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Food in the news

Public Health England has declared war on calories this week. Manufacturers will need to cut the calorie content in many ready meals and take-aways.

This is certainly a move in the right direction, but I can't help thinking that if only these government agencies and health organisations would educate the nation to eat real food instead of counting calories in ultra-processed foods, then we might see some real change in the state of the nation's health.

Obesity is a multi-factorial condition - it is not always about calories in minus calories out. Obesity treatment needs multi-level interventions to get successful outcomes. Nutrition, lifestyle, movement, environment, sleep and stress might all need addressing, depending on the individual. Calorie counting does not take account of the nutritional value of food.

The very people who need the most nutrition are being told to rely upon checking calorie content of processed foods.

Public Health England should be promoting whole foods and single healthy ingredients. Changes to the nation's approach to food need to be introduced - nutrition and cookery classes in schools, campaigns to show how diet and lifestyle can influence health at any age, as well as the importance of sleep and exercise.

The British people need to be taught that whole and minimally processed foods can provide all the nutrients for optimal health.

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