Angela Corpes, RSPH Centre Support Manager, takes a look at the importance of providing genuine nutritional information.

Empowering people with the information they need to make healthy lifestyle choices requires a joined up approach to be truly effective in making lasting positive changes. The merits of setting fat, salt and sugar limits for foods has an interesting and valuable role to play in the campaign to improve the public’s health.

The discussion around reformulation emphasises the importance of educating people to understand what their bodies need to function healthily and also highlights the importance of the ongoing campaign for accurate and consumer friendly labelling of foods.

Established medical science tells us that the human body needs to be properly fuelled to function at an optimal level, and evidence based and clinically verified nutrition tells us that there are essential nutrients needed every single day in order to remain healthy. Understanding what to eat and what not to eat is as crucial to human health as getting nutritional and energy needs met.

Projections by the government suggest that the increasing prevalence of diseases such as obesity and diabetes will increase the financial burden on the NHS from £10bn to £17bn by 2035. A reality check is needed, with closer scrutiny of the foods people are consuming, the information that is being communicated to the public about what constitutes a healthy diet and the manner in which it is being communicated.

Alongside all of these measures, the role of educational interventions with quality assured qualifications will continue to be fundamental to generating long term improvements in the nation’s waistline and health and can provide people the foundation of knowledge necessary to understand the difference between genuine nutritional information and advertising hype.

RSPH has a longstanding reputation for designing and delivering nutrition qualifications that meet the needs of industry and the public. This commitment to health education is evidence based and free from commercial interest.