MY brother has just been diagnosed with anorexia . I thought only women became anorexic?

Anorexia does typically affect women more than men but instances of male anorexia are on the rise. Remember, anorexia is not a dietary issue, it is a mental illness which presents through dietary intake. A mental illness can affect any person at any time.

There could be a trigger or incident which starts a chain reaction at any point which is why men can be susceptible to this illness as well as women.

Typically anorexia affects one in every 2,000 men.

It sounds as though with a diagnosis of anorexia, your brother is already seeking treatment which is very good.

A big part of the problem is denying that there is even an issue. Your brother may well need your support though as relapses are common.

The charity Beating Eating Disorders ( can provide advice for both you and your brother.

I HAVE been reading a lot in the news about folic acid and that it might be added to bread. What is it and what does it do? Is it safe?

Folic Acid is found naturally in dark green leafy vegetables and other foods and is needed in early pregnancy to help a healthy baby develop. It has been proven that folic acid cuts the risk of what are known as Neural Tube Defects in babies, for example; spina bifida, and women are advised to consume more folic acid if they are trying to become pregnant.

Despite this, 85 per cent of women do not get enough folic acid in their diet or if they take supplements, they take them at the wrong time. The body needs to build up a store prior to pregnancy which is why the Scottish Government is considering fortifying bread to remedy the problem.

White flour is already fortified with minerals such as iron, calcium and vitamins. Around the world, 77 other countries, including the US already add folic acid to flour so it is a proven technique leading to a significant fall in birth defects.

If you are not planning to have a baby this addition should make no difference to your nutrition.

WHAT is Hand, Foot and Mouth disease?

Hand, foot and mouth disease is a common, mild illness caused by a type of virus called an enterovirus.

Hand, foot and mouth disease is very contagious (easily spread) and is common in children under 10 years of age. However, adolescents and adults can also be affected. Most adults are immune to the virus as they have been previously exposed to it during their childhood. Adults who develop the disease usually experience milder symptoms than children.

The disease gets its name from the non-itchy rash that develops on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet. It can also cause ulcers in your mouth and make you feel generally unwell, although some people have no symptoms. It should not be confused with foot and mouth disease, which affects animals.

Symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease usually appear three to five days after infection with the virus. They last for 7 to 10 days before disappearing on their own.

There is no specific treatment for hand, foot and mouth disease. The condition usually clears up by itself after 7 to 10 days. As it is caused by a viral infection, it cannot be treated with antibiotics.