Good fats, bad fats

In 2006, Heart of Mersey produced the briefing paper, Good Fats: Bad Fats, which provided the most up-to-date evidence base around the consumption of fats, their profile and effects on cardiovascular health.

The report made a series of recommendations for further policy action to support the national fat goals and was disseminated to clinicians and public health professionals.

The aim was to bring about an increase in consumption of ‘good fats,’ which lower blood cholesterol levels, and reduce the intake of ‘bad fats,’ which increase blood cholesterol.

Ninety-five per cent of children in England eat too much saturated fat, but most are powerless to do anything about it. They usually eat what they’re given and rarely question where it comes from – much less what the food contains.

Since coronary heart disease begins in childhood, the sooner children understand some of the essential facts about healthy eating – particularly the difference between the types of fat in their food - the better their chances of growing up into healthy adults.
With the Good Fats, Bad Fats project schools in North Liverpool were introduced to characters such as yoggo man and super skim kim as part of a campaign to highlight the risks of saturated fat in diets.

School children received flyers informing them of the benefits of switching from high fat dairy products to lower fat versions, and the use of Heart of Mersey’s ‘Good Fat Gang’ helped to reinforce the messages.
As part of the campaign, Teachers were sent special lesson plans containing information and resources enabling them to use the materials as part of the national curriculum.
The 2009 re-launched paper Good Fats: Bad Fats II, provides an update on the important progress made on the fats agenda since 2006. The report makes further policy recommendations, including the need to clarify national nutrition guidelines for young children in relation to low fat milk and other dairy products.

It calls for all sections of the food industry, including manufacturers, retailers and the food service sector to reformulate mainstream products to reduce their saturated fat content and adopt responsible marketing practices.

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