This government guide is being slammed for promoting industry wealth over public health

Support us and go ad-free

A government guide to healthy eating has been put under the spotlight by health experts, following claims that it has been developed by too many people with ties to the fast food industry.

The Eatwell Guide – which visually represents the government’s recommendations on the combination of food groups for a ‘healthy, balanced diet’ – was released in March by Public Health England (PHE) to replace the old Eatwell Plate.

Dr. Zoe Harcombe of the Institute of Clinical Exercise and Health Science, University of West Scotland points out that The Eatwell Guide was formulated by a group of organisations appointed by Public Health England. These organisations consist largely of a ‘who’s who of processed food manufacturers’ (representing the likes of Coca-Cola, Birds Eye, and Nestle) rather than independent experts, creating what she has highlighted as a conflict of interests between industry wealth and public health.

She cites a telling example: while the proportions of recommended food groups for daily consumption have changed, the previous segment of ‘foods high in fat and sugars’ has morphed into a section on unsaturated oils and spreads. This prompted one of the UK’s biggest food manufacturers to take out ads in national newspapers celebrating their “dedicated section,” Dr. Harcombe points out. She goes on to state that:

The primary flaw of the Eatwell Guide, as with its predecessors, is that it is not evidence-based… There has been no randomised, controlled trial of a diet based on the Eatwell Plate or Guide

The lack of independent expert input appears to have been an ongoing problem, even before this latest version was published. In private correspondence with the Food Standards Agency in 2009, reports indicated that the food group percentages for the previous Eatwell Plate were only based on weight. She went on to explain why this is not the right way to measure recommended amounts of food:

The weight of food doesn’t matter to the human body; what counts are calories, macro- and micronutrients.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

What’s worse, the guide continues to advise people to follow a high-carb, low-fat diet that has long been proven to be unhealthy; and it’s exactly this focus on reducing fat rather than sugar, which has contributed to the rise of obesity in the UK.

Featured image via YouTube

 

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed