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Dietary interventions and advice for adults

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Diet

About

What is covered

Having a healthy balanced diet helps prevent obesity, cardiovascular and many other conditions. This pathway covers recommendations for everyone about diet and lifestyle, and recommendations for health professionals on interventions to encourage people to follow a healthy diet. It is for mothers and children, particularly those from low-income households, and on weight management before and during pregnancy.
The pathway also includes NICE's recommendations on local and national strategy for diet to prevent cardiovascular disease, and recommendations for schools, and the leisure and weight management industries.
The pathway also includes recommendations about dietary supplements for children and women before, during and after pregnancy. It does not cover breastfeeding. Recommendations on breastfeeding are in the postnatal care pathway.
Align actions to improve diet with strategies to prevent obesity at a community level to ensure a coherent, integrated approach (see the obesity: working with local communities pathway).

Updates

Updates to this pathway

29 July 2015 Nutrition: improving maternal and child nutrition (NICE quality standard 98) added to this pathway
22 July 2015 Obesity: prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people (NICE quality standard 94) added to this pathway
12 March 2015 Update to lifestyle advice on diet and physical activity on publication of maintaining a healthy weight and preventing excess weight gain among adults and children (NICE guideline NG7).
12 December 2014 NICE recommendations on vitamin D (PH56) and updated guidance on antenatal care (recommendation 1.3.2.4 from CG62) added to advice on diet and use of supplements before and during pregnancy and nutrition in pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Links to the NICE pathway on increasing vitamin D supplement use among at-risk groups added to this pathway.
26 November 2014 Update to reducing calorie intake for adults who are obese and dietary strategies for children who are obese on publication of obesity (NICE guideline CG189).
22 July 2014 Links to cardiovascular disease prevention and constipation pathways added.
11 March 2014 Link to community engagement pathway added
20 January 2014 Minor maintenance updates
2 January 2014 Minor maintenance updates
17 December 2013 Minor maintenance updates
17 October 2013 Link to the NICE pathway on obesity: working with local communities added to this pathway.
30 August 2013 Minor maintenance updates
10 August 2012 Minor maintenance updates
25 May 2012 Minor maintenance updates
25 October 2011 Minor maintenance updates

Women and children from disadvantaged groups

Women from disadvantaged groups have a poorer diet and are less likely to take folic acid or other supplements than those who are better off. They are more likely to be overweight or show low weight gain during pregnancy and their babies are more likely to have a low birth weight.
Mothers from these groups are also less likely to breastfeed and more likely to introduce solid foods earlier than recommended. As a result of many of these factors, their children are more likely to be underweight as infants while also being more prone to obesity later in childhood.

Cardiovascular disease: a national framework for action

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major public health problem. Changes in the risk factors can be brought about by intervening at the population and individual level. Government has addressed – and continues to address – the risk factors at both levels.
Interventions focused on changing an individual's behaviour are important. But changes at the population level could lead to further substantial benefits.
Population-level changes may be achieved in a number of ways but national or regional policy and legislation are particularly powerful levers.
The national framework would be established through policy, led by the Department of Health. It would involve government, government agencies, industry and key, non-governmental organisations working together.
The final decision on whether these policy options are adopted – and how they are prioritised – will be determined by government through normal political processes.

Local authorities and their partners in the community

Concerns about safety, transport links and services have a huge impact on people's ability to eat healthily and be physically active. Effective interventions often require multidisciplinary teams and the support of a range of organisations.

Schools

Improving diet and physical activity levels helps children develop a healthy lifestyle that will prevent them becoming overweight or obese in adulthood. Other benefits may include higher motivation and achievement at school, and better health in childhood and later life.

Workplaces

An organisation's policies and incentive schemes can help to create a culture that supports healthy eating and physical activity. Action will have an impact, not only on the health of the workforce but also in savings to industry.

Short Text

This pathway covers interventions, programmes and strategies to encourage children and adults to have a healthy, balanced diet. The pathway also includes recommendations about dietary supplements for children and women before, during and after pregnancy.

What is covered

Having a healthy balanced diet helps prevent obesity, cardiovascular and many other conditions. This pathway covers recommendations for everyone about diet and lifestyle, and recommendations for health professionals on interventions to encourage people to follow a healthy diet. It is for mothers and children, particularly those from low-income households, and on weight management before and during pregnancy.
The pathway also includes NICE's recommendations on local and national strategy for diet to prevent cardiovascular disease, and recommendations for schools, and the leisure and weight management industries.
The pathway also includes recommendations about dietary supplements for children and women before, during and after pregnancy. It does not cover breastfeeding. Recommendations on breastfeeding are in the postnatal care pathway.
Align actions to improve diet with strategies to prevent obesity at a community level to ensure a coherent, integrated approach (see the obesity: working with local communities pathway).

Updates

Updates to this pathway

29 July 2015 Nutrition: improving maternal and child nutrition (NICE quality standard 98) added to this pathway
22 July 2015 Obesity: prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people (NICE quality standard 94) added to this pathway
12 March 2015 Update to lifestyle advice on diet and physical activity on publication of maintaining a healthy weight and preventing excess weight gain among adults and children (NICE guideline NG7).
12 December 2014 NICE recommendations on vitamin D (PH56) and updated guidance on antenatal care (recommendation 1.3.2.4 from CG62) added to advice on diet and use of supplements before and during pregnancy and nutrition in pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Links to the NICE pathway on increasing vitamin D supplement use among at-risk groups added to this pathway.
26 November 2014 Update to reducing calorie intake for adults who are obese and dietary strategies for children who are obese on publication of obesity (NICE guideline CG189).
22 July 2014 Links to cardiovascular disease prevention and constipation pathways added.
11 March 2014 Link to community engagement pathway added
20 January 2014 Minor maintenance updates
2 January 2014 Minor maintenance updates
17 December 2013 Minor maintenance updates
17 October 2013 Link to the NICE pathway on obesity: working with local communities added to this pathway.
30 August 2013 Minor maintenance updates
10 August 2012 Minor maintenance updates
25 May 2012 Minor maintenance updates
25 October 2011 Minor maintenance updates

Sources

NICE guidance

The NICE guidance that was used to create the pathway.
Antenatal care (2008) NICE guideline CG62
Obesity (2006) NICE guideline CG43
Prevention of cardiovascular disease (2010) NICE guideline PH25
Maternal and child nutrition (2008) NICE guideline PH11

Quality standards

Nutrition: improving maternal and child nutrition

These quality statements are taken from the Nutrition improving maternal and child nutrition quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice for improving maternal and child nutrition and should be read in full.

