Food Matters Live 2020, 13-14 October, virtual event

Registration now open

It’s OK to Eat ‘a Bit of Everything’: Reassuring Confused Consumers

Q&A Event and Launch of Food Advisory Board

Tuesday 19 November, 10.00 – 11.00am, Gallery Room 11

Mixed public messaging around diet can be overwhelming, with a new ‘fad’ diet, and a different high-tech, engineered food alternative appearing in the media every few weeks. This has led to widespread consumer confusion, and in many cases, complete disengagement from the ‘balanced diet’ conversation.

In an industry seeing constant “innovation”, it can be all too easy to forget that for good reason, eating a traditional range of sustainably sourced, fresh products from a variety of food groups has been most people’s “go-to” approach for years. To remind media, industry and consumers of this simple fact, GPs and academics have joined together to form the Food Advisory Board, whose aim is to promote the consumption of a healthy balanced diet, and to educate the public with regard to how best this can be achieved. They are here to say ‘yes, you can eat a bit of everything. Here’s why, and here’s how.’

For the Food Advisory Board’s first ever Q&A, members of the board will address the importance of maintaining dietary balance, the practicalities of doing so, and the nutritional science behind the key food groups. The discussion will highlight the ways in which producers can be more aware of the confusion faced by consumers, when in fact, maintaining balance needn’t be complicated.

Nutritional expert and former lecturer in Nutrition and Physiology, Dr Emma Derbyshire, will explain what a nutritionally balanced diet looks like to her, drawing on the latest scientific research to explain the health benefits of different food groups, from red meat to potatoes.

Dietician Nichola Ludlam-Raine will advise on how to help consumers on the day-to-day practicalities of keeping their plates balanced, covering everything from how to read food labels, to how often to say “yes” to a steak dinner.

Consultant nutritionist Hala El-Shafie will share her unique understanding of some of the emotional and health issues often associated with food, addressing the problems associated with following fad diets, omitting whole food groups, and neglecting to maintain a holistic approach to nutrition. She will also share her expert advice on how to maintain a balanced plate in the most sustainable way.

Hosting the session will be Fiona Hunter, one of the UK’s leading nutritionists, registered dietitian, writer and broadcaster. Fiona has appeared on multiple broadcast platforms with credits including the BBC’s ‘Ever Wondered About Food?’, ‘The Club’ and ‘Woman’s Hour’.


Each member will do a 5-minute introduction, followed by a 45-minute Q&A discussion.

Questions will be opened up to the floor at the end.

About the Food Advisory Board

The Food Advisory Board is a group of diet, nutrition & health professionals, researchers, and agricultural experts. Their objective is to provide independent, objective, and evidence-based information on a wide variety of food groups that should comprise a healthy and balanced diet.

About the speakers

Hala El-Shafie

Hala El-Shafie is a consultant nutritionist with over 15 years’ clinical experience as a registered dietitian in both the NHS, private and corporate sectors. Hala has a unique understanding of the emotional and psychological issues often associated with food, and has created a holistic, client-centered approach that has brought her an extensive and loyal following, including a number of high-profile and celebrity clients. She is the founder of ‘Nutrition Rocks’, a lifestyle website that combines expert information and advice to help readers navigate the path to a healthy lifestyle.

Nichola Ludlam-Raine

Nichola Ludlam-Raine is a UK specialist registered dietitian, and published author in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietics. She has featured regularly on BBC Breakfast, ITV Tonight Show and Channel 4, and has had written expert commentary for the Mail Online, The Sun and The Mirror.

Dr Emma Derbyshire

Dr Emma Derbyshire holds a degree in Nutritional Biochemistry, a PhD in Human Nutrition (specialising in Maternal Nutrition) and is a registered public health nutritionist. Emma is an established scientist, writer and presenter. She has experience of working in academic, research and consultancy settings, has written over 150 peer-reviewed publications, and authored the successful Wiley-Blackwell text “Nutrition in the Childbearing Years” which sold internationally.