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BANT Comments on Media Reports ‘Bad Diets Killing More People than Tobacco’ – Lancet Article

The media is widely reporting a study published today in The Lancet, Health Effects of Dietary Risks in 195 Countries, 1990-2017: A Systematic Analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. BANT (British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine) absolutely concurs with the premise that poor nutrition is a leading cause of death globally.

BANT applauds the study for highlighting that Governmental health policies mainly target consumers whereas addressing the whole food chain would help drive true change. BANT has consistently and repeatedly supported a campaign against ultra-processed packaged foods that are becoming the primary source of nutrition for the British people.

The packaged food market is growing at a phenomenal rate and businesses see new dietary offerings to support modern lifestyle needs as opportunities for market growth. The growing following of veganism/plant-based foods which, at its core, is the eating of individual plant foods, but whose followers are being targeted with a vast array of packaged, industrially produced options. The packaged, processed food market for vegan foods has a projected growth of 9% to 2021. A case in point is that turning vegan does not necessarily translate into better health or a healthier planet.

It was interesting to note that the study was developed by partly the same team who published the recent EAT-Lancet report and that once again a link was made to saving the planet by reducing animal foods. BANT would like to provide a reminder that humans as omnivores have a physiological benefit from eating some animal products. Undertaking dietary restrictions such as veganism, requires careful nutritional planning to prevent dangerous nutrient deficiencies such as B12, EPA/DHA, vitamin A, amongst others (plant-based sources of these micronutrients are available, but these forms need multiple-step conversions before being able to be used by the human body).

As highlighted in a recent BANT publication ‘Nutrition Requirements in the Age of Climate Change’, removing animal-based foods from the diet are not the only environment preserving solutions. Other important factors that should be taken into account are actions such as sourcing local produce; reducing plastic packaging and moving to products from small, sustainably run farms versus industrial mega farms. To close the circle, therefore, BANT’s environmental recommendations would be to reduce the consumption of ultra-processed packaged foods, they do not meet any of the above criteria.

Further reservations around the research included in the report, include:

  • The fact that whole grain, study sources of which include biscuits, muffins and pancakes, was separated out from fibre, when it is often the fibre content of whole grains that is correlated with positive health outcomes.
  • The study included risk factors for red meat consumption – beef, pork, lamb and goat – but excluded discussion around poultry, fish and eggs
  • Trans fats were examined, however, why were natural ruminant trans fats included within the study, despite evidence concluding that natural trans fats (ruminant) have no effect on health? It is primarily processed, man-made trans fats which have been repeatedly demonstrated to be linked to cardiovascular disease.
  • The authors themselves highlight the numerous adjustments that were made to the data collected, to fit the study parameters, which resulted in severe limitations to the study results.

To conclude, BANT continues its campaign to encourage the British people to eat more real, unprocessed food, mostly plants. BANT also repeats its calls for some grass-roots changes to the approach to the Obesity Crisis: the reintroduction of home economics classes in school; education about healthy eating and how diet and lifestyle can influence health over the short and long-term for everyone, and promotion by Government Agencies of the consumption of real, unprocessed food, rather than the usual reliance on the industrial food modified by manufacturers.

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 out-dated information and research, and addressing some of the most common health concerns.  The most frequent reasons people seek nutritional advice is to address weight loss and/ or for general health and wellbeing. These issues are addressed by BANT with the following:

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.  A recent report by the Royal Society for Public Health and the Professional Standards Agency made a key recommendation that Accredited Register practitioners have the authority to make direct NHS referrals, in appropriate cases, to ease the administrative burden on GP surgeries.

To find a BANT practitioner, please click here: http://bant.org.uk/bant/jsp/practitionerSearch.faces

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Daniel O’Shaughnessy

[email protected]        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:

 

Ends

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 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.

To find a BANT practitioner, please click here: