City Research Online

UK food policy: implications for nutritionists

Lang, T. ORCID: 0000-0002-1184-8344 (2022). UK food policy: implications for nutritionists. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 81(2), pp. 176-189. doi: 10.1017/s0029665122000817


Implications of the ‘changing world’ for nutrition and nutritionists are considered, using the UK within a global context as an illustration. The first section summarises the slow recognition by policy makers of the significance of the changing world of food and nutrition. The second section ‘Food system stress is now at a critical level’ considers the present scale of global food system stress and the failure so far sufficiently to narrow the gap between evidence and policy change. The year 2021 was earmarked when three major UN conferences had the opportunity to chart food changes ahead. The third section ‘Multi-criteria analysis helps frame 21st century nutrition science’ proposes that multi-criteria analysis is an essential methodology for nutrition within this more complex policy world; nutrition studies can no long exclude social and environmental criteria. The penultimate section ‘Nutrition science can reconnect its life science, social and environmental nutrition traditions to contribute to new paradigm formation’ suggests that nutrition science can now recombine three traditions within its own history to address this complexity: social nutrition, environmental nutrition and life sciences. The final section ‘Priorities ahead’ concludes that this multi-criteria approach to nutrition offers new routes for science and policy influence. Five priorities are identified: (1) clarification of the features of a good food system; (2) new sustainable dietary guidelines which integrate different determinants of sustainability; (3) helping consumer engagement with change; (4) developing improved policy frameworks and (5) contributing to professional channels in these processes. In the UK, while the challenge of narrowing the gap between evidence, policy and change remains daunting, the risks of not attempting to improve the transition to an ecologically sound public health nutrition are even greater.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of div-class-title-uk-food-policy-implications-for-nutritionists-div.pdf]
Text - Published Version
Download (1MB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login