Chairman's Comments

Comments on Nutrition and its interaction with us and our offspring, from Simon House, the new Chairman of the McCarrison Society 

Ruling curtails debate on cuts bills

 - and - It's the poor who are being clobbered

Two letters from the Rev Paul Nicolson, Chairman, Zacchaeus 2000 Trust - in The Guardian  

Saturday 27 November 2010

The savings accounts and health in pregnancy grant bill had its first reading in the House of Lords on 23 November. The Speaker of the House of Commons ruled, after the third reading in the Commons, that it was a money bill. This means that out of the 21 cuts to the poverty incomes of welfare claimants proposed by the coalition, any amendments to the three of them proposed by the bill cannot be debated in the House of Lords. This approach could be used to prevent the Lords from discussing other money-related changes in legislation.

The bill has been strangled without thought to the consequences. Our greatest concern is that incomes that in all government and independent measures are substantially below the poverty line will suffer cuts – of which the health in pregnancy grant is one – without any assessment of the impact on the health of women of child-bearing age, their foetus or their offspring; or the cost of the consequential mental and physical ill health to the NHS or the economy at large.

Read more: Ruling curtails debate on cuts bills

‘The Critical 1000-day Window’ for improving maternal and child nutrition – Hillary Clinton


Nutrition plays the most critical role in a person’s life during a narrow window of time – the 1,000 days that begin at the start of a pregnancy and continue through the second year of life, (which) can help determine whether a child will . . experience enough brain development to go to school and hold a job as an adult. 
The science of nutrition points to a strategy. If we target that brief critical period . . we can accomplish several things at once. We can save lives, we can help children start life on a better path, and we can bolster economic development and learning down the road.” And the effects of undernutrition linger for generations. - At CARE's 2010 National Conference and Celebration.

Convenience food changes could save 'thousands of lives'


Health watchdog attacks food industry in hard hitting report but is dismissed by the government as having over-reached itself
Sarah Boseley, health editor - The Guardian, Tuesday 22 June 2010
Health watchdog Nice suggests that a series of changes to convenience foods would save thousands of lives. Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian
Tens of thousands of lives could be saved if major changes were made to processed and convenience foods, the UK's leading health watchdog will say today, challenging the government and the food industry to act to improve the nation's diet.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) will say in a major hard-hitting report that diet is not just a matter for the individual consumer. In what will be interpreted as a significant attack on the food industry, it recommends a series of changes, including:
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At a recent lecture on health cost/benefits at the Royal Society of Medicine I was able to ask NICE's Chairman, Sir Michael Rawlins, how much NICE was looking at health generation rather than treatments, including particularly nutrition from before conception and attention to stress in pregnancy. he agreed that they should be looking in this direction and intended to do so. SHH

Free school meals: Health professionals join the backlash over cuts, Tuesday June 22 2010 - Rachel Williams
A coalition of senior doctors and nurses have written to the education secretary, Michael Gove, expressing "deep concern" at his decision to axe plans for free school meals for half a million primary school children from low-income families. The Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and Royal College of Physicians are the latest groups to join . .