Union Still 'Baffled' by Lower Dairy Consumption Guidelines

WALES, UK - The Farmers’ Union of Wales has said it is still baffled by Public Health England’s new ‘Eatwell Plate’, despite receiving evidence behind the recommendations under the Freedom of Information Act.
calendar icon 27 April 2016
clock icon 2 minute read

The new Eatwell Plate reduced the amount of dairy products consumers were advised to eat per day to 8 per cent of their diet.

The Union asked for the information on how Public Health England reached the 8 per cent figure, but said the information did not shed much light on the decision.

FUW Senior Policy Officer Dr 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 8 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,” added 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 further said that it is essential that proper and rigorous scientific evaluation of dairy dietary research has been conducted in order to ensure that consumers understand the value of dairy products in the diet.

The FUW said it would therefore welcome further engagement in this process in the future in order to ensure that any negative presumptions about dairy produce do not unduly influence the final decision making process of consumers.

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