Quality statements

Vending machines

This quality statement is taken from the obesity prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice in obesity prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people and should be read in full.

Quality statement

Children and young people, and their parents or carers, using vending machines in local authority and NHS venues can buy healthy food and drink options.

Rationale

The environment in which people live influences their ability to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Local authorities and NHS organisations can set an example by providing healthy food and drink choices at their venues. They can influence venues in the community (such as leisure centres) and services provided by commercial organisations to have a positive impact on the diet of children and young people using them. Legal requirements govern the provision of food in local authority-maintained schools (see the Department of Education’s Standards for school food in England for further details). Schools are therefore not covered by this quality statement.

Quality measures

Structure
Evidence that local authorities and NHS organisations provide, or make contractual arrangements for the provision of, healthy food and drink options in any vending machines in their venues that are used by children and young people.
Data source: Local data collection.
Process
Proportion of local authority and NHS venues used by children and young people with vending machines that have vending machines that contain healthy food and drink options.
Numerator – the number in the denominator that have vending machines that contain healthy food and drink options.
Denominator – the number of local authority and NHS venues used by children and young people with vending machines.
Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for local authorities and NHS organisations

Local authorities and NHS organisations ensure that any vending machines in their venues that are used by children and young people offer healthy food and drink options.

What the quality statement means for children and young people and their parents or carers

Children and young people (and their parents or carers) have a choice of healthy food and drink options available from vending machines in local authority and NHS venues (for example hospitals, clinics and leisure centres).

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Healthy food and drink
Food and drink that helps people to meet the eatwell plate guidance recommendations, and which does not contain high levels of salt, fat, saturated fat or sugar. Public Health England’s Healthier, more sustainable catering: information for those involved in purchasing food and drink provides definitions for low, medium and high levels of fat, saturates, sugars and salt per portion/serving size for food and drink. The Change4Life website gives suggestions for healthy food and drink alternatives. [Expert consensus]

Nutritional information at the point of choosing food and drink options

This quality statement is taken from the obesity: prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice in obesity prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people and should be read in full.

Quality statement

Children and young people, and their parents or carers, see details of nutritional information on menus at local authority and NHS venues.

Rationale

Providing details about the nutritional content of food will allow children and young people (and their parents or carers) to make an informed choice when choosing meals. This information will help people achieve or maintain a healthy weight by enabling them to manage their daily nutritional intake.

Quality measures

Structure
Evidence that local authorities and NHS organisations ensure that information on the nutritional content of meals is included on menus at venues that are used by children and young people.
Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for local authorities and NHS organisations

Local authorities and NHS organisations ensure that their venues used by children and young people provide details about the nutritional content of menu items.

What the quality statement means for children and young people and their parents or carers

Children and young people (and their parents or carers) selecting meals in catering facilities in local authority and NHS venues have information on the nutritional content of meals to help them choose.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Nutritional information
This includes details on the calorie content of meals as well as information on the fat, saturated fat, salt and sugar content. If the nutritional value of recipes is not known, ingredients should be listed and cooking methods described. [Adapted from expert consensus and NICE guideline PH35, recommendation 8]

Equality and diversity considerations

Information needs to be available in a variety of languages and formats to ensure that it is accessible to people of all ages and meets the needs of the community. Nutritional information should be available in a variety of formats appropriate to the target audience. The format of this information should be suitable for children and young people with sensory impairment.

Prominent placement of healthy options

This quality statement is taken from the obesity: prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice in obesity prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people and should be read in full.

Quality statement

Children and young people, and their parents or carers, see healthy food and drink choices displayed prominently in local authority and NHS venues.

Rationale

Local authorities and NHS organisations can set an example by ensuring that healthy food and drink choices are promoted in their venues. Prominent positioning will help to ensure that children and young people (and their parents or carers) will consider healthier options when they are choosing food and drink.

Quality measures

Structure
Evidence that local authority and NHS venues used by children and young people make arrangements to display healthy food and drink options in prominent positions.
Data source: Local data collection.
Outcome
Sales of healthy food and drink options.
Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for local authorities and NHS organisations

Local authorities and NHS organisations ensure that healthy food and drink choices are displayed in prominent positions in their venues.

What the quality statement means for children and young people and their parents or carers

Children and young people (and their parents or carers) can easily find healthy foods and drinks when using catering facilities in local authority or NHS venues.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Healthy food and drink choices
Food and drink that helps people to meet the eatwell plate guidance recommendations, and which does not contain high levels of salt, fat, saturated fat or sugar. Public Health England’s Healthier, more sustainable catering: information for those involved in purchasing food and drink provides definitions for low, medium and high levels of fat, saturates, sugars and salt per portion/serving size for food and drink. The Change4Life website gives suggestions for healthy food and drink alternatives. [Expert consensus] 

Maintaining details of local lifestyle weight management programmes

This quality statement is taken from the obesity: prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice in obesity prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people and should be read in full.

Quality statement

Children and young people, and their parents or carers, have access to a publicly available up to date list of local lifestyle weight management programmes.

Rationale

Effective lifestyle weight management programmes for children and young people can be delivered by a range of organisations, in different locations, covering different age groups. The local authority should maintain an up-to-date list of local lifestyle weight management programmes and make it available to the public. Raising awareness of these locally provided programmes is important to ensure that the public, healthcare professionals and other professionals who work with children and young people are aware of the programmes that exist in their area and how to access them. Increased public awareness may lead to more self referrals to the programmes, either by children and young people themselves or their parents or carers. In addition, raised awareness among healthcare professionals such as GPs, school nurses, health visitors and staff involved in the National Child Measurement Programme and the Healthy Child Programme may lead to more direct referrals.

