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Food & Mental Health
Food and mental health round-up: 2008

November / December 2008

News

CAPITAL GROWTH 
Sustain wants to help Londoners transform the capital with 2,012 new food growing spaces for London by 2012! London can be transformed into a green and productive city, with thriving communities and delicious fresh food - all in all, a better place to live.

The Capital Growth campaign will offer practical and financial support to communities around London to help more people grow more food, and to have greater access to land and food growing spaces for community benefit. It aims to link up groups who wish to grow food but have no land, with others who have land available.

If you are setting up a growing project with mental health service users, why not join the movement and register your growing space with capital growth. http://www.capitalgrowth.org/home/

If you would like support with publicising your community food activities, please contact Suzanne@sustainweb.org

FOOD AND MOOD STOCK CLEARANCE AND FREE DOWNLOADS
‘Food and Mood’ are about the be taken over by Mind and so would like to announce a stock clearance sale, plus free downloads of its resources. If you wish to continue receiving the newsletter, please register you details again at  http://www.foodandmood.org/

CARBON ADDICT
Problem use of carbon-based fuels is now recognised as a disabling medical syndrome. This new website introduces us in a lighthearted way to the health issues linked with high consumption of carbon based fuels. Despite the comic presentation, the research base is serious and growing. Health symptoms including asthma, mental distress, obesity and diabetes.  http://www.carbonaddict.org/.
To contribute to networks and forums around the research and debate in this area see also http://theclimateconnection.org/

Policy Developments

MINISTERS ACCEPT PROPOSED BAN ON ARTIFICIAL FOOD COLOURINGS
Government Ministers have agreed with the Food Standard Agency's (FSA) proposal for a voluntary ban on six food colourings, which research had linked to increased hyperactivity in children. Such colourings have long been thought to increase hyperactivity in those with ADHD, but a 2007 study found that these kinds of additives can worsen hyperactivity and inattention in all children.

It is hoped these colours will be removed from all foods on sale in the UK by the end of 2009, and this is expected to affect well over 1000 products. Some companies have already removed these colours from their products, although others are dragging their feet. However the proposed ban on the preservative sodium benzoate has not been agreed. http://www.food.gov.uk/news/newsarchive/2008/nov/colours

New FSA guidelines on caffeine consumption pregnancy after link to low birth weight
The FSA has updated its advice regarding caffeine intake for pregnant women. The recommended maximum has been lowered from 300mg/day to 200mg/day (equivalent to 2 cups of coffee or 4 cups of tea). The new recommendations follow research revealing a link between the stimulant and babies born with a low weight.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7705319.stm
Evidence indicates that low birth-weight infants are more likely to have poorer levels of mental development than those born at normal weight:

There is also evidence indicating that the nutritional status of a woman at the time of conception appears to have more of an impact on her future child’s birth weight than her nutritional status during her pregnancy.  This is significant as caffeine is known to inhibit iron absorption. This relationship is discussed in more detail in the Sustain publication: Changing Diets, Changing Minds. http://www.sustainweb.org/page.php?id=132

Research

Maternal iron deficiency linked to schizophrenia.
A review of a study following 7000 people born between 1959 and 1967 found that low iron status in mothers during pregnancy was linked to a four-fold increase of schizophrenia type disorders in their offspring.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=18838630&tool=MedlinePlus

Micronutrients improve cognitive function in primary school children.
In an analysis from the 2-year Child Nutrition Kenya Project, researchers found that iron, zinc, vitamins B12 and B2 were associated with better scores in tests that measure mental function.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18826659?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

Vitamin B3 may protect against Alzheimer's
Researchers at the University of California have found that vitamin B3, also known as nicotinamide, lowered levels of a protein linked to Alzheimer's damage in mice. Levels of the damaging protein - phosphorylated tau - was lower in the animals. There was also evidence that memory was enhanced in both 'Alzheimer's' mice and unaffected mice.

While the vitamin is sold as supplements in health food shops, UK Alzheimer's charities said people should not start taking the vitamin before results from human studies, as it can be toxic in high doses.  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7710365.stm

High Fat and Sugar diet a risk factor for Alzheimer’s
According to new research, eating junk food could increase a person's chances of developing Alzheimer's disease. Mice that were fed a diet rich in fat, sugar and cholesterol for nine months developed a preliminary stage of the irregularities found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. The study results published give some indications of how this difficult to treat disease might one day be preventable. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081128082937.htm

New research into red wine's protective effect against Alzheimer's
Researchers have now shown how naturally occurring compounds in red wine called polyphenols block the formation of proteins that build the toxic plaques thought to destroy brain cells, and further, how they reduce the toxicity of existing plaques, thus reducing cognitive deterioration.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081121092454.htm


Dietitians warn against fast food and energy drinks for students
A recent survey of US teens found 35 per cent regularly use energy drinks, up from 19 per cent in 2003. Dietitian Lisa Renn said students should focus on regular meals and low glycaemic index (GI) foods for sustained energy, instead of caffeinated beverages and sugar-laden energy drinks: 'Any boost to energy levels from caffeinated beverages and sugar-laden drinks is short lived.' She explained there are also key nutrients that will enhance study efforts, including omega 3 fatty acids, iron and zinc.

