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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
The British Dietetic Association Annual Conference 15-17 June 2004, Glasgow
High on the agenda was the issue of improving dietary intakes in children and tackling the obesity problem, which is now spiraling out of control.
Dr John Reilly, Reader in Paediatric Energy Metabolism from the University of Glasgow, presented information on childhood obesity. In children, obesity is associated with severe health consequences including, psychological ill health, an increase in CHD risk factors, diabetes and sleep disturbances. In the longer term, obese children are likely to suffer more ill health and die at a younger age.
Says Dr Reilly “Obesity in children is an issue which needs to be urgently addressed at all levels; in particular we need to focus on tackling diet and sedentary behaviour such as television viewing”.
Dr Louis Levy from the Food Standards Agency considered a variety of activities relating to children’s diets including food promotion and children’s diets, drinks vending in schools, lunchboxes, work with school governors and other current areas of activity within the Agency.
Dietitian Jill Scott took more of a focus on men in her presentation on the British Dietetic Association Weight Wise campaign, which is all about letting men know that size does matter.
Says Jill Scott, “We are particularly concerned about men’s waist size; having a waist measurement over 37” (94 cm) increases the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and some cancers, this risk is even greater in men with a waistline over 40” (102 cm).
A further presentation reviewing food and health policy in Scotland was given by Gillian Kynoch, the Scottish Food and Health Co-ordinator at the Scottish Executive Health Department.
In addition, there was a poster presentation session with some exciting and interesting new research, for example on irritable bowel syndrome and low carbohydrate diets.
Irritable bowel syndrome affects one in every ten adults and causes reduced quality of life. An audit of 78 patients showed that dietetic intervention (including modifying intake of fibre, probiotics, fermentable carbohydrates, caffeine and alcohol) resulted in symptom reduction and improvement for 72 per cent of patients.
A study of a low carbohydrate weight loss plan among ten overweight and obese women found that any weight loss was more likely to be due to a reduced calorie intake, rather than a modification of fat-burning metabolic pathways. This type of diet was found to be deficient in vitamins and minerals and is, therefore, not recommended for long-term weight maintenance.
For more information contact: Amanda Wynne, National PR Officer, The British Dietetic Association. Tel: 01908 250 918; Mobile: 07958 715222; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org