Child under nutrition project: A report about the current undernourishment of children in England

Patients Association, July 2017

Child NutritionThe Patients Association has issued a report suggesting that under-nutrition among children is not confined to the developing world, but is a problem in Britain today.

The project was undertaken by the Patients Association and funded by a non-restricted education grant from Abbott. A cross-section of health and care staff in four sites – Bradford, Cornwall, Tower Hamlets and Birmingham – were interviewed. Parents were also interviewed in Bradford and Cornwall.

The findings reveal examples of positive efforts in working with children and families across agencies, particularly by public health teams, community and acute health staff; but many are overstretched and unable to meet demand for the types of information and guidance that people need. The report’s recommendations include:

Awareness of under-nutrition should be raised among both professionals and the public
New and existing training and guidance for professionals should include the identification and treatment of under-nutrition
National guidance and a care pathway should be developed specifically for undernutrition.

Child under nutrition project

A report about the current undernourishment of children in England | Patients Association

The project was undertaken by the Patients Association and funded by a non-restricted education grant from Abbott. A cross-section of health and care staff in four sites – Bradford, Cornwall, Tower Hamlets and Birmingham – were interviewed. Parents were also interviewed in Bradford and Cornwall.

The findings reveal examples of positive efforts in working with children and families across agencies, particularly by public health teams, community and acute health staff; but many are overstretched and unable to meet demand for the types of information and guidance that people need. The report’s recommendations include:

  • Awareness of under-nutrition should be raised among both professionals and the public
  • New and existing training and guidance for professionals should include the identification and treatment of under-nutrition
  • National guidance and a care pathway should be developed specifically for undernutrition.

The full report is available here

‘Eating for two’ pregnancy myth

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The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has highlighted the publication of a survey, to understand women’s perceptions of how much they should eat during pregnancy.

The survey, commissioned by the National Charity Partnership, a partnership between Diabetes UK, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Tesco, found 69 per cent of women are unaware of how many extra calories they need to consume during pregnancy. 63 per cent report feeling under pressure from others to eat larger meals than normal with 14 per cent of pregnant respondents saying that this pressure is constant.

The RCOG is working with the National Charity Partnership to bust the ’eating for two’ myth and make it easier for people to understand how to make healthy choices during pregnancy to avoid unhealthy weight gain.

Read more via RCOG

 

 

Oral nutritional supplementation: a user’s guide

Oral nutritional supplements (ONS) are substances taken by mouth as an addition to the child’s usual diet | Paediatrics and Child Health

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They can benefit a child who does not manage to ingest and absorb sufficient nutrients to grow and develop in the usual way. ONS can be used in the management of a wide range of medical conditions such as neurodevelopmental disorders with associated dysphagia, intestinal inflammatory disorders e.g. Crohn’s disease and non-IgE slow onset food allergies (when a protein hydrolysate or amino-acid based ONS is usually needed) major organ failure or in areas of food insecurity to avoid starvation. Appropriate use at the earliest opportunity may preclude or postpone the need to insert an artificial feeding device. Once on treatment children need to be reviewed at least 6-monthly by a dietitian as well as a paediatrician.

Full reference: Hill, S.M. (2017) Oral nutritional supplementation: a user’s guide. Paediatrics and Child Health. Published online: 5th July 2017

Cochrane reviews show impact of lifestyle changes on obesity

Two Cochrane reviews, published today, show that a combination of diet, physical activity and behavioural change interventions may reduce weight in children and adolescents | OnMedica

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The two reviews look at the effects of diet, physical activity and behavioural interventions in treating children with overweight or obesity from six years old to early adulthood. They summarise the results of 114 studies which involved over 13,000 children and young people.

Eggs can significantly increase growth in young children

Eggs significantly increased growth and reduced stunting by 47 percent in young children, finds a new study from a leading expert on child nutrition | ScienceDaily

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Eggs significantly increased growth and reduced stunting by 47 percent in young children, finds a new study from a leading expert on child nutrition at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. This was a much greater effect than had been shown in previous studies.

Eggs were shown to increase standardized length-for-age score and weight-for-age score. Models indicated a reduced prevalence of stunting by 47 percent and underweight by 74 percent. Children in the treatment group had higher dietary intakes of eggs and reduced intake of sugar-sweetened foods compared to control.

Managing the fussy eater

At some point in time most parents will describe their child as a ‘fussy eater’ | Paediatrics and Child Health

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Because fussiness is not well defined and can, of course, be very subjective, it is sometimes difficult to estimate the prevalence of real ‘fussy’ eating. It is best described as food refusal above and beyond the expected norm, but because different questionnaires measuring different constructs are given to parents of children of a range of ages, the best we can do is to come up with an estimate of around 30% of children being described as truly ‘fussy’.

Full reference: Harris, G. (2017) Managing the fussy eater. Paediatrics and Child Health. Published online: May 19, 2017