BANT Baffled by Public Health England’s Campaign Focusing on Calories

BANT (British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy) is baffled by Public Health England’s new ‘One You’ campaign focusing on the scientifically old-fashioned notion of calories.

It is well established that calorie counting is difficult to manage in supporting people looking to lower their risk of obesity. Calorie counting takes little to no account of the nutritional values of different foods and their relation to health and is problematic for those at risk of eating disorders. Not for the first time BANT is asking “why promote a campaign that leads the population to rely on calorie defined processed foods, rather than simple, wholesome ingredients?”.

Humans don’t think in calories and the risk is that PHE is encouraging the very people who may need to modify their eating habits, to rely on processed offerings, due to calorie figures being highlighted on packets.  The question that needs to be answered is why PHE doesn’t promote wholefood and individual ingredients, when evidence-based nutrition science continuously highlights the benefits, not only in weight management, but also overall health?

The continual tinkering of out-dated nutrition science is putting the health of the British nation at risk and is contributing to the current National Health Service crisis. The OECD 2017 obesity rankings classified the UK as the sixth most obese nation in the world, a truly dubious honour. Obesity and its related conditions are complex issues which require interventions at multiple levels to achieve both effective prevention and successful treatment, and this is putting an unbearable and unwarranted burden on NHS.

BANT continues to promote its Wellbeing Guidelines campaign to encourage the British people to eat more individual ingredients and unprocessed food.  BANT also continues to call for some grass-roots changes to the approach to the Obesity Crisis: the reintroduction of home economics classes in school; education about healthy eating; how diet and lifestyle can influence health over the short and long-term; and promotion by Government Agencies of the consumption of healthy ingredients and unprocessed food.

The causes of obesity are multifactorial and can include increased stress levels, systemic low-grade inflammation, lack of exercise, and choice of foods and their preparation/cooking methods, amongst others.  There is growing evidence that minimally processed foods like non-starchy vegetables and fruit are more satiating and elicit less of a glycaemic response than ultra-processed foods, so prevalent in typical British diets. Additionally, minimally processed foods are associated with a decreased risk of cardio-metabolic disease.

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 for is to address weight loss 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 AR 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 Nutritional Therapy 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:

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