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BANT is launching its Food for your Health campaign to encourage individuals to prioritise their diet and nutrition in support of their health. The campaign aims to highlight how dietary choices directly impact health and wellbeing. At the heart of this campaign is a food-first ethos which inspired the campaign name “food for your health”. The underlying motive for the campaign is to address the continued rise in diet-induced metabolic dysregulation.
Diet-induced metabolic dysregulation describes the cluster of modifiable metabolic symptoms we regularly see in day-to-day nutritional practice such as overweight and obesity, blood-sugar imbalances, insulin resistance, inflammation, microbiome disturbances, hypertension, and high cholesterol. These conditions are all modifiable by dietary and lifestyle interventions. Poor diet and lifestyle choices can exacerbate and accelerate symptoms, whilst optimised diet and lifestyle choices can support, and in many instances ameliorate, metabolic imbalances. An optimised diet therefore focuses on nutrition – the foods we eat – as the first line of prevention. BANT has launched a new Metabolic Dysregulation Infographic to illustrate this.
The British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) is the home of nutrition professionals, setting the standard of excellence in science-based nutrition and lifestyle medicine. BANT acts as a professional body for Registered Nutritional Therapy Practitioners in one-to-one clinical practice and as a self-regulator for BANT Registered Nutritionists®. BANT oversees the activities, training, and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of its practitioners and has a governing council, who may be non-members but whose professional experience lies in the medical, scientific, or educational area of nutritional science.
The campaign name Food for your Health perfectly expresses what BANT nutrition practitioners advocate every day in clinical practice; how to eat to optimise your health and wellbeing. This philosophy is at the core of personalised nutrition and simply means embracing food and diet as the first line strategy in supporting health and preventing diet-induced illness. Our health is intrinsically influenced by what we eat. Food is more than just fuel and empty calories. It is a rich source of essential nutrients which support health and wellbeing.
The campaign strapline “Never before have our food choices been so important for our health and wellbeing” was carefully chosen to underline the importance of our food choices in today’s increasingly challenging world. It is difficult for people to make healthy informed choices with food industry and clever marketing doing their utmost to get us hooked on processed foods and less healthy products. Whilst diet and nutrition are often talked about in healthcare and the media, never before has the significance been so important as we face a worsening national obesity epidemic and global pandemic. Diet is considered a modifiable lifestyle factor, meaning we can make changes to it. Our food choices can therefore help modify our health and wellbeing as prevention for diet-induced illness.
The objective for the campaign is to help individuals learn how to make educated choices when it comes to their diet and lifestyle, and to promote a food-first ethos to health and wellbeing. BANT believes that helping more people to learn how to make dietary choices to optimise their nutrient intake and help prevent diet-induced illness, is key to empowering individuals to take greater control of their health. BANT aims to provide a range of free resources to introduce individuals to nutritional therapy and the principles of how to eat a healthy balanced diet.
For individuals who wish to pursue more personalised one-to-one support, there are over 2,500 Registered Nutritional Therapy Practitioners available throughout the UK. You can find a practitioner online at Nutritional Therapist Practitioner Search (bant.org.uk).
The campaign aims to address the worsening UK obesity epidemic and rise in diet-induced metabolic dysregulation. At a public health level there has been an ongoing failure to educate people on diet and nutrition, and how food directly impacts individual health. Public Health England’s Better Health campaign, launched in 2020, continues to promote an out-dated one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss, focusing on counting calories versus nutrients. This approach fails to recognise the multi-factorial and individual factors that affect people’s health and does little to alter diet and lifestyle habits longer term. Registered Nutritional Therapy Practitioners practise personalised nutrition and advocate a ‘one size fits one’ approach, recognising that all individuals are unique. BANT nutrition practitioners work with both individuals and groups to provide more tailored recommendations to help people make lasting changes to their health and wellbeing based on real-food solutions.
The events of 2020 have thrown nutrition into the media spotlight in a way previously unseen. We continue to live through a global pandemic where diet-induced illnesses such as obesity and other metabolic disorders are listed as risk factors for COVID-19. The role of nutrition, and the nutrient status of people, are being recognised as important factors in immune resilience, susceptibility, and risk factors for disease, and as indicators of the possible severity and outcomes of disease. Many people are now realising how much their health means to them and want to take the necessary steps to optimise their health and wellbeing and prevent illness.