NHS, BREASTFEEDING AND LIFESTYLE DISEASE COSTS / RECIPE: ROOT VEGETABLE AND LENTIL BAKE

NHS, BREASTFEEDING AND LIFESTYLE DISEASE COSTS / RECIPE: ROOT VEGETABLE AND LENTIL BAKE

Last Friday, NHS announced, that £40million could be save if mothers would breastfeed their babies for longer. This is based on the reduction cost of treatment of conditions such as middle ear infection, gastroenteritis or lower respiratory infections, and necrotising enterocolitis. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of developing the above conditions. Of course there are many other benefits of breastfeeding and I whole heartedly support any initiative that would help mothers to successfully breastfeed their babies for longer. Investing into breastfeeding coaches that will have a calm and patient approach as opposed to overstretched midwives would be a great start.

Judging from comments on this article this news has not been received very well by a lot of mums. The most vocal are the mums who wanted to breastfeed, tried their best but for variety of reasons were not successful. They feel attacked. A lot of them already blame themselves for this “failure” and don’t need to be told they might be responsible for NHS loosing vast amounts of money. Motherhood can play with our minds, we tend to blame ourselves for any shortcomings, we think we are not good enough at this mum thing….I still blame myself for not breastfeeding my daughter as long as I did my son (by couple of months….). Or for weaning my son a bit too early (on advice of a health visitor and guidelines at that particular time).

No surprise mums are angry especially when we compare the £40million loss to other NHS statistics. In 2007 the estimated cost of the treatment of overweight and obesity related conditions in England (only) was £4.2 billion, the indirect cost (such as reduced productivity) was estimated between £2.6 billion and £15.6billion. A 2013 Telegraph article noted the cost of diseases caused by poor diet and sedentary lifestyle was more than £6billion. The cost of treatment of alcohol related harm in 2010-11 in England was £3.5billion a year. And finally the cost to the NHS in England of treating diseases caused by smoking in 2014 was £2 billion. These are pretty hefty sums for conditions we could and should prevent. In my view that’s where the real focus needs to be.

http://www.noo.org.uk/NOO_about_obesity/economics
http://www.nhs.uk/news/2014/12December/Pages/More-breastfeeding-would-save-NHS-millions.aspx
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists/laura-donnelly/10174593/Obesity-bankrupting-the-NHS-warns-peer.html
http://www.ash.org.uk/files/documents/ASH_121.pdf
http://www.nta.nhs.uk/uploads/alcohol2012-13.pdf


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ROOT VEGETABLE AND LENTIL BAKE
This is a very autumnal root vegetable bake, you can alter the flavour by choosing your favourite seasoning mix such as curry, Moroccon mix or Cajun.

1 cup (200g) red lentils
2 bay leaves
2 medium parsnips
2 large carrots
1 large red pepper
oil spray (optional)
2 leeks
1/4c (60ml) water
2 tbs Hungarian spice mix (or any other spice mix)
1 tbs tahini
1/2 cup (60g) ground almonds
salt and pepper to taste

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  • Cook the lentils in 3 cups (750ml) water with the bay leaves for 15 min or till soft. Drain and set aside.
  • Cut the parsnips, carrots and red pepper into bite size chunks, tip into a roasting dish, lightly spray with oil (I use rice bran) and roast in 200C oven for 40min or till soft and caramelized. Stir half way through.
  • Slice and wash the leeks, saute in 1/4 cup (60 ml) together with seasoning mix till softened.
  • Place the roasted vegetabels and seasoned leeks into a food processor and pulse till combined, well chopped but not too mushy. Place into a large bowl.
  • Add the lentils, tahini and almonds to the vegetables. Mix well, add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Spread into a square baking dish and bake at 180C till golden brown on top.
  • Serve with gravy or cranberry sauce.
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