Food and Nutrition Week: 26-30 January

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This week of activities will take place across both campuses and includes information stands, games, a nutritionist visit, nutritional menus and seasonal soups.

Nutrition is a vast subject area and one which is vital to our health. This week is a great way to find out more information and inspire a healthier you!

View the full Food and Nutrition Week Schedule to find the activities you are interested in.

Take a look at the full Poole House, Refectory Menu  & the EBC, Market Place Menu for the week commencing 26 January.

External partners for this event will include Riverford Organics, Quorn and Life Water.

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Dr Heather Hartwell speaks to BBC West Midlands

Dr Heather Hartwell, Professor of Food Service at Bournemouth University recently appeared on the BBC Radio West Midlands as a part of their debate on saturated fats.

Hartwell’s views contrasted with new research findings from Cambridge University which found that “there is no evidence to link saturated fat with heart disease”.

Hartwell began by stating “saturated fat is fat that can increase the amount of cholesterol in your blood. The message is we should eat less fat” because we all eat too much”.

The presenter debated Hartwell commenting that “scientists discovered saturated does not cause heart disease, so doesn’t this mean we can all pick up the butter again?”

Hartwell disagreed, arguing that “fat is fat is fat”, and we should all “be reducing our fat intake as many of the foods we eat have lots of hidden fat in them. We should all be eating far more fruits and vegetables”.

“If we get into our heads that we should be eating less fats, that is a simple message to take forward”.

Dr Heather Hartwell joins radio debate on brands and nutrition

Associate Professor in Food Service and Applied Nutrition at BU Heather Hartwell took part in a Battle of the Brands debate on BBC Radio Solent.

The feature, on Alex Dyke’s mid-morning show, came as research showed that supermarket own-brands now account for 43 per cent of food sales.

Heather told Alex that she believed supermarket brands could more than match up to well-established names in terms of taste and nutritional value.

“Sometimes there’s no difference, but sometimes they are actually better.

“The traditional brands, they do put a little bit more sugar and salt in them, because they taste nicer, and the value brands don’t do that.”

She added that this particularly happened with cereals, and encouraged people to take a closer look at the labels and nutritional information.

“Cereals are some of the labels that people look at most, because they are out on the breakfast table, they’ve got time to look at them. It’s a staple product, so it is worth looking at the nutritional value labelling and comparing it to the own brands.”

“You could be saving yourself a lot of money, and nutritionally they are the same.”

She said that humans are creatures of habit, and could be difficult to steer away from long-established food traditions – adding that she had even resorted to buying own-brand products and putting them in familiar brand packaging so her family didn’t notice!

You can hear the debate in full here.

Health professionals learn more about nutrition for cancer survivors

Health professionals found out more about the right nutrition and lifestyle advice to give cancer survivors at a masterclass jointly organised by Bournemouth University and Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

Health professionals attended a masterclass jointly organised by Bournemouth University and Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

Evidence increasingly shows the importance of a good diet and gentle exercise for cancer survivors – with improved survival rates, physical and psychological wellbeing and a reduced risk of cancer recurring.

The free Nutrition for Survivors Beyond Cancer masterclass on Thursday gave professionals involved in the care of cancer survivors information on current evidence and key advice to give patients.

It was jointly organised by Dr Jane Murphy, framework lead for nutrition and exercise science in BU’s School of Health and Social Care, and Grainne Ford, dietetic manager at Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

Jane said: “The purpose of the masterclass is to think about how we can improve the nutritional knowledge of people working on the frontline, who care for people who have had cancer and are living beyond cancer, and to think about how we can improve their nutritional skills.

“We also want to signpost them to important nutritional resources and a key evidence base that will support and improve their practice.”

The masterclass took place at the Village Hotel, next to Royal Bournemouth Hospital, and a diverse range of health professionals attended – from hospital managers to fitness instructors and cancer support group representatives.

Talks included the importance of gentle exercise, the evidence linking nutrition and cancer and how to broach the subject of the need to lose weight with cancer survivors.

There were also interactive workshops, where health professionals were given cancer survivor case studies and had to come up with a nutrition and lifestyle plan for them.

Grainne said that people often gained weight following cancer treatment – particularly for breast cancer – and it was important to raise the benefits of being a healthy weight sensitively once people were in remission.

“There is a lot more emerging evidence to show that diet and lifestyle can really help cancer survivors and it’s an area that patients can take into their own hands and feel empowered by doing something about the nutrition side of their life.”

She added: “The feedback that we have had shows a real need for this kind of class to help people understand what the current evidence is and what the recommendations are, so that they can take those practical things back to their patients and help them on their journey.”

Advice for cancer survivors includes limiting the amount of red and processed meat they eat, avoiding sugary drinks and alcohol and being active for at least 30 minutes a day.

The masterclass also helped to dispel some of the common myths about cancer and nutrition – such as the fact that dietary supplements alone do not benefit cancer survivors, and large doses are actually negatively associated with cancer recurrence.

Mary Milne, who works with breast cancer patients and is currently doing a PhD into cancer survivorship, was one of those who attended the masterclass.

She said: “Nutrition often comes up and we tend to find that patients are often informed via the internet – whether it’s right or it’s wrong – so it’s important that health professionals are able to give informed answers to the questions they are asked and to feel comfortable giving that answer.

“The masterclass has been excellent. I think it has been targeted perfectly to the health professionals – and we’ll leave feeling informed and ready to go back and hopefully just provide a better service for cancer survivors.”

A second free masterclass will take place at the Kingston Maurward Conference Centre in Dorchester, on Wednesday 21 November.

It will run from 10am–4pm and you can find more information and book online here