Quality measures

Structure
Evidence that an up to date list of local lifestyle weight management programmes for children and young people is made publically available by the local authority.
Data source: Local data collection.
Outcome
Number of referrals (including self referrals, by children and young people or their parents or carers) to lifestyle weight management programmes.
Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for providers of lifestyle weight management programmes, healthcare professionals, other professionals who work with children and young people, and local authorities

Providers of lifestyle weight management programmes ensure that they provide local authorities with up to date lists of local lifestyle weight management programmes for children and young people.
Healthcare professionals (such as GPs, dietitians, pharmacists, health visitors, school nurses and staff involved in the National Child Measurement Programme) and other professionals who work with children and young people (such as youth workers, social workers and pastoral care workers, and those who work in schools, colleges, early years organisations, children’s centres and looked-after children’s teams) ensure that they are aware of the lifestyle weight management programmes for children and young people in their area and how to enrol people on them.
Local authorities ensure that they maintain a publicly available up-to-date list of local lifestyle weight management programmes for children and young people.

What the quality statement means for children and young people and their parents or carers

Children and young people (and their parents or carers) are aware of the lifestyle weight management programmes in their area and how they can enrol on them.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Lifestyle weight management programme
Lifestyle weight management programmes focus on diet, physical activity and behaviour change to help people who are overweight or obese. They are usually based in the community and may be run by the public, private or voluntary sector. [Adapted from NICE guideline PH47]

Raising awareness of lifestyle weight management programmes

This quality statement is taken from the obesity: prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice in obesity prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people and should be read in full.

Quality statement

Children and young people identified as being overweight or obese, and their parents or carers as appropriate, are given information about local lifestyle weight management programmes.

Rationale

Actively raising the possibility of participation in a local lifestyle weight management programme will help to increase the use of these programmes by children and young people identified as being overweight or obese.

Quality measures

Structure
Evidence of written protocols and local arrangements for healthcare professionals and other professionals to give information about local lifestyle weight management programmes to children and young people identified as being overweight or obese, and their parents or carers (as appropriate).
Data source: Local data collection.
Process
Proportion of children and young people identified as being overweight or obese, and their parents or carers as appropriate, who are given information about local lifestyle weight management programmes.
Numerator – the number in the denominator who are given information about local lifestyle weight management programmes.
Denominator – the number of children and young people identified as being overweight or obese, and their parents or carers as appropriate.
Data source: Local data collection.
Outcome
Number of children and young people enrolling in lifestyle weight management programmes.
Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for healthcare professionals, other professionals who work with children and young people, and commissioners

Healthcare professionals (such as GPs, dietitians, pharmacists, health visitors, school nurses and staff involved in the National Child Measurement Programme) and other professionals who work with children and young people (such as youth workers, social workers and pastoral care workers, and those who work in schools, colleges, early years organisations, children’s centres and looked after children’s teams) ensure that they provide information about local lifestyle weight management programmes to children and young people identified as being overweight or obese, and their parents or carers (as appropriate).
Commissioners (such as NHS England, clinical commissioning groups and local authorities) ensure that healthcare professionals, and other professionals who work with children and young people, provide information about local lifestyle weight management programmes to children and young people identified as being overweight or obese, and their parents or carers (as appropriate).

What the quality statement means for children and young people and their parents or carers

Children and young people identified as being overweight or obese (and their parents or carers, as appropriate) are given information about local lifestyle weight management programmes, including an explanation of what the programmes involve and how to take part.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Information about local lifestyle weight management programmes
This information should explain what these programmes involve and how people can take part (including whether or not they can self refer). [Adapted from NICE guideline PH47, recommendation 7]
Lifestyle weight management programme
Lifestyle weight management programmes focus on diet, physical activity and behaviour change to help people who are overweight or obese. They are usually based in the community and may be run by the public, private or voluntary sector. [Adapted from NICE guideline PH47]
Other professionals who work with children and young people
These professionals include youth workers, social workers and pastoral care workers, as well as those who work in schools, colleges, early years organisations, children’s centres and looked after children’s teams. [NICE guideline PH47, recommendation 7] 

Family involvement in lifestyle weight management programmes

This quality statement is taken from the obesity: prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice in obesity prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people and should be read in full.

Quality statement

Family members or carers of children and young people are invited to attend lifestyle weight management programmes, regardless of their weight.

Rationale

Family members and carers have an important role and responsibility in influencing the environment in which children and young people live. Therefore, actively involving family members and carers in the programme is important to ensure that children and young people receive positive reinforcement and support away from the programme. Involving the family and carers is also likely to make the programme more successful, change behaviour and lifestyle choices and improve BMI over time in children and young people. It may also benefit family members because they may have the same genetic and/or lifestyle risk factors for weight.

Quality measures

Structure
Evidence that providers of lifestyle weight management programmes for children and young people invite family members or carers to attend, regardless of their weight.
Data source: Local data collection.
Process
Proportion of children and young people who attend a lifestyle weight management programme whose family members or carers have been invited to attend.
Numerator – the number in the denominator whose family members or carers have been invited to attend.
Denominator – the number of children and young people who attend a lifestyle weight management programme.
Data source: Local data collection.

Outcome

Family member attendance and involvement in lifestyle weight management programmes.
Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for providers of lifestyle weight management programmes, healthcare professionals and public health practitioners, and local authorities

Providers of lifestyle weight management programmes for children and young people ensure that they involve family members and carers in the programme and provide services that include the appropriate core components. Weight management programmes should emphasise the importance, and highlight the benefit, of family member involvement and encouragement.
Healthcare professionals and public health practitioners who deliver lifestyle weight management programmes for children and young people encourage the involvement of family members or carers.
Local authorities ensure that they commission lifestyle weight management programmes for children and young people that encourage family members and carers to be actively involved and contain the core components to involve family members. Local authorities require providers to report on how they have engaged family members and carers in the programme as part of their performance management and contract monitoring.

What the quality statement means for families or carers

Family members or carers of children and young people identified as being overweight or obese are encouraged to be involved in the child’s lifestyle weight management programme, regardless of their own weight. This may include receiving training and resources to support changes in behaviour or, if this is not possible, being provided with information on the aims of the programme. Family members are also encouraged to eat healthily and to be physically active, regardless of their weight.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Lifestyle weight management programme
Lifestyle weight management programmes focus on diet, physical activity and behaviour change to help people who are overweight or obese. They are usually based in the community and may be run by the public, private or voluntary sector. [Adapted from NICE guideline PH47]

Equality and diversity considerations

Particular consideration needs to be given when engaging adult men in the programmes because they are often harder to involve than other family members. Consideration also needs to be given to the language needs of the child or young person accessing the programme, as well as their family members or carers. For some families, the child or young person may be the only English speaker in the family.

