Rank Forum held on the Eatwell Guide

The Eatwell Guide Forum took place on 19-20th June 2023 at Newcastle University and included twenty one in-person and two remote participants from nine different universities across the UK.

The Eatwell Guide defines the UK government’s recommendations for healthy eating, and encourages consumption of a plant-based diet, which also includes some meat, dairy, fish, and eggs. The Eatwell Guide aligns with some of the key characteristics of the Mediterranean diet, which has been associated with reduced risk of age-related diseases and increased longevity. However, importantly, the Eatwell Guide is modelled around foods accessible and familiar to UK-based individuals. Therefore, compared with the Mediterranean diet, it may be a more realistic and appropriate goal to increase adherence to the Eatwell Guide. Findings from a very limited number of studies suggests that adherence to the Eatwell Guide is likely to be beneficial for both population and planetary health (i.e., lower greenhouse gas emissions) (Reidlinger et al., 2015; Scheelbeek et al., 2020).  However, data from one study suggests that less than 1% of the UK population meet all nine Eatwell Guide recommendations, and only 30% met at least five recommendations (Scheelbeek et al., 2020), indicating poor compliance to these healthy eating recommendations.

This Forum aimed to:

  1. Consolidate existing knowledge on Eatwell Guide adherence and population and planetary health
  2. Connect individuals interested in the Eatwell Guide to facilitate collaboration opportunities
  3. Produce a written report to disseminate findings of the Forum to the wider research community
  4. Set the agenda for future research and identify key challenges to overcome in future studies


These sessions provided an opportunity to discuss the current state of the knowledge around the Eatwell Guide, with diverse topics ranging from the development of tools to quantify Eatwell Guide adherence through to the creation of South Asian and African Heritage versions of the Eatwell Guide. A World Café session was then conducted to identify gaps in current knowledge around the Eatwell Guide and opportunities for future collaborative research projects.

The event was live scribed with the below visual summary produced by Beka Haigh.


Dr. Oliver Shannon

Dr. Sarah Gregory

Dr. Rebecca Townsend

Dr. Fiona Malcolmson

Dr. Alex Griffiths

Dr. Amy Jennings

Dr. Jamie Matu

Ms Nicola Ward