This statement was released by the Dietetian's Association of Australia amid calls in both Australia and the US to crack down on the sale and availability of caffeinated energy drinks to young people.
http://www.daa.asn.au/files/media%20releases/October_08/MR_Exams_Oct08.pdf

Mental Capital and Wellbeing report
The Government Office for science has recently published a final project report report entitled “Foresight mental capital and wellbeing project” final project report. This report makes reference to the importance of good maternal nutrition during pregnancy and the early years of life.
http://www.foresight.gov.uk/OurWork/ActiveProjects/Mental%20Capital/ProjectOutputs.asp

Events

Seafood and Health: Fresh thinking on Seafood and nutrition
Fishmonger’s Hall 28th January 2009
Main focuses will be:

Contact T: 0207 626 3531 E: Joanna@fishhall.co.uk or see http://www.fishhall.co.uk/
This conference has been organized by The Fishmongers Company.  Sustain’s view on the sustainability of fish consumption can be found here: http://www.sustainweb.org/page.php?id=266.


Study Day at Carlshead Care – Farm: 15th January 2009
10am – 2.30pm lunch provided.
A study day is taking place at Carlshead Ltd, Paddock House Farm, Nr Wetherby, West Yorkshire on Thursday 15th January 2009. Carlshead is an alternative educational training project, based on a working farm near Wetherby. The farm offers facilities and personal development for students aged between 14 and 16 with a range of different needs, including learning or behavioural difficulties, those who are not attending school or are at risk. http://www.carlshead.co.uk/Carlshead_Site/Care_Farming.html
Session includes a detailed look at the set-up of the project, how the pupils are referred to the farm plus a comprehensive tour.
The cost is £50 per person. To book email enquiries@ncfi.org.uk or call Debbie on 01952 815335.

Study Day at Gamelea Countryside Training Trust, Derbyshire - 10th March 2009
Gamelea Countryside Training Trust (GCTT) is an innovative, agricultural-based initiative, set in 215 acres of glorious Derbyshire countryside on the Chatsworth Estate in the Peak District. The Trust is dedicated to helping people with learning disabilities to gain vocational skills, learn about work and to move into employment. Students are given a genuine opportunity to gain employment and for many it is the first time in their lives that they have been given responsibility. Students are offered horticulture, agriculture, woodcrafts, mechanics/metal craft, horse care, small animal care, pottery and I.T.

For more information on Gamelea visit  http://www.gameleactt.org.uk/. To book a place email enquiries@ncfi.org.uk or call Debbie on 01952 815335. The cost is £50 per person.
The event will run from 11am until 3pm with lunch provided.

Funding

Lifelong Health and Wellbeing Phase 2 Open to Applications (UK)
Lifelong Health and Wellbeing (LLHW) is a major cross-council initiative supporting multi-disciplinary research addressing factors across the life course that influences healthy ageing and wellbeing in later life. The Research Councils in partnership with the UK Health Departments are inviting applications for phase 2 of LLHW to all UK-based researchers. They are seeking a high quality, multi-disciplinary applications in the following priority areas:

A workshop to facilitate multi-disciplinary cross-sector collaboration for potential network applicants is being held on 12 December 2008 in London. The deadline for applications for the Collaborative Development Networks is the 14 January 2009, and for the Collaborative Grants it is the 12 February 2009.
http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/funding/opportunities/2008/lifelong_health_wellbeing.html

GreenPrints (UK)
SITA Trust, V the youth volunteering charity, BTCV, The Wildlife Trusts and the BBC’s Breathing Places campaign, have joined forces to help young people improve green spaces in our communities. The two-year programme will offer funding of up to £10,000, as well as support and practical expertise from the partners, to enable 16–25 year olds to make a real difference to the communities in which they live. The funding is open to not for profit organisations for projects designed and delivered by groups of volunteers aged 16 to 25. Visit the GreenPrints pages at http://www.sitatrust.org.uk/ to find out more.
Total funding available: £1million. Deadline: 25th January 2009. http://www.sitatrust.org.uk/apply/greenprints

Peoples Awards (UK)
Awards of up to £30,000 are available under the Wellcome Trust’s Peoples Awards for projects that encourage public debate and understanding of biomedical science. Projects can be funded for up to three years and can include activities such as workshops and seminars; arts projects for a variety of different audiences and age groups; teaching materials or techniques to encourage wider discussions; and projects that utilise the collections of the Wellcome Library and the Wellcome Collection at the Science Museum. Applications can be made at any time and can be made by a wide variety of individuals, organisations and partnerships. The next application deadline is the 9th January 2009.
http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/Funding/Public-engagement/Grants/People-Awards/index.htm

Equitable Charitable Trust (UK)
Charitable organisations working towards educating young people, especially young people with disabilities and/or from disadvantaged backgrounds can apply for funding of up to £30,000 through the Equitable Charitable Trust. The length of funding can range from one to three years. Previously supported projects include:

Further information on grants made by the trust can be found at http://www.equitablecharitabletrust.org.uk/Grants/2007ListofGrants/tabid/318/language/en-GB/Default.aspx .

Bridging the Gap (UK)
The Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT), has launched its ‘Bridging the Gap’ programme which will run for three years from April 2008 to March 2011. Grants of between £500 and £10,000 are available to community and voluntary groups within the coalfield communities to improve people’s quality of life. The main funding priorities are:

Since being founded, the CRT has awarded £150 million through its grant-making programmes. In addition to the Bridging the Gap programme, the CRT can award grants of up to £300,000 through its main grants programme to bigger voluntary, community and statutory organisations. Applications can be sumitted at any time and CRT aims to make a decision within 12 weeks. http://www.coalfields-regen.org.uk/

£13.5million For Areas with Poor Health (England)
The Department of Health has announced a £13.5 million funding package to improve health in disadvantaged areas. The funding will help the most deprived areas improve people's health and break down the barriers between local services, PCTs and local authorities. This includes £11 million for the ‘Communities for Health’ scheme which enables 83 areas to implement local health improvement ideas issues like parenting, healthy eating, or community activities for young and older people. A further £2.5 million will be allocated through the ‘Healthy Communities’ scheme, helping local Government improve their knowledge of and ability to tackle health inequalities locally, through leadership and corporate development. http://nds.coi.gov.uk/environment/fullDetail.asp?ReleaseID=384686&NewsAreaID=2&NavigatedFromDepartment=False

Freemasons' Grand Charity: Non-Masonic Grants
The Freemasons' Grand Charity regularly supports national charities that are not connected with Freemasonry. There are 2 categories: major grants and minor grants. Charities seeking funding for specific projects can apply for major grants of over £5,000. The majority of grants awarded are for between £10,000 and £25,000. A few grants of over £50,000 may be approved each year. Smaller charities can apply for a minor grant of £5,000 or less for general purposes. Major and minor grants are awarded under the following headings: Vulnerable people; Medical Research; Youth Opportunities. See full guidance notes at:  http://www.grandcharity.org/pages/nonmasonic_grants.html


October 2008

Events

Seminar: Food and Mental Health:  Putting Theory into Practice
How can local food projects contribute to good mental health and well-being?
Sustain are inviting professionals from a variety of backgrounds who are working on food and mental health, and would like to provide an opportunity for you to share your ideas. The seminar will have a very practical focus, where we can discuss opportunities for future work, build partnerships and develop ideas.
We hope to have a broad discussion covering such subjects as:

Tuesday 2nd December 2.00 – 4.00 (sandwich lunch provided from 1pm)
NCVO, Regent's Wharf, 8 All Saints Street, London, N1 9RL

To book a place or to suggest any further questions for exploration during the seminar please e-mail jenny@sustainweb.org.uk by 7th November preferably

News, research and policy developments

Many pesticides in EU may damage human brain
Many pesticides used in the European Union may damage brain growth in foetuses and young children, according to a study published on Friday in the journal Environmental Health. The study urged the European Union to tighten restrictions.

Philippe Grandjean of the Havard School of Public Health and the University of Southern Denmark said, "Toxicity to the brain is not routinely included in testing pesticides… Laboratory experimental studies using model compounds suggest that many pesticides currently used in Europe...can cause neuro-developmental toxicity."
The study focussed on the use of pesticides in the EU, which is currently reviewing pesticide laws. It urged greater testing and caution in approving chemicals because of uncertainties about their effects.

"Many other countries are watching what the EU is doing...It should take these matters much more seriously than in the past," Grandjean said.
http://www.news24.com/News24/Technology/News/0,,2-13-1443_2415527,00.html
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/faculty/philippe-grandjean/


Funding

BBC Children in Need (UK)
The BBC has announced that the next funding round of the BBC Children in Need is now open for applications. BBC Children in Need provides grants for up to three years to properly constituted not for profit organisations working with disadvantaged young people aged 18 or under . Funding is available to organisations, (including schools) that work with young people who are suffering from illness, distress, abuse or neglect, are disabled, have behavioural or psychological difficulties and / or are living in poverty or situations of deprivation. Last year the programme made grants of over £37 million to over 1,300 organisations working with children and young people across the UK. Projects supported include an allotment in Plymouth for children with mobility problems, a digital memory pot project for terminally ill children and their siblings who are coming to terms with death and bereavement, and a community newspaper for disaffected young people in Wales. The next closing date will be the 15th January 2009, with grant decisions and notifications in late April 2009.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/pudsey/charity/grants.shtml

The Links Foundation (England, Scotland and Wales)
The Links Foundation, delivers services to tackle social exclusion and poverty by helping disadvantaged individuals and communities, provides grants to disadvantaged communities. The type of activities that the Foundation seeks to support projects that:

The Foundation can fund new or existing projects and can help meet costs such as salary, rent and stationery as well as capital costs. The average grant per project is about £20,000. The Board meets every four months. The closing date for applications is four weeks before the Board meeting. http://www.linksfoundation.org/Default.aspx


September 2008

News

Food and Mood CIC to close for business.
At the end of 2008, just over 10 years after it began, the Food and Mood Community Interest Company is to close for business as company director Amanda Geary looks to find a new challenge in another field of work. The CIC directors are currently exploring suitable homes for foodandmood.org. In the meantime the website and its resources are still available until the end of the year.

