Our food choices affect our lives in more ways than we realise. If we make healthy choices, we’ll maintain a healthy weight, feel happier, have more energy, think more clearly, as well as prevent future health problems.
British Nutrition Foundation leads its 10th Healthy Eating Week, taking place from 13 - 17 June 2022. The initiative aims to highlight what we can do to eat better, for ourselves and the planet.
Food and the environment
Making poor food choices and wasting food unnecessarily places a strain on the environment and could actually contribute to climate change. We should be working to protect our planet, water resources, biodiversity and every other measure of planetary health, rather than contributing to its deterioration.
Food wastage is a massive issue UK, that the Government has committed to halving the amount of food waste produced by the UK by 2030. According to the most recent report by the charity, Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), the UK produced around 9.5 million tonnes of food waste in 2018. An estimated 70% of the total was intended to be consumed by people, with 30% classified as inedible parts. Of the 70%, 6.4 million tonnes could have been eaten, which is the equivalent of over 15 billion meals.
WRAP estimated that this waste had a value of over £19 billion a year and would be associated with more than 25 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. Different foods have different impacts on the environment. If we follow healthier and more sustainable diets, we can improve our health, as well as reduce our environmental footprint. Examples of this can be incorporating diverse sources of protein into our diets, such as plant foods like beans, lentils, peas, nuts and seeds.
Obesity and healthy eating
Sara Stanner, science director at British Nutrition Foundation, said “When Healthy Eating Week launched in 2013, 67% of men and 57% of women in England were classified as overweight or obese. This number is now 68% and 60%, respectively, and obesity levels among children are also rising.”
More work needs to be done in raising awareness of how to achieve healthy eating. Therefore, we would like to encourage as many individuals as possible to register for Healthy Eating Week 2022 and take part in the daily challenges.
“Healthy Eating Week provides an opportunity to introduce healthy habits and, by getting involved, teachers and school leaders can help us to build a healthier future generation that are also aware of the health of the planet” says Sara.
Why get involved?
Many of us strive to be healthier, eat healthy and make better lifestyle choices. We aim to eat enough fruit and veg, drink enough water and get more active, but life just gets in the way, and we just never get around to it.
So, why get involved?
It is a chance to get everyone focusing on having a healthier and more sustainable diet.
There will be lots of free resources to help you run your Week.
It shows that you value and are committed to supporting and promoting health.