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News Plus

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News Plus covers post-registration training, a nutrition action plan for older people and new recommendations on prevention of cancer

Nutrition action plan

The Department of Health has launched an action plan on improving nutritional care among older patients. It outlines five priorities for health and social care organisations:

1) To raise awareness of the link between nutrition and good health and that malnutrition can be treated
2) To ensure that accessible guidance is available across all sectors and that the most relevant guidance is appropriate and user-friendly
3) To strongly encourage nutritional screening for all people using health and social care services, with particular attention to those groups who are known to be vulnerable
4) To encourage provision and access to relevant training for frontline staff and managers on the importance of nutrition for good health and nutritional care
5) To clarify standards and strengthen inspection and regulation

A range of actions to support these priorities have already been agreed:

- Nutrition principles will be assessed in practice as part of student nurse training from September 2008
- Largest study ever undertaken on malnutrition on admission to hospital and care homes
- Training programme on nutritional care and assistance with eating available from May 2008
- Tougher regulation and inspection
- Development of a range of good practice on nutritional care by the Department of Health

Cancer prevention

The World Cancer Research Fund last week published ten key recommendations on cancer prevention.

1. Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight
2. Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day
3. Avoid sugary drinks. Limit consumption of energy-dense foods
4. Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, wholegrains and pulses such as beans
5. Limit consumption of red meats and avoid processed meats
6. If consumed at all, limit alcoholic drinks to 2 for men and 1 for women a day
7. Limit consumption of salty foods and food processed with salt
8. Don’t use supplements to protect against cancer
9. It’s best for mothers to breastfeed exclusively for up to 6 months and then add other liquids and foods
10. After treatment, cancer survivors should follow the recommendations for cancer prevention

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