27 June 2019

Today, the terms of reference for a timely independent review of the UK’s food system has been announced by the government. The review, on behalf of DEFRA, will be led by Henry Dimbleby, co-author of the government’s Childhood Obesity Plan. This is said to be the first review of this type and magnitude since 1947. Here are the links to the press release and terms of reference, and further information can be found here.

BNF has already been involved with preliminary discussions with Henry Dimbleby’s team,  and discussions are set to continue over the coming months.

BNF's Director General, Prof Judy Buttriss comments that:

"Food is more than fuel.  What we eat characterises who we are and how we live our lives. It influences our health and wellbeing, and the food we produce in the UK shapes the landscape we live in and provides jobs and supports the economy.  But food production is also intricately linked to the environment and is both a driver and an outcome of climate change.

“In some respects, eating healthily is seen as all about eating less/ cutting things out.  But this need not be the case. Good nutrition is as much about eating more of some things (such as vegetables, wholegrains, pulses) as it is about cutting back on others (such as salt, free sugars, saturated fat and calories). The integrated message of variety, balance and nutrient density - making every calorie count - needs to be reflected in food production right through to what we teach children in schools about food.” 

For a discussion of these issues, see our article in the Nutrition Bulletin.

“These are just a few of the  many reasons why we need a fundamental rethink about food policy in the UK. This important initiative provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to look at food, nutrition and the environment in the round – in its entirety, through multiple lenses.”