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Eatwell Guide

Public Health England have published a new Eatwell Guide which is used to define government recommendations on eating healthily and achieving a balanced diet.  The Eatwell Guide has replaced the eatwell plate and continues to define the government’s advice on a healthy balanced diet. The Eatwell Guide is a visual representation of how different foods and drinks can contribute towards a healthy balanced diet.


The Eatwell guide has been updated in light of recent recommendations made by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) in their report on Carbohydrates and Health published in July 2015.

The Eatwell Guide is based on the 5 food groups and shows how much of what you eat should come from each food group. It is important to now start to use this new guide to make sure everyone receives consistent messages about the balance of foods in a healthy diet.

The Key changes to this document are;  

Updated segment names - The names of the food group segments have been updated to place emphasis on certain food products within a food group that can be considered more environmentally sustainable. For example, the pink segment is named ‘Beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins’ to highlight the contribution non-meat sources make to protein intake.

The purple segment now only contains ‘oils and spreads’ - The new Eatwell Guide differentiates unsaturated oils (such as vegetable /olive) and lower fat spreads from other foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar. This is because some fat is essential in a healthy balanced diet, but other foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar are not and should be eaten less often and in small amounts.  The small size of the purple section reflects the fact that oils and spreads are high fat and contain a lot of calories, so these should only be consumed in small amounts.

High fat, salt and sugar foods have been removed from the purple section - Foods high in fat and/or sugar, which previously featured in the purple section of the eatwell plate, have now been placed outside of the main image. Consumer research highlighted that the removal of these products from the main image aided consumer understanding of the role of these foods and drinks in the diet, as products to be consumed infrequently and in small amounts. It was also found that having these food products outside of the main image helped consumers to reflect the need to move their overall intakes towards a healthier lifestyle whilst feeling that the Eatwell Guide was an achievable target for their food consumption habits.

Inclusion of a hydration message - Keeping hydrated is part of a healthy diet and so the Eatwell Guide reinforces fluid recommendations and the best drinks to choose - water, low fat milk and sugar-free drinks including tea and coffee.

Inclusion of energy requirements - An orange border featuring the energy requirements for men and women has been used to reinforce the message that all food and drinks consumed contribute to total energy intake. Consumer research revealed that the inclusion of an energy message provided adults with a useful benchmark for their own consumption.

 Inclusion of a front of pack nutrition label -A front of pack nutrition label has been added to the guide to respond to consumer comments regarding the lack of guidance on choosing foods lower in fat, salt and sugars when shopping. As there are several variations of the front of pack label, an amalgamation of the most commonly used features of the front of pack nutrition label was used on the Eatwell Guide to represent the information available on a variety of packaged foods.

Fruit juice has been removed from the fruit and vegetable segment - Although fruit juice (at a maximum of 150ml/day) still counts towards one of your 5-a-day, the advice the advice around drinks has been encompassed with the hydration message on the new Eatwell Guide.

Below are relevant links which you may find useful ;

The Eatwell Guide: how to use in promotional material

Eatwell guide: PDF

Eatwell guide: colour JPG

Eatwell guide: grayscale

The Eatwell Guide: how does it differ to the eatwell plate and why?

For more information please contact Vikki Tolley Lead for children's healthy weight and oral health tolleyv@walsall.gov.uk