In the UK, poor people are associated with pitiable diet hence they suffer from diet-related diseases. This condition is often referred to as food poverty. It is the major causative agent for food-related illnesses such as cancer, heart diseases and diabetes. Lack of equality in people’s diets can also lead to inequalities in the people’s health statuses (Baldwin & Weekes, 2008).
The people of poor economic backgrounds are more susceptible to worse diets due to lower fruit and vegetable intakes and higher prevalence of dental problem among infants. They are also unequally affected by the major killer diseases. Approximately, 10 million people in the UK live in poverty including nearly 3 million infants. Countering food poverty is acknowledged as vital to achieving the government’s targets on mitigating inequalities and giving priorities to health.
In order to solve this problem, the UK government has initiated to take the responsibility to ascertain good health for its citizens. The government has decentralized health facilities to the local authorities through the Department of Health. This move can yield results because various local governments have the capacity to influence a wider range of social determinants of health. They also have the ability to reduce health imbalances in their respective regions and can strive to meet the demands of their locals.
UK’s Nutritional Advice
The Department of Health has a mission of helping people to lead mentally and physically healthier lives. It is through the use of the local government’s new responsibilities and resources that giving health and wellbeing a priority in all their undertakings has become possible (Baldwin & Weekes 2008). It infers that health is included in all the policies so that each decision made seeks a huge health benefit for investment. There is also the need to invest the new ring-fenced grant in health services in order to achieve services of greater qualities. In addition, health-promoting environments need to be advanced. For example, by significantly reducing environmental pollutants, access to green spaces and transport should be enhanced. By supporting local communities, community renewal and engagement in health activities will be established. In fact, there is evidence of emergence of families that are close. In addition, the destitute will also find a place of care in the societal context. Consequently, the society will experience constructive growth. The UK local government also commits to making effective and sustainable use of all the available resources. By means of evidence, it will be ascertained that these are suitably directed to areas and people with the greatest need (Dyson, Kelly, Deakin, Duncan, Frost, Harrison & Worth 2011).
The Department of Health in UK’s Government recommends that individuals should keep to a diet that contains plenty of starchy foods such as rice, bread, pasta and sweet potatoes. The nutritionists also advice that UK citizens should also consume plenty of fruits and vegetables, much protein-rich food such as meat, fish, green grams, peas, and eggs. They also proposed the consumption of foods that include fat and milk products. According to the nutrition experts, this kind of nutrition would facilitate the “eatwell plate” (Dyson et al., 2011).
This food pyramid is applicable to youthful adults who engage in energy-draining activities such as physical exercises and weight reduction. There is a need for a willingness to use all the available tools and resources at local authorities’ disposal using modern approaches (Dyson et al., 2011). Public Health in England has a vital role in sharing and signposting proof on the most efficient as well as cost-effective interventions that are required to improve and protect public health. In order to guarantee its success, the local authorizes work in unity with other partners of the civil society. For example, health institutions and fitness boards characterize the agencies. It is imperative to acknowledge the constructive progress of the sector of health and local bodies. In fact, they have gained much support from its citizens. It is now the onus of the local authorities to oversee the implementation of this program in the entire country. This comes after powers and new resources were bestowed upon them to ensure that the population is healthier.
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The local authorities proposed to introduce local nutrition and food poverty strategies to help in achieving local targets and show how they are fundamental to the government’s health agenda. The strategies would be beneficial as well as receive support from some other programs of the government. In particular, they will benefit public health professionals, specialists that promote healthy lifestyle, Local Strategic Partnerships, local government strategic planners and coordinators in the National Service Framework (Dyson et al., 2011). Developing nutrition and a food poverty plan will not only help manage national priorities and objectives but will also tackle local priorities in regard to local population and circumstances. These strategies can also play a key role in delivery of other necessities of Public Service Agreement as well as health analysis.
One of the pieces of advice in relation to nutrition is working in local partnerships. In this regard, health and local authorities are advised to work in partnerships. In addition, the local governments need to strive to improve the wellbeing as well as reduce abate the health inequalities rocking their populations (Baldwin & Weekes, 2008). Introducing a local nutrition and food poverty plan is the basis of integrated planning. The above plans should be approved and supervised by public health director and the chairperson of the council. Additionally, the policy should be certified by the Local Strategic Partnership. For local transport strategy, directors of public health with a corresponding primary care trust will be required to take part in ascertaining that food is accessible at a local level courtesy of accessibility planning (Cooper et al., 2012).
