Nutrition matters for the whole family and the role of the health visitor in supporting families has been a fundamental part of our health system for many decades. Early years colleagues are well-placed to work alongside HVs with families and understand the role of nutrition in order to signpost families to information, resources or services to support them in their food choices.
The latest National Diet and Nutrition Survey (PHE, 2019) reveals that we should all make changes in our diet to improve our health and that this is especially true in lower income households. Good nutrition has been identified to matter across the lifespan, with epigenetic patterns acquired in early life influencing later health.
- Fat, sugar & salt intakes in the population are above dietary recommendations and intakes of fruit, veg, oily fish and some vitamins are low in some population groups;
- Healthy balanced diets are linked with healthy weights and with lower rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers (PHE, 2018).