Gordon Launches Report To Help Osteoporosis
Gordon was joined by dozens of policy-makers, doctors, MPs and peers and the Chief Executive of the National Osteoporosis Society as he launched in Parliament the major report from the Parliamentary Osteoporosis Group he chairs on new ways to help prevent the spread of a disease which affects 1 in 2 women and 1 in 3 men.
The report is the result of a nine-month enquiry which Gordon co-ordinated with NOS and his parliamentary co-chair Baroness Cumberlege. The Group took both written evidence and had oral sessions with doctors, dieticians, representatives of the food and drinks industry, cosmetics as well as NHS policy makers.
The group has put forward recommendations and will campaign for a national strategy to improve bone health and attempt to reduce the rate of bone breakages across the UK.
Gordon said, “I’m heartened we’ve launched this report. Osteoporosis is an issue that is very close to me as my mother suffered from it for 20 years. The disease is an issue that affects us directly here in Blackpool and on the Fylde Coast as we have a large population of disabled people along with people in residential care and an above average amount of elderly people.”
“A deficiency in Vitamin D is a growing source of bone problems for all of us due to the decline of good diets with less people drinking milk and eating less fresh fish as well as issues around exposure to sunlight. We therefore must make sure these people are being given adequate advice as well as nutrition.”
The Group’s recommendations as a result of its enquiry include:
· Concerns about proper nutrition in older people in hospitals, residential homes and those who are housebound must be tackled more effectively.
· Wider choice of dietary supplements and fortified and non-fortified products should be available.
· Food companies should have greater freedom to create vitamin D products.
· Spending 10 minutes in the sun can help boost vitamin D and strengthen bones.
· Other things to help keep bones strong include 20 minutes of weight-bearing exercise three to four times a week, avoiding smoking and drinking alcohol in moderation.
Gordon added, “Osteoporosis is something we cannot cure but we can reduce its impact and do more to prevent its spread. It is therefore vital that we make sure people suffering from the disease or prone to it are given the best possible treatment and care. I will be working with the all-party parliamentary osteoporosis group to monitor the standards of nutrition in hospitals, care homes and in people’s homes and work to give people the best quality of life possible.”