‘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 

Advertisements

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.

burger-987255_1920

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

indian-sweet-371357_960_720.jpg

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

coffee-2178431_1920

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

‘Pro-vegetarian’ diet could halve chance of obesity

Study describes benefits of the ‘flexitarian’ diet: basically vegetarian, with meat and fish consumed occasionally | The Guardian Health

vegetables-791892_960_720.jpg

A diet which reduces or even excludes meat and animal produce in favour of vegetables, fruit and grains could halve people’s chances of becoming obese, according to new research.

A study carried out in Spain describes the benefits of what researchers call a “pro-vegetarian” diet which does not exclude meat and dairy products but reduces them. It has also been called a “flexitarian” diet – basically vegetarian, with meat and fish consumed occasionally.

Some 16,000 university graduates were tracked from 1999 for 10 years, by which time 584 were obese, according to findings presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Porto, Portugal.

Read the full news story here

Supported web-based programme helps people lose weight in the short term

A web-based programme (POWeR) with nurse support helped about 30% of people lose at least 5% of their body weight, maintained for at least 12 months. By comparison, twenty percent of people achieved this with an online information sheet only.  | National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

weights-1501439_1920POWer+ helped more people achieve short-term weight loss but the average weight loss of about 3-4 kg after 12 months was statistically similar for those given information only. The healthy eating online materials tested had previously been shown to help people to control their weight, without expert advice.

This NIHR research showed that the web programme, with phone or email support from nurses, had a modest benefit and was probably cost-effective.  It represents one option that could be offered to patients.

Full reference: Little P, Stuart B, Hobbs FR, et al. Randomised controlled trial and economic analysis of an internet-based weight management programme: POWeR+ (PositiveOnline Weight Reduction). Health Technol Assess. 2017;21(4):1-62.