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Malnutrition Has More Than Doubled.
Malnutrition cases treated by the NHS in England have more than doubled under ten years of Tory rule.
Damning NHS figures compiled by Labour show 2,320 people were treated by a consultant for the condition in 2019-20 – up from 978 in 2010-11.
The total has risen steadily in almost every year over the last decade, falling slightly only in 2013/14 and 2020/21.
More than a third of the 2,256 cases last year were in pensioners, with around a 10% of all cases recorded in over-80s.
There were also 59 under-18s suffering from malnutrition, excluding fetal malnutrition.
The figures only count those whose “primary diagnosis” – the main reason they were treated – was malnutrition, so do not factor in thousands of other cases.
( Dan Bloom, 01.04.2022 )  ..

A Decade Of Under-Investment And Inadequate System Planning Has Left The NHS With Crippling Workforce And Bed Shortages.
Outsourcing of NHS services to the independent sector is not a new phenomenon, yet the Government’s pandemic response elective recovery plan heavily reflect its commitment to further embedding the independent sector into the fabric of health services delivery.
The Government’s policy proposals come at a time when the English NHS is experiencing some of the most severe pressures in its 70-year history.
A decade of under-investment and inadequate system planning has left the NHS with crippling workforce and bed shortages, and therefore, no spare capacity to tackle the NHS elective waiting lists which existed before the COVID-19 pandemic and have been ever-expanding since.
We have consistently opposed the outsourcing of NHS contracts to the independent sector, on the basis that it threatens the clinical and financial viability and sustainability of the NHS.
( BMA, 15.03.2022 )  ..

Private hospitals treated just eight Covid patients a day during the pandemic despite a multi-billion pound deal with the government.
Non-NHS hospitals in England also performed far fewer operations, such as hip and knee replacements, on NHS-funded patients.
This is despite the hospitals agreeing a deal worth about £5billion with government that intended to help stop the health service being overwhelmed by demand during the pandemic.
In March 2020, the Treasury agreed to pay for a deal to book 7,956 beds in England’s 187 private hospitals along with the staff – numbering about 20,000, at a cost of about £400million a month.
But, according to a think tank’s report, private hospitals treated no Covid patients at all on 39% of days in the year to March 2021.
A further 20% of days they cared for only one person, according to the report by Centre for Health and the Public Interest (CHPI).
The private hospitals provided only 3,000 of the 3.6 million Covid bed days expected over those 13 months.
Sid Ryan, a CHPI researcher who wrote the report, said: “Despite the fact that the taxpayer paid undisclosed billions to the private hospital sector, which prevented some of the companies going bust, official data shows they barely treated any Covid patients and delivered less elective work for the NHS than they did prior to the pandemic.”
( Lamiat Sabin, 07.10.2021 )  ..

Misleading And Harmful Marketing By The Meat Industry.
Researchers have drawn comparisons between animal agriculture and the tobacco industry in a paper that explores the marketing techniques used across both sectors.
They warned that such tactics can be misleading and harmful, to both public health and the planet.
Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) conducted the study.
The organisations included in the research tended to downplay the health and environmental impacts of meat consumption, the paper said, most frequently relying on the following concepts: “Keep eating meat to be healthy,” there’s “no need to cut down (on meat) to be green,” negative consequences to meat-eating are “still open for debate,” and that “most people have no need to worry.”
Such messaging aims to “minimise the perception of harm” linked to meat production, and promotes further meat-eating, researchers said.
They noted that these approaches have historically been adopted by producers of “other harmful commodities,” such as tobacco and fossil fuels.
( Jemima Webber, 04.04.2022 ) ..

