The Health News – 14 October 2015

Overview:
• Food safety ratings will be displayed at more South Australian cafes and restaurants from next year after a trial proved a success, South Australian Health says. “The pilot has proven very successful and we have decided to expand the scheme to all councils which want to participate and involve their local businesses,” health executive Dr Fay Jenkins said.

• Many Australians may unknowingly be consuming their entire daily sugar and saturated fat limits on their daily coffee run, as well as half of the suggested kilojoule intake, new research from Cancer Council NSW has revealed.

• People with severe mental illnesses are dying in their 50s and 60s from preventable diseases, prompting calls for attention to turn to preventing their physical diseases. Statistics show they are three to four times more likely to develop diabetes and six times more likely to die from heart attack or stroke.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 14th October 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-13/food-safety-star-ratings-south-australia/6850126

Food safety ratings will be displayed at more South Australian cafes and restaurants from next year after a trial proved a success, SA Health says.

“The pilot has proven very successful and we have decided to expand the scheme to all councils which want to participate and involve their local businesses,” health executive Dr Fay Jenkins said.

“Since the scheme started, 3, 4, and 5-star certificates have been awarded to more than 800 local restaurants, cafes and pubs based on how well they did in their regular council inspection, which is a great result.”

Nine council areas signed up during the trial of the voluntary Scores on Doors program.

“Encouraging businesses to display their star rating aims to improve standards in the food service industry and will also help to improve public health by reducing the risk of food poisoning,” Dr

Jenkins said.

“The rating will inform customers of how well a food business complies with food safety standards, including how they store and handle food.

“The better a business does during their inspection, the higher the star rating.”

Dr Jenkins said diners and other food consumers would quickly and easily know if local businesses had matched the expected safety standards, as businesses could display certifications ranging up to five stars for outstanding compliance.

“Of the businesses inspected so far, 54 per cent received a certificate with a star rating, demonstrating appropriate food handling skills and a clean and safe food preparation environment,” she said.

“If a business does not meet the national food safety standards they will not be awarded a star rating and appropriate actions will be taken to ensure the business rectifies any problems.”


Adelaide Lord Mayor Martin Haese said the city was part of the pilot program and he was now looking forward to wider implementation of the scheme because it would benefit both diners and outlets.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-13/coffee-run-a-source-of-more-than-just-a-caffeine-hit/6849256

Many Australians may unknowingly be consuming their entire daily sugar and saturated fat limits on their daily coffee run, as well as half of the suggested kilojoule intake, new research from Cancer Council NSW has revealed.

Cancer Council NSW assessed the nutritional content of 564 drinks and sweet treats sold at five popular coffee chains.

It found 54 per cent of cold beverages, such as iced coffee, contained more than half an adult’s daily recommended sugar allowance in a single serving.

A large iced coffee at one particular chain contained 39 grams of saturated fat – 163 per cent of the daily limit.

“The standard flat white or the humble latte is certainly no problem,” said Clare Hughes, Cancer Council NSW’s nutrition programs manager and co-author of the study.

“It’s when you throw in the chocolate slice or the banana bread on the side, or if you’re upgrading to one of those creamy and sugary coffee or chocolate drinks – that’s when you’re getting up over half your daily kilojoule intake,” she said.

Ms Hughes said Cancer Council NSW is also calling on coffee chains to sell smaller, healthier portion sizes across their drink and snack range as eating these drinks and snacks on a regular basis may be having a significant impact on obesity rates.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-13/bid-to-improve-physical-health-of-mentally-ill/6847674

People with severe mental illnesses are dying in their 50s and 60s from preventable diseases, prompting calls for attention to turn to preventing their physical diseases.

Statistics show they are three to four times more likely to develop diabetes and six times more likely to die from heart attack or stroke.

They are also and more likely to die from cancer than suicide.

Like many Australians, Hobart woman Amber Meredith has become a regular at her local gym.

Perhaps unlike most, her recent quest to get fit is motivated by some daunting statistics.

As someone with a severe mental illness, her life expectancy is up to 30 years shorter than the general community.

“I feel frightened, you know, because I’m content with the way my life’s going and I don’t want it to end suddenly” she said.

Connie Digolis from Tasmania’s Mental Health Council wants a new focus on the physical health of the mentally ill.

“It’s terrible to think that someone who has a condition that they haven’t chosen that they are more likely to die from a preventable disease than they are from their initial diagnosis of their mental illness” she said.

“The statistics are fairly damning in the sense of what this means for people with mental illness so were certainly looking at how we can correct that balance.”

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