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Brits urge food makers to cut fat and sugar

By Editor
10th February 2016
Charity, Good practice Latest news Research Type 2 prevention

Food manufacturers are being asked to cut the amount of saturated fats, salts and added sugars in their products, according to a survey.

The poll, which was commissioned by leading charity Diabetes UK, said 75 per cent of people who participated wanted their food products to become healthier and 60 per cent have called for clearer labelling.

Just over 2,000 British  adults took part in the online survey which was carried out by ComRes.

Diabetes UK is urging the Government to introduce mandatory targets for food manufacturers to meet which would make their products healthier as part of its Childhood Obesity Strategy.

The charity also wants a 20 per cent tax on sugar sweetened soft drinks to be introduced as well as restrictions placed on the advertising of unhealthy foods before the 9pm watershed.

Being overweight and obese are some of the most potent risk factors for type 2 diabetes

These measures are also supported by the Obesity Health Alliance, which is a group of 26 charities and medical organisations.

Type 2 prevention

Currently, almost two thirds of adults in the UK and almost a third of children in the UK in their final year of primary school are overweight or obese, which means that they are at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, a joint initiative from Diabetes UK, Public Health England, and NHS England, will support people in reducing their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Experts believe the scheme is an important step in controlling the numbers of type 2 diabetes.

Chris Askew, Diabetes UK’s chief executive, said: “Being overweight and obese are some of the most potent risk factors for type 2 diabetes, which is why it is essential that we have measures in place to help people make healthier choices and lead healthier lives. Too often making the healthy choice has become the difficult choice.

“The Government’s forthcoming Childhood Obesity Strategy offers a perfect opportunity to get this right. Mandatory targets for food manufacturers to make the content of their products healthier must be at the heart of the strategy as this will go a long way to making it easier for people to eat more healthily.

“The fact that the overwhelming majority of the British public want food manufacturers to make their products healthier shows that the Government has nothing to lose and everything to gain in implementing this measure.

“To ensure the strategy is fully effective in stemming the increasing rise of obesity and protecting child health the Government should also introduce a tax on sugar sweetened soft drinks and restrict the marketing of unhealthy foods to children. If we get this right, we can save millions of lives and significantly reduce costs to our already stretched health service.”

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