Cautious welcome for “ground-breaking” Food Hospital

CHANNEL 4’s new eight-part Food Hospital series has been billed as “ground-breaking” by the programme makers.

But what reaction has the show been getting from the natural health sector — and could it create a similar uplift in sales as the ‘McKeith effect’?

With two programmes now screened, the reception from the trade is probably best described as mixed but with the majority viewing it as a positive development.

Nutritionist Michèle Couzens-Eason told us: “Food Hospital is great in some ways in that it shows the link between food and health, but I worry that it may overlook the role of nutritional therapists who are not part of the NHS.”

Jeff Martin of As Nature Intended, concluded that overall the programme delivered an “overall positive message” about food and medicine. Amanda Heron of Pukka Herbs meanwhile suggests it should be seen as part of “a wider movement” for change.

Some retailers and manufacturers have reported receiving enquiries about specific supplements and nutrients following the screening of programmes 1 and 2 (probiotics fort hair loss and IBS, and vitamin B2 for migraine).

The Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) offers a more detailed analysis, having thoroughly deconstructed both programmes. While it has spotted “anomalies and inconsistencies” in each, it praises the programme for treating the ‘food as medicine’ concept seriously and for “achieving results that would have had the drugs industry shouting from the rooftops”.