The big issue of ultra-processed foods: Investigating the pathways to chronic disease

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This CPD course...

  • is delivered: As an online course
  • is for: Nutritional therapy practitioners, nutritionists, dieticians, naturopaths and other health care providers and final year nutrition students interested in applying functional medicine approaches to health and wellbeing by exploring how different levels of food processing impact health and impact the function of the body and how to apply findings in a person–centred manner to make small measurable changes
  • is with: Layla Gordon
  • spans: 1 day
  • provides: BANT CPD 5 hours, NNA CPD 5 hours, ION CPD 5 hours*

This course defines the emerging issue of ultra-processed foods and how they may be impacting our health. We will uncover the latest research linking UPF to chronic diseases and highlight the findings into this ever growing area of concern. We will identify strategies that healthcare practitioners can implement to provide awareness to allow clients the opportunity to minimize and avoid UPF. 

The focus of this course aims to delve deeper than the topline headlines that we see. We know that UPF are impacting our health, but what are the metabolic pathways to ill health from over consumption of UPF. The latest research continues to link UPF to all chronic health conditions and this course will unpick that research so that practitioners can better understand the possible mechanisms of action and make unformed decision for the care of their clients.

It is increasingly difficult for individuals to identify which food products are harmful to our health and which are healthy. Especially for busy people on the go and those with families. This course will give some guidance to a) help practitioners explain clearly what the issues are and b) find alternatives and to make ‘small measurable’ changes. 

This course will define what is UPF, the research that has been done to date, the mechanism of action for chronic diseases. 

It will then discuss strategies to avoid and reduce UPF and look for alternatives.

Examples of the questions it will answer:

  • How to identify UPF by using methods, technology and education to better understand what is UPF on the shelves and what isn’t UPF?
  • What are the pathways in which is can fuel chronic disease and how can individuals avoid UPF?
  • Finally, it will simplify strategies to help practitioners in their clinics to guide and assist their clients to adopt ways in which to avoid and remove UPF?



What will I learn?

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Create impactful meal guides for better health outcomes and identify UPF components
  • Understand the pathways in which UPF impacts poorer health outcomes 
  • Apply new research findings in your approach to preventing chronic disease
  • Be more confident in supporting your clients through making informed decisions by identifying which foods can have a negative impact on health outcomes.  
  • Keep your client motivated to make ‘small measurable changes’ 

What will be covered?


  • Webinar waiting room opened

Session 1: 10am-11.15am Defining UPF, what it is, and what it isn’t

  • ION introductions and  housekeeping (5 mins
  • Identifying and defining UPF from other foods (eg processing, packaging, bread, is seed oil UPF) 
  • How to classify and identify them 
  • How it’s manufactured and where is it more prevalent and why 
  • The main risks that they pose in terms of healthy outcomes
  • Q and A (10 mins) Questions answered / discussion

Session 2: 11.30am-12.45pm A Look at The Latest Research into the Impact of UPF on the Body 

  • What is the initial research 
  • Define and explain the latest research 
  • Examine the big food constabularies, supermarkets/marketing and funding industries 
  • What stance does BANT, WHO and other bodies take on UPF 
  • Q and A (10 mins) Questions answered / discussion

Session 3: 1.30pm-3pm What Are The Mechanisms of Actions in how UPF Increases chronic health conditions

  • What are the overriding issues with UPF and it’s application on chronic diseases 
  • What is the mechanism of action for obesity 
  • What is the mechanism of action for heart disease and hypertension 
  • What is the mechanism of action for T2D
  • What is the mechanism of action for dementia 
  • What is the mechanism of action for cancer 
  • Q and A (10 mins) Questions answered / discussion

Session 4: 3.15pm-4.30pm Strategies in Clinic in Supporting Clients Navigate Their Diet with Meal Plans and ‘Small Measurable Steps'

  • What is the safe level and how can we create balance
  • What strategies can we and our clients take initially to avoid UPF
  • What does a non-UPF meal plan look like and how can we make this easy and affordable 
  • Further resource recommendations
  • Q and A (10 mins)
  • ION wrap up and thanks (5 mins) Questions answered / discussion

Who is leading the course?

Layla Gordon DipION, mBANT, CNHC, O.A.Dip (Master Herbalist), Ba (Hons)

Layla Gordon is a Registered Nutritional Practitioner who studied with ION and has a thriving practice in Dorset. She specialises in preventative medicine, gut health, heart health and men’s health. She is the Nutrition Expert for BBC Radio Solent and has presented the topic of optimal health for men in a full day lecture for ION.

She has also worked alongside companies such as Dorset Mind, Rise Wellness, Sustudio Canford Cliffs, The Collaborative Network, peer2peer board-networks at Lime Wood and The Captains Club and online for global companies such as Simplyhealth, Elsevier and Lexisnexis. Layla was voted ‘UK’s Most Transformational Nutritionist 2023’ for her work in looking outside of the box when it comes to dietary and nutrition advice. She has been featured on the Eventful Lives podcast, which is the second largest business podcast in the UK, where she talked about the big issue of ultra-processed food and their impact on health. 

How will I be taught?

ION’s courses reflect best practice for online teaching and learning practice.  We aim to offer a variety of interactive formats to support you with participating in online events.  We also provide regular review and recap sessions and encourage critical thinking and reflection. 

How much does it cost and what’s included?

  • The course price is £119.00
  • The ability to ask some questions (within set times)
  • PDF of Powerpoint
  • Edited webinar recording, available for 90 days
  • Confirmation of attendance and 5 hours ION CPD (for participants who are present for the duration of the course)
  • BANT CPD 5 hours, NNA CPD 5 hours

Important information


  • Please check you have read ION’s FAQs including our cancellation and refund policy before booking
  • Click the "BOOK" button at the top or bottom of this page - you will be taken to our webinar platform 'Big Marker' to purchase your ticket.
  • Please ensure you use the same name and email to register, login and purchase tickets on our website and any partner platforms.

What should I do if a course is full?

  • If a course is full when you try to book, please make sure you are signed up to receive our CPD courses mailings. The recording and materials will be available to view on demand a few weeks after the course and you should be notified about this.

Registration links and materials

  • If you successfully book on a course, you will be automatically sent a link to the course when you register. Please do not share this with anyone. This is set up to only allow entry to the first user that clicks it. Further links cannot be generated.
  • Approximately 1 weeks before the course you will be sent an email so that you can access course materials. 
  • Where indicated in the programme, a recording of the course will be available a few weeks after the course to view for 90 days


  • Participation in an ION CPD course forms part of a practitioner's or individual's ongoing learning. It does not qualify a non-clinically trained practitioner or individual to work in a clinical setting. Individual’s boundaries of safe work, advice or practice are primarily determined by their formal qualifications and related personal insurance.
  • ION does not send out certificates for live online courses

* ION will send an automatic confirmation of attendance providing 5 hours of ION CPD when a participant has been present for the duration of the course (as reported via the online platform)

If you have a queries, please email [email protected]