Evaluating lifestyle weight management programmes

This quality statement is taken from the obesity: prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice in obesity prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people and should be read in full.

Quality statement

Children and young people, and their parents or carers, can access data on attendance, outcomes and the views of participants and staff from lifestyle weight management programmes.

Rationale

It’s important that providers of lifestyle weight management programmes for children and young people measure outcomes of the programmes and make the results available. This will allow commissioners and the general public to monitor and evaluate particular programmes to assess whether they are meeting their objectives and providing value for money. This ensures that any issues with the programmes are identified as early as possible, so that the programmes can be improved, leading to better outcomes for children and young people using the programmes. It will also help children and young people, and their parents or carers, to select lifestyle weight management programmes.

Quality measures

Structure
a) Evidence that commissioners and providers of lifestyle weight management programmes for children and young people jointly agree the key performance indicators to be collected for monitoring and evaluation.
Data source: Local data collection.
b) Evidence that commissioners and providers of lifestyle weight management programmes for children and young people have used data from monitoring and evaluation to amend and improve programmes.
Data source: Local data collection.
Process
a) Proportion of children and young people recruited to a lifestyle weight management programme that has data on attendance, outcomes and the views of participants and staff collected at recruitment and completion.
Numerator – the number in the denominator that has data on attendance, outcomes and the views of participants and staff collected at recruitment and completion.
Denominator – the number of children and young people recruited to a lifestyle weight management programme.
Data source: Local data collection.
b) Proportion of children and young people who complete a lifestyle weight management programme that has data on outcomes collected at 6 months after completion of the programme.
Numerator – the number in the denominator that has data on outcomes collected at 6 months after completion of the programme.
Denominator – the number of children and young people who complete a lifestyle weight management programme.
Data source: Local data collection.
c) Proportion of children and young people who complete a lifestyle weight management programme that has data on outcomes collected at 1 year after completion of the programme.
Numerator – the number in the denominator that has data on outcomes collected at 1 year after completion of the programme.
Denominator – the number of children and young people who complete a lifestyle weight management programme.
Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for providers of lifestyle weight management programmes and commissioners

Providers of lifestyle weight management programmes for children and young people ensure that they collect and report data to monitor and evaluate the programme.
Commissioners (including directors of public health, public health teams, local authority commissioners and clinical commissioning groups) ensure that sufficient resources are dedicated to monitoring and evaluation, that they evaluate lifestyle weight management programmes for children and young people using data on outcomes, and use the data to amend and improve the programme.

What the quality statement means for children and young people and their parents or carers

Children and young people (and their parents or carers) attend lifestyle weight management programmes that are regularly monitored and evaluated so that the programmes can be improved.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Data on attendance, outcomes and the views of participants and staff
The data to be collected include:
  • Numbers recruited, percentage completing the programme and percentage followed up at 6 months and at 1 year after completing the programme.
  • For all those recruited, BMI and BMI z score measured at:
    • recruitment
    • completion of the programme
    • 6 months after completing the programme
    • 1 year after completing the programme.
  • referral routes
  • outcomes related to the aim of the programme and related to factors that can support or contribute to a reduction in BMI, for example:
    • improvements in diet
    • improvements in physical activity
    • reduction in sedentary behaviour
    • improvements in self-esteem.
  • variations in outcomes, according to age, gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic status
  • views of participants (including children, young people and their families and/or carers who have participated in the programme, as well as those who did not complete the programme)
  • views of staff delivering the programme. [Adapted from (NICE guideline PH47, recommendations 2 and 15]
(See Public Health England’s Standard evaluation framework for weight management interventions for examples of other possible outcome measures.)

Lifestyle weight management programme

Lifestyle weight management programmes focus on diet, physical activity and behaviour change to help people who are overweight or obese. They are usually based in the community and may be run by the public, private or voluntary sector. [Adapted from NICE guideline PH47]

Equality and diversity considerations

When monitoring and evaluating lifestyle weight management programmes, information also needs to be captured to ensure that the programmes are suitable for minority groups, for example, by family origin, religion and disability, and that reasonable adaptations are being made to the programmes to make them accessible to these groups and to assess their impact on health inequalities.

Reducing sedentary behaviour: placeholder statement

This quality statement is taken from the obesity: prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice in obesity prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people and should be read in full.

What is a placeholder statement?

A placeholder statement is an area of care that has been prioritised by the Quality Standards Advisory Committee but for which no source guidance is currently available. A placeholder statement indicates the need for evidence based guidance to be developed in this area.

Rationale

Decreasing the levels of sedentary behaviour in children and young people is a different issue to increasing physical activity in this group, as noted in Start active, stay active: a report on physical activity from the four home countries' Chief Medical Officers. There is a need to specify interventions and actions that can be carried out to achieve a reduction in sedentary behaviour in children and young people and also methods that can be used to easily and successfully measure sedentary activity.

Healthy eating in pregnancy

This quality statement is taken from the nutrition: improving maternal and child nutrition quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice in improving maternal and child nutrition and should be read in full.

Quality statement

Pregnant women attending antenatal and health visitor appointments are given advice on how to eat healthily in pregnancy.

Rationale

A healthy diet is important for both mother and baby throughout pregnancy because this will help them to get the nutrients they need to stay healthy and for the baby to develop and grow. Advice on how to eat healthily and foods which should be avoided will enable pregnant women to make informed choices about their diet while pregnant.

