Sugar reduction: from evidence into action (Public Health England report)

Public Health England release report which will inform the government's childhood obesity strategy - Sugar reduction: from evidence into action.

Public Health England list 8 areas for action and state in their report: No single action will be effective in reducing sugar intakes. This is too serious a problem to be solved by approaches that rely only on individuals changing their behaviour in response to health education and marketing, or the better provision of information on our food.

Areas for action

  1. Reduce and rebalance the number and type of price promotions in all retail outlets including supermarkets and convenience stores and the out of home sector (including restaurants, cafes and takeaways)
  2. Significantly reduce opportunities to market and advertise high sugar food and drink products to children and adults across all media including digital platforms and through sponsorship
  3. The setting of a clear definition for high sugar foods to aid with actions 1 and 2 above. Currently the only regulatory framework for doing this is via the Ofcom nutrient profiling model, which would benefit from being reviewed and strengthened
  4. Introduction of a broad, structured and transparently monitored programme of gradual sugar reduction in everyday food and drink products, combined with reductions in portion size
  5. Introduction of a price increase of a minimum of 10-20% on high sugar products through the use of a tax or levy such as on full sugar soft drinks, based on the emerging evidence of the impact of such measures in other countries
  6. Adopt, implement and monitor the government buying standards for food and catering services (GBSF) across the public sector, including national and local government and the NHS to the ensure provision and sale of healthier food and drinks in hospitals, leisure centres etc
  7. Ensure that accredited training in diet and health is routinely delivered to all of those who have opportunities to influence food choices in the catering, fitness and leisure sectors and others within local authorities
  8. Continue to raise awareness of concerns around sugar levels in the diet to the public as well as health professionals, employers, the food industry etc., encourage action to reduce intakes and provide practical steps to help people lower their own and their families sugar intake

Read the full report, here

 

Professor Graham MacGregor, Chair of Action on Sugar says:

"Action on Sugar welcomes the publication of today's report by Public Health England with its recommendations to help tackle the obesity epidemic and type 2 diabetes.

The question now is how is this going to be done. Reformulation i.e. gradual reduction in the amount of sugar in food and drink is by far the most effective policy in reducing calorie intake as shown by the very successful salt reduction programme in the UK as led by Consensus Action on Salt and Health and the Food Standard Agency (FSA).

We urgently need an independent nutrition agency to implement this very important policy e.g. the FSA – to be the first country in the world to prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes.”

 

For media coverage, click here