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Scottish Cancer Prevention Network | Putting Prevention First

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Diet

Scotland – land of the generous (pro)portions

Hospitality doesn’t have to mean being over generous. Encouraging over eating is unkind to the 65% of adults in Scotland who live with excess body fat … many of whom face a daily struggle to walk away from large portions, alluring promotions and every day, every place offerings of calorie dense foods. Being overweight and obesity increases risk for 13 cancer types and yet all around there are superb attempts to get us to eat more and more.

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#EatingOutWithKids – babies and toddlers

Feeding babies and toddlers matters! Breast feeding for the first six months of life (and beyond!) is important for cancer risk reduction. All foods and drinks consumed will impact on healthy growth in infancy and future disease risk throughout childhood and beyond. But, even the most diligent parent, carers and grandparents will be challenged to feed little ones well when eating out and about …and that included babies and toddlers. This guest blog from Dr Helen Crawley (First Steps Nutrition) is the final in our series on eating out with children (see others: from a granny, a mother and a father)  and reminds us that challenges with the catering environment start young.

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#EatingOutWithKids – A Father’s perspective

I ordered a kids sandwich for my two year old in a well known Northumbrian cafe last month and this is what arrived.

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#EatingOutWithKids – A Mother's perspective

Eating out was once a special treat – but in today’s busy society we find ourselves consuming food away from home more often. With evidence showing that eating at food outlets, leisure places and “on the go” are associated with less healthy food choices than eating at home – how as parents do we tackle the diverse landscape of children’s food? [1]

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Snacking – for and against

By Dr Anna Gryka-MacPhail, Policy Officer, Obesity Action Scotland

Snacks vs. healthy snacks

Some people when asked what a snack is would point to crisps, biscuits, pastries or chocolate bars. Such products are heavy on calories but poor in important nutrients and were named ‘discretionary’ by Food Standards Scotland. We consume up to a fifth of energy from these products. This, together with the fact that on average we eat excess of 200-300 kcal every day, suggests a simple action: #sackthesnack. A 2015 survey found that more than half of the people would prefer to cut down on snacks.

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Should we call a spade a shovel? Polite names for Junk Foods and other extra calorie sources

Last week we launched our social media campaign called #sackthesnack inviting readers to take the challenge of swopping one daily snack for alternative behaviours like taking 200 steps, doing a little #kettlecise stretching or maybe even standing and moving to take a short phone call. The rationale for focussing on snacks was because snacks like biscuits, cakes, pastries, crisps and sugary drinks provide a fifth of our calories and cutting even one of these snacks in our daily life (and burning a few calories extra) might help us on the way to re-balancing our energy intake.

Continue reading “Should we call a spade a shovel? Polite names for Junk Foods and other extra calorie sources”

Take the challenge – #sackthesnack

Once upon a time a snack was a treat, an extra or a present. As a child I eagerly awaited the arrival of the 6.40pm bus on a Thursday which delivered Auntie Mary with her bag containing the Bunty comic and a small tube of smarties (“for my wee snack”). The conditions of use were that sweeties had be shared with my big sister and all adults offered one (they could choose their colour). As a rural living 8 year old this visit was the highlight of my week. 

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Building momentum: lessons on implementing a robust sugar sweetened beverage tax

Sugar sweetened beverage (SSB) taxes get a lot of media coverage. This is in part because they are building momentum globally – to date, 45 jurisdictions around the world have implemented an SSB tax and 42% of these have been put in place since 1 January 2017 – and also because they face strong opposition. Governments seeking to implement an SSB tax need to be ready to defend the design of their tax against this opposition. Continue reading “Building momentum: lessons on implementing a robust sugar sweetened beverage tax”

Medical student: What the 12 codes against cancer taught me about cancer prevention

During first year of medical school, I walked in to my nutrition tutorial eating chocolate buttons and I was told off by the person undertaking the session. I proceeded to place the chocolate in my bag, listen to how we need to eat our “five a day” and minimise sugar intake and then left the class to finish off my chocolate. During the first three years of medical school, we are taught about a long list of conditions that result from an unhealthy lifestyle. This comes in contrast with the very little teaching we get on lifestyle modification. So, if my teaching on this topic is limited, how am I expected to embrace this lifestyle myself and subsequently deliver it effectively to my patients? Continue reading “Medical student: What the 12 codes against cancer taught me about cancer prevention”

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