Quality measures

Structure
Evidence of local arrangements for midwives and health visitors to advise pregnant women how to eat healthily in pregnancy.
Data source: Local data collection.
Process
a) Proportion of pregnant women attending their antenatal booking appointment who receive advice on how to eat healthily during pregnancy from a midwife.
Numerator – the number in the denominator who receive advice on how to eat healthily during pregnancy from a midwife.
Denominator – the number of pregnant women attending their antenatal booking appointment.
Data source: Local data collection.
b) Proportion of pregnant women attending their health visitor appointment who receive advice on how to eat healthily during pregnancy.
Numerator – the number in the denominator who receive advice on how to eat healthily during pregnancy from a health visitor.
Denominator – the number of pregnant women attending their health visitor appointment.
Data source: Local data collection.
Outcome
Healthy eating in pregnancy.
Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for service providers, health and public health practitioners, and commissioners

Service providers (such as primary and secondary care including maternity services, community and public health providers) ensure that systems are in place for midwives and health visitors to advise pregnant women how to eat healthily during pregnancy.
Midwives and health visitors ensure that they give advice to pregnant women on how to eat healthily during pregnancy at their antenatal booking appointment and their health visitor appointment.
Commissioners (such as clinical commissioning groups, NHS England and local authorities) specify that providers give advice to pregnant women on how to eat healthily during pregnancy at the antenatal booking appointment and the health visitor appointment.

What the quality statement means for service users and carers

Pregnant women are offered advice on how to eat healthily and which foods to avoid during pregnancy. This should happen when they have their first appointment with their midwife and when they have an appointment with their health visitor.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Healthy eating in pregnancy
Where appropriate, the advice should include: eating 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day and 1 portion of oily fish (for example, mackerel, sardines, pilchards, herring, trout or salmon) a week. If there are special dietary considerations then advice should be tailored to the woman’s needs and additional advice sought from a dietitian.
[Adapted from Maternal and child nutrition (NICE guideline PH11) recommendation 5]
Foods which should be avoided or limited in pregnancy
There are some foods that a pregnant woman should avoid eating because they could make her ill or harm her baby. These include raw or undercooked meat, liver, raw shellfish, some types of cheese, raw or partly cooked eggs. A detailed list of foods to limit or avoid can be found on the NHS Choices website.
[Adapted from the NHS Choices website and expert consensus]

Structured weight-loss programme

This quality statement is taken from the nutrition: improving maternal and child nutrition quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice in improving maternal and child nutrition and should be read in full.

Quality statement

Women with a BMI of 30 or more after childbirth are offered a structured weight-loss programme.

Rationale

Attendance on a structured weight-loss programme for women who have a BMI of 30 or more after childbirth can improve the woman’s health. If they become pregnant again, the programme can help to ensure that their nutritional status at conception is adequate to support optimal fetal growth. By losing weight the women would reduce their risk of complications during pregnancy and childbirth, including gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and postpartum haemorrhage, if they subsequently became pregnant. In addition, their baby’s risk of still birth, high birthweight and subsequent obesity and diabetes would be reduced.

Quality measures

Structure
Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that women with a BMI of 30 or more after childbirth are offered a structured weight-loss programme.
Data source: Local data collection.
Process
Proportion of women with a BMI of 30 or more after childbirth attending their baby’s 6–8 week health visitor appointment who receive a structured weight-loss programme.
Numerator – the number in the denominator who receive a structured weight-loss programme.
Denominator – the number of women with a BMI of 30 or more after childbirth attending their baby’s 6–8 week health visitor appointment.
Data source: Local data collection.
Outcome
a) Obesity rates in pregnancy.
Data source: Local data collection.
b) Attendance at a weight-loss programme.
Data source: Local data collection.
c) Pregnancy morbidity.
Data source: Local data collection.
d) Infant morbidity.
Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for service providers, healthcare professionals and commissioners

Service providers (such as primary and secondary care including maternity services) ensure that processes are in place for women with a BMI of 30 or more after childbirth to be offered a structured weight-loss programme.
Healthcare professionals ensure that they offer women with a BMI of 30 or more after childbirth a structured weight-loss programme.
Commissioners (clinical commissioning groups, NHS England and local authority commissioners) ensure that the services they commission have processes in place to offer women with a BMI of 30 or more after childbirth a structured weight-loss programme.

What the quality statement means for service users and carers

Women who are overweight after having a baby (with a BMI of 30 or more) are offered support to lose weight. This should include a personal assessment and advice on diet, exercise and how to set and achieve weight-loss goals.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Structured weight-loss programme
A structured weight-loss programme provides a personalised assessment, advice about diet and physical activity and advice on behaviour change strategies such as goal setting.
[Adapted from Weight management before, during and after pregnancy (NICE guideline PH27), recommendation 4]
BMI (body mass index)
BMI is a measure used to see if people are a healthy weight for their height.
For most adults, an ideal BMI is in the 18.5–24.9 range. A BMI in the range of 25–29.9 is overweight, 30–39.9 is obese and 40 or more is very obese.
These ranges are only for adults. BMI is interpreted differently for children.
[Adapted from NHS Choices]

Equality and diversity considerations

Women from some ethnic groups may have an increased risk of obesity at a lower BMI, for example, women of South Asian or East Asian family origin, and this should be considered by their healthcare professionals.
Care and support, and the information given about it, should be both age-appropriate and culturally appropriate. It should also be accessible to people with additional needs such as physical, sensory or learning disabilities, and to people who do not speak or read English. Women should have access to an interpreter or advocate if needed.

Healthy Start scheme

This quality statement is taken from the nutrition: improving maternal and child nutrition quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice in improving maternal and child nutrition and should be read in full.

Quality statement

Pregnant women and the parents and carers of children under 4 years who may be eligible for the Healthy Start scheme are given information and support to apply.

Rationale

Pregnant women and the parents and carers of children under 4 years who are eligible for the Healthy Start scheme can apply to receive coupons for vitamin supplements and food vouchers. It aims to improve health and access to a healthy diet for families on low incomes across the UK.

