Letter from the Editor: Making a difference

Clearing weeds, repotting plants, transporting heavy loads of wood chips — not quite the usual day-to-day tasks you'd expect of the Medical News Today editorial team. But today was a special day. It was the day of our annual summer party.

Last year, the much-anticipated event took us out to sea. This year, we wanted to give something back to the community.

So, we put on our gardening gloves and headed to Stanmer Park, a beautiful green space in the heart of Brighton in the United Kingdom.

There, we volunteered for the Brighton Permaculture Trust, a fantastic charity that promotes greener lifestyles by helping to protect our environment and educate the general public about sustainable development.

On what turned out to be one of the hottest days of 2018 to date, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work on a beautiful, albeit overgrown, plot of land.

Three hours later, we stopped to review our efforts — and we had achieved so much! Yes, we were exhausted, very hot and sweaty, and some of us even suffered ripped pants as a result of the strenuous activity, but we felt immensely proud that we had pulled together and made a difference to the community.

"I felt a sense of achievement," said one editor, while another noted, "It was also nice to have done physical activity that was of benefit to someone else."

Of course, it wasn't all work and no play; in true MNT style, we celebrated by sharing a meal by the sea, followed by ping pong and karaoke (quite the norm when it comes to our out-of-office activities). It was a truly wonderful day, made extra special by our volunteering efforts.

This type of work is an integral part of MNT's culture. Just last week, we headed to Brighton seafront armed with litter pickers and trash bags to carry out a beach clean, and we have more events like this in the pipeline.

These activities speak to many of our core values, including empathy, integrity, and joyful, healthful living — the same values that guide every article we bring you.

So, which articles piqued your interest this month? It seems that weight loss was high on your agenda for July; our article on how to naturally lose weight fast proved popular, and you also wanted to learn whether or not the oatmeal diet is effective for shifting those pounds.

Diet and weight loss proved popular within our news content, too; our article on whether fats or carbohydrates are to blame for weight gain piqued your interest, and our report on a study that suggested that full-fat dairy products could benefit heart health was also a hit (as well as a good excuse to enjoy some cheese).

Moving away from diet, you were keen to read our article on how a herpes drug could lower the risk of Alzheimer's disease by 10-fold, and our unique feature on what religion does to your brain was similarly popular.

July also saw a very special article, written by a woman named Tracy Lyn Lomagno, published on MNT. She provides a detailed account of her life after a stroke, and the article has touched the lives of many of our readers, as well as all of us here in the MNT editorial office. If you haven't yet read it, please do!

Are there any topics you'd like us to cover? If so, let us know! You can also contact us via Facebook and Twitter. If you want the latest news on MNT's charity endeavors, you can also follow us on LinkedIn.

I'll be back next month with the latest on what's happening at MNT.

I wish you all a joyful, healthful August!

Honor Whiteman, Managing Editor