Health and Vitality

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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Brits stop eating greens

More than two thirds (68%) of Brits have not eaten a single green vegetable in at least a week, whilst 4% haven’t done so in a month or more. The poll of 1,500 adults, conducted by Organic UK, also showed the average Brit eats only three of the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables…
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Spoiler alert for calorie labels

Adding calorie counts to menus will make eating out more regulated, more systematic, and just a tad more miserable, says Sara Petersson. Today over 60% of the UK population is overweight or obese. These are worrying statistics. Perhaps in a utopian world (where all food comes out of a single cookie cutter and everyone makes…
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Dear Theresa May: I fear calorie labels may be a waste of time

The prime minister is proposing mandatory labelling in restaurants – but where’s the evidence for it, and how will it work? By David Burrows.       Dear Prime Minister, I write in response to your consultation, launched last week, on the introduction of calorie labelling across the out-of-home sector. This is part of your…
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Race is on for energy drinks ban

An end to the sale of energy drinks to children moved a step closer last month. What’s happened and is this good news? DON’T READ THE LABEL. Under current EU labelling rules, any drink, other than tea or coffee, that contains over 150mg of caffeine per litre requires a warning label saying: “High caffeine content.…
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Trading standards must get tough on health claims

Trading standards and environmental health officers are acting “more like advisors than prosecutors” when it comes to enforcing regulations that govern nutrition and health claims, research has found. Inflated health benefit statements, for example, are rarely clamped down on, the researchers said, thereby undermining shoppers’ confidence. The study by experts at Manchester Metropolitan University and…
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