Healthy Start

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This essay will discuss healthy start as a current healthcare initiative in the United Kingdom. It will also look at the historical overview of healthy start its aim and how the initiative is structured, problems associated with in adequate nutrition with relation to socioeconomic status and the effectiveness of health promotion/health education will be reviewed with its implication to health care delivery, finally this write up will discuss about different nursing theories and models, which promote healthy start and how the knowledge of transcultural nursing and reflective practise will promote nursing practice. The history of a healthy start is as far as 2002 when similar initiatives were in place, namely National school fruit scheme, Five a day program, Promotion of breast feeding and Welfare food scheme (Department of Health DH, 2005)

Welfare food scheme initiative focused on distribution of milk to schools, nurseries and low income families. Upon scientific review it was understood that the beneficiaries where not getting adequate nutrition, vitamins and weaning diet was not included, as the focus is on milk distribution only and researchers fear that if it continues it will discourage breastfeeding, it was agreed that a new program be designed that will better meet the need of the people (DH 2005).

Healthy start is a government initiative that replaced the food welfare scheme. The focus is on provision of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk, infant formulas and vitamins to children below 4years and pregnant women. (Robert et al. 2005). This initiative is targeted towards supporting low income and disadvantaged families, pregnant women and children below age four. Beneficiaries receive vouchers which will be utilised in purchasing vegetables, fresh fruits, milk or infant formulas. However, according to DH (2010) low income families still have difficulty providing their children with a healthy, balanced diet this includes varieties of fruit and vegetables daily.

The intent of healthy start initiative is to improve the welfare food scheme to better meet the nutritional needs of beneficiaries within existing budget, improve the health and well being of young children and pregnant women from low income families, increase the flexibility of the welfare food scheme to better reflect current dietary guideline to low income family and to forge closer link between nurses, midwifes, health visitors and beneficiaries to enable them have access to information about breast feeding, healthy eating and living (DH 2006). It have been understood that most people do not get adequate nutrition for two reason firstly due to financial restrain and secondly lack of knowledge (DH 2006). Healthy start have been structured in a way that it will take care of both issues with the effective participation of the nurse and other healthcare professionals (Robert et al. 2005).It is an evidence based government intervention in reducing inequality in healthcare.(Marmot 2010) Inadequate nutrition does not only pose a threat to the individual and family but also the society and the government at large. Among the pregnant women and children it increases the risk of morbidity and mortality from infectious disease and also it affects the rate of physical and cognitive development in unborn child (IMAJ 2000). According to (Albon and Murkheji 2008), babies born in disadvantaged families are prone to having a weight at birth, malnourished or even die than those of families of higher income. Also, Blake (2006) supported this by saying that the strain on family resources with reference to purchasing power adversely affects the nutritional status of children from such family thereby increasing their exposures to infectious disease. Because it is assumed that the stable income families can afford healthy meals. Marmot (2010) supported this by saying that people of higher socioeconomic standard have more chances leading to flourishing...
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