Children consume more than a year’s worth of sugar in 6 months

Public Health England | June 2018 | Children consume more than a year’s worth of sugar in 6 months

It may only be June, but according to figures released today by Public Health England (PHE), children in England have already consumed the equivalent of a year’s intake of sugar.  PHE emphasises how children are on track to consume around 4,800 cubes of sugar by the end of the year, more than double the maximum recommendation (PHE).

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Sugary soft drinks remain one of the main contributors of free sugars to children’s diets, more than ice cream and puddings combined.

The other sources of sugar in children’s diets are:

  • Sugary soft drinks (including squashes, juice drinks, energy drinks, cola and other fizzy drinks) 10%
  • Buns, cakes, pastries and fruit pies 10%
  • Sugars, including table sugar, preserves and sweet spreads 9%
  • Biscuits 9%
  • Breakfast cereals 8%
  • Chocolate confectionery 7%
  • Sugar confectionery 7%
  • Yoghurt, fromage frais and other dairy desserts 6%
  • Ice cream 5%
  • Puddings 4%

The full story is at PHE 

Related:

Change4Life Easy ways to be food smart 
In the media:

BBC News Children in England consuming ‘twice as much sugar as recommended’

 

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Every 10 minutes a child in England has a tooth removed due to decay 

Public Health England  | April 2018  | Every 10 minutes a child in England has a rotten tooth removed

New data published by Public Health England (PHE) today, 6 April 2018 highlights the prevalence of tooth decay among children. It has been released to coincide with the government’s launch of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy, which comes into force today.  141 children a day are having a tooth removed in hospital,  in children aged between 5 to 9 tooth extraction  is the leading reason for their admission to hospital.
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As consuming too much sugar is one of the leading causes of tooth decay and childhood obesity PHE is reminding parents that  sugary drinks, including juice drinks, energy drinks, cola and other fizzy drinks, are one of the main sources of sugar in children’s diets.

PHE’s Change4Life campaign is encouraging parents to:

  1. Swap sugary drinks for lower or no sugar alternatives, including water and lower fat milks. The Change4Life website has plenty of easy drink swaps and helpful tips for families.
  2. Limit fruit juice and smoothies to a total of 150ml per day and only consume with meals – they count as a maximum of one portion of our 5 A Day.
  3. Ensure children brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste (once before bedtime and once during the day) and remind them to ‘spit not rinse’, as rinsing washes away the protective fluoride. Brushing should start as soon as the first tooth appears and children should be supervised up to the age of 7. (PHE)

Further details of the news story are available from PHE 

Related: The Change4Life website  has helpful swaps and tips it can be accessed here

A new app  details the amount of sugar, fat, salt and calories in popular foods and drinks. It is available for iOS and Android devices.

Calorie reduction programme

Steps to cut people’s excessive calorie intake have been unveiled by Public Health England (PHE), as part of the government’s strategy to cut childhood and adult obesity.

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This report sets out the evidence on children’s calorie consumption and the details of the calorie reduction programme.

In terms of the evidence the report includes details of:

  • recommendations around calorie intakes, sources of calories and reported levels of intake
  • calculated estimates for daily energy intakes and excess calories consumed by children and adults
  • evidence on reformulation and portion size reduction; and public perceptions and attitudes to calories
  • estimated health economic benefits of a calorie reduction programme

For the calorie reduction programme, the reports sets out:

  • the overall ambition and structure of the programme
  • the food categories included
  • suggested mechanisms for action
  • timeline and next steps for PHE

Full report: Calorie reduction: the scope and ambition for action

Additional link: PHE news story

Current evidence on diet, cognitive impairment and dementia.

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) position statement on current evidence on diet, cognitive impairment and dementia.

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This position statement by SACN provides an overview of the currently available evidence on nutrition and cognitive impairment and dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease) in adults. It considers evidence relevant to the prevention – not the treatment – of cognitive impairment or dementia.

