Melissa Townson Training                                         - Passionate about training

Current News and Updates in Nutrition

Calorie counting made easy
Tuesday 24 April 2012

The Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland has launched Caloriewise, a six-month pilot scheme in which local food businesses will display calorie information on menus for the first time. Caloriewise will help consumers make more informed choices when eating out. Read more

Research on allergy labelling use
FSA Thursday 23 June 2011

New research, published today by the Food Standards Agency, provides insights on how people with life-threatening nut allergies use food labels when choosing what food to buy and eat. The research will be used to help produce clearer allergy information for consumers. Read more

News from Defra:
Friday 17th June 2011

Kids encouraged to veg out in school Children in more than half our secondary schools are missing out because they don't grow their own fruit and veg according to a group of experts including a celebrity gardener, an international sportsman and a national supermarket.

Introduction of gluten into an infant’s diet
 FSA Thursday 10 April 2011

The Agency is reminding parents of Government advice to exclusively feed babies breast milk for around six months and not to introduce solid food until after this time. This is following an in-depth review by experts who looked at the best time to introduce gluten, a protein found in cereals such as wheat, rye and barley, into infants’ diets. Read more

An insight into attitudes to food
FSA Thursday 3 March 2011

The Agency has published the first wave of an extensive new survey called Food and You, which reveals information about people’s behaviour and attitudes towards food issues such as food safety and healthy eating, and their knowledge of these issues. Read more

Protective Properties of Green Tea Uncovered
ScienceDaily (Jan. 6, 2011)

Regularly drinking green tea could protect the brain against developing Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, according to latest research by scientists at Newcastle.

Birch Bark Ingredient Comes With Many Metabolic Benefits

ScienceDaily (Jan. 5, 2011)

An ingredient found in abundance in birch bark appears to have an array of metabolic benefits, according to new studies in animals that are reported in the January issue of Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication. In mice, the compound known as betulin lowered cholesterol, helped prevent diet-induced obesity, and improved insulin sensitivity. Betulin-treated mice were also more resistant to developing atherosclerotic plaques in their arteries. Read more

Vitamin D Deficiencies May Impact Onset of Autoimmune Lung Disease
ScienceDaily (Jan. 5, 2011)

A new study shows that vitamin D deficiency could be linked to the development and severity of certain autoimmune lung diseases. Read more

Hedgerow harvest
Thursday 14 October 2010

It is autumn, and many of our hedgerows are prime sites for the traditional pursuits of gathering wild berries and hunting for mushrooms. This harvest can contribute to our daily diet, but care needs to be taken to make sure it is safe to eat. Read more
Update on products free of colours associated with hyperactivity
Friday 30 July 2010
The Food standards Agency has updated its list of product ranges that do not contain the six food colours associated with possible hyperactivity in young children. Read more.
Compulsory warnings on colours in food and drink
FSA - Thursday 22 July 2010
An EU-wide health warning must now be put on any food or drink that still contains the colours that are thought to cause hyperactivity in some children. This is following the Southampton Study, commissioned by the Agency, which suggested a possible link between consumption of six food colours and hyperactivity in children. Read more
Bakers' salt in bread calculator launched
FSA - Thursday 8 July 2010
Craft bakers can use a new online calculator to reduce the amount of salt in their bread which could help to improve their customers' health. A quick guide to reducing salt in bread is also available. Read more.
Marmots Can Teach Us About Obesity
ScienceDaily (June 4, 2010)
A nutrient that's common to all living things can make hibernating marmots hungry -- a breakthrough that could help scientists understand human obesity and eating disorders, according to a new study by a Colorado State University biologist.
                              Read more
Update on products free of colours associated with hyperactivity
Thursday 3 June 2010
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has updated its list of product ranges that do not contain the six food colours associated with possible hyperactivity in young children. Another manufacturer producing product lines free of the colours has been added to the list: Candyking Ltd's Candyking products. Read more
Parents reminded: 'Honey is not suitable for babies'
Wednesday 2 June 2010
The Food Standards Agency is reminding parents not to feed honey to babies who are under a year old. This follows a case of the rare but serious illness, infant botulism. Read more
Food and nutrition teaching throughout the UK
From the latest issue of the Nutrition Bulletin by the British Nutrition Foundation, this article highlights the lack of food and nutrition education in UK schools. Read more
Wednesday 19 May 2010
The second issue of Bite, the quarterly magazine launched by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to tackle challenging food-related topics, has been published and is available online. The theme of the issue is nanotechnology. Read more
Thursday 25 March 2010
Nanotechnology is an emerging science and, if used to develop novel foods and processes, approval would be required under the 'Novel Foods Regulation' (Regulation (EC) No 258/97) to ensure products are safe. Nanotechnology is the manufacture and use of materials and structures at the nanometre scale (a nanometre is one millionth of a millimetre).
Rate of Childhood Peanut Allergies More Than Tripled from 1997 to 2008
ScienceDaily (May 13, 2010)
Results of a nationwide telephone survey have shown that the rate of peanut allergies in children more than tripled from 1997 to 2008. The data are reported in the May 12 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Read more
Trans fats should be banned from all UK sold food, urge doctors
The Guardian: Friday 16 April 2010
Up to 7,000 lives a year could be saved and 11,000 heart attacks avoided if unhealthy fats were outlawed. Read more
Jamie Oliver to spend own millions on school meals
BBC NEWS: Monday, 19 April 2010
Jamie Oliver plans to spend millions of pounds of his own money over 10 years to improve food education and meals in UK primary schools, he has revealed.
Chocolate Might Reduce Blood Pressure and Risk of Heart Disease, Research Suggests
ScienceDaily (Apr. 4, 2010)
Easter eggs and other chocolate may be good for you -- at least in small quantities and preferably if it's dark chocolate -- according to research that shows just one small square of chocolate a day can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease. The study is published online on March 31 in the European Heart Journal. Read more
Bacon or Bagels? Higher Fat at Breakfast May Be Healthier Than You Think
ScienceDaily (Apr. 1, 2010)
The age-old maxim "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper" may in fact be the best advice to follow to prevent metabolic syndrome, according to a new University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) study. Read more
Cutting Fat -- And Calories -- From Cakes and Frostings
ScienceDaily (Mar. 29, 2010)
Delicious new cakes and frostings may someday contain less fat and fewer calories, thanks to work by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Read more
Exploring Echinacea's Enigmatic Origins
ScienceDaily (Mar. 27, 2010)
An Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist is helping to sort through the jumbled genetics of Echinacea, the coneflower known for its blossoms -- and its potential for treating infections, inflammation, and other human ailments. Read more
New Alterations Found in Young Adults With Type 2 Diabetes
ScienceDaily (Mar. 27, 2010)
Diet and aerobic exercise are highly effective for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, but not for obese subjects that have developed the disease when very young. A study at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) and Trinity College in Dublin demonstrates that obese subjects between 18 and 25 years of age carry mitochondrial proteins and genes that work abnormally and that these anomalies contribute to generating insulin resistance and a reduced response to physical exercise. Read more
Reducing saturated fat and sugar in sweet foods
FSA Friday 26 March 2010
Following a public consultation in the summer of 2009, the Food Standards Agency has today recommended that food manufacturers reduce saturated fat in foods such as biscuits, cakes, buns, chocolates and added sugar in soft drinks.
The Agency also wants to see more smaller single-portion sizes available in some of these foods, which contribute much of the saturated fat and calories in our diet. Read more
An Apple a Day? Study Shows Soluble Fiber Boosts Immune System
ScienceDaily (Mar. 17, 2010) — A new University of Illinois study touts the benefits of soluble fiber -- found in oats, apples, and nuts, for starters -- saying that it reduces the inflammation associated with obesity-related diseases and strengthens the immune system.
Diabetes' Link to Eating Disorders Explored
ScienceDaily (Mar. 16, 2010) — Diabetics, under the gun to better manage their disease by controlling their food intake and weight, may find themselves in the sticky wicket of needing treatment that makes them hungry, researchers said. Read more
Unhealthy Foods Become Less Popular With   Increasing Costs
ScienceDaily (Mar. 9, 2010) — Adults tend to eat less pizza and drink less soda as the price of these items increases, and their body weight and overall calorie intake also appear to decrease, according to a report in the March 8 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Read more
Vitamins Stored in Bathrooms, Kitchens May Become Less Effective
ScienceDaily (Mar. 7, 2010) — High humidity present in bathrooms and kitchens could be degrading the vitamins and health supplements stored in those rooms, even if the lids are on tight, a Purdue University study shows. Read more
 Virus Infections May Be Contributing Factor in Onset of Gluten Intolerance
ScienceDaily (Mar. 7, 2010)
Recent research findings indicate a possible connection between virus infections, the immune system and the onset of gluten intolerance, also known as celiac disease.  Read more
FSA publishes proposals for better labels
Friday 5 March 2010
The Agency has today published a paper, which will be discussed at an open Board meeting next week, setting out proposals for front-of-pack (FOP) nutrition labelling. The Agency is proposing a flexible approach to implementing a single front-of-pack label to help consumers make healthier choices when they buy food. Read more
British attitudes to new food technologies
Thursday 4 March 2010
The Food Standards Agency has published new research looking at people’s attitudes to emerging food technologies, including genetically modified (GM) food, high pressure treatment, gas filled packaging and hypothetical foods that have health benefits. Read more
     An insight into the nation's diet
                        Tuesday 9 February 2010
The findings of a UK dietary survey, published by the Food Standards Agency, suggest that the nation is eating less saturated fat, trans fat and added sugar than it was 10 years ago. The National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) is the first comprehensive survey of people’s eating patterns since 2001, when the survey was last carried out.
                        Read more
 Views wanted on chia seed
 Thursday 4 February 2010
 Australian company has asked the Agency's expert advisers on novel foods to consider its application for the chia seed under the simplified approval procedure. The seed is from a type of mint plant. A novel food is a food or food ingredient that does not have a significant history of consumption within      the European Union (EU) before 15 May 1997.
 FSA takes small steps to encourage young people to eat well, get active and feel good
Tuesday 2 February 2010
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) today officially launched SmallSteps4Life – an innovative approach to motivating young people to take simple steps towards improving their health and well-being, both inside and outside the classroom.
  Friendly Bacteria Love the   Humble Apple
ScienceDaily Jan. 20, 2010 — Why does an apple a day keep the doctor away? New research published in the open access journal BMC Microbiology contributes to our understanding of why eating apples is good for you.
Healthy New Year!
Thinking of New Year resolutions for a
healthier you in 2010? Here are some tips to get you started:
 Study Examines Calorie Information from Restaurants, Packaged
                                              Science Daily (Jan. 9, 2010
Study Examines calorie information from Restaurants, Packaged Foods
Agency welcomes US salt targets
Monday 11 January 2010
Agency welcomes US salt targets
Monday 11 January 2010
                                        Calories on menus move
                                        one step closer 
                                       Thursday 3 December 2009
                                        Read more
Science Video News
 Keeping Food For Years
Certain Dry Foods Are Good Past Their Best-before Date, Food      Scientists Say
February 1, 2007 Some low-moisture foods such as dried apples can be safe to eat even years after their expiration date, if properly stored, food chemists say. They verified this in a tasting experiment of 28-year-old rolled oats. Heat, moisture and light can degrade food's nutritional value.
Science Video News
 Healthier Pizza
Food Chemists Slice Up Healthier Pizza
July 1, 2007 — Food chemists have shown that making a pizza crust with whole wheat flour and cooking it longer releases more antioxidants. These chronic disease-fighting compounds increased by 82 percent when baked at a higher temperature, by 60 percent when baked twice as long and doubled when the dough was left to rise an extra day.
The Food Standards Agency carries out many activities to help encourage schools to adopt a 'whole school' approach to diet and nutrition and to help young people better understand the relationship between diet and health, help them make more informed food choices and gain the skills to safely prepare healthy meals.
Using the eatwell plate
The eatwell plate makes healthy eating easier to understand by giving a visual representation of the types and proportions of foods people need for a healthy and well balanced diet.
Allergy and intolerance
This section gives information on the Food Standards Agency's work on food allergy and intolerance, including research, labelling, advice to caterers and guidance notes.
The Food Standards Agency's approach to food allergy and intolerance has three main aims:

