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FPH welcomes PHE guidelines on reducing sugar in food

Public Health England has today challenged businesses to cut sugar by 20% by 2020, and by 5% this year in an effort to address the obesity crisis. In new guidelines, PHE sets out three approaches industry can take to reduce the amount of sugar children consume through everyday foods: lowering sugar levels, reducing product size and pushing healthier products.

The current state of childhood (and adult) obesity is overwhelming. 1/10 children in reception are obese, while 1/5 children in year 6 are obese. Overall, one third of children and two thirds of adults are obese/overweight. This is largely avoidable, is placing unacceptable and unsustainable pressure on the NHS, and is the product of the obesogenic environment within which we live. 

These children face much higher future risks of depression, disability, diabetes, cancers and cardiovascular disease. Obesity generates unaffordable costs in terms of disease burden, disability, reduced life expectancy, reduced economic productivity and NHS costs. The cause, poor diet, is more powerful than tobacco, alcohol & smoking combined. Commenting on the guidelines, FPH’s Vice President for Policy, Professor Simon Capewell, said: 

“These achievable guidelines send a powerful message to industry that it has a responsibility to be part of the solution. We are delighted that so many companies are actively making progress, and encourage those who are trailing behind to follow their example. If industry say they can’t or won’t meet these targets they must expect tougher sanctions. In fact, industry is clear that in a competitive market most companies would actually prefer ‘a level playing field’. Mandatory approaches are also more equitable and work particularly well reducing disease in disadvantaged groups.”

Written: 30/03/2017 , last modified: 30/03/2017

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