The position statement concludes that:

  • the evidence base in this area is very limited
  • there is no evidence that specific nutrients or food supplements affect the risk of cognitive impairment or dementia
  • there is some observational evidence that greater adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern may be associated with reduced risk of mild cognitive impairment and dementia

While there is no single Mediterranean diet, such diets tend to include higher intakes of vegetables, fruit, legumes, cereals, fish and monounsaturated fatty acids; lower intakes of saturated fat, dairy products and meat; and a moderate alcohol intake. Mediterranean type diets broadly align with current UK healthy eating recommendations as depicted in the Eatwell Guide (PHE, 2016).

Full document: SACN statement on diet, cognitive impairment and dementias

You can find more information about SACN online.

Type 2 diabetes can be reversed with very low-calorie diet

Study shows that it is possible to achieve remission from type 2 diabetes by dieting | The Lancet | via National Institute for Health Research

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Type 2 diabetes is a growing epidemic, costing the NHS £23.7 billion per year. By 2016 there were nearly 3.6 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK and a further one million estimated to have undiagnosed type 2 diabetes. Rates of diabetes appear to be increasing.

This study aimed to see if a very low-calorie diet program delivered in primary care could lead to at least 15kg weight loss and remission of type 2 diabetes.

The study found that by 12 months:

  • Weight loss of 15kg or more was achieved by 24% of the intervention group compared to none of the usual care group. Average weight loss was 10kg in the intervention group versus 1kg in the usual care group.
  • Diabetes remission occurred in 46% of the intervention group compared to 4% of the usual care group. It only occurred in people who had lost weight.
  • Remission was 20 times more likely with the intervention.
  • Better adherence to the regime increased the amount of weight loss and the chance of diabetes remission.
  • Diabetes medication did not need to be reintroduced for 74% of the intervention group. This was compared to 18% of the usual care group who were able to stop them. Blood pressure tablets were also no longer required for 68% of the intervention group compared to 39% of the usual care group.

Full reference: Lean MEJ, Leslie WS, Barnes AC, et al. |  Primary care-led weight management for remission of type 2 diabetes (DiRECT): an open-label, cluster-randomised trial.  | Lancet. 2017. [Epub ahead of print].

Reducing sugar in manufactured foods

The World Health Association has published Incentives and disincentives for reducing sugar in manufactured foods: an exploratory supply chain analysis. 

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This report investigates why producers use sugar in foods and why they use it in large amounts.  The report, prepared together with the Centre for Food Policy at City, University of London, reveals that producers and retailers of food with high sugar content currently have many more incentives to continue using sugar than to limit its use or substitute it completely.

These incentives include:

  • the perception that sugar is the gold standard for sweetness;
  • sugar’s availability as a relatively cheap and abundant ingredient from multiple sources;
  • manufacturers’ and retailers’ focus on maintaining competitiveness;
  • manufacturers’ and retailers’ desire to maintain “choice” for consumers who still want to buy sugary foods;
  • sugar’s provision of essential functional qualities for manufactured foods; and
  • consumer concern about the use of artificial sweeteners.

The report concludes that a comprehensive approach covering the whole food system is needed in order to reduce sugar intake.

Full report: Incentives and disincentives for reducing sugar in manufactured foods: an exploratory supply chain analysis (2017)

Preventing malnutrition in later life

State of the Nation: an overview of older people and malnutrition in the UK today | The Malnutrition Task Force. 

This report focuses on the scale and challenges of malnutrition in later life in the UK. Research shows that 1 in 10 people over the age of 65 are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition. This silent and often hidden condition can seriously affect an older person’s health and wellbeing and increase hospital admissions and long-term health problems.

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Image source: http://www.malnutritiontaskforce.org.uk

The report examines the causes and consequences of malnutrition in the UK. It also looks at economic costs and pressures, and whether the NHS and social care services are currently able to support older people at risk and how invested they are in this issue.

It brings together information, statistics and evidence from across the health and social care system to highlight what is happening to older people who are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition in England.

Full report: State of the Nation: an overview of older people and malnutrition in the UK today