Public Health England (PHE) has issued an October 2015 evidence
review urging the U.K. government to reduce sugar consumption.
Building on the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition’s (SACN’s)
conclusion that free sugar intake should constitute less than 5 percent
of dietary energy, the report discusses food and beverage marketing,
sugar accessibility and product composition, educational efforts, and
local initiatives. PHE also addresses taxation schemes, noting that price
increases “can influence purchasing of sugar-sweetened drinks and other
high sugar products at least in the short-term.”

The findings target retail promotions and marketing to children as
two key aspects of the food environment that allegedly promote sugar
consumption. Among other things, the report specifically recommends
(i) restricting the number and type of price promotions across all retail
outlets; (ii) reducing food and beverage marketing to children as well
as adults; (iii) defining high-sugar foods according to Ofcom’s nutrient
profiling model; (iv) instituting a program to gradually reduce portion
sizes and the amount of sugar contained in food and drink products; and
(v) introducing a 10 to 20 percent minimum tax on high-sugar products
and sugar-sweetened beverages. In addition, PHE asks the government to implement “buying standards for food and catering services across the
public sector… to ensure provision and sale of healthier food and drinks
in hospitals, leisure centers, etc.”

“PHE’s evidence review shows there is no silver bullet solution to the
nation’s bad sugar habit. A broad and balanced approach is our best
chance of reducing sugar consumption to healthier levels and to see
fewer people suffering the consequences of too much sugar in the diet,”
said Chief Nutritionist Alison Tedstone in an October 22 press release,
which estimates that reducing sugar consumption to recommended levels
would save the National Health Service approximately £480 million
annually. “We’ve shared [our] findings with the Government and are
working with them on its childhood obesity strategy.”

Additional details about SACN’s dietary recommendations appear in
Issue 529 of this Update.

 

Issue 582

About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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