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Brits trim back meat consumption

There is a growing trend among the British population for limiting or reducing meat consumption, particularly among those aged between 25 and 34, says leading market intelligence agency Mintel.

While 90 per cent of Brits are red meat/poultry eaters, the new research found that 34 per cent of meat eaters reduced their meat consumption in 2018. Those aged between 25 and 34 are the most likely (40 per cent) to have reduced their meat consumption in the last year. A further 21 per cent of meat eaters say that they would be interested in limiting/reducing their meat consumption in the future.

The top three perceived benefits of eating less meat are improving health (32 per cent), saving money (31 per cent) and being better for the environment (25 per cent). Despite improving health being seen as the top benefit, considerably fewer consumers associate eating less meat with helping to manage weight (25 per cent) or reducing the risk of disease (22 per cent).

The research was carried out among 2,000 internet users aged 16+ in July 2018.

New game launched to tackle malnutrition

A new educational board game has been created in a bid to tackle the growing problem of malnutrition in older people.

Researchers from The University of Hertfordshire developed The Food in Later Life Game to help people learn more about malnutrition in older people and the actions they can take to help prevent and manage it. Malnutrition affects an estimated one in 10 people over the age of 65 in the UK (around 1.3 million). Over 90 per cent of older people who are malnourished are living in their own homes where the signs and symptoms often go unnoticed and unrecognised.

The board game helps players understand the challenges faced by older people when buying, cooking or eating food. It also helps them to discuss what individuals and organisations can do to ensure older people have access to a safe and nutritious diet.

Air pollution can cause kidney disease

Air pollution not only causes harm to our respiratory system, but also impacts inner organs such as the kidneys, a new study has found. The review article, which was published in the journal CKJ, involved an analysis of scientific papers on the subject dating back over the past 30 years.

Chronic kidney diseases (CKD) cause at least 2.4 million deaths per year and are now the sixth fastest growing cause of death.

Professor Alberto Ortiz, CKJ´s editor-in-chief and co-author of the review, explained: “One hypothesis is that inflammatory mediators induced by polluted air in the lungs spill over into the circulation, resulting in systemic inflammation, oxidative stress and damage to distant organs including the kidneys. Besides, there might also be a direct harming effect. We do not know in detail which underlying mechanisms cause the harm of the kidneys, but the evidence is very strong that air pollution has a long-term effect on the onset of CKD.”

Try, swap and change

The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) has developed a weekly planner to help people stick to their healthy living resolutions.

The Try, Swap, Change planner has been developed by a team of nutrition scientists and offers 15 easy to follow suggestions to help people lead a healthier lifestyle. Each week you can choose three or more of the suggestions, which involve trying something new, swapping old habits for better ones, and changing small parts of your daily routine. There are six areas that have been colour-coded in the planner:

  • Green = fruit and vegetables – make sure you get your five-a-day
  • Yellow = wholegrains – the majority of people are below the recommended intakes for fibre
  • Red = physical activity – getting active burns calories and helps improve fitness
  • Orange = helpful habits – these are things you can change in your lifestyle
  • Blue = protein – looking at boosting plant protein and including fish your diet
  • Pink = lower salt, sugar and saturated fat – are you getting too much of these?

Sara Stanner, Science Director, British Nutrition Foundation, said: “Finding behaviours that work for you is key to making sure that short-term changes become long-term habits and part of the daily routine.”

The free planner can be downloaded at: www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/planner/tryswapchange.html

Diabetes on the increase in the under-25s

Nearly 7,000 children and young adults are reported to have Type 2 diabetes in England and Wales, according to shocking new figures released by Diabetes UK.

The National Diabetes Audit for 2016-2017 revealed that there are 6,836 individuals under the age of 25 with the condition, a figure based on the numbers treated in GP practices in England and Wales in 2016/17.

Previous figures from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health stated that paediatric diabetes units were treating 715 people under the age of 25 for Type 2 diabetes, meaning that the true figure is almost 10 times higher than previously thought. Diabetes UK states that: “Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong condition that leads to serious complications such as blindness, amputations, heart disease and kidney failure. Unlike Type 1 diabetes, the risk of developing Type 2 is greatly increased by being overweight or obese.”

Bridget Turner, Director of Policy and Campaigns at Diabetes UK, said: “Type 2 diabetes can be devastating for children and young people. To help shape a future where fewer children develop the condition, we need continued commitment across society to create an environment that reduces obesity. We need to encourage healthy living by providing clear and easy to understand nutritional information about the products we are all buying, and protect children from adverts for foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar.”

New study to focus on yoga for older people

Researchers from Northumbria University are about to embark on a study investigating the benefits that yoga brings to older people with multiple long-term health conditions.

The four-year study follows evidence that people with a number of long-term health conditions are more likely to have reduced physical function, lower quality of life and life expectancy, combined with more need for support with mental health issues.

In the UK, two thirds of people over the age of 65 have multimorbidity, which is defined as having two or more long-term health conditions. Conditions include diabetes, heart disease and asthma, and mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.

The more health problems someone has, the more likely they are to consult a GP, be prescribed drugs and be admitted to hospital. The study therefore aims to determine both the clinical effectiveness and cost effectiveness of a specially-adapted yoga programme for older adults with multimorbidity.

Bust that stress!

Christmas time can certainly be stressful, particularly when you are juggling a busy work and home life with trying to organise a festive celebration. Here, life coach Carole Ann Rice (realcoachingco.com) offers some simple tips for keeping seasonal stress at bay.

1. Get your feelings out – If you’re feeling sad, stressed or anxious, get those thoughts out of your head and onto a piece of paper so you’re not carrying them around with you. It’s important not to let bad feelings dwell and rot inside of you.

2. Don’t overcommit – Having a diary full of plans is an easy way to make ourselves feel unnecessarily stressed. Remember that you can always commit half way - if family and friends want to see you, just say you’ll come along for 2 hours. That way, you can go without draining yourself completely.

3. Spend some time outdoors – Try to set aside time for the outdoors – run around the park or walk by the river for exercise. Being among nature is not only a great way to relax and destress, but it’s also 100 per cent free.

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