NHS chief ‘killjoy’ writes blog post urging people ‘not to eat whole Easter egg in one go’

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People should limit their intake of Easter eggs this weekend to slash the risk of falling ill while GP surgeries are closed, the NHS has warned.

Dr Andrew Kelso, an NHS medical director, urged the public to avoid scoffing whole Easter eggs in one go and to cut back on cakes and biscuits.

Writing on an NHS blog, he said Britons should do ‘all they can to look after themselves’ when practices are shut from Good Friday to Easter Monday.

And he warned the the additional sugar and calories people consume when celebrating with friends and family ‘doesn’t do our bodies any good’.

Dr Kelso, who has been labelled a ‘killjoy’ by critics, said ‘many people don’t realise’ that an average Easter egg contains around three-quarters of an adult’s recommended daily calorie intake.

Dr Andrew Kelso, an NHS medical director, urged the public to avoid scoffing whole Easter eggs in one go and to cut back on cakes and biscuits

And he said ‘at a time like this’ – when the NHS has seen significant increases in obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay – he would ‘urge people to enjoy their Easter eggs in moderation’.

The warning comes after a study by the Daily Mail revealed brands such as Cadbury, Galaxy and Lindt have slashed the size of their Easter eggs this year, while keeping the prices the same or putting them up.

Christopher Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: ‘This infantilising advice from a killjoy NHS mandarin wouldn’t grate quite so much if it wasn’t part of a broader warning to the public telling us not to get our hopes up about receiving healthcare over the bank holiday weekend.

‘The real advice is to get ill between Monday to Friday during working hours and not on bank holidays.

‘I doubt there will be many people waiting 12 hours in A&E this weekend with an Easter egg-related injury.

‘NHS bosses should take a break from hectoring the public and let us enjoy Easter.’

Seven in ten men and six in ten women in England are overweight or obese and almost 4million people in the UK are living with type-2 diabetes.

Meanwhile, one in six children are leaving primary school with rotten teeth and tooth decay remains the most common reason for hospital admission in children aged between 6 and 10 years.

Dr Kelso, medical director at the NHS Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Board, wrote: ‘The Easter holidays are a fantastic opportunity for rest and relaxation with our families, which is so important for our wellbeing. This will also be a time when, for many of us, our consumption of chocolate and sweets increases.

‘Yet, many people don’t realise that an average Easter egg contains around three-quarters of an adult’s recommended daily calorie intake. At a time like this when we are seeing significant increases in cases of obesity and Type 2 diabetes, as well as tooth decay, I urge people to enjoy their Easter eggs in moderation and resist the urge to eat a whole egg in one go.

‘As well as Easter eggs many of us will be meeting up with family and friends for social occasions, which will see us eat more cakes and biscuits. Combined, it all adds up to a lot of extra sugar and calories which doesn’t do our bodies any good. Enjoy your sweet treats, but please don’t overdo it.

‘This holiday time will also be a busy period for NHS staff and services, and I ask people to do all they can to look after themselves and know how to access the most appropriate source of advice and care if they feel unwell.’

Dr Kelso also urged readers to stock up their medical cabinet with ‘medicine cabinet essentials’, such as paracetamol, plasters and anti-diarrhoea medicine, and to order repeat prescriptions with enough time for GPs to process them before they close.

He said A&E should be kept for the most serious issues and suggested people try NHS 111 or a local pharmacy if they need non-urgent care.

Tory MP Jacob Rees Mogg labelled Dr Kelso as ‘Professor Po-face of the NHS’ and added: ‘A little extra scoffing at Easter and Christmas is perfectly reasonable.’

WHAT SHOULD A BALANCED DIET LOOK LIKE? 

Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain, according to the NHS

Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain, according to the NHS

• Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruit and vegetables count

• Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain

• 30 grams of fibre a day: This is the same as eating all of the following: 5 portions of fruit and vegetables, 2 whole-wheat cereal biscuits, 2 thick slices of wholemeal bread and large baked potato with the skin on

• Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks) choosing lower fat and lower sugar options

• Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 portions of fish every week, one of which should be oily)

• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consuming in small amounts

• Drink 6-8 cups/glasses of water a day

• Adults should have less than 6g of salt and 20g of saturated fat for women or 30g for men a day

Source: NHS Eatwell Guide  

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