In this policy briefing “A Healthy and Sustainable Food Future Policy recommendations to embed sustainability in the Eatwell Guide and wider UK food policy” the Eating Better Alliance and Medact call on Public Health England (PHE), government more broadly and health professionals to do more to promote healthy and sustainable diets and to ensure that dietary recommendations underpin food and farming policy.
The brief asks for action from governments, health professionals and other policy actors to develop and implement dietary guidelines that give due consideration to the interconnections between health and environmental sustainability, particularly in relation to promoting reduced consumption of meat and dairy food.
The four main recommendations are:
1. Ensure cross departmental ownership and collaboration
DEFRA and other relevant government departments (including the devolved administrations) to endorse the Eatwell Guide recently updated by Public Health England, and ensure that it informs the future development of food, farming, fishery and climate change policies, including public and private food procurement standards.
2. Develop and implement strategies to actively change dietary behaviour
Public Health England and other relevant government departments to develop strategies to enable behaviour change towards healthy and sustainable eating patterns.
3. Improve the content and messaging of the Eatwell Guide around health and sustainability
Clearer messaging about the links between diets, health and sustainability to be included in the Eatwell Guide and its associated advice. This should enable the general public, health professionals, consumer organisations and those working in the food sector to understand and pay due consideration to the impact of our food choices on the environment.
4. Develop a broader, more rigorous and regular dietary guidelines review process
Public Health England to develop a broader, more rigorous and regular dietary guidelines review process (e.g. on a five-year cycle) to ensure guidance is updated on the basis of the latest information available.
Read the full briefing here.