I think that newspaper readers are obsessed with health. It was certainly always easy to sell an article with a health angle to the sub-editors at the FT. As always, I liked to use a seasonal hook and my piece about seasonal affective disorder was a Christmas edition story. Asthma also has a seasonal element but my interest in it was triggered by discovering personal stories about the disease.

Food poisoning is a perennial concern and I have always been interested in the question of why some food-poisoning bugs are killers and others are benign.