Nutrition advice aimed at children also improves parents’ diets

Nutrition advice aimed at children also improves parents’ diets, according to research published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology | ScienceDaily


For the current study, parental dietary intake was assessed by a one-day food record biennially from the child’s age of nine to 19 years. Weight, height, blood pressure, serum lipids, glucose and insulin of the parents were measured repeatedly from the child’s age of seven months until 20 years.

The investigators found that the child-oriented dietary counselling increased the intake of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats and decreased the saturated fat intake of intervention mothers and fathers compared to control parents between the child’s ages of nine and 19 years.

In addition, the child-oriented dietary counselling tended to decrease serum total and LDL concentrations in intervention mothers compared to control mothers. There was a similar trend in fathers but it was not statistically significant.

Guide to healthy living: mosques

This guidance aims to provide mosque leaders and communities with public health evidence and recommendations, demonstrating how these recommendations link into Islamic teachings, with case study examples from local mosques | PHE


It includes a self-assessment checklist for mosques to reflect on current initiatives, identify gaps, recognise achievement and develop plans for future projects.

Mosques in 21st century western societies are at a developmental stage in evolving to meet the needs of the communities they serve. To be at the centre of the community, mosques must be spaces for all sections of society including women, mothers with young children, elderly people, those with disabilities and young people; with specific activities and initiatives aimed to inform, educate and improve their environment, health, lives and wellbeing.


Workplace health promotion

Report suggests that effective investment in health and wellbeing can save a company more than it spends on the interventions | RAND

The importance of the workplace as a setting for health promotion is increasingly recognised by employers and policymakers. As a result, workplace health promotion programmes are growing in numbers and scope around the world.  Such programmes have the potential to generate returns on investments and can reduce overall health costs.

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The RAND Corporation has published The return of investment for preventive healthcare programmes.  This report outlines the divers of successful workplace health promotion programmes, provides an overview of health and wellbeing interventions offered by pharmaceutical companies, and develops a framework to analyse the return on investment of such projects, applying it to GSK’s P4P programme

Motivational Interviewing to Promote Oral Health in Adolescents

Motivational interviewing (MI) is a counseling strategy to help people change their behaviors. This single-blinded randomized controlled trial evaluated the effectiveness of MI in improving adolescents’ oral health | Journal of Adolescent Health

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Fifteen secondary schools were randomly assigned to three groups: (I) prevailing health education, (II) MI, and (III) MI coupled with interactive dental caries risk assessment (MI + RA). Adolescents (n = 512) with unfavorable oral health behaviors (infrequent toothbrushing and/or frequent snacking) were recruited; 161, 163, and 188 in groups I–III, respectively. Participants in the three groups received their respective interventions. At baseline and after 6 and 12 months, participants completed a questionnaire on their oral health self-efficacy and behaviors. Their oral hygiene (dental plaque score) and dental caries (number of decayed surfaces/teeth status) were recorded.

MI was more effective than prevailing health education strategy in eliciting positive changes in adolescents’ oral health behaviors and preventing dental caries.

Full reference: Wu, L. et al. Motivational Interviewing to Promote Oral Health in Adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health. Published online:May 19, 2017

Measles: Don’t let your child catch it

This poster highlights the current new campaign to encourage parents to get their child vaccinated | PHE


Image source: PHE

This poster has been revised and updated as part of the measles elimination strategy. The number of young people catching measles is rising. To be protected they need to be immunised with the MMR vaccine. It’s never too late to be vaccinated. It’s time to make measles a disease of the past.

An A3 size downloadable poster is available here

First Local Authority Councillors get training in mental health promotion

Yesterday, for the first time local authority mental health member champions received training in becoming leaders in mental health promotion | Centre for Mental Health


An event organised by Centre for Mental Health with support from Public Health England gave council members evidence and information about activities that can improve wellbeing, reduce inequalities, and help prevent mental health problems in their local communities. The workshop took place in London. A second workshop will be held in Birmingham in March.

The workshops have been organised as part of the Mental Health Challenge for Local Authorities, a scheme led by seven national charities that helps local councils to champion mental health in their communities. Some 89 local councils in England have now signed up to the Challenge, each with its own ‘member champion’ for mental health.

Read the full news story here

Improving the implementation of childrens healthy eating, physical activity and obesity prevention programmes

Wolfenden, L. et al. (2016) Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Issue 10. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD011779.pub2.


Background: Despite the existence of effective interventions and best-practice guideline recommendations for childcare services to implement policies, practices and programmes to promote child healthy eating, physical activity and prevent unhealthy weight gain, many services fail to do so.

Authors’ conclusions: Current research provides weak and inconsistent evidence of the effectiveness of such strategies in improving the implementation of policies and practices, childcare service staff knowledge or attitudes, or child diet, physical activity or weight status. Further research in the field is required.

Read the full review here