Research and policy developments

Study links brain shrinkage with low levels of vitamin B12
A study at Oxford University found that people with low vitamin B12 levels were six times more likely to experience brain shrinkage than those with higher levels of the vitamin. 
107 people between the ages of 61 and 87 underwent brain scans, memory testing and physical exams. The researchers also collected blood samples to check vitamin B12 levels. Brain scans and memory tests were also performed again five years later. The study did not look at whether taking vitamin B12 supplements would have the same effect on memory.
http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_stories/2008/080909.html

‘Mediterranean diet offers protection against Alzheimer's’ reports study.
A new study suggests that following a strict Mediterranean diet can protect significantly against
Alzheimer's, as well as heart disease, cancer and Parkinson's disease. Researchers analysed existing studies on the health gains of eating a diet rich in olive oil, grains, fruits, nuts, vegetables and fish, but low in meat, dairy and alcohol. Experts looked at 12 studies on more than 1.5 million people, over three to eighteen years. The diet resulted in a 13% reduction in the incidence of Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease and reduced the overall risk of dying early by 9%.
http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/information/news/?EntryId17=63460

Trial in 3 prisons to see if nutritional supplements can improve behaviour.
The study is being organised by neuroscientist John Stein, of the University of Oxford. Professor Stein believes a lot of young offenders commit crime because they fail to pick up social signals, and believes the fatty acids found in Omega 3 fish oils improve the function of nerve cells in the brain which deal these signals. Prisoners will take four micronutrient or placebo capsules a day with their main meal. The researchers will compare the disciplinary record of the two groups over four months.

A smaller, pilot study at Aylesbury Young Offenders Institute in 2002 showed that inmates receiving the supplements committed a third fewer offences.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7618888.stm

New nutrition standards in primary schools
The most robust nutrient standards for school lunches in the world come into force this week in primary schools, after two years of careful preparation by school caterers and support by the School Food Trust (SFT).

Junk food has already been removed from being sold in canteens and school vending machines – but the new standards will specify the maximum (fat, saturated fat, sugar, salt) and minimum (carbohydrate, protein, fibre, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, calcium, iron, zinc) nutrient value of an average school lunch. The standards will be statutory for secondary schools in England from September 2009.
http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/pns/DisplayPN.cgi?pn_id=2008_0186

Eating fish in pregnancy and longer breastfeeding both accelerate child development
A Danish study involving 25,446 children determined that the children of women who ate the most fish while pregnant had a 30% better physical and mental development at 6 and 18 months of age than the children of women who ate little or no fish. Similarly, the children who were breastfed for 10 months or more had a 30% better physical and mental development at 6 and 18 months of age than those who were breastfed for one month or less. Lack of breastfeeding did not negate the benefits of eating fish in pregnancy.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18779297?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

Higher EPA levels linked to lower dementia risk, regardless of mood.
1,214 elderly people showing no signs of dementia were followed for 4 years for the development of dementia. A higher blood level of EPA (omega-3 essential fat found in oily fish) was associated with a 30% lower incidence of dementia, independently of depressive status. Higher ratios of arachidonic acid (AA - found in meat and dairy products) to DHA (omega-3 essential fat found in oily fish) increased risk of dementia by two and a half times while higher ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fats were related to a 60% increased risk of dementia. In both cases, increased risk was more pronounced in those with depression. http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/88/3/714


Events

Changing Families, Changing Food' is an inter-disciplinary research programme, funded by a Programme Grant of £1.2m from the Leverhulme Trust.
The Programme began in October 2005 and will run for just over three years.
The British Library Conference Centre in London on Tuesday 21 October.  The conference will report the findings of the 'Changing Families, Changing Food' research programme, funded by The Leverhulme Trust over the last 3-4 years. It is organised into three research strands on: pregnancy and motherhood; childhood and family life; and family and community.

For info see: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/familiesandfood , or contact the programme administrator Mrs Jackie Pickering (j.m.pickering@sheffield.ac.uk).

Mental Health Well-being Festival, Bedfordshire and Luton.
An unprecedented collaboration of voluntary, statutory and academic organisations have joined forces to create Bedfordshire and Luton’s first ever Mental Health Well-being Festival. The Festival involves a diversity of well being events including exercise and sport, holistic therapy, healthy eating, creative activities, humour and music – while offering hope and inspiration through service users’ personal stories of recovery.