Quality measures

Structure
Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that pregnant women and the parents and carers of children under 4 years who may be eligible for the Healthy Start scheme receive information and support to apply.
Data source: Local data collection.
Process
a) Proportion of pregnant women who may be eligible for the Healthy Start scheme receive information and support to apply when they attend their antenatal booking appointment.
Numerator – the number in the denominator who receive advice and support to apply.
Denominator – the number of pregnant women who may be eligible for the Healthy Start scheme attending their antenatal booking appointment.
Data source: Local data collection.
b) Proportion of 6–8 week health visitor appointments where parents and carers who may be eligible for the Healthy Start scheme receive information and support to apply.
Numerator – the number in the denominator where advice and support to apply is given.
Denominator – the number of 6–8 week health visitor appointments where parents and carers may be eligible for the Healthy Start scheme.
Data source: Local data collection.
c) Proportion of 8–12 month developmental reviews where parents and carers who may be eligible for the Healthy Start scheme receive information and support to apply.
Numerator – the number in the denominator where advice and support to apply is given.
Denominator – the number of 8–12 month developmental reviews where parents and carers may be eligible for the Healthy Start scheme.
Data source: Local data collection.
d) Proportion of 2- to 2-and-a-half-year health reviews where parents and carers who may be eligible for the Healthy Start scheme receive information and support to apply.
Numerator – the number in the denominator where advice and support to apply is given.
Denominator – the number of 2- to 2-and-a-half-year health reviews where parents and carers may be eligible for the Healthy Start scheme.
Data source: Local data collection.
e) Proportion of vaccination appointments at age 3 years 5 months to 4 years where parents and carers who may be eligible for the Healthy Start scheme receive information and support to apply.
Numerator – the number in the denominator where advice and support to apply is given.
Denominator – the number of vaccination appointments at age 3 years 5 months to 4 years where parents and carers may be eligible for the Healthy Start scheme.
Data source: Local data collection
Outcome
a) Vitamin D deficiency.
Data source: Local data collection.
Outcome
b) Neural tube defects.
Data source: Local data collection.
Outcome
c) Iron and calcium absorption.
Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for service providers, healthcare professionals and commissioners

Service providers (such as primary, secondary, community care and public health providers) ensure that systems are in place to ensure that pregnant women and the parents and carers of children under 4 years who may be eligible are given information about the Healthy Start scheme and that an adequate supply of application forms is available for distribution by healthcare professionals.
Healthcare professionals ensure that they give information to pregnant women and the parents and carers of children under 4 years who may be eligible about the Healthy Start scheme, and provide them with support to apply, such as giving them a signed application form.
Commissioners (clinical commissioning groups, NHS England and local authorities) ensure that providers give information to pregnant women and the parents and carers of children under 4 years who may be eligible about the Healthy Start scheme and provide them with support to apply, including having enough application forms for distribution by healthcare professionals.

What the quality statement means for service users and carers

Pregnant women and the parents and carers of children under 4 years who may be eligible for the Healthy Start scheme are given information about it and help to apply (including a signed application form from their healthcare professional). The Healthy Start scheme provides free vitamins and food vouchers to people on low incomes.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Pregnant women and the parents and carers who may be eligible
Pregnant women and the parents and carers of children under 4 years of age, who are in receipt of certain benefits, may be eligible for the Healthy Start scheme. All pregnant women under the age of 18 years are eligible.
Please see the Government’s Healthy Start webpage for up-to-date information on eligibility criteria.
[Expert consensus]
Healthy Start scheme
The Healthy Start scheme provides food vouchers and coupons for vitamin supplements to pregnant women, new mothers and parents and carers with young children (under 4 years) who are on low incomes and to all pregnant women aged under 18 years. It aims to improve health and access to a healthy diet for families on low incomes across the UK.
Healthy Start maternal vitamin supplements
The Healthy Start vitamin supplement for pregnant and breastfeeding women contains folic acid to help reduce the baby’s risk of neural tube defects, vitamin C to maintain healthy body tissue, and vitamin D to help iron and calcium absorption to keep bones healthy and ensure that the baby’s bones and teeth grow strong.
Women who are eligible for the Healthy Start scheme receive coupons to obtain these vitamin supplements free of charge. Women who are not eligible for the Healthy Start scheme may be able to buy the supplements from community pharmacies and should ask their midwife or health visitor where to access the vitamins in their local area.
[Adapted from the Healthy Start website and expert consensus]
Healthy Start children’s vitamin supplements
The Healthy Start supplement for children contains vitamins A, C and D, which help to strengthen the immune system, maintain healthy skin, and help with absorbing iron and calcium; keeping their bones and teeth healthy.
[Adapted from the Healthy Start website]
Healthy Start food vouchers
The Healthy Start food vouchers scheme is for families eligible for other means-tested benefits and provides food vouchers to spend with local retailers. Pregnant women and parents and carers of children over 1 year and under 4 years get 1 voucher per week. Parents and carers of babies under 1 year get 2 vouchers per week. (See the Healthy Start website for more information).
The vouchers can be spent on:
  • pasteurised cow’s milk
  • fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables (with no added ingredients), which can be whole or chopped, packaged or loose
  • cow’s milk based infant formula milk suitable from birth.
[Adapted from the Healthy Start website and expert consensus]

Equality and diversity considerations

The risk of vitamin D deficiency can be increased in people with darker skin, for example, people who are black or of Asian family origin, or people who wear clothing that covers their entire body, and this should be considered by their healthcare professionals.
Care and support, and the information given about it, should be both age-appropriate and culturally appropriate. It should also be accessible to people with additional needs such as physical, sensory or learning disabilities, and to people who do not speak or read English. Pregnant women, parents and carers should have access to an interpreter or advocate if needed.

Breastfeeding

This quality statement is taken from the nutrition: improving maternal and child nutrition quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice in improving maternal and child nutrition and should be read in full.
Women receive breastfeeding support from a service that uses an evaluated, structured programme.
This statement has been incorporated from NICE’s quality standard for postnatal care. For the rationale, quality measures, what the quality statement means, source guidance and definitions please see statement 5 of the quality standard for postnatal care.

Advice on introducing solid food

This quality statement is taken from the nutrition: improving maternal and child nutrition quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice in improving maternal and child nutrition and should be read in full.

Quality statement

Parents and carers are given advice on introducing their baby to a variety of nutritious foods to complement breastmilk or formula milk.

Rationale

It is important that babies aged around 6 months are started on solid food, with the introduction of suitable foods in addition to breastmilk or formula milk to establish a healthy and varied diet. This ensures that a varied and nutritionally adequate diet is already in place when breastmilk or formula milk are no longer given. Involving parents and carers in discussions about starting solid food when they attend the 6–8 week health visitor appointment with their baby helps them to introduce solid food when their baby is around 6 months, minimising poor infant outcomes associated with starting solid food earlier or later.

