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13th May 2016

British Nutrition Foundation Update 2016

Department of Health (DH)- A toolkit to support the development of a hospital food and drink strategy

The Department of Health has created this toolkit, in conjunction with the Hospital Food Standards Panel, to support NHS hospitals in the development of a food and drink strategy. It has also published a case study presentation (Royal Liverpool University Hospital) demonstrating compliance with NHS England's 10 Key characteristics.

The strategy should address:

  • The nutrition and hydration needs of patients;
  • Healthier eating for the whole hospital community, especially staff;
  • Sustainable procurement of food and catering services.

Many of these strategies are directly relatable to nutrition in the care home sector, and could be a useful toolkit for this setting:

Public Health England (PHE) - Making Every Contact Count (MECC): Consensus statement

Many long-term diseases are closely linked to known behavioural risk factors, with 40% of the UK’s disability adjusted life years lost being attributable to tobacco, hypertension, alcohol, being overweight or being physically inactive.  The organisations listed below have signed a statement to work together to maximise support for population behaviour change, and help individuals and communities significantly reduce their risk of disease. The signatories recommend that the evidence-based Making Every Contact Count (MECC) approach should be applied across all health and social care organisations; Public Health England, NHS England, Health Education England, Royal Society for Public Health, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Association of Directors of Public Health, NHS Employers, Royal College of Nursing Local Government Association, Care Quality Commission, NHS Improvement.

The MECC is an approach to behaviour change that uses the millions of day-to-day interactions that organisations and individuals have with other people to support them in making positive changes to their physical and mental health and wellbeing. MECC supports the opportunistic delivery of consistent and concise healthy lifestyle information and enables individuals to engage in conversations about their health at scale across organisations and populations. This includes dietary changes and support to maintain a healthy weight.

Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) - Upcoming reports and position statement

SACN are due to publish a draft report on saturated fats to review the evidence related to saturated fats and their effect on health. Anticipated publication date is December 2017.

SACN are also working towards publication of a position statement on Nutrition and Cognitive function. The latest revisions of this position statement will be discussed later at SACN meetings later in 2016, and will look at diet and nutrients associated with cognitive impairment and dementias, as well as supplementation.

Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) - Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet

A new report on Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet have been published. This presents a range of information on obesity, physical activity and diet, drawn together from a variety of sources. In relation to adult obesity it was reported that:

  • In 2014, 58 per cent of women and 65 per cent of men were overweight or obese. Obesity prevalence has increased from 15 per cent in 1993 to 26 per cent in 2014.
  • In 2014/15, more than 1 in 5 children in Reception, and 1 in 3 children in Year 6 were measured as obese or overweight. Children in most deprived areas are twice as likely to be obese than children in least deprived areas.

British Medical Journal (BMJ) - Addressing malnutrition

Jane Feinmann, a freelance medical journalist and a member of the Imperial College Health Partners’ Patient Safety Champion Network, looked at the subject of malnutrition in the UK in her recent blog for the British Medical Journal. The piece highlighted the importance of the identification of frail older people at risk of malnutrition and support for them. It further considered that doctors should recognise malnutrition co-exists with obesity and it's just as important to treat it.

*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.

Ayela Spiro

Nutrition Science Manager, British Nutrition Foundation

Ayela is a nutrition scientist at the British Nutrition Foundation, where her role involves providing expert advice on nutrition and health issues to a number of key audiences including consumers, health professionals, charities, the media and the food industry. At the heart of her work is the communication of nutrition science that promotes understanding of nutrition and health and contributes to the improved wellbeing of all.

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