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Time for a prevention-led model to rebuild the nation’s health

British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT)

2 min read Partner content

BANT 2024 Election Manifesto – A call for change!

As UK voters prepare to go to the polls, BANT (British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine) is calling on all parties to place nutrition and preventative healthcare at the heart of their pledges to the UK population.

BANT CEO, Satu Jackson states “The health of the nation is dire. The statistics don’t lie. We are the “sickest nation in Europe” in the most real sense. It is time to focus on prevention and harness the existing workforce of nutrition professionals to make a real difference in the nation’s health crisis”.

With spiralling rates of obesity and unhealthy weight, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM), cancer, and mental health concerns, to name but a few, BANT has published a five-point manifesto urging decisive action to future-proof the NHS.

Within the manifesto, BANT underlines the need to release NHS staff and resources currently tied to the care of chronic conditions to allow better outcomes in acute and critical care. “We need nutrition practitioners in the NHS”, says Jackson, “simply put, there are not enough GPs to tackle the growing burden of non-communicable diseases”.

GPs are facing a growing stream of chronically ill patients. The obvious solution is to bring  Registered Nutritional Therapy Practitioners into primary care where they would ease the burden on surgeries. The main obstacle is the chronic lack of funding leading BANT to call for an increase in funding for prevention.

According to BANT, the current ‘pill for every ill’ model is not effective in the face of diet-related disease and unhealthy lifestyles and serves only to divert resources. However, “there is one tried and tested way to ‘treat’ symptoms exacerbated by poor diet, and that is by improving how we eat,” says Jackson.

BANT also argues the case for improving current dietary guidelines and resources - given the severely outdated and under-funded Eatwell Guide, alongside taking measures to reform food labelling and restrict ultra-processed foods and drinks (UPFDs), in a collective effort to create a food environment for good health.

BANT’s calls for change to rebuild the nation’s health are echoed by many.

A general election provides parties with the unique opportunity to mark a transition in public health policy, with a focus on a prevention-led model. It is time for change!

Read the full manifesto here.

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