Another government advice on diet in the UK is mitigating health inequalities. This is a role that should be played by both the National Health Service and local government. They should give priority to reducing health inequalities significantly. This method is applicable because the NHS and the local authorities have a similar Public Service Agreement (Nestle, 2013). For example, by 2010, both NHS and local authorities aimed to reduce health imbalances by about 10% (Dyson et al., 2011). In order to eradicate the challenge, there is a need for the input of both sections of the administration. In other words, the local governing bodies and the policies department should work towards guaranteeing the mitigation of imbalances that occur in the health sector. For example, in the period of 2003-2006, there was a reduction in health inequalities owing to the strategy of priorities and planning Framework. (PPF). The Department of National Health Service should narrow the inequality gap by ensuring a consistent and favorable distribution of health benefits from service expansion and development to individuals and communities that have not always got adequate health services (Cooper, Lee, Goldacre, & Sanders, 2012). Another objective was to ascertain equity audit in terms of service planning supported by a yearly public health report by public health director. The third objective was tackling divergent determinants of health accepting a single set of local priorities as well as other partners hence contributing to reinforcement and renewal of neighborhood programs. Consequently, there will be a need for the NHS. In essence, they will maximize the available opportunities to ensure the success of the process.
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Comparison between Nutrition Advice for the US and the UK
In America, State Department of Agriculture (USDA) is responsible for developing nutrition advice for the Americans. The food industry in America as opposed to that of the UK as it is driven by the thirst for a greater profit. According to Nestle, people always decide on their own about the food they want to eat. However, some decisions are politically influenced. In the UK and the US, many people do not heed the dietary advice that much (Nestle, 2013). However, consumers are still confused about what they should eat and what they should not eat. Nestle initiated the changes in the federal nutrition advice in the 20th century. The advice was somewhat a controversial government activity, during which there was the recommendation to “eat more,” after which there was a shift to “eat less” (Cooper et al., 2012). This shift brought much interference in the public opinion. When the “eat less” policy was introduced, many people protested, especially those with the ties to the food industries. They protested because eating less would mean lower consumption of their products. According to Nestle, nutrition guidelines are basically political compromises between what people learn from science about nutrition and health and what is beneficial to the food industry (Nestle, 2013). On the other hand, during the same period, the Health Department in the UK introduced recommendations in regard to nutrient intake. The Agency proposed that people should feed on fat, starch and other oily foods.
According to the US nutritionists, in the US, the dietary advice was controversial. Advocates of companies producing big quantities of food products, various public interest groups and even nutrition specialists disagreed with the nutrition advice. One of the causes of ambiguity in the US nutritional guideline is that most of the food companies have far much greater resources than public interest groups. Consequently, they can exert more power over the governing bodies as compared to the food companies of the UK. In this regard, food companies in the US have the ability to prevent information that is likely to hurt their business at the expense of public knowledge (Nestle, 2013). The US and UK nutrition experts say that low fat and calorie in the diet does not cause obesity. However, scientifically, this is wrong. Further, they claim that the amount of energy that gets into one’s system is equivalent to the quantity that goes out. This is also a false claim. Recently, the UK government refuted claims that they should reduce sugar intake as this was the major cause of obesity and tooth decay. On the contrary, the chairman of UK’s nutrition committee insisted that the government will not adopt the proposed nutrition policy. They did emphasize the need to stick to the nutritional guidelines that had emerged. In addition, he noted that while the ministry of agriculture has conflicting points, the society needed to make the appropriate choice. Sugar and Corn are critical. Therefore, they are part of the staple products that threaten the livelihood of the society. It is apparent that the US nutrition sector did not give the proper guideline in regard to their utilization. In 2011, the US nutrition guidelines failed to give proper advice with regard to nutrition. They were also in conflict with the companies that manufacture the products. Along with that, the diet and health personnel also did express a different view in relation to the food. In addition, there are experts in the US who believe that it is not necessary to outline the foods that people should not consume. Instead, the Agency should advice on the type of foods that people should eat. The experts argue that no company would want its commodity targeted for reduction.
The increase of diet-related diseases such as heart diseases, obesity, and diabetes, among others, in the UK in the 20th century is the fact that prompted the government to seek nutrition advice (Cooper et al., 2012). Most of the citizens in the United States consume food with high composition of sugar and fats (Nestle, 2013). They have multiple effects. For example, they cause increase in weight. They also lead to the decay of the teeth, among other impacts. According to the UK government health experts, the majority of the Americans eat foods that contain saturated fat (Cooper et al., 2012). As much as people need fat in their bodies, it is imperative to pay close attention to the quantity and the kind of fat in your plate. Saturated and unsaturated fats did characterize the content that health professionals introduced. The saturated content was detrimental to the health of an individual. They increase the blood stream thus enhancing the development of heart conditions. As a result, the government agency put restrictions on certain foods with the high content of saturated fat. In fact, most nutrition advisers emphasize the need to take substance with low fat composition.
