Health and Vitality

Obesity still rising, but better news on fruit and veg consumption

The Health Survey for England monitors trends in the nation’s health, and the latest figures show obesity is still rising. The prevalence of obesity has generally fluctuated between 23% and 27% between 2003 and 2016, but last year it was 29%. The survey showed that most adults surveyed (64% of 8,000) were overweight or obese…
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Out of home sector told to step up on sugar

Foodservice businesses have been warned to increase their efforts to reduce sugar or face government action. Speaking at last week’s Food Matters Live event in London, Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, said customers want faster progress from the food industry, and in particular, those businesses that have taken little or no action.…
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Health experts call for antibiotic use ban on farms

Ten of the UK’s most senior medics have called on the government to ban preventative antibiotic group treatments in livestock. In a short letter, the experts warned that failure to enforce a ban “will result in the UK having some of the weakest regulatory standards for farm antibiotic use in Europe”. This could “seriously undermine…
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Soft drinks tax brings in £150 million

Soft drinks manufacturers and traders have paid an extra £153.8 million in tax since April, due to the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL). The tax was introduced in April 2018 and applies to the packaging and importation of soft drinks containing added sugar. It was introduced as part of the government’s initiative to tackle childhood…
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Benefits of plant-based diets need to be reflected in dietary guidelines

Well-balanced and predominantly plant-based diets can lead to improved nutrient levels, reduce premature deaths from chronic diseases by more than 20%, and lower greenhouse gas emissions, fertiliser application, and cropland and freshwater use, according to new research. The study, published in The Lancet Planetary Health, is reportedly the first to comprehensively assess the relationship between…
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Further decline in vital meals on wheels services

Almost one in four (24%) UK councils have stopped offering meals on wheels since 2014, according to new research by the National Association of Care Catering (NACC). The service, through the provision of a hot, nutritious meal, enables the elderly and vulnerable to live independently in their homes for longer. This can reduce pressure on…
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Sales of sugary drinks in hospitals will be cut to 10%

Every NHS hospital has agreed to reduce sales of sugar-sweetened drinks to 10% or less of their total drinks sales. NHS England introduced cash rewards for those that hit the target last year, and more and more trusts have signed up since. The latest data shows that the proportion of drinks sold on NHS premises…
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The move to meat-free

Health, social media and effective campaigning are driving the shift to meat-free and flexitarian diets, explains Roisin Monaghan from Pragma Consulting. Over a quarter of meat-eating Brits have reduced or limited their meat consumption in the last six months, and since 2016 sales of meat-free products have jumped 4% to £559m and are projected to…
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Restaurants taking notice of plant-based push

One in two chefs (51%) has added vegan options to their menus this year, up from 31% in 2017, according to research by Foodable Labs. The research, which is referenced here but does appear on Foodable’s website, also found that 62.7% of food influencers are looking for more plant-based delivery options. The business insights company…
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Mediterranean diets could lower depression

A diet of fruits, vegetables, nuts, plant-based food and fish, typical of a traditional Mediterranean diet, could help lower the risk of depression, according to new research. Researchers from the UK, Spain and Australia analysed data from 41 studies, and found a “clear pattern” that following a healthier, plant-rich, anti-inflammatory diet can help in the…
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