World leaders in nutrition and public health call for a food revolution at the inaugural Goodwood Health Summit
and live on Freeview channel 276
The BBC's Justin Webb introduced and interviewed five panellists, pre-eminent in the fields of nutrition, public health and the human microbiome. There was an impassioned debate among the 100 guests attending in person, representing food producers, campaigners, restaurateurs, investors and experts in health and diet. Hundreds more around the world followed and contributed to the debate via livestream.
The day-long debate covered every aspect of the cost of poor nutrition and how to improve it: from the race to understand the human microbiome before poor nutrition irreparably damages it; to curtailing the power, dominance, and influence of big food companies producing ultra-processed foods. Alongside this, the structural, society-wide changes we need to make to enable everyone to have access to better nutrition and the important preventive health benefits this provides.
The panellists called for a series of urgent and radical changes to our approach to nutrition, including:
· The immediate protection of the human microbiome: 'a fundamental human right'
· The integration of our physical and mental healthcare systems: 'an end to medical apartheid'
· Restrictions on the marketing of ultra-processed foods to match those imposed on tobacco companies
· Preventing the big ultra-processed food manufacturers from influencing the legislative processes that should regulate and restrict their activities
· Making nutrition-rich food more accessible and affordable, and educating consumers about its benefits and the dangers of ultra-processed foods
· A new focus on nutrition from the earliest years, including before birth, when it is likely to have the greatest impact.
The speakers at the first Goodwood Health Summit were:
· Dr Chris van Tulleken, the BAFTA-winning broadcaster, a doctor at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in London and an Associate Professor at UCL, where his research focuses on how corporations affect human health. He also works with UNICEF and The World Health Organisation on this area.
Jessie Inchauspé, the biochemist, product developer, founder of Glucose Goddess and the author of Glucose Revolution, an international bestseller translated into 40 languages.
· Dr James Kinross, a senior lecturer in colorectal surgery and consultant surgeon at Imperial College London. He also leads a team researching how the microbiome influences cancer and other chronic diseases of the gut, and has authored a book, Dark Matter, on the subject.
· Professor Edward Bullmore, a neuropsychiatrist and neuroscientist at the University of Cambridge and the author of 'The Inflamed Mind: A Radical New Approach to Depression', which explores breakthrough new science on the link between depression and inflammation of the body and brain, and how mental disorders can have their root cause in the immune system.
· Professor Pekka Puska, the Finnish public health pioneer whose ground-breaking North Karelia Project starting in the 1970s proved that a systemic approach to improving health, involving every aspect of society, from social clubs to the media and big corporations could have measurable impacts on individuals.
Her Grace, The Duchess of Richmond said: "The author Barry Groves said that 'civilised man is the only animal clever enough to manufacture his own food, yet stupid enough to eat it’. I was inspired to convene the Summit by the ripple effects I have seen from the life-changing five-day Goodwood Gut Health Programme, which I founded with Stephanie Moore, supported by organic produce from Goodwood Farm. I wanted to supercharge that effect with this Summit, and for delegates to listen, learn, and work together to make a change in the world."
Stephanie Moore, Goodwood’s clinical nutritional therapist and author and co-founder of the Summit said: "Creating true and lasting change in our physical and mental health is complex: it involves changing policy, legislation, labelling, education and much more. We have to make getting and staying healthy simpler, cheaper, more accessible and - critically - aspirational. We need to learn to value our health before we get sick, and prioritise the quality of our food without alienating those on low incomes. That is the only way the NHS will survive. The Summit represents a rare and exciting opportunity to ramp up that conversation, with some of the world's foremost experts present to deal with these questions, and many more."
Dr Laura Mooney, Randox Health added: “We are delighted to be a part of the Goodwood Health Summit. We want to improve health, that is fundamentally at the core of everything we do, and that very much aligns with the purpose of the Summit.”
The Goodwood Health Summit met with such acclaim from delegates and viewers that it has already been confirmed as an annual event, with the second Summit taking place in September 2024.