War on Sugar Still Raging

Sep 24, 2019 editor

Efforts to cut sugar from our food are reportedly off target.

The BBC has reported this week that figures from Public Health England show a shortfall on the targeted reduction of one fifth.

The amount of sugar we actually eat has increased and products containing sugar have only reduced the amounts by 2.9% on average over the last 4 years.

This raises questions around the sugar tax, a strategy not fully embraced by Boris Johnson. The Prime Minister has suggested more needs to be done to actually cut obesity. A sugar tax levy introduced in April 2018 will be reviewed as he believes 'sin taxes' are not working.

Having said this, some areas have improved. On average 100ml of previously high sugar content drinks, are now down by nearly 29% from their 2015 versions. It is clear however, that the blame for the obesity crisis in young people is not only placed on sugary drinks. Sugar reduction programmes by manufacturers and retailers are currently voluntary for other food items. The aim is a 20% reduction in average sugar content by 2020 compared to 2015. By 2018 this was only reduced by 2.9% . This means the target is 'very unlikely' to be met, according to a spokesperson from the British Dietetic Association.

Some experts have stated that the targets are unrealistic.On the whole we are actually increasing our intake of sugar through increased portion szes, and the amount of food we purchase. If targets are not met voluntarily, then a mandatory reduction may be required, according to the President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

If you are concerned about the food offer in your setting, Red Box are able to advise on Government Guidelines for Nursery and School meals as well as healthy eating menus. We are experienced in auditing School and Contract Caterers in business and industry. We regularly look at how menus meet can be improved to meet the expectations of your customers.

Should you wish to review your catering or audit your caterer's offer to support healthy eating, we are here to assist.