12 June 2012
National Elderly Malnutrition Campaign Launches Westminster E-Petition
The British Dietetic Association (BDA) has launched a brand new E-petition to support its Mind the Hunger Gap national campaign, created to highlight levels of malnutrition in older people living in their own homes in the UK.
The E-petition, which is available on the Government’s E-petition website, calls on government and politicians to protect at least one meal a day by ring-fencing funding to ensure that meal provision continues to lie at the heart of community care.
The BDA, founded in 1936, is the professional association for registered dietitians in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is the nation’s largest organisation of food and nutrition professionals.
Mind the Hunger Gap highlights the national disgrace that conservatively estimated involves around 1,000,000 (one million) older people in the UK eating less than one square meal a day. This figure does not include those older people in a hospital or care setting, it is those older people living in our community or, as they have become, the ‘invisible’ population.
Malnutrition does not discriminate and impacts on people regardless of age, gender or race.
While The World Health Organization cites malnutrition as the greatest single threat to the world’s public health, it is still widely believed that malnutrition is restricted to the third world population. Quite simply, it is not.
For the first time, the BDA has launched Mind the Hunger Gap as an online-based campaign and dietitians and members of the public will be directed to the campaign website (www.mindthehungergap.com) to download various materials and campaign tools to highlight the issue locally, while the BDA will raise the issue on a national level. Importantly, there is also an online check list for those worried that their friends, family members or neighbours may be suffering from malnutrition.
Speaking about the new E-petition, Andy Burman, Chief Executive of the BDA said:
“Since Mind the Hunger Gap was launched, we have had excellent support from many individuals and organisations. We now want to take this message direct to Westminster and call for action to help some of the most vulnerable citizens in our society.
“It is an absolute disgrace that in today’s day and age, we have around one million older people starving on our very own doorsteps.
“I hope many people will support our E-petition which could then force a parliamentary debate on this crucial issue.”
The Mind the Hunger Gap campaign website can be found at www.mindthehungergap.com with campaign tools for the dietetic profession and wider public. Campaign tools will be added to and developed as the campaign progresses, so please check back from time to time.
The campaign E-petition can be found and supported at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/34477.
|For more information / interview requests, please contact Steven Jenkins the BDA Press Office on: 0800 048 1714|
Notes to the Editor:
- Visit the BDA website at www.bda.uk.com.
- Registered dietitians are the only qualified health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat diet and nutrition problems at an individual and wider public health level. Uniquely, dietitians use the most up to date public health and scientific research on food, health and disease, which they translate into practical guidance to enable people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices.
- Dietitians are the only nutrition professionals to be statutorily regulated, and governed by an ethical code, to ensure that they always work to the highest standard. Dietitians work in the NHS, private practice, industry, education, research, sport, media, public relations, publishing, Non Government Organisations and government. Their advice influences food and health policy across the spectrum from government, local communities and individuals.