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Ageism in cancer support and why you should eat your greens

A round-up of the health news headlines on Thursday 20 December

Today the Daily Mail reports how ageism in the NHS is stopping some patients from being given cancer treatments said the Macmillan Cancer Support.

45% of GPs, oncologists and specialist cancer nurses surveyed by the charity said they have dealt with a cancer patient who had been refused treatment due to being too old.

Ciaran Devane, chief executive at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: ‘Health professionals’ concerns about the prevalence of age discrimination in cancer care mustn’t be ignored. Unless staff are given the time and training to carry out a proper assessment of a patient’s overall physical and mental wellbeing, some patients will be unfairly written-off as “too old” for treatment.’

The number of people over 65 who live with cancer is predicted to dramatically increase over the next 20 years by over 200%. Macmillan Cancer Support said that the number of cases will rise ‘from 1.3 million to 4.1 million’.

According to the BBC one way of getting children to eat more fruit and vegetables is to have dinner as a family.

A study found that the children of families who always eat together have 125g more fruit and vegetables a day than children whose family never eat together.

Meaghan Christian, who conducted the study as part of her PhD, said: “Modern life often prevents the whole family from sitting round the dinner table, but this research shows that even just Sunday lunch round the table can help improve the diets of our families.”

This study looked at just under 2,400 children at 52 primary schools in south London.

Parents and fieldworkers compiled food diaries at school and at home, ticking off all the foods and drinks a child had in one 24-hour period.

Seeing parents eat fruits and vegetables appeared to increase uptake in children.

And Professor Janet Cade, of the University of Leeds’ school of food science and nutrition, who supervised the study, said: ‘Watching the way their parents or siblings eat and the different types of food they eat is pivotal in creating children’s own food habits and preferences.

‘Since dietary habits are established in childhood, the importance of promoting the family meal needs to be more prominent in public health campaigns.’

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