FUW baffled by Eatwell Plate despite FOI evidence

FOLLOWING a recent Freedom of Information request by the FUW in response to Public Health England’s “Eatwell Plate”, the union remains baffled by the dietary guidelines published. The request was made by the FUW as the guide recommended that consumers reduce their daily amount of dairy produce intake to just eight per cent. FUW senior policy officer Hazel Wright said: “Some of the evidence provided under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act related to reports conducted by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) on trans fatty acids, iron, health, energy and nutrition. “However, much of the FOI concerned the modelling work which was undertaken to establish the Eatwell Plate in a way which would give ease of use to the consumer. “This was of much less concern to the FUW than the methods used to scientifically justify the prominence of each food group.” Unfortunately, whilst the FOI demonstrates the inconclusive nature of some of the detrimental claims about dairy products, studies which demonstrate the positive effects of dairy on health factors, such as bone density and blood pressure, gain much less prominence. Moreover, the FOI did not provide any suitable clarity on the methodology used to reach the conclusion that dairy should contribute just eight per cent daily intake. “The FUW remains bitterly disappointed by the original healthy eating guide issued by Public Health England and the information provided under the FOI has done little to mitigate existing concerns about the basis for this work,” said Dr Wright. The union remains unconvinced by the changes made to the Eatwell Plate and is seriously disappointed by the information provided under the FOI. Dr Wright added that it is essential that proper and rigorous scientific evaluation of dairy dietary research has been conducted to ensure that consumers understand the value of dairy products in the diet. “The FUW would, therefore, welcome further engagement in this process in the future to ensure any negative presumptions about dairy produce do not unduly influence the final decision-making process of consumers.”

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