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Scottish Cancer Prevention Network | Putting Prevention First

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Staycation eating: ways to stay healthy and develop helpful habits

What are the essential ingredients for a holiday? Sun? Swimming? A change of scene? A lie in?  It’s different for everyone but many of us would consider ‘special’ food and drink an important part of a great holiday.  But as we know, typical ‘treat’ foods are usually the foods which don’t do our health any favours – the ultra-processed foods high in sugar and refined starches, confectionery, cakes, biscuits and ice cream. Fizzy and alcoholic drinks are on the same list. 

So, is there a way to do holiday food without the downside of weight gain or getting into habits which are hard to break when the holiday’s over? Here are a few ideas;

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A New Normal – Nutrition

As we enter our sixth week of lockdown in Scotland, we are now beginning to get used to our new normal way of living. We all now have new routines; routines that are structuring our days spent at home. Enjoying our time outside is important, with some people starting off their day with a refreshing walk or cycle, some taking up challenges such as Couch to 5k or yoga to wind down in the evenings. All this ‘free’ time for exercise is no doubt beneficial for both our mind and body, but naturally as a Registered Nutritionist my focus always turns to food. 

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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 Granny’s perspective

Growth in childhood matters. It impacts on health through to adulthood and impacts on cancer risk. What children eat matters and how we support good eating matters. It matters what gets marketed, promoted and offered. We have much less control than we would like. This month we set out some experiences that show the challenges when #eatingoutwithkids

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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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Our obesogenic, carcinogenic environment – a legacy for our children

The relationship between obesity and cancer has been well described…and well ignored! Exposure to excess body fat will contribute to increased risk of some of the most common cancers including bowel and breast. Yet, few agencies working in the cancer settings (including the NHS) bring this to the attention of the millions of people who are in contact with healthcare every day. Many think it is a duty of care for people to be given advice on how to “stack the odds” against cancer occurrence (and recurrence) and that we deny people the opportunity to be supported to reduce cancer risk.

Continue reading “Our obesogenic, carcinogenic environment – a legacy for our children”

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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Bowel Cancer Awareness Month – What can we do to reduce our personal risk of bowel cancer?

As part of Bowel Cancer Awareness month, we’re running a series of mini-blogs from cancer experts . Here’s the next instalment from Dr Aileen Keel CBE.

I’d like to see greater public awareness of what individuals can do to reduce their personal risk of bowel cancer. Of course, an important part of that is taking part in the bowel screening programme.

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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:

Continue reading “Diet and Cancer: The New Traditional and the #HealthyShelfie”

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