New NICE Guidance recommends offering weight loss surgery to obese diabetics
One in 20 people in the UK has type 2 diabetes. It is a progressive disease that causes heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and limb amputations and obesity is a key risk factor. NICE recommends that all patients with a BMI of 35 or over who have recent-onset type 2 diabetes should be assessed for surgery. However, they stress that patients must have tried and failed to achieve clinically beneficial weight loss by all other appropriate non-surgical methods such as changes to diet and lifestyle. NICE comments that the surgery would save the NHS money in the long-term by preventing the long-term complications of diabetes and pay for itself within 2-3 years.
Obesity contributing to Ireland’s ranking of 3rd highest for cancer deaths in the EU
The latest figures from Eurostat reveal that cancer accounted for close to a third of all deaths in Ireland in 2011, with only the Netherlands and Slovenia having higher rates, and the EU average being one in four. While lung cancer was the main fatal cancer, obesity has been identified as a key risk factor. A major study in the Lancet reveals that excess weight and obesity are linked to around one in every 25 cancers in Ireland. The study of 184 countries found weight causes about 481,000 new cancer cases a year globally in adults - or 3.6pc of cancers worldwide. The authors comment that the "findings add support for a global effort to address the rising trends in obesity”.
The Belfast Strategic Partnership, led by the Public Health Agency, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, and Belfast City Council, has launched an Active Travel Plan to get people active. The latest results from the Northern Ireland Health Survey reveal that only around half (53%) of respondents meet the Chief Medical Officer’s recommendations of 150 minutes per week of physical activity. The Active Travel Plan will aim to encourage and facilitate people to incorporate more physical activity into their daily life.
Launch of Ireland’s first National Workplace Wellbeing Day
Ireland’s workforce wants to get healthier and they believe their employers can play a role in helping them according to new research commissioned by the Nutrition and Health Foundation (NHF). Ireland’s first Workplace Wellbeing Day will take place on Friday, 27th March 2015. The nationwide campaign aims to help improve employee health through promoting effective wellbeing initiatives targeted at better nutrition and physical activity in workplaces around Ireland. Healthy workplaces and workforces have also been identified as a priority area under Healthy Ireland, the national framework to improve health and wellbeing across the population.
DHSSPSNI has published the first results of its Health Survey Northern Ireland 2013/14 Report
The Health Survey Northern Ireland is conducted annually and covers a wide range of health topics. The report from the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety Northern Ireland (DHSSPSNI) provides an interesting range of statistics on key areas relating to general health, mental health and wellbeing, diet and nutrition, physical activity, obesity, smoking, drinking and sexual health.
New report finds the worldwide cost of obesity comparable to that of smoking or armed conflict
The report, produced by the McKinsey Global Institute outlines that some 2.1bn people, about 30% of the world's population, are now overweight or obese. Worryingly, the proportion could rise to almost half of the world's population by 2030. Obesity is costing the global economy an estimated €2tn a year, and it costs the UK £47bn. The researchers say measures that relied less on individual responsibility should be used to tackle the problem, and that if the right measures were taken there could be long-term savings of £760m a year for the UK's National Health Service. The annual cost of overweight and obesity on the island of Ireland is estimated to be more than €1 billion.
The workplace has a key role to play in tackling the obesity epidemic
According to the Irish Heart Foundation (IHF), the national charity fighting heart disease and stroke, establishing supportive environments in settings like the workplace is a vital step in helping to tackle the obesity health crisis, which is the cause of an estimated 2,000 premature deaths in Ireland annually. The IHF was commending the efforts of 85 businesses and organisations around the country that have supported 55,000 employees to make healthier choices through the IHF workplace programme. According to the IHF, Irish businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of a healthier workforce in terms of reduced absenteeism, increased productivity and improved employee morale.
New figures from Public Health England show high blood pressure costs NHS billions each year
Over 5 million people are unaware they have high blood pressure yet it affects more than 1 in 4 adults and is one of the biggest risk factors for premature death and disability in England, accounting for 12% of all GP visits. High blood pressure can lead to diseases including heart disease, stroke, vascular dementia and chronic kidney disease; however, it can be prevented or controlled through lifestyle changes. A group has been established to look towards improving the prevention, detection and management of high blood pressure, and this group today published its action plan. The new figures show that ‘by reducing the blood pressure of the nation as a whole, £850 million of NHS and social care spend could be avoided over 10 years’.
Mediterranean diets may be better than low-fat diets for sustained weight loss
Writing in the Postgraduate Medical Journal, leading doctors outline that healthy eating needs to become a priority for the NHS to improve health outcomes for staff and the public. The doctors outline how the Mediterranean diet quickly reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke, and that adoption of the diet is also the best way to tackle obesity long term, rather than focusing on calorie restriction. The diet typically consists of an abundance of vegetables, fresh fruit, wholegrain cereals, olive oil and nuts, as well as poultry and fish, rather than lots of red meat and butter or animal fats. The authors argue the NHS is in a "key position" to set a national example by providing healthy food in hospitals and by ensuring doctors and nurses understand the evidence.
The World Diabetes Day 2014 campaign marks the first of a three-year (2014-16) focus on healthy living and diabetes. World Diabetes Day, which is co-ordinated by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), this year focuses on starting each day right by having a healthy breakfast and making healthy food choices. The total number of people living with diabetes in Ireland is estimated to be 225,840. You can explore more statistics on diabetes in Ireland and Northern Ireland by visiting our Community Profiles Tool. Just follow the link below. IPH also systematically estimated and forecast the prevalence of diabetes on the island of Ireland in 2012, you can access this Diabetes briefing here