It will take place in Luton, Bedford and Dunstable from the 3rd- 6th November 2008.
To find out more see the festival website : http://www.wellbeingfestival.org.uk/

Public health nutrition: Challenges for the 21st century
Organised by the Caroline Walker Trust
Tuesday 25 November 2008, Kensington Town Hall
A day conference designed to appeal to policy makers, practitioners, health professionals, students and supporters of the Trust. The day will:

The conference themes will focus on nutrition from pregnancy, through early years to old age, with particular emphasis on vulnerable groups. http://www.cwt.org.uk/events.html


Funding

Local Authorities and PCTs invited to take part in free school meals pilot. 
The Department for Children Schools and Families is inviting Local Authorities and Primary Care Trusts in deprived areas to bid to take part in a two year pilot which will look at the health benefits of free school meals. Through this £20 million pilot, primary school children in deprived areas will be given free healthy school meals in a drive to cut obesity and get young people eating more healthily. The aim of the pilot will be to investigate whether free school meals will have an impact upon children’s eating habits, their health, behaviour and academic performance. Three Local Authorities in deprived areas will take part in the two year pilot. Two authorities will trial free school lunches to all primary school children while in the third area the eligibility rules will be extended. The scheme will run from Sept 2009.  http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/pns/DisplayPN.cgi?pn_id=2008_0212

Climate Challenge Fund (Scotland)
This fund may be useful for any organisation wishing to promote mental well being through good diet, focusing on locally sourced, and home grown food. Local food has the lowest impact on the climate
The Scottish Government has announced the launch of a new £18.8 million fund to help communities take local action to tackle the global threat of climate change. The Climate Challenge Fund will help empower communities to take action to reduce their carbon footprint and make a real difference to the local and national environment. The £18.8 million scheme is open to applications from organisations including: Voluntary sector, charities, schools, colleges, universities, local authorities and housing partnerships to fund projects which demonstrate a significant reduction in emissions. This could include projects at a local level such as becoming more energy efficient, encouraging people to walk and cycle more, and using local, sustainable food.  Applications can be submitted at any time. 
http://www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/ccf.asp

V Match Fund For Youth Volunteering Projects (England)
Voluntary organisations and charities using or planning to use young volunteers have the opportunity to double the amount of funding generated from the private sector (a profit-making business; and/or a grant making trust or foundation; and/or an individual) through the v Match Fund. Successful applicants will need to develop innovative and inspiring volunteering opportunities that engage young people (16 – 25 year old), in volunteering. The core themes for the Match Fund are: Health and well being; environment; Supporting children and young people; Community cohesion; Poverty; Human rights.

The next deadline for applications is the 31st October 2008. http://www.wearev.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=96&Itemid=

The Baily Thomas Charitable Fund (UK and Republic of Ireland)
The Baily Thomas Charitable Fund is a registered charity which was established primarily to aid the research into learning disability and to aid the care and relief of those affected by learning disability by making grants to voluntary organisations (including schools and Parent Teacher Associations) within the UK and the Republic of Ireland working in this field. The Trust consider under learning disability the conditions generally referred to as severe learning difficulties, together with autism. In this area, they consider projects concerning children or adults. They will not offer grants for research into or care of those with mental illness or dyslexia. Grants start from £250. http://www.bailythomas.org.uk/

ECOMINDs Programme Opens for Applications (England)
Mind, the mental health charity in England and Wales has announced that the Ecominds funding programme is now open for applications. Through the Ecominds programme, Mind will fund a range of groups who want to encourage people with experience of mental distress to get involved in environmental projects, such as improving open spaces and wildlife habitats, designing public art and recycling. Projects must have both a mental health and environmental perspective; Be submitted by an England based group and applied in England; Be thoroughly planned and relevant to the environment; Involve people with direct experience of mental distress; Encourage community access, collaboration, and improve the environment and environmental sustainability; Have a budget under £250,000; Be delivered within five years.                                      
Further details: http://www.ecominds.org.uk/

The James Tudor Foundation (UK)
The James Tudor Foundation which was established in 2004 makes grants of approximately £1 million per year to registered charities within the UK. The areas which the Foundation wants to support are Palliative care; Medical research; Health education, awards and scholarships; the direct relief of sickness; and the UK independent healthcare sector. The grants are usually available to cover project costs (although core costs will be considered) and are usually available for one to three years. Applications can be made at any time and decision for grant applications of below £5,000 are made within one month whist decisions on applications of above £20,000 will be made within four months.
http://www.jamestudor.org.uk/


The Food and Mental Health Roundup is produced jointly by Jenny Sansom and Flora Wilcox


August 2008

News, research and policy developments

What 3-year olds eat affects their performance many years later.
School dinners have come under the spotlight recently, but new research from Bristol University shows that diet in the pre-school years is even more important. It shows that children who do poorly at school are more likely to have been affected by food they ate years earlier rather than the turkey twizzlers they ate at lunchtime.
http://www.bristol.ac.uk/alspac/documents/news-junkfoodat3.pdf