Promoting messages that minimise the potential environmental and health harms of red and processed meat consumption could affect the perceived urgency of this issue on the policy agenda.
These findings should act as a call to action for greater scrutiny of the industry, as addressing people’s appetite for meat will be crucial to efforts to avert climate breakdown and improve public health.
( Dr James Milner, senior author from LSHTM )

There is growing evidence to suggest that current consumption trends of red and processed meat are a threat to both human health and the health of the planet and this is increasingly being recognised in UK policy spheres.
The 2021 National Food Strategy for England, for example, recommended that meat consumption should be cut by 30% in the next decade.
Our findings suggest that the meat industry may be using various frames that counteract this narrative.
( Kathryn Clare, lead author from LSHTM )

Consumers Kept In The Dark About Chicken Tainted With Salmonella.
In May 2018, a rare and virulent strain of salmonella caught the attention of America’s top disease detectives.
In less than two months, the bacteria had sickened more than a dozen people, nearly all of them on the East Coast.
Many said they’d eaten chicken, and federal food safety inspectors found the strain in chicken breasts, sausages and wings during routine sampling at poultry plants.
But what seemed like a straightforward outbreak soon took a mystifying turn.
Cases surfaced as far away as Texas and Missouri.
A 1-year-old boy from Illinois and a 105-year-old woman from West Virginia fell ill.
Victims were landing in the hospital with roiling stomach pains, uncontrollable diarrhea and violent bouts of vomiting.
The source of the infections seemed to be everywhere.
Even more alarming was that this strain of salmonella, known as multidrug-resistant infantis, was invincible against nearly all the drugs that doctors routinely use to fight severe food poisoning.
With a public health threat unfolding across the country, you might have expected federal regulators to act swiftly and decisively to warn the public, recall the contaminated poultry and compel changes at chicken plants.
Or that federal investigators would pursue the root cause of the outbreak wherever the evidence led.
None of that happened.
Instead, the team at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention closed the outbreak investigation nine months later even though people were continuing to get sick.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees meat and poultry, was not only powerless to act but said nothing to consumers about the growing threat.
So supermarkets and restaurants continued selling chicken tainted with drug-resistant infantis.
And they continue to do so today.
( Bernice Yeung, Michael Grabell, Irena Hwang and Mollie Simon, 01.12.2021 )

The UK Government Found Guilty Of Human Rights Violations.
Austerity and changes to the benefits system have penalised the most vulnerable and at risk people in Britain.
Since the 2008 financial crash, Conservative party policies have placed the burden of the budget deficit on the shoulders of those least able to afford it.
As a consequence of the austerity agenda, stagnating wages and the rising cost of living, in 2020, one in four children in the UK live in poverty and more than four million people are trapped in deep poverty.
Households reliant on the DWP for benefits have been hit the hardest by austerity.
Disabled people and single mothers are perhaps the most vulnerable groups in Britain and their lives have been derailed through benefit cuts.
A 2018 study for the UK’s equality watchdog found that the government was guilty of human rights violations due to its policy choice to penalise the poorest households in Britain.
In January last year (2019), it was uncovered that 17,000 people had died while waiting to hear whether their claim for disability benefits, now called Personal Independence Payments (PIP), had been successful.
One in four had cancer.
Errol Graham was just four and a half stone when his emaciated body was found by bailiffs.
The 57 year-old had starved to death in a flat with no electricity or gas supply.
The only food in his cupboards were two tins of fish, four years out of date.
His benefits had been stopped by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) only months before.
As a vulnerable claimant with a long history of severe mental illness, he should have been protected.
Instead, he was left to die.
At the inquest in June 2019, Graham’s death was ruled as being due to starvation.
The avoidable circumstances surrounding Graham’s tragic death are unfortunately not unique.
Mark Wood was 44 when he starved to death in David Cameron’s constituency when his benefits were wrongly cut to just £40 per week.
He too was a highly vulnerable claimant with mental health issues.
In 2018, there were 111,450 ESA claims closely followed by the deaths of claimants.
( Harriet Williamson, 31.01 2020 )  ..

