was damaging the nation's health and was leading to food-related epidemics and chronic diseases, he said.

Diet

"We have lost touch with the source of our food, and our rural communities have suffered socially from the loss of local distinctiveness, traditions and culture."

The Prince cited a study which found a link between nitrate levels in vegetables and gullet cancer.

Another study by Durham County Council showed that children's behaviour and concentration was improved by doses of fish oils and certain fatty acids.

He also highlighted attempts by head teachers to combat behaviour problems through diet.

"We need to harness the best of modern science and technology, but not at the expense of losing the best of what complementary approaches have to offer," he said.


SEE ALSO:
School meals watchdogs appointed
16 May 05 |  Education
Prince warns of science 'risks'
11 Jul 04 |  Science/Nature


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