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BANT Cautiously Welcomes EAT-Lancet Commission On Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems but has Reservations

BANT (British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine) was interested to read ‘Our Food in the Anthropocene: Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems’, by The EAT-Lancet Commission. Whilst BANT fully supports considerations that contribute to the urgent environmental debate, it feels obliged to sound a note of caution on some of the specific nutrient recommendations made.

As BANT has reiterated many times in the past, its practitioners do not suggest ‘one-size-fits-all’ advice but take into account individuality that enables personalisation of dietary advice based on the most up-to-date research available.  BANT practitioners are made up of omnivores, flexitarians, vegetarians and vegans amongst others, and they support clients who also have a range of dietary preferences that are equally diverse. The key is to respect our client’s health, whilst encouraging sustainable and respectful eating to save our planet.

BANT supports the report’s recommendations that half a person’s plate should be comprised of vegetables, a quarter whole grains and a quarter protein, this indeed, is what the organisation has been promoting since the launch of its Wellbeing Guidelines (see image) in 2016. BANT also supports the recommendation of no/low intake of processed foods and added sugar. The reduction of food wastage is also a report recommendation BANT fully supports.

However, BANT does sound a note of caution regarding some of the more draconian recommendations. Humans are, physiologically and metabolically, omnivores and for some members of the population reducing the amount of animal protein to the levels recommended within the report, may be problematic without supplementation or intake of fortified foods (14g of red meat a day – about half a meatball, and 1.5 eggs per week, for example). BANT believes that there are other earth sustainable solutions, which also respect livestock, such as prioritising fresh, locally farmed ingredients, including grass-fed meat, over meat sources from unsustainable farming practices and industrialised ultra-processed, packaged foods.

Overall the goal to support the increased intake of plant-based foods, including legumes, pulses and nuts, with moderate consumption of red meat and added sugars is sound advice and BANT continues to promote its Wellbeing Guidelines campaign to encourage the British people to eat more individual ingredients and unprocessed food. Going back to some old-fashioned values, such a family meal times and improving the nations cooking skills to use fresh ingredients, will go a long way to help the health of the individuals.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Daniel O’Shaughnessy/Jessica Fonteneau

Communications@bant.org.uk        Tel: +44 870 606 1284

 NOTES TO EDITORS:

The British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT)is the professional body for Registered Nutritional Therapy Practitioners. Its primary function is to assist its members in attaining the highest standards of integrity, knowledge, competence and professional practice, in order to protect the client’s interests; nutritional therapy and the registered nutrition practitioner.

BANT experts carefully developed a set of Wellbeing Guidelines, based on the latest science and research in the field of nutrition for optimal health. The BANT Wellbeing Guidelines were specifically designed to provide clear, concise, easy to understand information, avoiding outdated information and research, and addressing some of the most common health concerns.  The most frequent reasons people seek nutritional advice is for weight management and/ or for general health and wellbeing. These issues are addressed by BANT with the following:

BANT Registered Nutrition Practitioners are regulated by the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) that holds an Accredited Voluntary Register (AVR) for the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (PSA). A recent report by the Royal Society for Public Health and the Professional Standards Agency made a key recommendation that AVR practitioners have the authority to make direct NHS referrals, in appropriate cases, to ease the administrative burden on GP surgeries.

As members of the CNHC Accredited Register, BANT Registered Nutrition Practitioners and other CNHC registrants, are the key workforce asset to harness 21st century lifestyle medicine to tackle the rising tide of stress related fatigue, obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, dementia and other chronic diseases.

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