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Food Active Supporter Bulletin
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Food Active Supporter Bulletin
April 2017

BLACKPOOL VICTORIA HOSPITAL LAUNCH HEALTHY WEIGHT DECLARATION
 
Building on the success of the Local Authority Declaration, Blackpool Victoria Hospital have become the first NHS trust to develop and pass their own declaration on healthy weight. In February 2017 Blackpool Council hosted a healthy weight summit where 20 local organisation pledged to develop their own declaration to support the town's commitment to reducing obesity and promoting healthy weight.

Blackpool Victoria Hospital went through a period of consultation and launched the declaration earlier this month.

Tim Bennett, Deputy Chief Executive, said:

“We are committed to improving the health and wellbeing of our staff and recently became one of only eight Trusts in the country to receive a Gold Standard for Sport and Physical Activity @ Work awards.

“The declaration specifically focuses on promoting healthy weight and means we will continue that work with a solid commitment to promote health and wellbeing initiatives in our facilities.

“Areas we are focusing on include reviewing the provision of foods in all buildings and venues to make the healthier choice more convenient and affordable, reducing the availability of sugary drinks and promoting drinking water to improve hydration.

“We will also be continuing our campaign to give our staff more knowledge about the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle and creating a culture and ethos
that supports healthy weight.

“The connection between obesity and life-threatening illnesses like heart disease, type two diabetes and cancer is now apparent according to research and we are committed to working hard to make our staff and patients healthier.

The launch received some fantastic coverage in the Blackpool Gazette, more on the declaration and a link to the news story can be found by following the link below.
MORE ON THE BLACKPOOL NHS TRUST LAUNCH DECLARATION
NHS CUTS SUGARY DRINKS IN HOSPITALS
 
In more great NHS news, it has been has announced that the NHS will be asking all retailers to cut the sale of sugary drinks within hospital outlets in a bid to encourage a healthier environment for patients, staff and visitors.

By next April, retailers will be asked to limit high sugar drinks to no more than 10% of the total beverages they sell. If retailers do not comply, they may face a total ban of the sale of sugary drinks. Greggs, Marks and Spencer's, Subway and WH Smith have already agreed to commit to the proposed plans. 

The plans have been welcomed by health campaigners, as the food sold in healthcare settings can send powerful and influential messages to the general public about healthy food and drink consumption.

The Campaign for Better Hospital Food Campaign have put together a Q&A which details how this will work in practice.
Q&A FROM THE CAMPAIGN FOR BETTER HOSPITAL FOOD
LETTERS TO METRO-MAYORAL CANDIDATES
 
During May, seven combined authorities will appoint their first Metro-Mayor. The directly-elected metro mayors will be responsible for setting out a strategy for growing their city region economy, and will have certain powers over issues such as housing, transport and skills.

Food Active have written to each of the candidates for Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region calling for recognition of the key role that food, nutrition and physical activity play in the health and wellbeing of communities and the regions’ economic capacity.

We detailed the areas in which healthy weight fits into the planned areas of responsibility for each of the Metro-Mayors and offered to work with them further to develop ideas and policies. Copies of the letters can be found on the website.
LINK TO FOOD ACTIVE LETTERS TO MAYORAL CANDIDATES
STOP PRESS - SUGAR TAX ALERT

Health campaigners such as the Children’s Food Campaign, Action on Sugar and of course, Food Active, have been advocating for a tax on sugary drinks for some time and we were therefore delighted when the Government first announced the Sugary Drinks Industry Levy which is due to be implemented in 2018.

At the time of going to press however, we were waiting to hear whether the timing of the snap election may affect the progress of the Finance Bill (which includes the levy) through Parliament. We’ll tell you more as soon as we know it.
GUEST BLOG: 10-A-DAY? AN EXPERT VIEW
 
This month we have a guest blog written by Dr Julie Abayomi, a reader in dietetics at Liverpool John Moores University. The blog gives an expert view on last month's news story of recommendations to consume 10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. 

