Eating 10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day may give us longer lives, say researchers
The study, by Imperial College London, showed that while eating the recommended five a day still helps reduce the risk of disease, the highest benefits are seen in people who consume 10 portions and calculated such eating habits could prevent 7.8 million premature deaths each year. A portion counts as 80g (3oz) of fruit or veg - the equivalent of a small banana, a pear or three heaped tablespoons of spinach or peas. The team also identified specific fruit and veg that reduced the risk of cancer and heart disease. Lower risks of cancer were linked to eating; green veg (eg spinach); yellow veg (eg peppers), and cruciferous vegetables (eg cauliflower). Lower risks of heart disease and strokes were linked to eating; apples; pears; citrus fruits; salads; green leafy vegetables (eg lettuce) and cruciferous veg.
New research from safefood reveals men and young adults the least able when it comes to food and cooking skills
The research has measured the state of the nation’s food and cooking skills and has found men and young adults had lower levels of confidence and used less food and cooking skills like planning, cooking in batches or using up leftovers. Among those surveyed for the research, keeping basic food cupboard ingredients and sharing cooking responsibilities were viewed as positive ways to encourage more home cooking, however time pressures and "fussy eaters" were identified as barriers to cooking. Amanda McCloat, Head of The Home Economics Department at St. Angela's College, Sligo and Research Contributor commented “What was really evident from the research is how people gained confidence from simply trying out a recipe and how we should be encouraging non-cooks to give it a go.”
Cancer cases among women are rising six times faster than in men, according to new research.
According to Cancer Research UK, unhealthy lifestyles are responsible for the rise in cancer cases among both sexes - but women are bearing the brunt of the increase. Obesity is one of the factors that can increase the risk of cancers that only affect women, such as womb cancer and ovarian cancer. Cervical and oral cancers are also on the rise in women. Smoking rates are now falling across the UK - but lung cancer figures are beginning to reflect women who took up the habit over recent decades. The charity says that cancer rates will continue to climb nearly six times faster in women than men over the next 20 years.
Boys in secondary schools ‘42% fitter than girls’, study suggests
Boys in Irish secondary schools are 42 per cent fitter than girls and the gender gap in fitness levels widens as they get older, a new study of more than 22,000 students suggests. The research for the Irish Life Health Schools Fitness Challenge showing students experienced a significant improvement in their fitness levels after just six weeks of exercise training, with first-year boys (+11 per cent) and fourth-year girls (+14 per cent) showing the biggest improvement levels overall. A report entitled Gender in Sport published by the European Institute of Gender Equality last week said a number of practical barriers to women’s participation in sport still existed.
The Northern Ireland Minister for Infrastructure is committed to increasing the level of active travel and strongly supports improving health and wellbeing for everyone across the region. In this draft Belfast Bicycle Network consultation document, the Minister sets out his plans to develop a quality bicycle infrastructure for Belfast. The Consultation opened on 23 January 2017. Closing date 13 April 2017 at 17:00.
New report from WHO offers global resource on using the law to improve health
Soda tax in Mexico. Salt limits in South Africa. Plain tobacco packaging in Australia. National health insurance in Ghana. A new report produced by WHO and partners has case studies on how new laws have improved the health and safety of people, providing a resource for countries to learn from positive experiences in other parts of the world.
Meeting the physical activity guidelines at the weekend still found to produce significant health benefits
Many busy, working people try to fit in all their exercise at the weekend, becoming ‘weekend warriors’. Researchers from Loughborough University and the University of Sydney analysed data on the time people spent doing exercise and their health over 18 years. The findings are based on a survey of about 64,000 adults aged over 40 in England and Scotland. They found that no matter how often people exercised in a week or for how long, the health benefits were similar as long as they met the activity guidelines (150 minutes of moderate activity per week). Being active without managing the recommended 150 minutes of moderate activity a week was still enough to reduce the risk of an early death by a third.
Law to protect breastfeeding mothers to be introduced in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland Health Minister Michelle O’Neill will bring forward legislation to protect mothers who breastfeed their children in a public place. Breastfeeding rates in the north have remained static over the past number of years. Societal and cultural attitudes are important influencing factors for breastfeeding. The Minister commented: “The reasons why women choose not to breastfeed, or stop breastfeeding, are varied and complex. We need to provide support to mothers and address the negative influences. This legislation will contribute to increasing public tolerance and acceptability of breastfeeding, as part of a range of activities to improve our breastfeeding rates.”
As part of Obesity Awareness Week, the Public Health Agency (PHA) is encouraging everyone to try to cook healthier recipes, cut out snacks and get a bit more active. The Health Survey for Northern Ireland 2015/16 shows that 60% of adults are overweight or obese, with men (65% overweight or obese) tipping the scales over women (57%). Caroline Bloomfield, Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Senior Manager at the PHA, said: “At this time of year, many of us are looking at what we can do to be that little bit healthier, so the PHA is offering top tips on how you can make a difference with some simple steps” For information on choosing healthier food options, cooking healthy recipes and getting more active, visit www.choosetolivebetter.com.
Study shows that all of the most likely industry responses to the UK SSB tax have the potential to improve health
A modelling study published today in The Lancet Public Health simulates the effect on public health of three possible industry responses to the UK government's proposed tax on sugar-sweetened beverages: reducing sugar in drinks; passing some of the levy to consumers by raising prices; and encouraging people to switch to lower sugar drinks. It found that an industry response focused on reducing sugar content is likely to have the greatest impact on health, with additional benefits if the industry successfully implements either or both of the other options. Lead author of the study, Dr Adam Briggs of the University of Oxford, said the research “suggests that all of the most likely industry responses to the tax have the potential to improve health by reducing rates of obesity, diabetes and tooth decay”.