The national police wellbeing service, Oscar Kilo, working with former cop and owner of Nutrivival Anna Earl, has launched a brand new programme designed to help officers and staff optimise their nutritional practices, combat fatigue and support long-term wellness.
The ‘Nutrition for wellbeing programme’ was launched earlier this month and is designed to promote long-term health through food, looking at diet and how it can impact a person’s long-term health and life expectancy, as well as performance, energy levels and mood.
Oscar Kilo sleep and fatigue lead Dr Yvonne Taylor said: “It’s no secret that the human body is not designed to be awake at night, which is one of the reasons why it’s so important for shift workers to look at what they eat and when they eat.
“The nutritional wellbeing programme is a toolkit, incorporating webinars, short videos and downloadable resources with hints and tips to help keep on track.”
The programme comes after results from the annual national policing wellbeing surveys indicated that fatigue is an issue within policing.
“It’s all about balance – nutrition, sleep and exercise are like three pillars that support and promote good mental and physical health,” continued Yvonne.
“Eating nutritious foods at the right times can help a person rebalance, with certain foods providing a more gradual release of energy, keeping us fuelled for longer and reducing the desire to snack. This programme is about providing education, advice and support to all within policing.”
According to research, shift workers are at greater risk of chronic health conditions than regular day workers, due to disrupted sleep and unusual eating patterns.
Oscar Kilo sleep and fatigue lead Dr Yvonne Taylor
“Having been a police officer for almost 27 years, and working shifts for the vast majority of that time, I know first-hand what it’s like. I have craved and eaten the wrong things in the middle of the night. I know how it feels to juggle work, life at home - all sorts of things, which can lead to any of us snacking, emotionally eating or just not sticking to a healthy diet,” Yvonne added.
“Having an easy-to-access programme in place, such as this one, created by Anna, will just make life easier.”
The programme is bursting with hints and tips on how to live a more balanced, healthier lifestyle, as well as meal planning support and recipe ideas.
“With everyone’s lives getting busier, it’s hard to prepare meals at the best of times let alone if you’re working shifts,” said Yvonne.
“We’ve all fallen off the healthy eating wagon from time to time. Hopefully having this programme at hand will make preparing ahead just that little bit easier - helping to put a plan in place and providing additional support.”
As part of the programme, a number of webinars will be taking place, each surrounding the topic of nutrition.
The first webinar, ‘food for energy’ will be taking place on Monday 5 December at 11am. Officers and staff can register for the webinar.
Alongside this nutritional wellbeing programme, Oscar Kilo also partners with Dr Sophie Bostock to provide a Better Sleep Toolkit and a number of sleep seminars, to provide further support for officers and staff, in all aspects of sleep health.
For more information on the nutrition for wellbeing programme members can visit the Oscar Kilo website.