Food and Health: The Experts Agree

An analysis of one hundred authoritative
scientific reports on food, nutrition and
public health published throughout the world
in thirty years, between 1961 and 1991

by Geoffrey Cannon

Food and health are two of the most important areas of concern for consumers. Being healthy matters at every level: to individuals, families and to society as a whole. The food we eat is vital to life, but eating meals can and should be a pleasurable experience, as well as providing the essential nutrients. Yet as a nation we have distressingly high levels of avoidable diseases commonly associated with diets and much of the food we eat is tasteless, lacking in nutrients, and unwholesome.

The food industry is large and powerful. It spends millions of pounds promoting its products, often with little regard for their value in providing balanced, nutritious and healthy diets. Consumers are bombarded with advice about their health and are subjected to extravagant claims about the healthiness of this or that product or diet, mainly from those with vested interest in selling consumers their products.

The food industry is not above capitalising on this confusion. It has become a popular cause, even in the more serious press, to deride the views of those concerned with the connections between diet and disease and to talk about 'food fascists' seeking to impose austerity diets on a supposedly healthy population. But it is an undeniable fact that the UK suffers from some of the highest levels of diet-related disease in the world.

What this book does is to survey the results of a hundred scientific reports and reveal just how much agreement there is among the experts about the realtions between diet and health. The scientific evidence is that relatively small changes in eating habits could produce significant reductions in UK disease rates. This is a vitally important message for consumers. Consumers' Association is glad to be able to help disseminate this information by publishing this book and, in so doing, make a conribution towards improving the health of the British consumer.
Dr John Beishon
Chief Executive, Consumers' Association

Published in 1992 by:

Consumers' Association Ltd and Geoffrey Cannon

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