Tackling malnutrition in St Albans with free BMI check for awareness week

PUBLISHED: 12:52 04 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:52 04 October 2018

The county’s meals-on-wheels provider Hertfordshire Independent Living Service (HILS), Public Health Hertfordshire, and the University of Hertfordshire (UoH) teamed up to offer the service as part of national Malnutrition Awareness Week from October 1 to 7. Cllr Richard Roberts from Hertfordshire County Council playing the Food in Later Life Game. Picture: University of Herts

The county’s meals-on-wheels provider Hertfordshire Independent Living Service (HILS), Public Health Hertfordshire, and the University of Hertfordshire (UoH) teamed up to offer the service as part of national Malnutrition Awareness Week from October 1 to 7. Cllr Richard Roberts from Hertfordshire County Council playing the Food in Later Life Game. Picture: University of Herts

Archant

Free malnutrition screenings were offered to St Albans locals to try and tackle poor health in older people.

The county’s meals-on-wheels provider Hertfordshire Independent Living Service (HILS), Public Health Hertfordshire, and the University of Hertfordshire (UoH) teamed up to offer the service as part of national Malnutrition Awareness Week from October 1 to 7. Picture: University of HertsThe county’s meals-on-wheels provider Hertfordshire Independent Living Service (HILS), Public Health Hertfordshire, and the University of Hertfordshire (UoH) teamed up to offer the service as part of national Malnutrition Awareness Week from October 1 to 7. Picture: University of Herts

Anyone could come to Catherine Street’s Jubilee Centre yesterday to take a weight, height and age BMI check - the most efficient way to indicate malnutrition.

The county’s meals-on-wheels provider Hertfordshire Independent Living Service (HILS), Public Health Hertfordshire, and student volunteers from the University of Hertfordshire (UoH) teamed up to offer the service as part of the first national Malnutrition Awareness Week from October 1 to 7.

Organisations across the country are trying to bust myths about malnutrition during the week, including that losing weight is a normal consequence of aging.

Undernourishment can lead to a range of health issues including infection and muscle deterioration, resulting in falls or fractures, and is costing an estimated £19.6billion to health and social care each year.

The county’s meals-on-wheels provider Hertfordshire Independent Living Service (HILS), Public Health Hertfordshire, and the University of Hertfordshire (UoH) teamed up to offer the service as part of national Malnutrition Awareness Week from October 1 to 7. The Food in Later Life Game. Picture: University of HertsThe county’s meals-on-wheels provider Hertfordshire Independent Living Service (HILS), Public Health Hertfordshire, and the University of Hertfordshire (UoH) teamed up to offer the service as part of national Malnutrition Awareness Week from October 1 to 7. The Food in Later Life Game. Picture: University of Herts

Cllr Richard Roberts from Herts county council (HCC) said: “It is so important because what HILS do, with HCC, is support people to live the lives they want to live and have the right nutrition.

“Someone coming in once a day to offer a nutritious meal to our most vulnerable residents can make sure they don’t end up in hospital or a care home or at the doctors.”

According to research charity British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (BAPEN), and the national Malnutrition Task Force, one in ten people over 65 are at risk - this is 1.3million people.

For a young person, a normal BMI is between 20 and 25, but for an older person, it is not alarming to register between 20 and 30.

The county’s meals-on-wheels provider Hertfordshire Independent Living Service (HILS), Public Health Hertfordshire, and the University of Hertfordshire (UoH) teamed up to offer the service as part of national Malnutrition Awareness Week from October 1 to 7. Cllr Richard Roberts from Hertfordshire County Council with (left) Wendy Wills, professor of food and public health and director of the Centre for Research in Primary and Community Care (CRIPACC) and University of Hertfordshire and chief executive of Hertfordshire Independent Living Service (HILS) Sarah Wren (right). Picture: University of HertsThe county’s meals-on-wheels provider Hertfordshire Independent Living Service (HILS), Public Health Hertfordshire, and the University of Hertfordshire (UoH) teamed up to offer the service as part of national Malnutrition Awareness Week from October 1 to 7. Cllr Richard Roberts from Hertfordshire County Council with (left) Wendy Wills, professor of food and public health and director of the Centre for Research in Primary and Community Care (CRIPACC) and University of Hertfordshire and chief executive of Hertfordshire Independent Living Service (HILS) Sarah Wren (right). Picture: University of Herts

Chief executive of HILS, Sarah Wren, said: “The reason it is so important is because obesity is always the headline but for older people, malnutrition is more of an issue. We have been screening people and the great thing is discovering someone who is not malnourished but there are also people here who need help - this is a really crucial screening so we can give them the support they need.

“We want to spread the word that if an older person who you know is finding that their clothes and jewellery are becoming loose and that they are losing weight, there is help available for them.”

She noted that although results were encouraging, the most at risk may not be able to visit the Jubilee Centre alone, and encouraged family members to make use of a free malnutrition check online.

After researching the shopping and food habits of 25 participants, the UoH also released an educational game about malnutrition in aid of the awareness week.

The county’s meals-on-wheels provider Hertfordshire Independent Living Service (HILS), Public Health Hertfordshire, and the University of Hertfordshire (UoH) teamed up to offer the service as part of national Malnutrition Awareness Week from October 1 to 7. Cllr Richard Roberts from Hertfordshire County Council playing the Food in Later Life game with Wendy Wills, professor of food and public health and director of the Centre for Research in Primary and Community Care (CRIPACC). Picture: University of HertsThe county’s meals-on-wheels provider Hertfordshire Independent Living Service (HILS), Public Health Hertfordshire, and the University of Hertfordshire (UoH) teamed up to offer the service as part of national Malnutrition Awareness Week from October 1 to 7. Cllr Richard Roberts from Hertfordshire County Council playing the Food in Later Life game with Wendy Wills, professor of food and public health and director of the Centre for Research in Primary and Community Care (CRIPACC). Picture: University of Herts

The Food in Later Life Game, co-produced with Focus Games, can be used to train staff in supermarkets about inclusively for older people.

This includes being friendly, reorganising aisles, and implementing a slow checkout.

Professor of food and public health and director of the Centre for Research in Primary and Community Care, Wendy Wills, said: “We just felt so strongly that this is an easy change for the supermarkets to make.

“We have all this evidence to show that small changes can really help older people to do their shopping, which is important, but in reality it’s difficult to get supermarkets involved.

“Older people are in the customer base, but they told us again and again that their needs are not met.”

She said it was difficult partly because each store needs to make the change individually.

The UoH are in the London Colney Sainsbury’s with the game until 3pm today.

A free malnutrition BMI check is available at www.hertsindependentliving.org/news-media/malnutrition-screening-locations-1-5-october-2018/

More news stories

19:00

Visitor and traders’ early reactions to St Albans’ highly -debated Christmas winter wonderland event have proved a mixed bag.

17:06

Police are warning residents against deliberately leaving their cars unlocked to stop property damage.

14:15

Village shoppers will be rewarded for staying local as part of a new loyalty scheme.

A new healthcare facility has been opened at St Albans City Hospital by the district mayor Rosemary Farmer.

CountryPhile

I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the The Herts Advertiser e-edition E-edition
Zoo Watch CountryPhile

Newsletter Sign Up

Herts Advertiser weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read stories

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Herts Most Wanted Herts Business Awards