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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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Easing back to normality

Dr Elaine Cameron, University of Stirling

The Scottish Government has indicated that soon we will be able to visit shops, go to the gym, enjoy libraries and museums, and even meet friends from other households for a meal in a restaurant, with more changes to follow as summer arrives. While this is unquestionably something to look forward to after months of restrictions limiting our day-to-day activities, for many of us this is also a source of acute anxiety. Reasons for feeling stressed or worried will be different for everyone, but it’s important to note that feeling anxious is a normal response to this big shift in our lives. 

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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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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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A community Polycrub scheme

Note from the Editor

Increasingly, communities are recognising the value of gardening as a route for increasing physical activity, getting fresh air, distraction from life’s challenges, social interaction and taking positive action towards a more plant based diet. Several trials1,2 are now underway on the benefits of gardening for cancer survivors as well as the general population. The North of Scotland may seem inhospitable to all year round gardening but where there is a will there is clearly a way …. Continue reading “A community Polycrub scheme”

Save Water, Drink Kombucha

I think most of us are aware by now that alcohol is harmful, in fact a survey in 2013 showed that 84% of Scots thought alcohol causes either a ‘great deal’ or ‘quite a lot of harm in Scotland.’ They’re correct to think this, however what may be less well known is the link between alcohol and cancer. Alcohol is carcinogenic, which means it causes cancer and in 2015 more than one in four alcohol related deaths were from cancer in Scotland. It is important to understand that no amount of alcohol is ‘safe’ and no type of alcohol is better or worse than another. Additionally drinking alcohol increases the risk of cancer whether you drink it all in one go or a bit at a time. Therefore for cancer prevention it’s best not to drink any alcohol. Continue reading “Save Water, Drink Kombucha”

#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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Fear of Flights: A Stair-case Study

Three years ago I attended my first day at the University of Dundee which didn’t get off to the best start. The first challenge I would face as an aspiring scientist was deciphering my timetable; not an easy task as I end up in the wrong class on the basement level of the building. Realising my mistake I run back up the stairs to the ground floor and think, among the profanities, “Phew! That’s my exercise done for the day“. Catching my breath, I re-read my timetable and see an insolent little “3” staring back at me. The third floor.

Continue reading “Fear of Flights: A Stair-case Study”

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