Quality measures

Structure
a) Evidence of local arrangements to advise parents and carers how to introduce a variety of nutritious foods to their baby to complement breastmilk or formula milk.
b) Evidence of local arrangements to advise parents and carers when to introduce a variety of nutritious foods to their baby to complement breastmilk or formula milk.
Data source: Local data collection.
Process
a) Proportion of 6–8 week health visitor appointments where parents and carers receive advice on how to introduce their baby to a variety of nutritious foods to complement breastmilk or formula milk.
Numerator – the number in the denominator where the parents and carers receive advice on how to introduce their baby to a variety of nutritious foods to complement breastmilk or formula milk.
Denominator – the number of 6–8 week health visitor appointments.
Data source: Local data collection.
b) Proportion of 6–8 week health visitor appointments where parents and carers receive advice on when to introduce their baby to a variety of nutritious foods to complement breastmilk or formula milk.
Numerator – the number in the denominator where the parents and carers receive advice on when to introduce their baby to a variety of nutritious foods to complement breastmilk or formula milk.
Denominator – the number of 6–8 week health visitor appointments.
Data source: Local data collection.
Outcome
a) Introduction of solid food at around 6 months.
Data source: Local data collection.
b) Infant obesity rates.
Data source: Local data collection.
c) Faltering infant growth.
Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for service providers, health and public health practitioners, and commissioners

Service providers (community providers) ensure that systems are in place for parents and carers to be advised on how and when to introduce their baby to a variety of nutritious foods to complement breastmilk or formula milk.
Health visitors ensure that they work with parents and carers, advising them at the 6–8 week appointment on how and when to introduce their baby to a variety of nutritious foods to complement breastmilk or formula milk.
Commissioners (such as clinical commissioning groups, NHS England and local authorities) specify that providers advise parents and carers how and when to introduce their baby to a variety of nutritious foods to complement breastmilk or formula milk.

What the quality statement means for service users and carers

Parents and carers are given advice on how and when to introduce their baby to different types of nutritious foods to complement breastmilk or formula milk. The health visitor explains that they should start their baby on solid food at around 6 months and introduce a wide variety of different foods to give their baby a healthy and varied diet in the first year, in addition to breastmilk or formula milk. This will help the baby to be healthy, support the development of motor skills and speech and language, and help the baby to stay at a healthy weight. Advice should also be given about the texture of food, the use of finger foods and how parents and carers can reduce the risk of choking.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Advice on introducing their baby to a variety of nutritious foods
This is advice that includes, but is not limited to:
  • the reasons for starting solid food at around 6 months
  • the possible effects on the baby of starting solid food earlier or later
  • the reasons for continuing breastfeeding
  • maximising breastmilk or increasing infant formula feeds for a baby under 6 months who is feeding more frequently.
This information can be given by the health visitor at the mandated 6–8 week appointment.
[Expert consensus]

Equality and diversity considerations

This information should be culturally appropriate. It should also be accessible to people with additional needs such as physical, sensory or learning disabilities, and to people who do not speak or read English. Parents and carers should have access to an interpreter or advocate if needed.
People from some religious groups introduce solid food to babies when they are considerably older than 6 months of age. Health visitors should be mindful of different behaviours and beliefs while highlighting the importance of introducing a range of foods at around 6 months. This requires sensitive communication to inform parents and carers of the possible impact on their baby’s health.

Advice on Healthy Start food vouchers

This quality statement is taken from the nutrition: improving maternal and child nutrition quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice in improving maternal and child nutrition and should be read in full.

Quality statement

Parents and carers receiving Healthy Start food vouchers are offered advice on how to use them to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables in their family’s diet.

Rationale

Including more fruit and vegetables increases the nutrients in a diet and can help people to manage their body weight. Healthy diets rich in fruit and vegetables may also help to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and other chronic diseases. It is important that service providers such as local authorities, local health services and voluntary organisations provide advice to parents and carers to ensure that they use the food vouchers to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables their family eats. This may also help to reduce outcomes associated with poor nutrition.

Quality measures

Structure
Evidence of local arrangements to offer parents and carers receiving Healthy Start food vouchers advice on how to use them to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables in their family’s diet.
Data source: Local data collection.
Process
a) Proportion of 6–8 week health visitor appointments where parents and carers receiving Healthy Start food vouchers receive advice on how to use them to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables in their family’s diet.
Numerator – the number in the denominator where advice is given on how to use the vouchers to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables in their family’s diet.
Denominator – the number of 6–8 week health visitor appointments where the parents and carers are receiving Healthy Start food vouchers.
Data source: Local data collection.
b) Proportion of 8–12 month developmental reviews where parents and carers receiving Healthy Start food vouchers receive advice on how to use them to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables in their family’s diet.
Numerator – the number in the denominator where advice is given on how to use the vouchers to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables in their family’s diet.
Denominator – the number of 8–12 month developmental reviews where the parents and carers are receiving Healthy Start food vouchers.
Data source: Local data collection.
c) Proportion of 2- to 2-and-a-half–year health reviews where parents and carers receiving Healthy Start food vouchers receive advice on how to use them to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables in their family’s diet.
Numerator – the number in the denominator where advice is given on how to use the vouchers to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables in their family’s diet.
Denominator – the number of 2- to 2-and-a-half-year health reviews where the parents and carers are receiving Healthy Start food vouchers.
Data source: Local data collection.
d) Proportion of vaccination appointments at age 3 years and 5 months to 4 years where parents and carers receiving Healthy Start food vouchers receive advice on how to use them to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables in their family’s diet.
Numerator – the number in the denominator where advice is given on how to use the vouchers to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables in their family’s diet.
Denominator – the number of vaccination appointments at age 3 years and 5 months to 4 years where the parents and carers are receiving Healthy Start food vouchers.
Data source: Local data collection.
Outcome
a) Fruit and vegetable intake.
Data source: Public Health England and Food Standards Agency National diet and nutrition survey (2011–12) and local data collection.
b) Obesity.
Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for service providers, health and public health practitioners, and commissioners

Service providers (such as children’s centres, local authorities, local strategic partnerships, local health services and voluntary organisations) ensure that they offer parents and carers receiving Healthy Start food vouchers advice on how to use them to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables in their family’s diet.
Health and public health practitioners ensure that they explain to parents and carers receiving Healthy Start food vouchers how they can use them to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables in their family’s diet.
Commissioners (such as clinical commissioning groups, NHS England, local authorities and local businesses that fund or provide community projects) specify that services offer parents and carers receiving Healthy Start food vouchers advice on using them to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables in their family’s diet.

