Health and Vitality

Green light to set minimum pricing for alcohol

The tonic water has been on ice for some time, but the Scottish government has finally been given the go-ahead to introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol. The UK Supreme Court this week ruled that the measure – passed overwhelmingly by the Scottish Parliament in 2012 – does not breach European law and can now…
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McDonald’s joins the meat-free party

McDonald’s has made a splash on social-media recently by trialling its first vegan burger, the McVegan. The initial results are “very promising” a spokeswoman told the BBC, and the product could be rolled out nationwide – albeit in Finland. Still, the trial is part of a growing trend for food and drink producers and retailers…
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Hard time for alcohol with soft drinks set to surge

Almost half of consumers (45%) are set to buy more soft drinks at Christmas with more than one in five (21%) planning to drink less alcohol. Some 37% also planning to spend more on soft drinks than previous festive seasons, increasing to over half (56%) of consumers aged 16-24. The research, conducted by Censuswide UK…
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Low- or no-sugar

When it comes to healthy eating, low-sugar and sugar-free are far and away the qualities UK consumers look for in a product. GfK asked 23,000 consumers online in 17 countries how important certain factors are, from a given list, when deciding what to eat or drink. In the UK, 42% said low-sugar or sugar-free is…
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Foods labelled as ‘meals’ rather than ‘snacks’ prevent overeating

Marketing food as a “snack” leads to increased consumption and continued overeating, according to new research published in the journal Appetite. Eighty people were asked to eat a pasta pot. This was either labelled as a “snack” or “meal”, or presented as a snack (eaten standing up from a plastic pot with a plastic fork)…
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Sugaring the Brexit pill

Britain’s sugar policy is a contradictory mess – but leaving the EU is a chance to bring agriculture and health goals into line. By Professor Jack Winkler. The UK government is drowning in dissent, divisions, plots and power struggles. The conflicts that receive most media attention focus on the prime minister and Brexit. But the…
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Restaurants fuelling obesity with sugar-laden kids meals

Puddings with three times the daily sugar allowance and poor availability of fruit and veg are examples of “continuing poor practice” amongst many high street restaurants when it comes to children’s meals. Using information from secret diner families, the Soil Association has ranked 25 of the UK’s most popular chains based on the food they…
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Childhood obesity: meet the new plan, same as the old plan

The government’s new research unit looks suspiciously like it was cobbled together to head off claims of inaction, writes David Burrows. Twelve months ago the UK government slipped out its long-awaited plan to tackle childhood obesity. The document represented “the start of the conversation, rather than the final word”. It ran to 13 pages and…
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Does fat deserve a retrial?

Why defenders are fighting to clear the reputation of a nutrient they say has been unfairly blamed for the obesity epidemic. By Nick Hughes. As sugar begins a long sentence for its role in the obesity epidemic a campaign is being waged to get another convicted nutrient off the hook. Fat has long been cast…
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EU health ministers call for more effective policies to tackle childhood obesity

Europe’s health ministers believe there is “ample evidence” to justify tougher restrictions junk food advertising, especially online. Members of the employment, social policy, health and consumer affairs council (EPSCO) also criticised the self-regulatory approach favoured by many countries. In new guidelines to tackle childhood obesity, the council said the focus should be on both lack…
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