  • to fund research that will help increase our knowledge and understanding of food allergy and intolerance
  • strengthen food labelling rules to help people who need to avoid certain ingredients
  • help raise awareness of food allergy and intolerance among caterers

Folic acid fortification
On 17 May 2007, the Food Standards Agency Board agreed unanimously that 'mandatory fortification' with folic acid should be introduced, alongside controls on voluntary fortification and advice on the use of supplments. Read more
Saturated fat and energy
Currently people are eating far more saturated fat, on average, than is recommended, and rising levels of obesity indicate that energy intakes currently exceed energy requirements. Both these issues raise serious health concerns, particularly in relation to cardiovascular disease, some cancers and type 2 diabetes.
In February 2008, the Agency published its saturated fat and energy intake programme, which aims to reduce saturated fat intakes and contribute to helping consumers achieve and maintain energy balance. It is running the second phase of its saturated fat consumer awareness campaign in January and February 2010. Read more
Front-of-pack (FOP) nutrition labelling
The Agency recommends a consistent approach to front-of-pack (FOP) nutrition labelling that provides 'at a glance' information on labels about the nutritional content of foods through the use of traffic light colours.
To underpin these recommendations, a series of consumer research projects were undertaken to explore people's understanding of and preferences for a range of labelling concepts. FOP labels aim to make it easier for people to choose a healthy. Read more