Eatwell Guide
The PHE report into the March 2016 revisions to the Eatwell Guide has been published, along with a scientific paper outlining the linear programming model which supported it. The report said the refresh was prompted by the publication of the SACN report on carbohydrates and health in July 2015, and was conducted by PHE with only ‘arms-length’ support from the External Reference Group. The decision to cut the dairy allowance appears to have been based on the need to increase consumption of starchy carbohydrates rather than decrease dairy. Dairy reductions were centred on cutting the allowance of cheese and yoghurt rather than milk. The report states that the decision to adapt a linear programming model was reached on the basis that it would have fewer downsides than the alternative methodologies and would produce an outcome that was “based on current intake patterns with the fewest changes introduced to meet guidance”.

Additionally, we have received a response to our latest FOI request concerning the process by which the revised Eatwell Guide was drafted. The responses have provided us with information on the observer groups that were present during the External Reference Group meetings. The communications we requested from PHE concerning the Eatwell Guide show no serious engagement with the dairy sector took place.

As a follow-up to the publication of the report, the scientific paper and the FOI responses, we are currently tabling additional parliamentary questions, and have spoken to Simon Hoare’s office to encourage the Dairy APPG to write to Nicola Blackwood to challenge the revisions. We will also seek to raise the Eatwell Guide as part of the Westminster Hall debate we are seeking to secure.

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