What the quality statement means for service users and carers

Parents and carers receiving Healthy Start food vouchers are offered advice on how to use their vouchers to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables in their family’s diet. Eating more fruit and vegetables will help to improve their health and help them to stay at a healthy weight, and it may reduce their family’s risk of developing some illnesses.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Healthy Start scheme
The Healthy Start scheme provides food vouchers and coupons for vitamin supplements to pregnant women, new mothers and parents and carers with young children (under 4 years) who are on low incomes and to all pregnant women aged under 18 years. It aims to improve health and access to a healthy diet for families on low incomes across the UK.
Healthy Start food vouchers
The Healthy Start food vouchers scheme is for families eligible for other means tested benefits and provides food vouchers to spend with local retailers. Pregnant women and parents and carers of children over 1 year and under 4 years get 1 voucher per week. Parents and carers of babies under 1 year get 2 vouchers per week. (See the Healthy Start website for more information).
The vouchers can be spent on:
  • pasteurised cow’s milk
  • fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables (with no added ingredients), which can be whole or chopped, packaged or loose
  • cow’s milk-based infant formula milk suitable from birth.
[Adapted from the Healthy Start website and expert consensus]
Advice on how to use Healthy Start food vouchers
This is advice which includes, but is not limited to:
  • the shops, markets and local and community food delivery services where the vouchers can be used and how these can be accessed, for example, by public transport.
  • the types of food that the vouchers can be used to buy.
  • simple, healthy recipes using food bought with the vouchers, taking the family’s circumstances into account, for example, their religion and culture, and the size of the family.
Advice can be given by primary and secondary healthcare professionals, public health nutritionists, dietitians and at children’s centres, health centres, nursery schools and other community settings. It can be provided in a number of ways, including formal and informal group sessions and one to one discussions, and using practical cook and eat sessions, leaflets and online resources (for example, step-by-step cooking demonstrations). This advice can be given at any time, but particularly when eligibility for the Healthy Start food vouchers is established and then on an ongoing basis as needed.
[Expert consensus]

Equality and diversity considerations

The information given should be both age-appropriate and culturally appropriate and sensitive to those who may have limited cooking skills and cooking equipment. It should also be accessible to people with additional needs such as physical, sensory or learning disabilities, and to people who do not speak or read English. Pregnant women, parents and carers should have access to an interpreter or advocate if needed.

Effective interventions library

Effective interventions library

Successful effective interventions library details

Implementation

Information for the public

NICE produces information for the public that summarises, in plain English, the recommendations that NICE makes to healthcare and other professionals.
NICE has written information for the public explaining its guidance on each of the following topics.

Pathway information

Women and children from disadvantaged groups

Women from disadvantaged groups have a poorer diet and are less likely to take folic acid or other supplements than those who are better off. They are more likely to be overweight or show low weight gain during pregnancy and their babies are more likely to have a low birth weight.
Mothers from these groups are also less likely to breastfeed and more likely to introduce solid foods earlier than recommended. As a result of many of these factors, their children are more likely to be underweight as infants while also being more prone to obesity later in childhood.

Cardiovascular disease: a national framework for action

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major public health problem. Changes in the risk factors can be brought about by intervening at the population and individual level. Government has addressed – and continues to address – the risk factors at both levels.
Interventions focused on changing an individual's behaviour are important. But changes at the population level could lead to further substantial benefits.
Population-level changes may be achieved in a number of ways but national or regional policy and legislation are particularly powerful levers.
The national framework would be established through policy, led by the Department of Health. It would involve government, government agencies, industry and key, non-governmental organisations working together.
The final decision on whether these policy options are adopted – and how they are prioritised – will be determined by government through normal political processes.

Local authorities and their partners in the community

Concerns about safety, transport links and services have a huge impact on people's ability to eat healthily and be physically active. Effective interventions often require multidisciplinary teams and the support of a range of organisations.

Schools

Improving diet and physical activity levels helps children develop a healthy lifestyle that will prevent them becoming overweight or obese in adulthood. Other benefits may include higher motivation and achievement at school, and better health in childhood and later life.

Workplaces

An organisation's policies and incentive schemes can help to create a culture that supports healthy eating and physical activity. Action will have an impact, not only on the health of the workforce but also in savings to industry.

Supporting information

Support for workplaces

Health professionals such as occupational health staff and public health practitioners should establish partnerships with local businesses and support the implementation of workplace programmes to prevent and manage obesity.

Changing behaviour

Evidence-based behaviour change advice includes:
  • understanding the short, medium and longer-term consequences of people's health-related behaviour
  • helping people to feel positive about the benefits of health-enhancing behaviours and changing their behaviours
  • recognising how people's social contexts and relationships may affect their behaviour
  • helping plan people's changes in terms of easy steps over time
  • identifying and planning situations that might undermine the changes people are trying to make and plan explicit 'if–then' coping strategies to prevent relapse.
For more information see the NICE pathway on behaviour change.
Tailor dietary changes to food preferences and allow for a flexible and individual approach to reducing calorie intake.
Do not use unduly restrictive and nutritionally unbalanced diets, because they are ineffective in the long term and can be harmful.
Encourage people to improve their diet even if they do not lose weight, because there can be other health benefits.
Population groups at higher risk of having a low vitamin D status include:
  • All pregnant and breastfeeding women, particularly teenagers and young women
  • Infants and children under 5 years
  • People over 65
  • People who have low or no exposure to the sun. For example, those who cover their skin for cultural reasons, who are housebound or confined indoors for long periods
  • People who have darker skin, for example, people of African, African-Caribbean and South Asian origin.

Glossary

The amount of a nutrient needed to meet the needs of around 97% of individuals in a group

Paths in this pathway

Pathway created: May 2011 Last updated: July 2015

© NICE 2015

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