Tag Archives: Food

nestle choco

Nestle to slash amount of sugar in chocolate bars by 10% by 2018

Some of the UK’s favourite chocolate bars – including Kit Kats and Yorkies – will contain 10% less sugar by 2018, Nestle has announced.

The confectioner said it would use around 7,500 tonnes less sugar to make its products by next year.

The sugar will be replaced with higher quantities of other existing ingredients or other, non-artificial ingredients

Nestle has said it will use 10% less sugar in its chocolate bars, which include Kit Kats, by 2018

Products will also be kept below a certain amount of calories.

Fiona Kendrick, Chairman and CEO of Nestle UK and Ireland, said: “Our confectionery brands have been enjoyed in the UK for more than a century and we know that if we can improve these products nutritionally, provide more choice and information for the consumer, together with other categories, we can have a significant impact on public health.

“Nestle is at the forefront of efforts to research and develop new technology that makes food products better for our consumers.

“These innovations will help us to reduce sugar in confectionery when they are combined with other, more common methods like reformulating recipes and swapping sugar for other, non-artificial ingredients.

“Making these improvements to our products is key to us delivering better choices for our consumers while retaining the same great taste that they know and love.”

Sourced by the Mail Online

Mediterranean diet could halve your risk of heart disease

The Mediterranean diet is regularly lauded for its health benefits, including helping to fight dementia and cutting the risk of cancer. Now, a new study suggests it may also be beneficial in combating heart disease.

Researchers from Harokopio University in Athens, Greece regularly examined the health of more than 2,500 adults aged 18 to 89 over a period of 10 years. By the end of the study, nearly 20 per cent of the men and 12 per cent of the women had either developed or died from heart disease, including strokes, heart attacks and coronary heart disease.

The team found those who followed the Mediterranean diet were 47 per cent less likely to develop heart disease compared to those who did not follow the diet.

Healthy? A typical Mediterranean meal (ALAMY)

The study also found that women tended to follow the Mediterranean diet more closely than men.

Whilst there is no ‘set’ Mediterranean diet, it is generally rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, fish and olive oil.

The Mediterranean diet: the best in the world?
Mediterranean diet ‘can help women get pregnant’

Researcher Ekavi Georgousopoulou said: “Because the Mediterranean diet is based on food groups that are quite common or easy to find, people around the world could easily adopt this dietary pattern and help protect themselves against heart disease with very little cost.”

The study was limited to Greece, but previous studies in other countries have also linked the Mediterranean diet to reducing heart disease.

A 2013 study in Spain suggested that a Mediterranean diet is almost as good at reducing the risk of a heart attack as taking statins with Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director of the British Heart Foundation, stating: “Eating a Mediterranean diet is associated with heart health benefits, including reductions in heart attack, stroke and deaths from cardiovascular disease.”

