Sensational headlines about the nations health, like those on the front page of the Daily Mail and Daily Express on Monday, are designed to sell newspapers. Unfortunately what they also do is provide the public with misinformation and show little respect for people living with challenging health conditions such as Diabetes and Coeliac Disease.
Claiming that doughnuts, pizzas and burgers are freely available on the NHS conjures up images that couldn’t be further from the truth. Gluten free bread, flour and low protein foods are prescribed, but in limited amounts and only when absolutely necessary for the health and well being of patients.
Coeliac UK have refuted claims that the Health Service spent £116m on gluten free prescriptions. In reality it was less than a quarter of that at £26.8 million in 2014 equating to an annual cost of £180 per diagnosed patient. Said to be one of the cheapest treatments for long term health conditions in the NHS.
Sarah Sleet the Chief Executive of Coeliac UK is calling for the Daily Mail to correct the misinformation presented today along with the Mirror, Times, Telegraph and Express.
I’m all for raising awareness of the importance of nutrition and health, but articles like this just muddy the water, create bad feeling and cause harm to vulnerable people.
I wonder what the headlines will be on Tuesday!