In the US, scientific discoveries related to nutrition were being unveiled on a high note in the 20th century (Kant & Miner, 2007). By the time the USDA made a publication on the kinds of foods and drinks that were recommended for the Americans, some vitamins and minerals had not been established. It was after that when researchers identified some minerals and vitamins that were classified as friendly to human health. The researchers have also determined the lowest quantity that should be consumed so as to prevent diseases that are related to nutrition deficiencies. At the same time, nutrition policies that allow boosting the content and supplementation of some foods with vitamins have greatly reduced diet-related diseases in the US. The US government has strived to liquidate nutritional deficiencies in the country, and so far, the health of the population has improved. In addition, the government has ascertained control over contagious diseases, and the current major cause of deaths is chronic diseases such as cancer. A more recent research has even extended to other nutritional components such as fibre and antioxidants, and how low consumption of these may affect the development of certain chronic diseases. USDA made a number of publications that explicitly encouraged Americans to choose foods from the full of the United States’ agricultural products (Kant & Miner, 2007). This was prompted by the belief that increased consumption of the US farm products would significantly improve the health of the general American public. Definitely, the US farmers and the agricultural industries liked and endorsed this idea. When there was surplus of food after World War II and obesity became a major threat in the US, health advice from the US Department of Agriculture began to delve into the issue to find the remedy.
Winners and Losers
In my view, nutrition advice that led to the reduction of sugar consumption in the UK adversely affected sugar manufacturing industries. After the campaign against the heavy intake of sugary foods and drinks, many people must have believed that consuming great amount of sugar might be harmful to them. A number of families and individuals must have introduced several steps to reduce their sugar consumption. As a matter of fact, people consumer far much more sugar than they should. As a result, they become susceptible to diseases such as diabetes and obesity. Current sugar consumption for all populations the recommendations was set by the UK’s Department of Health in 1990s. The recommendation stipulated that in terms of population, less than 10% of the average energy consumption should be sugar. During that time, more than two-thirds of adults were having excess weight by the time they leave primary school. For this reason, improving people’s diet and controlling calorie intake would be given the top priority. The reason why the government had to remain tough on limiting the production of sugar was the fact that the continued consumption led to increased diet and obesity related diseases. These diseases include cardiovascular disease and some cancerous diseases that cost the UK’s National Health Service a minimum of 11 billion pounds per year. In addition, the diseases could be the major contributors to health inequality in the country, with the poorest people being more at risk. Definitely, people’s health was likely to improve if average sugar intakes in the UK were also reduced. Sugar increases the chance and the risk of consuming too much calories, which, in turn, leads to higher risk of weight gain and obesity.
Upon realizing that increased intake of sugar was constantly becoming a threat to public health, the government of the United Kingdom had to immediately instigate a digital marketing package. This package would help families and individuals reduce their sugar consumption, and the focused national behavior change campaign regarding sugar reduction would also lead to the collapse of many sugar manufacturing industries. Perhaps, the nutrition advice to the government departments would also interfere with fruit juice companies because they also produce drinks with high sugar levels. In 2014, there was also nutrition advice to the government departments, food manufacturing industries and non-governmental organizations, among others, in regard to the vital revisions needed on nutrition advice pertaining to sugary foods and drinks, and health in general. Further attempts to revise the crucial dietary messaging and improvement of facilities such as the “eatwell plate” and advice on efficient catering procedures may ensue in future.
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A number of nutritionists have revealed that in most families, it was evident that women are responsible for daily provision of family foods. In this obligation, women appeared to rely solely on prepared foods or drinks that contained high level of sugar. In fact, there are high levels of alarm about the weight and body size in the UK. As a result of high sugar consumption, many young people in the United Kingdom experience physical as well as psychosocial challenges while they are young. This challenge comes as a result of large body size. Young people mostly have a negative attitude and beliefs about those with large bodies, and individuals with such bodies seem to be somewhat dissatisfied (Baldwin & Weekes 2008). Despite the growing understanding that high level of sugar in people’s bodies contributes to a multitude and complex body structure and weight, some researchers maintain that gaining excess weight should be blamed on an individual. Some activists are against the idea of closing down some sugar manufacturing companies. They argue that people should take their own responsibility for ensuring they maintain healthy diet. Unfortunately, there is no adequate evidence from properly conducted studies to help in introducing techniques to eliminate or deal with obesity and unnecessary body weight. In addition, not much is known about other people’s perspectives on obesity, shape of the body, size and body weight. Some people are comfortable with big body sizes and weight while others are not.