Sourced from the Telegraph Online

Food should be regulated like tobacco, say campaigners

The food industry should be regulated like the tobacco industry as obesity poses a greater global health risk than cigarettes, say international groups.
Consumers International and the World Obesity Federation are calling for the adoption of more stringent rules.
These could include pictures on food packaging of damage caused by obesity, similar to those on cigarette packets.
The Food and Drink Federation said the food industry was working to make healthy options for consumers.
‘Avoid’ tobacco situation
The two organisations – CI and WOF – said governments around the world should impose compulsory rules for the food and drink industry.
They said global deaths due to obesity and being overweight rose from 2.6 million in 2005 to 3.4 million in 2010.
The new rules could include reducing the levels of salt, saturated fat and sugar in food, improving food served in hospitals and schools, imposing stricter advertising controls, and educating the public about healthy eating.
Artificial trans-fats should be removed from all food and drink products within five years, said the recommendations.
Advertising to children, during television programmes such as the X-Factor, must be restricted, said the organisations.
Governments could review food prices, introduce taxes, change licensing controls and start new research to make this happen, the report said.
Luke Upchurch at Consumers International said they were asking for the “same level of global treaty” as the tobacco industry faced.
Will Brazil lead?
He said: “We want to avoid a situation like the 1960s, where the tobacco industry were saying there is nothing wrong with cigarettes, they are good for our health, and 30 or 40 years later millions have died.
“If we don’t take action now, we are going to have the same intransigence and foot-dragging in the food industry.”
He said the new rules would be at the “highest level” of global agreement, meaning governments would be “legally required” to implement them, instead of being able to opt out, which he said was the situation at the moment.
Mr Upchurch said he was confident about Brazil and Norway’s support and that the UK government had “really good ideas”.
Dr Ian Campbell, clinician and founder of the UK’s National Obesity Forum, said: “This is very interesting and their recommendations are largely sensible and practical.”
He said only when governments “accepted their responsibilities” and put consumers before producers “will we see real change”.
Dr Campbell added: “One significant difference between tobacco regulation and food regulation is that we need food to survive; we don’t need tobacco.
“The inescapable fact is obesity is killing on a massive scale and only action from governments to tackle head-on the fundamental causes of obesity will lead to any meaningful decreases.”
Food industry’s drive
Dr Tim Lobstein at the World Obesity Federation said: “If obesity was an infectious disease, we would have seen billions of dollars being invested in bringing it under control.
“But because obesity is largely caused by the overconsumption of fatty and sugary foods, we have seen policy-makers unwilling to take on the corporate interests who promote these foods.”
He said governments needed to take “collective action”.
Terry Jones, director of communications at the Food and Drink Federation, said UK food and drink manufacturers were “already” supporting improvements to public health through measures outlined in the recommendations.
He said: “The industry’s participation in the UK government’s public health responsibility deal sees manufacturers working in partnership with government, health organisations, NGOs and other stakeholders.”
My Jones said it was acting to reduce salt, saturated fat and calories in products, “provide clear nutritional labelling and to promote healthier diets and more physical activity”.
Article was taken from BBC Online

‘Food is a medicine in itself’: Prince Charles calls for the quality of hospital food to be made a ‘clinical priority’

Prince Charles yesterday called for the quality of food in hospitals to be made a ‘clinical priority’.

He wants the NHS to see ‘food as a medicine in itself’ and claims better meals would speed up recovery times.

He also made clear that he felt the changes were long overdue and could have benefits in other areas of healthcare including malnutrition among the elderly.

Quality care: charles, pictured with joanna lewis of the soil association, hosted a reception at clarence house to champion the improvement of hospital food

Quality care: Charles, pictured with Joanna Lewis of the Soil Association, hosted a reception at Clarence House to champion the improvement of hospital food

Last year The Campaign for Better Hospital Food accused NHS trusts of misrepresenting patient satisfaction with meals.

It found that while many trusts regularly claim 98 per cent approval rates, patient surveys reveal nearly half are dissatisfied with the food.
Many hospitals spend just £3 a day on meals for in-patients, compared with £5 a day set aside for prisoners.

Regulations control the quality of food served in government departments, schools and prisons, but there is no such system in the NHS.

‘Surely patients … have the same right to good food as government ministers, school children and prisoners?’ asked the campaign’s coordinator, Alex Jackson, who was at yesterday’s reception.

Taste test: the prince of wales smells pesto sauce as he tours the kitchens of the royal brompton hospital in west london in 2008

Taste test: The Prince of Wales smells pesto sauce as he tours the kitchens of the Royal Brompton Hospital in West London in 2008

The event at Clarence House was organised by Prince Charles and the Department of Health, for NHS commissioners.

Dinner menu that shows the way

It highlighted the Hospital Food Exemplar CQUIN (Commissioning for Quality and Innovation), brought in last month, which allows commissioners to reward hospital trusts for delivering high quality food.

In a speech Charles said it was important to ‘see food as a medicine in itself’.

The prince said that what patients eat ‘will feed enormously into improving not only people’s health but also reducing the levels of malnutrition amongst the elderly’.

‘You can imagine just how delighted I was that last month NHS England launched an initiative CQUIN, which for the first time actually encouraged commissioners to make hospital food a clinical priority,’ he added.

The prince pointed to Mike Duckett, former catering manager at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, as an ‘inspiration’.

Mr Duckett persuaded hospital authorities to let him open its shut-down kitchens, hire an organic chef and link up with local farmers in Kent so that fresh seasonal produce could be supplied to the hospital.

He also set up a restaurant for staff and visitors that made money and slashed food waste – all on the existing budget.