The blog discusses the role of the media in the portrayal of this news story and the impact this may have on consumer knowledge, trust and understanding. 

To read the full blog, follow the link below.
READ JULIE'S 10-A-DAY BLOG HERE
PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND: SUGAR REDUCTION PROGRAMME

Public Health England have recently published guidelines for industry on reducing sugar in 9 popular food products which are said to contribute the most to our sugar consumption. It claims that if this reduction programme could result in the reduction of 20,000 tonnes of sugar across UK supermarket shelves by 2020. 
The three approaches stated in the programme include:
  • Reformulating products to lower levels than at present
  • Reducing portion sizes and/or the number of calories in single-serve portions
  • Shifting consumer preference towards lower or no-added sugar products
However, questions and concerns have been raised over whether industry will comply with the programme, seeing as the guidelines are voluntary. Furthermore, voluntary measures have been shown to have much lesser benefit to health than mandatory regulations, which industry have no choice but to comply with. Please see a recent BMJ article by Martin Caraher and Ivan Parry which discusses the limits of self regulation in detail.

In saying this, there has been lots of positive and responsible action from some companies regarding sugar reformulations, including Nestle and Tesco. However, this is not shared by the majority of the food industry, hence much further action is required to get companies on board with reformulations for the good of public health. 

Both Robin Ireland (Director of Research) and Alex Holt (Food and Nutrition Lead) appeared on local radio to discuss the guidelines.
A LINK TO SUGAR REDUCTION: ACHIEVING THE 20%
GUEST BLOG: COULD WE BE MISSING THE BOAT WITH OUR YOUNG PEOPLE?
 
A second guest blog we have this month is by Aliya Porter, Registered Nutritionist and North West representative for the Association for Nutrition. Her key areas of interest are health promotion, community development and infant and toddler nutrition. 

Aliya has written a blog regarding the importance of weaning for health and the lack of support for parents receive during this crucial time. 

To read the full blog, follow the link below.
READ ALIYA'S BLOG ON THE IMPORTANCE OF WEANING HERE
KNOWSLEY GIVE UP LOVING POP ROADSHOWS
 
GULP, Healthy Knowsley and Knowsley Council have been hosting roadshows across the borough of Knowsley to encourage people to sign up to the GULP 21 Day Challenge starting on the 8th May. We have visited Huyton, Kirkby, Whiston Hospital, Prescot, Halewood and Stockbridge Village in the last two weeks over the Easter holidays.

The roadshows received lots of positive support from Knowsley residents, with many pledging to Give Up Loving Pop and switch to water or low-fat milk for 21 days. Water bottles, stickers, leaflets and postcards were also handed out to the general public to spread the message and encourage them to take part. Alongside GULP was Healthy Knowsley, who were able to provide additional support and advice regarding health and wellbeing services within the borough.

If you are a Knowsley resident who wants to sign up to the 21 day #GulpChallenge, follow the link below and be sure to get any friends and family involved to try to give up loving pop!
SIGN UP TO THE KNOWSLEY GULP CHALLENGE HERE
CONSENSUS FOR ACTION ON SALT & HEALTH: UPDATE ON SALT REDUCTION IN THE UK
 
Following the Salt Awareness week from 20th-27th March, Consensus for Action on Salt and Health (CASH) conducted a survey to investigate whether food categories were meeting their 2017 salt content target. 

CASH have written a fantastic blog for Food Active about the history of the UK's salt reduction programme, its current status and the findings of their recent survey. 

To read the full guest blog, follow the link below.
READ THE CASH GUEST BLOG HERE
PEPSI'S ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN BACKLASH

The use of popular and iconic celebrities in marketing campaigns is a prominent and effective route for industry - particularly with children and teenagers.

However, a recent Pepsi advertisement has been pulled only days after its launch, due to the backlash it has received from across the globe. 

