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Government scheme increases bed blocking 69%, cutting sugar could prevent 300,000 new diabetics, and call to ban junk food ads

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines

A plan to cut delayed discharges, or ‘bed blocking’, funded through the Government’s flagship Better Care Fund for integrating health and social care, has instead seen incidences rise 69% in a year.

The BBC reports that Cornwall Council and NHS Kernow CCG have apologised to patients affected by the delays, after a report showed 3,815 days were lost in July to September because of problems with social care packages, compared with 2,255 days last year.

Graham Webster, vice-chairman of campaign group Health Initiative Cornwall, said: ‘The Better Care Fund was meant to take the bull by the horns and resolve this situation… but it has only got worse’.

The UK could prevent 300,000 cases of diabetes and stop 1.5 million people becoming obese or overweight in the next five years by simply reducing the amount of sugar in soft drinks and fruit juices by 40%, according to the Guardian.

The model proposed in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal is based on earlier policies to cut salt content in food, which achieved similar reductions. It estimated current consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and how a hypothetical drop in sugar content would affect a person’s energy intake.

A staggering 700,000 people could develop cancer in the next years due to being overweight or obese, the Daily Mail reports.

The figures come from a new report by Cancer Research UK and the UK Health Forum, which warns that three in four adults will be overweight or obese by 2035, if current trends continue.

Even if only 1% of these people could be prevented from going on to be overweight each year this could prevent more than 64,000 cancer cases over the next two decades and save the NHS £300m in 2035, the report estimates.

Cancer Research UK wants a 9pm watershed ban on TV advertising of junk food – and is backing the call for a tax on sugary drinks.

Alison Cox, director of cancer prevention at Cancer Research UK, said: ‘Kids are bombarded with advertisements for unhealthy food. It’s vital the Government restricts this kind of advertising if we are to give our children the chance for better and healthier lives.’

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