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9 January 2014

FDF response to 'Action on Sugar' launch

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In response to claims made by 'Action on Sugar', a newly formed group with an interest in sugars and public health, as part of the group's launch today, Barbara Gallani, Director of Regulation, Science & Health at the Food and Drink Federation, the voice of food and drink manufacturers in the UK, said:

“Sugars, or any other nutrient for that matter, consumed as part of a varied and balanced diet are not a cause of obesity, to which there is no simple or single solution. That's why the food industry has been working on a range of initiatives with other players to tackle obesity and diet related diseases through a number of interventions.

“Where sugars are included in products, the different sources are clearly labelled in the ingredients list and the amount of total sugars is provided in the nutrition table. Percentage reference intakes and/or colour coding, depending on the type of front of pack label, also allow consumers to quickly see, at a glance, the sugar content of the food they buy.

“Food and drink producers in the UK have taken action to reduce salt and saturated fat in the diet, in line with robust evidence linking excessive consumption of these nutrients with a negative impact on health. They have also worked to reduce sugar in products where this will result in an overall calorie reduction, many doing so as part of the Government's Responsibility Deal calorie reduction pledge. Delivering on these commitments will require considerable research and investment as well as consumer acceptance of new recipes that can result in changes in taste, texture and ingredients.”

“This summer the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition, an independent committee which advises Public Health England and other government agencies and departments, will publish its comprehensive review of carbohydrates, including sugars, in the diet. At present, current guidance on sugars consumption from the UK Department of Health is based on dental caries alone and not obesity or associated diseases.”

More information

Anna Taylor on 020 7420 7118

Helena O'Neill on 020 7420 7140

Avni Raval on 020 7420 7131

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