Thu, 30 June 2022

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Health Disparities White Paper must level up heart health Partner content
By British Heart Foundation
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The National Food Strategy White paper is more of a whitewash!

British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT)

2 min read Partner content

This non-strategy falls way short of delivering against health targets.

BANT is dismayed to see the dilution of the National Food Strategy (NFS) recommendations to such an extent that ‘health’ is no longer discernible amongst the strategic objectives. BANT submitted several key technical points to DEFRA regarding the recommendations to ‘Escape the Junk Food cycle’ as well as on social prescribing, and the blatant under-utilisation of existing practitioners who are well-placed to assist primary care providers in the field of nutrition and lifestyle.

These considerations appear to have been side-stepped in the paper released on Monday 13th , and the paper falls short of all BANT expectations with regards to addressing the continued rise in obesity and non-communicable metabolic disorders.

The proposed £11 million UKRI-led ‘Diet & Health Open Innovation Research Club’ to further explore the role of ultra-processed foods and health is an abject waste of public money. Independent, peerreviewed evidence bases exist and there is sufficient research to demonstrate the harmful relationship between high fat, salt and sugar products and health. The government proposal cannot be seen as anything other than a move to placate industry.

It is clear this government does not have a true strategy within grasp. And this is simply the latest in a long line of failed initiatives which refuse to tackle the true issue of diet and poor health. In just 3 months the government has derailed its own obesity strategy by pulling the £100m funding for NHS weight management programs. It has procrastinated on advertising and BOGOF promotions and delayed acting till 2023. This government is unable to make the decisive decisions needed to address the growing obesity epidemic and flailing UK health.

BANT continues to actively advocate for healthy food choices with their ‘Food for your Health’ campaign, launched to tackle the rise in diet-induced illness. Registered Nutritional Therapy Practitioners are actively working with individuals to guide them on healthier dietary and lifestyle choices as prevention for chronic conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease, as well as for wider health conditions and general wellbeing. The stark comparison between those of us actively involved in health, and the government’s inactivity, could not be more telling.

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