The Tory Government Health And Care Bill Will Destroy The NHS.
The Tory government has a Health and Care Bill which it claims will not harm the NHS.
But when the House of Lords tries to amend the Bill to protect the NHS, the government simply scraps their amendments.
The Health and Care Bill puts day-to-day running of the NHS under the control of Integrated Care Boards (ICBs).
When the House of Lords tried to make sure that healthcare corporations will not dominate NHS governance, the government overturned their amendment.
This matters because under UK law, directors of corporations have a legal duty to their shareholders, not to patients or taxpayers.
So when it comes to making decisions about what services will be provided by each ICB, they will be taken on the grounds of what maximises profitability not what meets the needs of the local population.
Increasingly, the NHS will be run for the benefit of shareholders – not for our benefit.
Little by little, through a process of ‘stealth privatisation,’ the UK healthcare system will come to resemble the U.S. system (the worst in the developed world from the patient and tax-payer perspective, but the best from the shareholder perspective).
( Mark E. Thomas, 06.04.2022 )  ..

Health Benefits Of Eating Strawberries.
One of the best qualities of strawberries, aside from their delicious taste, is that they’re packed with vitamin C and other nutrients.
These are some of the important vitamins and minerals found in strawberries:
Vitamin C: This vitamin is crucial for boosting your immune system and reducing your risk of stroke, certain types of cancer, and high cholesterol and blood pressure. Additionally, it can even help with diabetes by regulating blood sugar levels.
Folate: This nutrient is essential in ensuring a safe pregnancy, maintaining healthy red blood cells and helping to prevent heart disease.
Potassium: This mineral is an electrolyte your body requires for normal cell function, proper nerve transmission, muscle contraction and kidney function. It can also help lower your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Dietary fibre: Not only can fibre help relieve constipation, but it also stabilizes blood sugar, regulates digestion and helps lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels.
Other trace nutrients that are not as abundant, but still present, in strawberries include:
Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Sodium, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Selenium, B-complex vitamins, Vitamin E.
Strawberries also contain phytonutrients.
Phytonutrients are chemicals produced by plants, such as fruits and vegetables, that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
In addition to their myriad other nutrients, strawberries contain many phytonutrients, which is why this fruit is often called an antioxidant powerhouse.
These are some phytochemicals and antioxidants that strawberries pack:
Ellagic acid: This phytochemical reduces inflammation in the body, improves glucose metabolism and prevents the breakdown of collagen in skin, thus warding off wrinkles. It also has protective effects on your liver and boasts anticancer properties.
Flavonoids: These phytochemicals are associated with reduced risks of cancer, cardiovascular diseases and Alzheimer’s disease. Some flavonoids that strawberries are rich in include:
Anthocyanins: These antioxidants, which give strawberries their red color, have anticancer properties because they neutralize cancer-causing free radicals. They’re also anti-inflammatory and have been shown to alleviate symptoms in arthritis patients.
Quercetin: This phenolic compound inhibits infection, promotes mental and physical performance and has anticancer properties. It also provides cardiovascular benefits.
Kaempferol: This polyphenol antioxidant has been shown to have many beneficial effects against cardiovascular diseases, cancer, liver injury, obesity and diabetes.
Catechin: This natural phenol is an antioxidant that protects against infection, cancer, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. It also promotes a healthy liver and healthy nervous system function.
Strawberries are a member of the rose family and are the first fruit to ripen in the spring.
The fleshy, red part of the fruit that you eat is actually the stem of the plant.
A cup of strawberries provides 100% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin C and is only 55 calories.
Frozen strawberries retain almost the same amount of nutrients as fresh ones.
Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside – they can naturally brighten your teeth when you eat them because the seeds exfoliate your enamel.
Eating strawberries long-term can most definitely yield rewarding health benefits.
These include: Improved heart health, Improved metabolism, Anti-ageing properties, Boosted immunity, Anti-cancer properties, and Reduced internal body inflammation.
The health benefits of eating strawberries are very clear.
( Jack Thatch, 10.03.2021 )  ..

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