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It's all about the cake/lettuce balance

World Digestive Health Day (WDHD) is held every year on 29 May, so now is the perfect time to redress the nutrition balance

World Digestive Health Day (WDHD) is held every year on 29 May, so now is the perfect time to reflect on what we consume each day and think about how it might be affecting our digestive health.  The digestive tract plays a vital role in our health; it is responsible for absorbing nutrients and eliminating waste. However, there is only so much it can do if we aren't eating the right food.

People living in the UK are among the unhealthiest in Europe with just a quarter of British adults eating the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. In 2014, 84% of adults in England were classified as overweight or obese (a body mass index of 27 or above) compared to 63% twenty years earlier, and it’s only getting worse.1 So it is clear that we are not malnourished due to a lack of food; we are simply eating too much junk food. By now, we all should know the difference between healthy and unhealthy food, and we also know that a delicious chocolate cake filled with cream is far more appetising and comforting than an apple or a plate of lettuce. And convenience plays a part too – we often choose the quicker option of heating up some oven chips for supper rather than creating a nutritious meal using fresh ingredients, nevertheless, as difficult as it often is, we must find a ‘cake/lettuce balance’ that fits with our social life (and bank balance) without compromising our health.  As the saying goes “everything in moderation”.

To raise awareness of WDHD, each year the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO), in collaboration with the WGO Foundation (WGOF), focus on a particular digestive disease in order to increase general public awareness. The theme for the World Digestive Health Day 2019 campaign is "Early Diagnosis and Treatment of GI (gastrointestinal) Cancer."2 GI cancer refers to malignant cells in the gastrointestinal tract and its associated organs. Overall, the GI tract and associated organs of digestion are responsible for more cancers than any other system in the body.3 Early detection and treatment are key factors in recovery but lifestyle changes such as cutting down on smoking, reducing alcohol intake and eating less fat may help prevent cancer from forming.

So here at P&P we thought it was a good time to focus on that 'cake/lettuce balance' and try to eat a bit more healthily. From this Monday we are holding the 5-a-day challenge where we are asking colleagues to come up with interesting ways to get our 5-a-day, every day. Watch this space…

If you would like to know more about WDHD, then please click on the link. #WDHD2019 #GICancer

References:
  1. “Obesity in the UK”, Wikipedia, 28 May 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obesity_in_the_United_Kingdom
  2. “World Digestive Health Day (WDHD)”, World Gastroenterology Organisation, 28 May 2019, http://www.worldgastroenterology.org/wgo-foundation/wdhd/wdhd-2019/message-from-the-co-chairs
  3. “Gastrointestinal cancer”, Wikipedia, 28 May 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gastrointestinal_cancer

Author: Michelle Burt

30th May 2019

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