Healthy people, healthy planet

Healthy people, healthy planet: The role of health systems in promoting healthier lifestyles and a greener future | Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development 

This report was produced to inform the 2017 meeting of the G7 ministers of health. It provides a broad overview of the main policy actions that G7 countries can take to improve population health and to decrease the human footprint on the environment.

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Image source: http://www.oecd.org

The report makes the following policy recommendations:

  • Support the development and implementation of nutritional guidelines promoting healthier food consumption – as this can lead to less stress on the environmental resources used in food production – as well as reduce the environmental footprint in hospitals and in nursing homes by encouraging healthier food consumption, waste reduction and cleaner energy generation;
  • Create partnerships with various national and local stakeholders, including local city authorities and ministries of industry, environment, transport, and agriculture, in order to incorporate health and environmental considerations into urban planning schemes;
  • Implement public health actions encouraging more physical activity and greater reliance on active modes of transportation, such as through physical activity-promoting mass media campaigns, bike sharing schemes and creating low-emission zones.

Full report: Healthy people, healthy planet

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Trends in child BMI

This report uses National Child Measurement Programme  data to examine the changes in children’s body mass index (BMI) between 2006 to 2007 and 2015 to 2016

The report explores trends in obesity, overweight, excess weight and underweight prevalence, as well as changes in mean BMI over time. It is aimed at local authorities and other organisations who want to examine detailed trends in child weight category prevalence over time, and how these vary by health inequality.

Trends within different socioeconomic and ethnic groups are examined to determine whether existing health inequalities are widening or becoming smaller.

The report is accompanied by a summary of main findings and a supplementary dataset.

National Child Measurement Programme: changes in children’s body mass index between 2006 to 2007 and 2015 to 2016:

See also: National child measurement programme

‘Upselling’ adding to the UK obesity crisis

Published by the Royal Society for Public Health and Slimming World, ‘Size Matters’ reveals that the average person consumes an additional 330 calories each week as a result of businesses upselling high calorie food and drink

This report, which includes a survey of 2,055 UK adults, shows that consumers face an average of 106 verbal pushes towards unhealthy choices each year as they are asked whether they would like to upgrade to larger meals and drinks, add high calorie toppings or sides to their order or take advantage of special offers on unhealthy food and drink.

It reveals that, in the course of a week, upselling techniques used by businesses resulted in 34% of people buying a larger coffee than intended, 33% upgrading to a large meal in a fast food restaurant, 36% buying chocolate at the till at a newsagents or petrol station and 35% adding chips or onion rings to the side of their pub or restaurant meal.

The findings showed that young people are even more likely to be exposed to upselling, with 18-24 year-olds experiencing it 166 times each year – nearly every other day – and going on to consume an extra 750 calories per week as a result. This could lead to an estimated weight gain of 11lbs (5kg) over the course of a year.

 

Full report: Size matters: the impact of upselling on weight gain. | The Royal Society for Public Health | Slimming World

See also: BBC News: Public ‘tricked’ into buying unhealthy food 

Next stage of childhood obesity plan

Public Health England (PHE) announces plans to consider the evidence, set guidelines and closely monitor progress on calorie reduction.

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One year on from the publication of the childhood obesity plan, Public Health England has announced it will consider the evidence on children’s calorie consumption and set the ambition for the calorie reduction programme to remove excess calories from the foods children consume the most.  Ready meals, pizzas, burgers, savoury snacks and sandwiches are the kinds of foods likely to be included in the programme.

In addition, the Department of Health has announced £5 million of funding for a new Obesity Policy Research Unit to provide resources for long term research into childhood obesity.  Also, the Obesity Health Alliance has published a report card assessing progress during the first year of the childhood obesity plan.

Factors influencing eating behaviours in overweight and obese South Asian men living in the UK

It is widely recognised that South Asian men living in the UK are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) than their white British counterparts | BMJ Open

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Despite this, limited data have been published quantifying current dietary intake patterns and qualitatively exploring eating behaviours in this population. The objectives of this study were to (1) assess diet, (2) explore perceptions of T2DM, (3) investigate factors influencing eating behaviours in overweight/obese South Asian men and (4) determine the suitability of the UK Diet and Diabetes Questionnaire (UKDDQ) for use in this population.

Many of the areas of dietary improvement and factors affecting eating behaviours identified in this study are similar to those observed in the general UK population. Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages in particular was high; given the association between their consumption and the risk of T2DM, this should be an area of primary focus for healthcare professionals. Nevertheless, there are sociocultural factors unique to this population that need to be considered when designing culturally specific programs to reduce the development of T2DM in this high-risk population.

Full reference: Emadian, A. et al. (2017) Dietary intake and factors influencing eating behaviours in overweight and obese South Asian men living in the UK: mixed method study. BMJ Open. 7:e016919

What makes us healthy?

The Health Foundation has published What makes us healthy?

This infographic is part of a new series of infographics and accompanying blogs and commentaries to describe and explain the social determinants of health in an accessible and engaging way. This infographic shows the extent to which health is primarily shaped by factors outside the direct influence of healthcare and invites people to look at this bigger picture.

Drinking coffee may help prevent liver cancer, study suggests

People who drink more coffee are less likely to develop liver cancer, an analysis of data from 26 studies has found | Story via The Guardian | BMJ

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Researchers have found that people who drink more coffee are less likely to develop hepatocellular cancer (HCC), the most common form of primary liver cancer – and the effect was also found in decaffeinated coffee.

Experts from the University of Southampton and the University of Edinburgh examined data from 26 studies involving more than 2.25 million participants.  Compared with people who drank no coffee, those who drank one cup a day had a 20% lower risk of developing HCC, according to the study, published in the journal BMJ Open.

Those who consumed two cups a day had a 35% reduced risk and for those who drank five cups, the risk was halved. They found the protective effect for decaf was “smaller and less certain than for caffeinated coffee”

Full story via The Guardian

Full reference: Kennedy OJ, Roderick P, Buchanan R, et al. Coffee, including caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, and the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma: a systematic review and dose–response meta-analysis