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Anna Karamazina

26.11.2022 15:00

Stats on the sugar reduction strategy's failure highlight the need for new taxes, say advocates.

The government’s  shot to achieve a 20% reduction in sugar across crucial areas contributing to nonage  rotundity has ended in a spectacular failure. The Office for Health Improvement and difference  moment  still released the final report on the programme, further than a time later than promised. The report shows that the assiduity achieved just 0,5% reduction in deals ladened average total sugar per 100g in products  vended between the  birth time for the programme in 2015 and 2020.  

The scheme, which was a flagship part of the government’s  rotundity strategy, was launched under the now disbanded Public Health England and set out to achieve a 20% reduction in sugar across the  orders in that period.  Rather,  moment’s report shows there was a 7.1 percent increase in the tonnes of sugar  vended from the product  orders included in the programme between the  birth and time four. This included 26.9% increase in the tonnes of sugar  vended in chocolate confectionery and 24.5% for sweet spreads and  gravies.

Just three  orders – yogurts and fromage frais (down 18.4%), breakfast cereals (down 11.3%) and puddings (down 7.5%) –  aphorism falls in sugar over the period, with overall an 8.1 percent increase in total volume deals from 2015 to 2020 for the  orders included in the programme. Health  contenders seized on the results as  evidence that the voluntary approach had been “ a disaster ”. They called for ministers to bring in new  levies on other products, including confectionery, on top of the soft drinks sugar  tax introduced in 2018.  The moment's report showed that for soft drinks covered by the  tax, the change in deals  ladened average sugar was down 46% from 2015. Diminishments were  analogous across all socio-profitable groups. It also  set up the total sugar bought per  ménage from drinks subject to the Soft Drinks Industry Levy had  dropped across all socio- profitable groups, with the largest reduction in people on long- term state benefits, casual and  smallest grade workers, jobless with state benefits only, at 38.4%.  

Yet overall, the deals of drinks subject to the SDIL increased from 2015 to 2020 by around,000 liters (21.3%). Deals  dropped by over five-fold for drinks with 5g- 8g of sugar per 100 ml and  further than halved for drinks with over 8g of sugar per 100 ml. The report claimed some of the increases in sugar being consumed may have been caused by families grazing up on sweet treats during lockdown.  

“ Some of the increases in deals will be affected by the first six months of the Covid- 19 epidemic performing in  further food and drink being bought for consumption in the home.“ This was  incompletely due to some  original stockpiling and  seminaries, workplaces and  utmost businesses in the  eschewal of the home sector either  ending or operating through delivery.” Still, the sugar reduction strategy was indeed less successful when it came to the  eschewal- of- home sector, achieving just a 0.2% reduction in the simple average total sugar per 100g in products  vended between its  birth of 2017 and 2020. “ A voluntary approach has been shown not to be  suitable to deliver the required  position of progress to make any significant and  continuing change," said rotundity Health Alliance director Katharine Jenner.  “Rather,  inordinate and  gratuitous  quantities of  dangerous sugars are added to food and drink products, which should and must be reduced if we want to ameliorate the nation’s health. “We hope assignments have been learned from this vital monitoring of food assiduity  exertion from the Office of Health Improvement & difference and that ministers now completely understand that  inadequate progress has been made and that indispensable regulators are  demanded.  

“Substantiation suggests that the SDIL has been an enormous success – reducing sugar input indeed for people on lower  inflows without leading to a decline in deals. The government must now explore ways of expanding this model in order to fix the broken food  terrain and make the healthy option the easiest and most affordable option for everyone.  Action on Sugar and Salt  president Professor Graham MacGregor said “Whilst this new report shows that the food assiduity is able of reducing sugar  situations in food with good progress in breakfast cereals and yogurts, it makes it abundantly clear that a voluntary reformulation approach simply doesn't work. "

“The UK faces an  rotundity  extremity and one of the  top plans outlined by the Department of Health and Public Health England was to attack this by reducing sugar in food products by 20 by 2020 across the main food  orders. Not unexpectedly the plan was a menial failure due to a lack of enforcement.” Children's Food Campaign  match Barbara Crowther, said “Although delayed, we're pleased to see this final report, as it provides  monstrously important  insight on how the assiduity is performing on sugar reduction. What it  veritably  easily shows is that reformulation is possible, but that the pace of change under a voluntary scheme will remain slow and uneven – just 3.5% overall against a target of 20%.  

“What’s also clear is that taking an obligatory approach combined with  fiscal business  impulses that award healthier food  products and penalize less healthy  particulars is much  further transformational. This is shown by the 46% overall reduction achieved by the Soft Drinks Industry Levy. This includes a dramatic fall in deals of high sugar drinks and switch of purchases to low and no sugar options, and a fall in  ménage consumption across all socio- profitable groups. “ It’s  veritably worrying to see how  important overall volumes of sugar  vended via confectionary, biscuits, puddings and  galettes rose in the final time. A voluntary programme is  easily not sufficient to shift the dial on sugar consumption – we need  obligatory programmes alongside other nonsupervisory measures on marketing and  creation to deliver the change we need.”  

FDF  principal scientific officer Kate Halliwell said “The  numbers released in the sugar reduction report  punctuate the significant progress assiduity is making but the 20% reduction target set by the government has in no way been realistic. There are certain products that remain  grueling  for manufacturers to reformulate and reduce the sugar content while keeping the flavor  guests know and love.“ Our companies spend considerable time and  plutocracy on reformulation and are proud they've reduced sugar by 12% in the average shopping handbasket compared to 2017. We'd encourage the government to work hand in hand with assiduity to  make this work,  rather than setting arbitrary targets.

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