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Category Archives: Children

Categories Children, Elderly, Healthy eating, In the news, Nutrient deficiencies, Nutrition, Uncategorized

Nutrient deficiencies are sweeping across Britain

Millions of adults and children in the UK are risking poor health and even serious illness because of major shortfalls in their nutrition, according to an important new report out today

The researchers found that a quarter of women have inadequate intakes of iron, more than 50% lack the antioxidant selenium and nearly one in 10 men are low in magnesium. Intakes of iron, magnesium, zinc, iodine and selenium are woefully low in adolescent girls and one in five pre-school children have abnormally low iron stores. A significant number of elderly people are also iron deficient. The team discovered that blood levels of vitamin D are too low to sustain normal bone health in a quarter of adults while fish intakes have declined in the last decade and are now too low to meet recommendations for omega-3 essential fatty acids.

The new report- ‘Towards a Healthier Britain 2010’ – reviewed the key areas where nutrition could be improved, with independent nutrition experts Dr Carrie Ruxton and Dr Pamela Mason examining the evidence from national dietary surveys. In addition, more than 70 scientific papers were explored looking at the potential role of vitamin supplementation.

Time to think about a multivitamin?

Categories Children, In the news, Latest Research

Burgers linked to asthma

New research suggests that eating three or more burgers a week may put children at risk of developing asthma, whereas eating a mediterranean diet may lower the risk.

Researchers writing in the journal Thorax have looked at 50 000 children from 20 countries in a 10 year study. Parents of children from wealthy and poorer countries were asked about their children’s diets and whether they had ever been diagnosed with asthma or had suffered wheezing.

Researchers found that the effects of their diet seemed to vary depending on where they lived. Fruit and vegetables were seen to be more protective in less affluent parts of the world, whilst eating lots of fish was more helpful in richer countries. Eating at least three burgers a week was linked to a greater risk of asthma and wheezing, but only in wealthier countries.

Author Dr Gabriele Nagel suggests that this may be because asthma is a collection of symptoms rather than a single condition, and different things may trigger in different parts of the world. The paper also sugggested that a diet rich in fruit and vegetables may be helpful because of the protective effects of antioxidants.

Dr Elaine Vickers, research relations manager at Asthma UK said ‘Previous studies have shown that a Mediterranean – style diet rich in fruit and vegetables can help to reduce a child’s risk of developing asthma symptoms. Our advice to parents is therefore to ensure that children eat a healthy, balanced diet and also get plenty of exercise.’

To upgrade the quality of your children’s diets and help protect them against asthma and other diseases, why not make an appointment with Emma by clicking here.

Categories Children, Heart disease, In the news, Latest Research

Kebab Houses and Burger Bars serve unhealthy snacks to school children

New research has found that many takeaway meals sold near London schools contain much higher levels of salt and saturated fat compared to outlets such as McDonalds and Burger King. Many children are leaving school to buy these burgers, kebabs, pies and chips for their lunch.

The London Environmental Health Food Teams undertook the study on behalf of Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH). They looked at the foods chosen by school children from takeaway shops in 16 London Boroughs, finding that the levels of salt, total fat, saturated fat, trans fats and calories were much higher than those in school lunches.

The results have prompted the Schools Food Trust, who advise the Government on improving the nutrition of school children, to call for a ban on children leaving school during the lunch hour.

Some local initiatives are extremely encouraging; Morrison’s in Kendal, Cumbria, and McDonald’s in Folkestone have agreed not to sell to school pupils at lunch time. However, the majority of school children are exposed to snacks such as the Doner Kebab – one of which was found to contain 48.7g saturated fat, more than double the official Government daily recommendation of 20g.

Suggestions have been made for nutritional labelling of restaurant food to allow children to choose healthy options. As research in Greenwich earlier in the year proved, academic performance, as demonstrated by SATS results,  may increase with better nutrition.