Diet and nutrition
What do people say?
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council commissioned a consultation with women and midwives regarding infant feeding choices and how to improve support for women who choose to breastfeed. The consultation was conducted by Curb Office Ltd in 2013. The main findings were:
- Advice and support from midwives and health visitors was most popular source amongst women consulted.
- Majority of women found the actual experience of breastfeeding more difficult than they had expected.
- Women who had or were breastfeeding thought that more advice and support from their midwife and more home visits would have improved their breastfeeding experience.
- 100% of women consulted said that they used social media but for breastfeeding support they would not have time to use social media purpose and would prefer face-to-face and telephone support.
- ‘Have I got it right’ was the main concern of women who choose to breastfeed. Women reported that they need more time and coaching from their Midwife or Health Visitor.
General dietary habits of adults
Stockton Borough Council consulted with 363 residents through the Local Authority Viewpoint survey in September 2013. Some of the main findings related to diet and nutrition were:
- Overall, about half of respondents (49%) view their current eating habits as being “quiet healthy”; 60% make deliberate attempts to eat healthily “sometimes” and one of the key reasons given (by almost one quarter) for not being able to eat healthily was “it’s easier to eat what others in my family/household eat”. Also, just over 6 in 10 told us that the cost of healthy foods is a barrier to eating healthily and 96% feel they have a good understanding of the risks associated with not having a healthy diet.
- Over 40% said they get information about healthy eating primarily from magazines or TV and would prefer to access such information via the TV, the internet or from a service offered to provide healthy eating advice and information.
- Only two thirds had heard of Change4life and only 9% had used it to improve your diet and 5% to increase activity levels. Of those who have registered to receive Change4Life information via email or post, about half (51%) said doing so had changed their family’s exercise levels and 45% said it had changed their family’s diet.
- About half of respondents (48%) told us they had heard of labelling information such as Guideline Daily Amount and the Traffic Light Labelling but they don’t tend to put it into practice. Half said food labels are confusing.
- The effect of information about calorie content (provided in the questionnaire) on respondents was also explored in the questionnaire. About two thirds (69%) said that reading the information about the number of calories in some very common foods and drinks “makes me think about what I eat” and 67% said it “makes me think about the amount I eat”