Improving Communication of the UK Sustainable Healthy Dietary Guidelines the Eatwell Guide: A Rapid Review

Amy Culliford*, JANE BRADBURY, Elphee Medici

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
180 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Food-based dietary guidelines (FBDG) are a key public health tool, providing evidence-based recommendations for a healthy and more environmentally sustainable diet. Current adherence to national FBDG in the UK is poor with only 0.1% of the population meeting all of the recommendations set out in the Eatwell Guide. Communication of the Eatwell Guide is one of the many essential strategies needed to improve adherence and to support the necessary shift towards sustainable diets in the UK. An effective strategy is needed to communicate this information to policy makers, the food industry, health professionals and the public in order to drive dietary behaviour change. Methods: The authors conducted a rapid review of the scientific literature available in the SCOPUS database published between 2012 and 2022 (inclusive). Keywords searched related to the communication and implementation of FBDG. Additionally, examples of communication strategies for national FBDG globally are presented to demonstrate examples of good practice in this field. Results: The review highlighted several key themes relating to effective communication of FBDG. As a result, five recommendations are made for how communication of the Eatwell Guide could be improved to drive better adherence to these sustainable healthy guidelines. The recommendations are (1) review of language and tone of nutrition and sustainability related messages; (2) targeting of FBDG and communications to specific population segments; (3) addressing barriers to and benefits of adopting the Eatwell Guide recommendations; (4) development of practical tools and resources to support implementation of the guidelines; and (5) leveraging social media and social marketing techniques to increase public engagement. Conclusions: This research summarises the current scientific literature on the effective communication of FBDG. The recommendations may be used to improve future communication strategies for the Eatwell Guide as well as other national and international sustainable healthy FBDG.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6149
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
Issue number7
Early online date3 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2023


  • sustainable diets
  • public health nutrition
  • dietary guidelines
  • nutrition communication


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