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Britons cut meat consumption by 17%, but must double that to hit target

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Britons cut meat consumption by 17%, but must double that to hit target

Britons have cut their meat consumption by 17% over the past decade but will need to double these efforts if they are to meet targets for healthy diets and sustainable food production set out in the national food strategy earlier this year.

Meat production is a major contributor to global heating and land degradation, while eating lots of red and processed meat has been linked to a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.

For these reasons, the government-commissioned national food strategy for England recently recommended that people try to cut their meat consumption by about 30% within the next decade.

To understand how much meat people in the UK are currently eating, Cristina Stewart, a health behaviours researcher at the University of Oxford, and colleagues turned to dietary data recorded in the National Diet and Nutrition Survey. This annual exercise involves asking a nationally representative sample of the population to keep a food diary for four consecutive days.

The analysis, published in the journal Lancet Planetary Health, found that between 2008-9 and 2018-19 participants’ average meat consumption decreased from about 103g per person a day to 86g, a reduction of about 17g or 17%. This is equivalent to eating roughly two and a half fewer pork sausages each week.

There was an absolute reduction of 13.7g of red meat and 7g processed meat, and a 3.2g increase in white meat consumption.

Stewart said: “I think the reductions that we’re seeing are positive, but we’re moving pretty slowly, and if we continue reducing our meat consumption at the same rate, we’re not really going to be reaching these dietary targets.”

Although the environmental impact of white meat is lower than red meat’s, plant-based sources of protein have a lower impact still. “We’re hoping that this analysis, which helps us better understand meat consumption trends and patterns, could help to tailor public health policies and behavioural interventions to try and accelerate that reduction and meet those targets,” Stewart added.

Victoria Taylor, senior dietitian at the British Heart Foundation, said: “While it’s encouraging to see more people are starting to eat less red and processed meat, we know that some people are still eating more than the recommended maximum of 70g per day, putting them at greater risk of developing heart and circulatory diseases.

“We need to look beyond meat to benefit from the full range of protein sources available to us. Including plant-based proteins like beans, lentils, nuts and seeds, or using these to bulk out meat dishes can be a healthy way to cut down on the amount of red and processed meat consumption.”

The team also looked at differences in total meat consumption between different subgroups of the population, finding that this was higher among white participants compared with minority ethnic groups, regardless of household income.

“That was quite surprising because a lot of literature suggests that people from lower socioeconomic status groups consume more meat … and more red and processed meat,” said Stewart.

Another surprise was that people born in the 1980s and 1990s were the highest meat consumers, and those born after 1999 were the only subgroup to have increased their consumption over time.

Stewart said: “We’ve seen from various surveys that younger groups consider the environment and climate change to be more important, and they tend to be more interested in reducing meat consumption. People in that subgroup were 19 years and younger, so it could be that for the first few years of the survey, what they were eating was reflective of their household, rather than their preferences as individuals. Even so, it was a surprise.”

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Health

12 State Governors Owing Us, Health Workers Cry Out

The Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria MHWUN, has cried out that governors of 12 states of Nigeria are unfair to their members by owing them several years of salary arrears and also failed to standardise their payments .

The medical body noted that the worst of it all is that these governors have failed to implement the N30,000 new minimum wage that has become a law in the country.

They said the governors have subjected them to harrowing life.

The MHWUN National Vice President , Femi Adebisi stated this in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti state capital at the weekend during the 2022 international youth day organized by the South West leadership of the union, under the theme , ‘Intergenerational solidarity : creating a world for all ages.’

Adebisi said the welfare of health workers remains the only recipe to the recurrent brain drain crippling the health sector.

He however, did not identify the affected 12 states.

“We have nothing less than 12 states that are owing health workers their entitlements.We are engaging them as a union and we are hoping the governors and everyone concern will do the needful soon”, he stated.

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Health

Pay Hazard Allowance To Health Workers, NLC Urges F.G

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr Ayuba Wabba, has urged the Federal Government to immediately begin the payment of hazard allowance to health workers in the country.

Wabba made the call at the 2022 annual Federal Capital Territory Nurses Week/Scientific Workshop of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives on Thursday in Abuja.

At the workshop with the theme, “Invest in Nursing and respect rights to secure global health,” Wabba said the allowance has been reviewed but payment is yet to begin.

“Many health workers have fallen victim to diseases in taking care of patients. I salute the nurses and Midwives, your reward is not only in heaven but here on earth. I urge you to learn so you can discharge quality healthcare service to Nigerians.

“The payment of hazard allowance will boost the morale of our health workers in the country”, he added.

 

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Health

Cholera Outbreak Kills 10 In Gombe

Gombe state government has declared an outbreak of cholera after ten deaths were recorded across the state.

This was made public by Habu Dahiru, Gombe commissioner for health,  on Thursday.

Dahiru, who was represented by Abdulrahman Shuaibu, executive secretary of the Gombe Primary Health Care Development Agency, said as of September 20, 236 cases of cholera had been recorded in the state.

“This year, from June, we had sporadic cases of cholera in Balanga LGA and because of the preparedness and prompt response; it has been largely subdued without escalation,” he said.

These outbreaks are recorded in eight wards across Balanga, Yamaltu-Deba, Nafada, Funakaye and Gombe LGA of the state.

“The state ministry of health has promptly initiated public health actions for prevention and control of the disease.

“As of September 20, there was an increase in the number of cases in Gombe state as 236 cases have been listed so far.”

The commissioner said increased downpour of rain and flooding in many parts of the state led to the cholera outbreak.

He said decontamination of wells and boreholes in affected communities would be carried out and distribution of water treatment tablets in all affected communities would be conducted.

 

 

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