To find out more about this brand of marketing tactics and the criticisms of the new Pepsi advert, follow the link below to the Food Active blog.
READ THE FOOD ACTIVE BLOG HERE
A ROUND-UP OF THE LATEST NEWS
 
Following a public consultation, the ‘Cycling and walking investment strategy’ has been launched. The strategy outlines the government’s ambition to make cycling and walking a natural choice for shorter journeys, or as part of longer journeys by 2040.

Cancer Research UK say that obesity is to blame for a surge in kidney cancer in the UK, causing an extra 20,000 cases in the last 10 years.

A recent study has suggested that Sucralose, a low-calorie sweetener found in many diet soft drinks, may not be such a healthy alternative at all. The research found that excessive consumption of the sweetener may induce fat formation, especially in obese subjects.

A study using data from the Framingham Heart Study suggests a link between artificial sweeteners and dementia, but should the findings be taken with a pinch of salt?

A report by The Health Select Committee argues that 'BOGOF' deals must be cut in order to tackle childhood obesity, further urging the Government to take action on this irresponsible retailing behaviour.

The first US sugar tax in Berkeley, California sees soft drink sales fall by almost 10%, study shows.

Following the launch of the first NCMP tracking report, Public Health England publish "What does our first National Childhood Measurement Programme tracking report tell us?"

New research suggests cooking family meals and avoiding watching television during mealtimes can help reduce the risk of becoming obese. 

A recent NHS review has found that 1 in 4 UK adults exercise for less than 30 minutes a week, with women more likely to be physically inactive than men. 

Higher fresh fruit consumption lowers one's chances of suffering diabetes, and improves outcomes for those who already have the condition, a major new study shows.

Consuming potassium-rich foods such as sweet potatoes, avocados, spinach and bananas are key to low blood pressure, a recent survey finds.

The first substantial survey into food insecurity in the UK by the Food Standards Agency has revealed that 1 in 4 low-income households struggle to eat healthy or even regularly, estimating that 8% of the population have low or very low food security. 

School holidays leave three million children at risk of hunger, report says.

A recent study by Rush University Medical Center shows that delaying access to unhealthy choices in vending machines may shift people's choices towards healthier alternatives. Hence, could be a method to help improve snacking habits. 

Preliminary research findings by the Endocrine Society suggest that the signals within the brain that tell us we are full appear to be dulled in obese children. 

A recent study by the NUT has found that over half of teachers state their pupils are affected by holiday hunger, referring to those children who receive free school meals during term breaks. Nearly three quarters of respondents stated holiday hunger was negatively affecting pupils learning abilities and education. 

Public Health England have published a new toolkit 'Encouraging healthier out of home food provision' in order to create a healthier food environment for all. 'Out of home' foods feature more and more in our diets, hence this resource aims to support families in making healthy choices and making the healthy choice easy.
TWEET OF THE MONTH
 
KNOWLEDGE SHARE
 
Do you know of any schools who have successfully banned sugary drinks? If you do please get in touch by emailing alex.holt@foodactive.org.uk 
EVENTS
 
 
27/04/2017. European Healthy Stadia Conference. Arsenal Football Club.
 
27/04/2017. Talking about the next generation: Nutrition in school aged children British Nutrition Foundation/AfN CPD Accredited: British Library, 96 Euston Rd, Kings Cross, London NW1 2DB

27/04/2017 Implementing policy on sugar reduction: reformulation, consumer choices and regulation West Minster Food and Nutrition Forum: Glaziers Hall, 9 Montague Close, London SE1 9DD:

09/05/2017 Sugar Smart City Campaign Workshops Round Two: Sustainable Food Cities: The Quaker Meeting House, 22 School Lane, Liverpool, L1 3BT

11/05/2017 Tackling childhood obesity: are we doing enough? University of Cambridge/Behaviour and Health Research Unit. Howard Lecture Theatre, Downing College, Cambridge CB2 1DQ
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