The role of nutrition and exercise in maintaining muscle mass, strength and function pre and post falls and fractures. With an ageing population, strategies that help older adults to maintain their independence for longer are increasingly important.
Obesity is estimated to be responsible for more than 30,000 deaths each year, reducing lifespan by an average of nine years. The links between obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease are well documented, but overweight and obesity also causes 6% of cancers in the UK. These figures have resulted in warnings that obesity is the new smoking when it comes to risks to health and longevity. So the problem is clear. The challenge is to put into action what works.
People with COPD should be reviewed at least annually according to the Quality and Outcomes Framework. However, there is little mention of the importance of assessing nutritional status and no ‘QOF’ points for doing so. This article describes the assessment and management of COPD patients with a risk of malnutrition.
This article provides an in-depth look at the role of carbohydrates in obesity, impaired glucose regulation and type 2 diabetes. Foods containing carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet for both the general population and those with, or at risk of, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. However foods and drinks high in ‘free sugars’ should be restricted.
Never a week goes by without carbohydrates hitting the headlines, with heated debates raging over low carb diets for weight loss to sugar as “the new tobacco”. Sorting fact from fiction is hard for health professionals and patients alike. In this article we go behind the headlines to explore the truth about carbohydrates in a healthy diet.
This month’s Back to Basics feature is a wallchart showing the new government Eatwell Guide to help your patients understand how to eat a healthy and balanced diet. You may also be interested in visiting the Eatwell page on the NHS Choices website. This includes useful healthy eating tools such as a calorie checker and BMI calculator.
Good hydration is essential for health, especially for people who may not feel thirsty because of ageing or illness. Maintaining good levels of hydration can prevent or help in treating low blood pressure, urinary infections and constipation. It’s so easy to assess hydration status – this useful guide will help.
For years dieters have been trying to avoid fat, and low-fat products have been promoted as the healthier option. But there is now a great deal of publicity around sugar and its toxic effects on our health, including claims that it is the ‘new tobacco’. The sweet white stuff is being blamed for the obesity epidemic and with it diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. So what is the evidence behind the hype, and what should we as health professionals be advising patients?
There are many fads about specific foods and their ‘super’ vitamins and minerals. Our choice of foods has also widened as supermarkets expand their ranges and previously specialist foods become mainstream. However, even though we can now buy tamarillos, Christmas-cake cheese or cranberry and pecan bread, the principle of proportion remains consistent. So the Eatwell Plate is very helpful in showing patients exactly what we mean when we advise them to follow a ‘healthy, balanced diet’.
Malnutrition is a cause and consequence of disease, and affects at least 3 million adults in the UK, most of whom live in the community. By helping these vulnerable patients to eat the right types of food rather than use inappropriate supplements, practice nurses can not only help prevent and treat malnutrition, but also save the NHS millions of pounds each year.
Nearly two thirds of adults in England are overweight and one quarter are obese. Given the physical, social, psychological and economic consequences of overweight and obesity, it is understandable that patients are drawn to fad diets and quick fixes. Unfortunately, there is no easy route to sustained weight loss, but several options are now available that can help patients to lose weight and improve their health.