Sugar in our diets

Reducing Sugar in the Diet

Food and drink manufacturers are working with the Government as it embarks on a highly ambitious sugars reduction drive.

In this short video, FDF's Chief Scientific Officer Helen Munday explains what this process involves and what it will mean for manufacturers, retailers, café and restaurant owners. Importantly, the video also explains the changes consumers will begin to see as a result of these collective efforts.

Sugar Facts

calories graphWhen too many calories are consumed (from whatever source) and left unbalanced with physical activity, this will lead to weight gain.

A comprehensive science review carried out by the independent advisory nutrition committee to UK Government confirmed that sugars can be enjoyed safely as part of a varied diet. The report made clear that excess sugars leads to excess calories, and it is the excess calories that are linked to obesity and its associated diseases, rather than sugars specifically.

plate graphic

Also, while some have claimed that foods can be “addictive”, the evidence just doesn't support this theory.

UK 'free-sugars' consumption is on a long-term downward trend...

downward trend image

Sugars content is clearly labelled on-pack

If sugar is present in food and drinks this is included within the ingredients list. It must also be listed in the nutritional information. Under EU law this must be provided as 'total sugars'.

sugars on label

There are practical barriers to labelling sugars in teaspoons

A teaspoon isn't a precise or consistent unit for measuring nutrient content which is why grams are used.


Most packaged products carry front-of-pack nutrition information for energy (calories) plus fat, saturates, sugars and salt in grams. Dietitians encourage people to look at all of this information, not only sugar, so they know what's in their overall diet.

Last reviewed: 13 Apr 2017