Welcome to the GASP Blog for news, views and comment on everything related to public health.
From 13-19 May 2013 it’s Cancer Prevention Week organised by WCRFUK– the World Cancer Research Fund. They are part of a global network of charities committed to beating cancer and raising money to fund research and teach people the best ways to reduce their risk of getting this terrible disease. During the week they will promote healthy lifestyle choices, including healthy eating, physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight. Go to the WCRF website for more information about the week and ideas for activities you can get involved in.
For more information about Cancer Prevention Week: http://www.wcrf-uk.org/
10 ways to prevent cancer
About a third of the most common cancers could be prevented through eating a healthy diet, being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight.
The World Cancer Research Fund took the findings of more than 7,000 scientific studies and condensed them into 10 Recommendations for Cancer Prevention. So these ten ways to prevent cancer represent the best advice available anywhere on how you can reduce your cancer risk.
Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight. Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your risk of cancer. Aim to be at the lower end of the healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) range.
Be active for at least 30 minutes every day. Most of us know that regular physical activity can help keep our hearts healthy – and the good news is that it can also reduce our risk of cancer.
Avoid sugary drinks. Limit consumption of energy-dense foods (particularly processed foods high in added sugar, or low in fibre, or high in fat). Choosing healthy foods and drinks can help us avoid being overweight and reduce our risk of cancer.
Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, and pulses such as beans. Basing our diets on plant foods contain fibre and other nutrients, can reduce our risk of cancer.
Limit consumption of red meats (such as beef, pork and lamb) and avoid processed meats.
If consumed at all, limit alcoholic drinks to two for men and one for women a day. The evidence that all types of alcoholic drinks are a cause of a number of cancers is now stronger than ever before.
Limit consumption of salty foods and foods processed with salt (sodium). Consuming too much salt can be harmful to our health, increasing our risk of stomach cancer as well as high blood pressure.
Don’t use supplements to protect against cancer. To reduce your risk of cancer, choose a balanced diet with a variety of foods rather than taking supplements.
It is best for mothers to breastfeed exclusively for up to six months and then add other liquids and foods. There is convincing evidence that breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer in mothers and probably helps prevent excess weight gain in their children.
After treatment, cancer survivors should follow the Recommendations for Cancer Prevention. There is some evidence that, particularly with breast cancer, cancer survivors can reduce their risk of it recurring by eating healthily and maintaining a healthy weight.
And, always remember – do not smoke or chew tobacco.
The plain packs debate has been taken of this years Queens speech, but does this mean that the coalition government has given up on it? …to read the rest of this article click here »
Scotlandleads the world in percentage of the populations living with asthma and England, Wales, Irelandand the Channel Isles are all in the asthma top ten! So it is worth noting that World Asthma Day takes place each year on the first Tuesday in May. In 2013 this means May 7th. …to read the rest of this article click here »
It may seem ironic after a wet, cold summer in 2012 and a freezing winter 2012 – 2013 BUT we need to wary of the sun’s powerful rays if and when we get any. Sun Awareness is the British Association of Dermatologists’ (BAD) annual campaign to raise awareness of skin cancer and includes Sun Awareness Week in May. …to read the rest of this article click here »
Waltz, salsa, street – anything goes if you can keep the beat!
Get ready to swing those hips because UNESCO has marked the 29th of April as our International Dance Day! The day was first established in 1982 and it is held on 29 April as this is the birthdate of Jean-Georges Noverre (1727-1810), creator of modern ballet.
We express ourselves through dancing, it’s fun and one of the best forms of exercise! So much so that you’ll be having too much to fun to even realise you’re working out at the same time! …to read the rest of this article click here »
Tobacco is a deadly mix of over 4000 chemicals. Many of these are poisons and when they reach deep inside your body they can cause damage. Every time you smoke your body fights to protect you from harm but over time the poisons in tobacco smoke cause disease. When you inhale the tobacco smoke, the toxins reach the lungs in seconds. …to read the rest of this article click here »
These days children and young people are swigging down 3 times more sugar-laden drinks than 20 years ago. Some cans of fizzy drinks contain as much as 11 teaspoons of sugar. If they drink 2 cans a days that adds up to an extra 154 teaspoons of sugar or well over half a bag of sugar every week from fizzy drinks and sweetened fruit drinks alone. What many don’t realize is that sugar teams up with bacteria in the mouth to produce powerful acid that is a disaster for teeth. Over time it also damages health by causing diabetes and heart disease.
Your body is a complex machine. The foods you choose and how often you eat them can affect your general health and the health of your teeth and gums, too. If you consume too many sugar-filled drinks and snacks, you could be at risk for tooth decay. Tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease, but the good news is that it is entirely preventable. Tooth decay happens when plaque come into contact with sugar in the mouth, causing acid to attack the teeth. Foods that contain sugars of any kind can contribute to tooth decay. To control the amount of sugar you eat, read the nutrition facts and ingredient labels on foods and drinks and choose options that are lowest in sugar.
Make wise choices
For healthy teeth and gums, think before you eat and drink. It’s not only what you eat but when you eat that can affect your dental health. Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks.
For good dental health, here are some tips to help you choose what to eat and drink:
- Drink plenty of water.
- Eat a variety of foods from each of the five major food groups, including:
- whole grains
- lean sources of protein such as lean beef, skinless poultry and fish; dry beans, peas and other legumes
- low-fat and fat-free dairy foods
Limit the number of snacks you eat. If you do snack, choose something that is healthy like fruit or vegetables or a piece of cheese. Foods that are eaten as part of a meal cause less harm to teeth than eating lots of snacks throughout the day, because more saliva is released during a meal. Saliva helps wash foods from the mouth and lessens the effects of acids, which can harm teeth and cause cavities.
For good dental health, always remember to brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss daily and visit your dentist regularly. With regular dental care, your dentist can help prevent oral problems from occurring in the first place and catch those that do occur in the early stages, while they are easy to treat.
Theme for 2013 – High blood pressure
World Health Day is celebrated on 7 April to mark the anniversary of the founding of World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1948. Each year a theme is selected for World Health Day that highlights a priority area of public health concern in the world. …to read the rest of this article click here »
Around 207,000 children aged 11-15 start smoking in the UK every year according to new research from Cancer Research UK which was published on 22 March 2013. This means that nearly 570 children are lighting up and becoming smokers for the first time every day. …to read the rest of this article click here »
How to lead a healthy lifestyle and protect your heart.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the UK and most Western countries. There are some risk factors that cannot be changed such as a family history of heart problems, gender, ethnicity and age. …to read the rest of this article click here »