Mineral imbalances linked to manic depressive episodes.
Researchers found that a variation in 2 genes involved in calcium and sodium ion transfer is linked to bipolar disorder. The genes are for proteins involved in regulating this movement of ions, and are thought to be the same ones targeted by drugs used to treat the condition. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/science-news/2008/largest-study-of-its-kind-implicates-gene-abnormalities-in-bipolar-disorder.shtml

Trial into low vitamin D / schizophrenia link to begin
Researchers will study blood spots taken from newborn babies who have gone on to develop schizophrenia in early adulthood. "Undeniably, low maternal vitamin D affects the way the brain develops," Dr Eyles said.  The next step of the research process involves testing the hypothesis on human samples. By analysing the blood spots of newborns the team will have a good indication of the baby's vitamin D status at the time of birth.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080801094304.htm vitamin d schiz
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-07/ra-srw073108.php

Diet And Autism Research Focuses On Which Foods May Affect Autistic Behavior
Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston have embarked on one of the first double-blind, clinical studies to determine whether gluten and dairy products play a role in autistic behavior as parents have anecdotally claimed. “There’s a lot of misinformation, so that’s why this study is so important,” said Fernando Navarro, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at the medical school and lead investigator of the study. “Hundreds and hundreds of parents think this works but we need serious evidence.” http://publicaffairs.uth.tmc.edu/media/newsreleases/nr2008/autisticchildren.htm

Additives could be labelled on food on drink
Food and drinks containing certain additives could be made to carry health warnings. Some additives are linked to hyperactivity in children and now products may have to state if they contain one or more of these 'E-numbers'. Plans are yet to be approved by ministers.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1043698/Food-drink-containing-E-numbers-carry-health-warnings-label.html

America to follow Europe's lead on synthetic dyes?
The Center for Science in the Public Interest is asking America's parents for help in its campaign to convince the Food and Drug Administration that synthetic dyes, such as Yellow 5 and Red 40, don't belong in foods, especially those consumed by children. Parents are urged to file reports of any such effects to CSPA, who will periodically forward the reports to the FDA, which denies that dyes cause any problem whatsoever. The dyes are being phased out in European countries because of important new evidence showing that the dyes cause hyperactivity and other behavior problems in children. http://www.cspinet.org/new/200808211.html

Review calls for more research on benefits of polyphenols:
Phenolic compounds have been receiving increasing interest as numerous studies have suggested they protect against chronic diseases such as cancers and cardiovascular diseases. In the past 10 years, research on the neuroprotective effects of dietary polyphenols has developed considerably. However, it is not at all clear whether these compounds reach the brain in sufficient concentrations and in a biologically active form to exert beneficial effects, and it would be 'unwise' to assume that they can protect against Alzheimer's and related diseases. 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080707092055.htm
http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/abstract.cgi/jafcau/2008/56/i13/abs/jf0735073.html (abstract)

Brain uses fat as fuel
Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have found the brain's appetite center uses fat for fuel by involving oxygen free radicals—molecules associated with aging and neurodegeneration. The findings suggest that antioxidants could play a role in weight control.  "Our study shows that the minute-by-minute control of appetite is regulated by free radicals, implying that if you interfere with free radicals, you may affect eating and satiety."
The study (in mice) was conducted to better understand how the brain mediates neuronal activation in response to the hormone ghrelin- associated with growth hormone release, appetite, learning and memory. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080730140720.htm

Soya's effect on the brain investigated
Two hormone-like compounds linked to consumption of soya can cause irreversible changes in the structure of the brain, resulting in early-onset puberty and symptoms of advanced menopause in research animals, according to a new study at North Carolina State University.  The study is the first to show that exposure to phytoestrogens (hormone 'mimics' from plants) can alter the actual physical organization of the hypothalamus – a brain region that is essential to the regulation of puberty and ovulation.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080731140030.htm

Events

Essential Fatty Acids and Human Nutrition
Sept 9th and 10th 2008, London
Over two days speakers will present on topics such as the role of essential fatty acids (EFAs) in pregnancy and foetal development, dietary management of genetic disorders and Zellweger’s Syndrome, maternal and foetal nutrition in diabetes and obesity, the causes of childhood obesity and the effect of nutrition on the behaviour of young offenders. Organised by the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition. www.londonmet.ac.uk/IBCHN

Highfields Happy Hens, Etwall, Derbyshire on 17th and 18th September
Highfields describes itself as “dedicated to helping young people with big problems find peace, hope and a future through realistic training and companionship”
http://www.highfieldshappyhens.co.uk/. Two open days are planned in September.

