April 8, 2016

New review of measures to reduce sugar consumption

An evidence review of a broad range of measures to reduce the nation’s excessive sugar consumption was published on 22nd Oct 2015 by Public Health England.

The review, ‘Sugar reduction: The evidence for action’, concludes that a range of factors, including marketing, promotions, advertising and the amount of sugar in manufactured food, is contributing to an increase in sugar consumption. Correspondingly a broad range of measures is needed in response.

The review shows that action to reduce sugar consumption levels could include, but is not limited to, reducing:

– The volume and number of price promotions in retail and restaurants

– The marketing and advertising of high sugar products to children

– The sugar content in, and portion size of, everyday food and drink products

What about a sugar tax?

There has been a lot of attention on whether a ‘sugar tax’ should be introduced, with Jamie Oliver leading a public campaign for its introduction. The review does suggest consideration of a tax or levy as a means of reducing sugar intake, though this is likely to be less effective than the 3 measures set out above.

You can read the full review online here:

Sugar reduction: The evidence for action

What happens now?

The Government will use the Public Health England review to inform it’s development of a childhood obesity strategy, due in the coming months.

In the meantime, the issues surrounding high sugar consumption and obesity continue to be debated by health professionals, food industry, government and lobby groups, e.g.:

Sugar reduction summit

There seems to be some agreement that tackling obesity will require healthier diets overall (e.g. improved fruit, vegetable and fibre intakes and reduced intakes of foods high in fat and sugar) and that a whole systems approach is needed to help individuals make healthier lifestyle choices. It is suggested this could include improvements in food education, healthier food in public venues, restrictions on advertising/promotions of less healthy foods and drinks, and town planning developments to increase active travel and control the availability of less healthy options.

A link to the childhood obesity strategy will be published here when it becomes available.

What support is available in Dudley borough?

Most of us eat more sugar than is recommended and over time this could lead to health problems. We’ve written an article to give you the facts about sugar and some practical tips to help you reduce the amount of sugar you get from foods and drinks. You can read the article online here:

Controlling sugar intake

If you want to get general healthy eating advice, improve your overall diet and learn to cook more healthy meals from fresh, unprocessed ingredients, why not try one of our FREE healthy cooking courses. For more information, or to book a place, visit:

Healthy cooking courses