Liver disease financial costs

The financial case for action on Liver disease. Escalating costs of alcohol misuse, obesity and viral hepatitis | The Foundation for Liver Research

This report makes the financial case for concerted preventative action through public health measures to tackle the three main causes of liver disease: alcohol misuse, obesity and viral hepatitis. It summarises the escalating financial costs to the health and care system as well as the wider societal costs related to the three lifestyle-related factors.

Full report: The financial case for action on liver disease

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

National child measurement programme operational guidance

Guidance for local commissioners, providers and schools on running the national child measurement programme (NCMP) as part of the government’s commitment to tackling the public health challenge of excess weight.

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The publication of the Childhood Obesity Plan: A Plan for Action, in August 2016 shows that tackling child obesity is a priority for the Government. The plan aims to significantly reduce England’s rate of childhood obesity within the next ten years. Most local authorities have also identified addressing childhood obesity as a key issue in their health and wellbeing strategies, and reducing obesity is prioritised in many Sustainability and Transformation Plans.

The NCMP is key to monitoring the progress of the Government’s Childhood Obesity Plan. It provides the data for the Public Health Outcomes Framework indicators on “excess weight in children aged four to five years and ten to 11 years.” Because the data is valid at local level, it can also be used to inform the development and monitoring of local childhood obesity strategies.

National child measurement programme operational guidance

National child measurement programme: information for schools

Cochrane reviews show impact of lifestyle changes on obesity

Two Cochrane reviews, published today, show that a combination of diet, physical activity and behavioural change interventions may reduce weight in children and adolescents | OnMedica

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The two reviews look at the effects of diet, physical activity and behavioural interventions in treating children with overweight or obesity from six years old to early adulthood. They summarise the results of 114 studies which involved over 13,000 children and young people.

The social barriers to an active society are being ignored

The simplicity of exhorting people to “be more active” belies how complicated it can be to put this into practice. Increasing physical activity requires individuals to do things differently | The Conversation

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Can individuals alone make the changes that are required? Public health campaigns imply that they can, focusing on how to live a healthier, more active life. But do the roots of inactivity really lie only in the behaviour, decisions and motivations of individuals? Or are there wider factors which need to be recognised and addressed?

Plenty of evidence suggests that external influences are also important, and there is mileage in ensuring that these elements are integrated into addressing individual behaviour.

Consider, for example, the challenge of raising physical activity levels among older people. This is a priority for public health given the predicted 89.3% increase in the numbers of older adults to 9.9m in the UK by 2039. According to Sport England, 54% of those aged 75 and above are doing less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week.

Full blog post here

Community-based gardening interventions to prevent overweight and obesity

Protocol for systematic review exploring the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of community gardening to prevent overweight/obesity | BMJ Open

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Introduction: The worldwide prevalence of overweight/obesity has continued to rise over the last decades. To reverse this trend, public health authorities are exploring cost-effective interventions, especially in high-income and middle-income countries. Community gardening offers a unique opportunity for individuals to enhance physical activity levels and improve their diet. However, synthesised evidence on the short-term or long-term effectiveness and on the costs of community gardening interventions to prevent overweight/obesity remains limited. Therefore, this review will investigate: (1) the effectiveness of voluntary participation in community gardening compared with no or a control intervention on overweight/obesity and associated health outcomes, (2) effects on different subgroups of populations and (3) the costs of community gardening interventions.

Methods and analysis: We will conduct a systematic review, limited to evaluations of community gardening interventions with controlled quantitative and interrupted time series designs. To identify relevant articles, we will systematically search 12 academic and 5 grey literature databases, as well as 2 trial registers and 6 websites. Articles will then be assessed for eligibility based on a predefined set of criteria. At least two independent reviewers will assess each article for relevance, before evaluating the methodological quality and potential bias of the studies. Data relevant to the objectives of this review will be extracted and cross-validated. Any disagreements will be mediated by a third reviewer. If feasible, meta-analyses of primary outcomes (overweight/obesity, physical activity, food intake, energy intake) will be conducted. We will use the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation method to assess the overall quality of evidence.

Ethics and dissemination: For this review, no ethical approval is required as we will only extract and analyse secondary data. We aim to submit the final review manuscript to an open access journal for publication and disseminate results via conferences and social media.

Full reference: Heise TL, Romppel M, Molnar S, et al. (2017) Community gardening, community farming and other local community-based gardening interventions to prevent overweight and obesity in high-income and middle-income countries: protocol for a systematic review. BMJ Open. 7:e016237.

TVs in the bedroom linked to childhood obesity, study finds

Scientists say there is a clear link between having a TV in your bedroom as a young child and becoming overweight later in childhood | | International Journal of Obesity | Story via The Guardian 

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Children who have TVs in their bedrooms are more likely to be overweight than those who do not, a study by University College London scientists suggests.

Sitting still for long periods watching TV has long been thought to be one of the changes in behaviour of the last few decades that could be contributing to the obesity epidemic. It has been suspected that having a TV in the bedroom might exacerbate the problem. Children or adolescents might be snacking unobserved, they could be exposed to advertising for junk food while watching adult programmes and they may not sleep as well, which is also linked to putting on weight.

Published in the International Journal of Obesity, the research used data on more than 12,000 children born in 2000/2001 who were recruited to the UK Millennium Cohort Study, set up to look at the influences on children’s development into adulthood. They investigated the data from the age of seven to 11. More than half had a TV in their bedroom.

They found that girls who had a TV in their bedroom at age seven were at an approximately 30% higher risk of being overweight at age 11, compared to children who did not have a TV in their bedroom. Boys were 20% more likely to become overweight.

Full story : The Guardian

See also: TVs in children’s bedrooms ‘increase risk of obesity’ | BBC

Full reference: Heilmann, A et al. | Longitudinal associations between television in the bedroom and body fatness in a UK cohort study | International Journal of Obesity | article preview 1 June 2017