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Men’s Health – #Aboutabike

This month we have been highlighting mens health as part of #MensHealthMonth. MHM includes supporting men to increase or maintain physical activity levels depending on current activity levels (often tricky in older years as knee and join pain become more apparent!). Cycling has the potential to help many people achieve suggested physical activity goals, especially if incorporated into everyday life. However, not everyone can cycle sufficient distances due to poor physical fitness, long commuting distance and steep Scottish hills! Electric bikes (e-bikes) can make cycling more accessible to the wider population providing uphill and long distance assistance. Of course, some people will believe that e-cycling does not constitute exercise due to the assistance given by the bike, BUT continual pedalling is still required before assistance from the bike kicks in. Furthermore, a recent systematic review reports e-bikes provide moderate intensity physical activity for both physically active and inactive individuals [1]. 

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#ScaledownCancer: How Cancer Research UK is challenging obesity in Scotland

Scotland’s Weight

Normal weight is no longer normal. In Scotland, more people are overweight or obese than a healthy weight. The impact of this on our nation’s health and well-being now and into the future is not easily overstated. And general understanding and awareness of this problem has certainly shifted in the past couple of years, which is always a good start. At Cancer Research UK we have a particular interest. If you don’t smoke, then maintaining a healthy weight is most important thing you can do to stack your odds against cancer. Overweight and obesity is linked to 13 cancers and it’s now a top priority for us.

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Dundee: Leading the way on childhood obesity?

Returning to the office after a jam-packed day of sharing thoughts and ideas; the first thing I wanted to do is reflect on some of my personal highlights as a participant at #dhwdnd yesterday.

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Attention to Action

Every day the evidence grows. Every day we learn more about how obesity affects our health. Every day the media give this issue attention. But is this translating into action?

The recent report from IARC reaffirms the significant health consequences associated with excess weight.  We need to take action now to reduce future cancer incidence.

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Confessions of a Converted Pedestrian: Scotland’s Endless Night

Another installment of Kate Cunningham’s Confessions of a Converted Pedestrian….

It was going so well. Striding through Pollok Country Park with my beloved dogs, delighting in the trees and the seasons and all the happy things that naturally outdoor people talk about. Then winter came and took some of the joy out of it if I’m honest. Driving rain is fine if you’ve nothing else to do that day and are heading home to dry off. This is the case with most ‘bad’ weather in fact. It is hard to walk through a gale for an hour and then do anything else that requires you look professional or in any way dignified. Compounding this is the shortness of the Scottish winter day.

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Diet and Cancer: The New Traditional and the #HealthyShelfie

I have been struggling with my concept of the “traditional Scottish diet” in terms of meeting The European Cancer Code guidelines for diet advice:

  • Plenty of whole grains, pulses, vegetables and fruits.
  • Limited high-calorie foods (foods high in sugar or fat). Avoid sugary drinks.
  • Avoid processed meat; limit red meat and foods high in salt.

My understanding of traditional means the foods that can be grown and produced in the country and prepared using long established methods of cooking. In Scottish terms the following items would be a great starting basis for planning healthy eating – with some seasonal variation:

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More than just knowledge – social influences, support structures and personal action

I am an avid twitter user, I am also a dietitian, I work in cancer services and I am employed by the NHS.

As a dietitian I work quite differently from a number of other health care professionals. My job is not to do things to people; it is to do things with people. In other words I pass on my knowledge and expertise, and then I encourage people to utilise it in a way that enables them to help themselves.

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