The Wellbeing Symposium is making it’s London debut

The Wellbeing Symposium provides an environment for businesses, communities and individuals to debate, learn and share information, advice and strategies for health and wellbeing.

Over the past seven years, The Wellbeing Symposium has been going from strength-to- strength as a leading health and wellbeing event. In 2019, The Wellbeing Symposium will make its London debut at the prestigious offices of global professional services network, Deloitte. The venue provides the perfect backdrop to debate, network, listen, learn and inspire. For businesses, communities and people seeking a healthier, happier life, the Wellbeing Symposium is a must for the calendar.

The event will take place on Monday 1st April at Deloitte, 2 New St Square, London, EC4A 3BZ. To read more about the event and book your tickets go to:

Sleep is an essential part of your wellbeing

Whether you’re a suffering insomniac or constantly wake up in the morning craving an extra hour in bed; our mood, productivity and health could all benefit from more restful and restorative sleep.

Sleep is the mysterious shift in consciousness that our bodies require every day.  A good night’s sleep is vital for our health and wellbeing. Not only do we function less well when we don’t get enough quality sleep, it can lead to long-term health problems. That’s why we need to do as much as we can to ensure that we enjoy quality sleep and deal with any sleep problems.

Read more about this on the Wellbeing People website.

We’re living longer but the pay-gap and mental health are still cause for concern

Europeans are living longer but the increase in their life expectancy has slowed since 2010, according to a study undertaken by the OECD and supported by the European Commission.

The State of Health in the EU Cycle report, updated every two years, has identified mental health and the health gap between rich and poor as two areas where there remains a particular need for improvement.

The study compares medical data from across all EU countries as well as Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Turkey. An interactive country-by-country guide shows which are performing above and below the EU average.

To read more about this study on the Euronews website go to:

Improving maternal healthcare for vulnerable women

Women Political Leaders Global Forum has published an assessment on improving maternal healthcare for vulnerable women in the EU. Their recommendations are:

  1. Design and implement mandatory training of health professionals in delivering culturally-sensitive care.
  2. Design and implement a basic maternal healthcare benefits package for vulnerable pregnant women that covers 1) Information/ advice on family planning, 2) Access to contraception and 3) Antenatal, delivery, neonatal and postnatal care.
  3. Ensure and make clear that using maternal healthcare services does not pose the threat of having to leave the country due to one’s immigration status.
  4. Develop specific indicators to measure maternal health and pregnancy outcomes for vulnerable pregnant women.

To read the full assessment on improving maternal healthcare



Obesity Update – OECD

Today, more than one in two adults and nearly one in six children are overweight or obese in the OECD area. The obesity epidemic has spread further in the past five years, although at a slower pace than before. Despite this, new projections show a continuing increase of obesity in all studied countries. Social disparities in obesity persist and have increased in some countries. A nearly tenfold variation in obesity and overweight rates can be seen across OECD countries.

In the last few years, new policy strategies devised to fight obesity have emerged. The OECD have produced an Obesity Update which focuses on a selection of those, specifically at communication policies aimed to tackle obesity, in particular by improving nutrient information displayed on food labels, using social and new media to sensitise the population, or by regulating the marketing of food products. Better communication helps empower people to make healthier choices. However, comprehensive policy packages, including not only communication but also broader regulatory and fiscal policies, are needed to tackle obesity effectively.

To read the full update on the OECD website: Obesity Update

Ending the chronic disease epidemic

Chronic diseases affect one third of the European population aged 15 and over, and nearly a quarter of working-age Europeans. Many good practices in prevention and control are available and already implemented in different countries but more needs to be done.

The European Public Health Alliance believes that fiscal measures should be directed toward incentivising healthy diets and lifestyles, and reducing alcohol consumption. Together with interventions aimed to limit citizens’ exposure to marketing of unhealthy food and drink products and promote physical activity, they have the potential to create health-friendly environments, conducive to healthy lives and facilitating healthy choices. This is particularly important when data show that in all EU countries, citizens’ mean daily salt intake exceeds the recommended levels, millions of Europeans still consume trans fats at levels that significantly increase their risk of coronary heart disease, exposure to high levels of air pollution is causing the premature death of over 400 000 Europeans annually and half of the EU population is reported to never exercise or play sport.

To read the full report on the EPHA website: Putting an end to the chronic disease epidemic in Europe and beyond – what are we waiting for? 

Smoking and drinking damage teenagers’ arteries by age of 17

The arteries of teenagers who drink alcohol and smoke, even very occasionally, begin to stiffen by the age of 17, according to a new study. Such stiffening has been linked to heart and blood vessel problems later in life, such as heart attacks and strokes.

The study, published in the European Heart Journal on Wednesday, was based on data collected from more than 1,000 British adolescents, who provided details of their smoking and drinking habits at ages 13, 15 and 17.

“We found that in this large contemporary British cohort, drinking and smoking in adolescence, even at lower levels compared to those reported in adult studies, is associated with arterial stiffening and atherosclerosis progression,” the study’s senior author, Professor John Deanfield of University College London’s Institute of Cardiovascular Science, said in a statement.

To read more about this study to go:

New Technology Helps to Improve Treatment for NHS Patients with Depression

A new web-based “feedback” technology which allows therapists to accurately monitor how patients with depression are coping has been found to reduce the probability of deterioration during psychological treatment by 74%, a new study has found. The study, which is the largest controlled trial of its kind, involved data from more than 2,000 mental health patients treated across multiple NHS Trusts in England.

Psychological therapy is offered to many people with depression and anxiety who seek treatment in the NHS, but while roughly half of these patients respond well to the treatment, up to 10% actually get worse.

To read more about this go to: New Technology Helps to Improve Treatment for NHS Patients with Depression

Bad Habits that Lead to Cancer

Spending too much time in front of screens, getting little exercise and eating a diet high in fat and low in fruits and vegetables.

A new Northwestern Medicine study found that a lifestyle intervention could fully normalise these four unhealthy behaviours, which put people at risk of developing heart disease and common cancers, including breast, colon and prostate.

The study was published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research on the 19th of June.

“Our findings suggest that prevention of chronic disease through behaviour change is feasible. They contradict the pessimistic assumption that it’s not possible to motivate relatively healthy people to make large, long-lasting healthy lifestyle changes,” said lead author Bonnie Spring, director of the Center for Behaviour and Health in the Institute for Public Health and Medicine and professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Source: Bad Habits that Lead to Cancer, Chronic Disease Corrected by mHealth Intervention

Taxes on tobacco and sugary drinks can save lives

A new WHO study on Montenegro has revealed that increased taxes applied to tobacco products and sugary drinks would have a significant positive impact in terms of avoiding premature mortality and new cases of disease over the next 20 years. If introduced as recommended by WHO, the taxes would also raise revenue and result in major monetary savings for the government in the form of reduced costs of treatment and workplace absenteeism. The results indicate that increased taxation applied to these products would be a powerful tool for Montenegro in achieving national and global targets related to reductions in overweight and obesity and tobacco smoking prevalence.

To read more about this study on Montenegro go to: WHO/Europe | Montenegro study: taxes on tobacco and sugary drinks can save lives