Features

Sugar tax will help poor eat more healthily – study

Taxes on sugar-sweetened drinks and snack foods may benefit poorer households the most, according to new research. Using data from 13 countries, the experts show that changing the price of unhealthy products alters consumption across the board, yet the impact differs due to socioeconomic status. The greatest health benefits from tax rises are for people…
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Funding boost for healthy food of the future

A new €60m (£52m) venture capital fund will support “game-changing” companies working on everything from lab-grown meat to personalised nutrition. Five Seasons Ventures, the new venture capital firm behind the fund, said its focus is on “early-stage companies developing technological innovations aimed at solving the key challenges the sector currently faces”. Nestlé is among the…
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Can microalgae make hotdogs sustainable?

Ikea has revealed some of the new products being created in its test kitchen to “inspire people” to try more sustainable ingredients. This includes the “dogless hotdog”, made with baby carrots, beet and berry ketchup and roasted onions. The bun is made with spirulina – a microalgae containing 50 times more iron than spinach and…
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Baysanto merger threatens the future of sustainable farming

Bayer’s $62.5 billion purchase of Monsanto would create a corporate giant endangering organic and independent farmers. By Honor Eldridge. On March 21st, Bayer won approval for its $62.5 billion (£44 billion) purchase of Monsanto. The EU competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, decided after long deliberation to approve a takeover that would create a company (informally dubbed…
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Public demands clearer nutritional information

Almost three quarters (73%) of the public want all cafés, restaurants and takeaways to use the same food labelling system on their products and menus. The survey, conducted for Diabetes UK, also found that 71% of diners feel they don’t have enough information about what’s in their food. Traffic light labelling has been shown to…
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McDonald’s food more unhealthy than 30 years ago

Food at McDonald’s is higher in calories, salt and sugar than it was 30 years ago, according to a report in the Sun newspaper. Fries, cheeseburgers and quarter-pounders all have more calories today compared to 1989, based on a leaflet distributed by the company at the time. The amount of sugar in a Big Mac…
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Chinese takeaways need health warning, say campaigners

An analysis of Chinese takeaway meals purchased from six independent restaurants in London’s famous Chinatown district has revealed that 97% contained a 2g of salt or more per dish. Over half (58%) contained more than 3g – or half an adult’s maximum recommended daily intake in one portion. Combining side dishes would consequently provide “far…
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Food-to-go brands rapped for muffin sugar content

Blueberry muffins sold by leading foodservice brands contain more sugar than a can of Coke, according to new analysis. Action on Sugar and the Obesity Health Alliance (OHA) surveyed 28 muffins and found huge variations in both their size and sugar content as well as a lack of nutritional information. Costa and McDonald’s were among…
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Playing poker with calories

The food industry has much to gain by embracing the government’s latest calorie challenge. But reticence will inevitably lead to regulation, writes David Read. "Britain needs to go on a diet,” said Duncan Selbie, chief executive at Public Health England (PHE). "The simple truth is that on average we need to eat less. Children and…
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Government announces 20% calorie reduction target

The food sector has been told to cut calories in their products by 20% by 2024 to help tackle the UK’s obesity crisis. “It’s hard for people to make healthy food choices, whether for themselves or their families,” said Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England yesterday. “That’s why we are challenging the food…
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