Top Barn Training, Holt Heath, Worcestershire, 25th September 10.30am – 2.30pm
Includes tour round 'Good Soil' project  -  the successor to the Monty Don project dealing with prolific offenders and those with drug problems; tour of Top Barn Training, a project working with adults with learning disabilities, young people at risk of exclusion and adults with acquired brain injuries. A completely home-produced lunch will be followed by a plenary session to finish. This event is aimed at those interested in starting up a care farm project but may also be of interest to commissioners with client groups who may benefit from time on a care farm. Cost: £50 per person.  To book, tel: 01952 815335 or e-mail: enquiries@ncfi.org.uk

FAB CONFERENCE - Feeding Young Minds - Nairn (Highlands)- 26 September 2008
September 26 2008 at The Newton Hotel Nairn, Highlands of Scotland
How can we explain children's worsening behaviour and the escalation in 'special needs' pupils?

For info see: http://www.fabresearch.org/view_item.aspx?item_id=100

Omega-3 for Behaviour, Learning and Mood: Science, policy and practice
Oxford, 3 October 2008
A line up of speakers presenting research on various aspects of the food and mental health link. Food and Behaviour Research.
For info see: http://www.fabresearch.org/view_item.aspx?item_id=100

Food for the Brain Conference 2008  Friday 10th October - Sunday 12th October
Presentations and workshops in London on current research around the links between diet and diverse mental health conditions.
Organised by Patrick Holford’s Insitute for Optimum Nutrition. http://www.foodforthebrain.org/content.asp?id_Content=1772&id_Content_Parent_Override=1775&inc=det   

Public health nutrition: Challenges for the 21st century
Organised by the Caroline Walker Trust
Tuesday 25 November 2008, Kensington Town Hall
A day conference designed to appeal to policy makers, practitioners, health professionals, students and supporters of the Trust. The day will:

The conference themes will focus on nutrition from pregnancy, through early years to old age, with particular emphasis on vulnerable groups. http://www.cwt.org.uk/events.html

Books

Nutrition and Mental Health:  a handbook
This newly published book, edited by Martina Watts is described as an essential guide to the relationship between diet and mental health, it contains vital information for carers, trainers, managers and professionals working within mental health, both in the social and health care fields, within the public, private and voluntary sectors.  (An informed, up-to-date and fully referenced resource).  Normal RRP is £19.95 + p&p, but you can purchase a copy from FAB Research for £17.95 plus p&p (saving 20%).  Telephone (01463) 258840.

It is presented in a clear, understandable format, with a glossary and summary chapter, designed to be useful for those with little previous nutritional knowledge, as well as more experienced practitioners, carers and health care practitioners. 

Consultations

Consultation on National Strategy for Dementia Care
The Government is consulting on a draft strategy for dementia care. The consultation paper draws on evidence from a wide range of reports and stakeholders, a events involving 3,000 people and the recommendations of an External Reference Group. Prevention is to be included as a “key message” - in awareness campaigns, and the problem of poor care leading to malnutrition. It is available at: http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_085569
The Consultation document is based on evidence from a wide range of reports, a series of consultation events involving over 3000 people and the recommendations of an External Reference Group. It briefly mentions diet. Responses are invited before 11th September.

Training

Paediatric Nutrition Course - 9th & 10th September 2008
This course at the London Metropolitan University aims to improve healthcare professionals’ knowledge about the importance of fatty acids in maternal, foetal and paediatric health.
http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/research-units/ibchn/events/paediatric_nutrition_course.cfm
For more information please email Catherine Lehane or Nina Brierly: c.lehane@londonmet.ac.uk or n.brierley@londonmet.ac.uk.

Training in Mental Health and Nutrition
From January 2009, Rotherham Early Intervention in Psychosis Service (part of the NHS) will offer training for supervisors and practitioners, offering both the theory and the practical skills to undertake a tailored nutritional assessment and nutritional intervention for individuals with mental health needs. The training is open to all mental health professionals and there are no formal entry requirements for this distance learning course. For more information or to reserve a place please contact Mr Kevin Williamson, Nutritionist, Rotherham Early Intervention in Psychosis Service on 0114 2942011 or at kevin.williamson@rdash.nhs.uk


Funding

The ASDA Foundation Trust (UK)
The Foundation supports charities within the UK, as well as people, projects and groups that require financial assistance, as long as they have the support of local ASDA colleagues. Past projects include:

Potential applicants should contact their local Store or Depot in the first instance. http://www.about-asda.co.uk/communities/asda-foundation.asp#foundation

Waitrose Launches New Funding Initiative (UK)
Supermarket chain, Waitrose has announced that it will award funding of £2,2 million over the next year to nearly 7,000 charities and local good causes. The funding is being made through a new initiative called Community Matters. Through this scheme, Waitrose will allocate £1,000 a month to each of it's 190 branches to distribute amongst three local community projects as chosen by its customers and employees. To apply, good causes and charities are asked to get in touch with their local Waitrose branch. http://www.johnlewispartnership.co.uk/Display.aspx?MasterId=a4e17b78-fb5b-40d2-9499-46154da7dd91&NavigationId=1235

Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts – Local Food Programme (England)
£50 million is available over the next five years to support a range of organisations such as voluntary and community groups, health agencies including hospitals and PCTs, schools, social enterprises, Parish and Town Councils etc, to carry out a variety of food related projects to make locally grown food more accessible and affordable to local communities. Applications can be submitted at any time and grants are available through two funding streams:

• The small grants scheme which makes grants of between £2,000 and £10,000;
• The main grants programme which makes grants of between £10,001 and £300,000 to support projects such as growing, processing, marketing and distributing local food, composting and raising awareness of the benefits of such activities.
http://www.localfoodgrants.org/index.php/grants

ECOMINDs Programme to Launch in Late Summer (England)
Through the eco-minds programme, to be launched in late summer 2008, Mind will fund a range of groups who want to encourage people with experience of mental distress to get involved in environmental projects, such as improving open spaces and wildlife habitats, designing public art and recycling. Funded through the Big Lottery Fund’s Changing Spaces programme, Ecominds will have £7.5 million to distribute to around 125 new and existing projects around England over the next five years. To be eligible for funding projects must have both a mental health and environmental perspective; involve people with direct experience of mental distress; encourage community access, collaboration, and improve the environment and environmental sustainability; and have a budget of under £250,000. http://www.mind.org.uk/ecominds/

Funding for the Commercialisation of Research Ideas (UK)
Applications are being invited to the first round of the 2008 Follow-on Fund. This is a proof of concept fund to support the commercialisation of research ideas arising from research funded through the Research Councils. Funds will help research staff to develop research ideas to a stage where commercial opportunities (e.g. licensing, seed or equity funds) can be secured. Funds can support further scientific and technical development of an idea though applications may involve some activities towards improving an intellectual property position, market research or investigating potential licensees and joint ventures. There is no minimum or maximum amount that can be applied for although the typical grant awarded is between £80k and £100k. The fund is open to researchers in UK universities and research council institutes with current or past Research Council funding.  The closing date for applications is the1st October 2008. http://www.nerc.ac.uk/using/schemes/followonfund.asp

Research Programme National Lottery – delayed
The September Round two date for applications has been cancelled, and the next application deadline is now 29th May 2009.
http://www.bigresearchprogramme.org.uk/pdf/researchprogqa.pdf


July 2008

Consultations

Consultation on National Strategy for Dementia Care
The Government is consulting on a draft strategy for dementia care. The consultation paper draws on evidence from a wide range of reports and stakeholders, a events involving 3,000 people and the recommendations of an External Reference Group. Prevention is to be included as a “key message” - in awareness campaigns, and the problem of poor care leading to malnutrition. It is available at: http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_085569
The Consultation document is based on evidence from a wide range of reports, a series of consultation events involving over 3000 people and the recommendations of an External Reference Group. It briefly mentions diet. Responses are invited before 11th September.

Training

Paediatric Nutrition Course - 9th-10th September 2008
This course at the London Metropolitan University aims to improve healthcare professionals’ knowledge about the importance of fatty acids in maternal, foetal and paediatric health.
http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/research-units/ibchn/events/paediatric_nutrition_course.cfm
For more information please email Catherine Lehane or Nina Brierly: c.lehane@londonmet.ac.uk or n.brierley@londonmet.ac.uk.

Training in Mental Health and Nutrition
From January 2009, Rotherham Early Intervention in Psychosis Service (part of the NHS) will offer training for supervisors and practitioners, offering both the theory and the practical skills to undertake a tailored nutritional assessment and nutritional intervention for individuals with mental health needs. The training is open to all mental health professionals and there are no formal entry requirements for this distance learning course. For more information or to reserve a place please contact Mr Kevin Williamson, Nutritionist, Rotherham Early Intervention in Psychosis Service on 0114 2942011 or at kevin.williamson@rdash.nhs.uk

Care Farming Open Day
This is the last in the series of care farm open days for this summer and provides an opportunity to visit and find out how care farms work in practice.
September 17th/18th - Highfields Happy Hens, Etwall, Derbyshire - http://www.highfieldshappyhens.co.uk/
Contact either Debbie or Karen on 01952 815335 or enquiries@ncfi.org.uk

News, research and policy developments

School Food Trust calls for more research for food - mental health link
The School Food Trust has called for more research into the links between healthy diet and subsequent mental well-being. The research states that “developing collaborative research programmes and working with partners will strengthen messages about the need for healthy eating http://www.schoolfoodtrust.org.uk/content.asp?ContentId=382#review

Cocaine high energy drink – EDM 1977
A new energy drink which contains three-and-a-half times more caffeine than Red Bull is set to debut in the UK.  Keith Vaz MP has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) which “condemns the expected launch in the UK of the high energy drink Cocaine later this summer; notes that the American firm Ocke Cokey which developed this drink sells it as the legal alternative to the class A drug; further notes that it contains substances that numb the throat to simulate the effect of taking cocaine; believes that this drink may glamorise drug taking; and calls on the Government to stop its launch this summer.”  The EDM has been supported by 40 MPs to date. [Source: Parliamentary website 31 July 2008]