This kind of set-up, Charles said, created a ‘virtuous circle’ of sustainability, helping the local economy and ensuring better patient health.

Mr Duckett said: ‘I go for quality over cost each time. For too many years now hospitals have been using the meals they serve … as a means of cutting costs, putting pressure on outside catering companies to deliver cheap and frankly sub-standard food … I actually found it cheaper in many respects to make the food from scratch rather than buy it in.’

Nottingham University Hospital Trust, which also transformed its menu, was awarded a Food For Life mark by the Soil Association, of which Charles is president.

Catering manager John Hughes said the cost of food per head is £4 a day, adding: ‘When you think that we are also sourcing all our food locally and in doing so benefiting the local economy … it’s a very good deal.’

Source Mail Online

NHS hospitals accused of ‘hiding’ food dissatisfaction

The Campaign for Better Hospital Food said NHS Trusts routinely rated their own food highly.

But patient surveys showed nearly half of people were dissatisfied with what they were offered to eat.

The campaigners want mandatory standards introduced for hospital food, like those which already exist for prisons and schools.

In the past, NHS staff in England have carried out annual assessments of the quality of hospital food.

In 2011 they rated nearly 98% of meals as “good” or “excellent”.

The inspection system is now changing, but the Campaign for Better Hospital Food points to a survey of more than 64,000 patients carried out by the regulator, the Care Quality Commission, earlier this year.

In that survey just 55% of patients said the food they had been served was “good”.

‘Sorry state’

Alex Jackson, co-ordinator of the Campaign for Better Hospital Food, said existing policies that regulate food served in prisons and schools should be extended to hospitals.

“It is time for the government to come clean about the sorry state of hospital food in England and set mandatory standards for patient meals.

“This would only involve extending an existing policy which has seen it set mandatory standards for prison food and food served in government departments, to go alongside those that already exist for school food.

“Surely patients recovering in hospital have the same right to good food as government ministers, school kids and prisoners?”

Campaigners point to hospitals such as Darlington Memorial, where the award-winning food is locally sourced and cooked on site.

Through buying in bulk and cutting down on waste, the hospital manages to stick to a very tight budget of around £2.60 per patient per day.

Inside Darlington Memorial Hospital’s award-winning kitchen

Patient Concern called the findings “shocking”.

It called for protected cash for hospitals to be spent on better meals.

Roger Goss, co-director of Patient Concern, said: “If managements are deliberately misleading us on hospital food, on what else are we being misled? Patient safety? Quality of care?”

In a statement, a spokesman for the Department of Health in England said there were many examples of good food across the NHS.

“But we recognise that there is too much variation across the country – that is why we have implemented a tough new inspection programme.

“We support the principle of food standards but do not think that legislation is the right way to proceed.

“We believe that the best decisions on hospital food are those taken locally by chefs and catering managers.”

BBC News

Colour-coded healthier food labelling on way The new labels should help people to make healthier choices

A new labelling system will help people in Northern Ireland make healthier choices on the food they eat.

The system is colour coded red, amber and green, with red the least healthy and green the most healthy choice.

Local manufacturers will join major UK retailers in supporting the system.

Health Minister Edwin Poots said: “Steps like consistent food labelling are vital in encouraging healthier lifestyle choices.”

He added: “Obesity continues to be one of the most important public health challenges facing Northern Ireland.

Gerry McCurdy Director of Food Standards Agency in NI
“The new label will allow people to see at a glance what is in our food and help us to make small changes to our diets that could have a big impact on our health and could stop people getting serious illnesses – such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer – later in life.”

The new, universal front of pack label will be recommended best practice across the whole of the UK.

It has reference intakes – formerly known as guideline daily amounts – to show how much fat, saturated fat, salt and sugars, and energy are in food products.

Gerry McCurdy, director of the Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland, said: “This is fantastic news for local consumers who can get confused by the variety of labels that are currently on our food.

“They will be able to make healthier choices about what they eat and drink, regardless of where they shop.

“We all have a responsibility to tackle the rising tide of obesity, including the food industry. By having all major retailers and manufacturers signed up to the consistent label, we will all be able to easily see what is in our food.”

Northern Ireland firms Moy Park and Mash Direct are among the first to participate in the new scheme.

Source BC News