Health and Vitality

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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Brits baffled by sugar tax

Nearly eight in 10 people are aware that there’s a new tax on sugar being introduced but they don’t have a clue what products will be covered. In a survey of 539 adults by Nielsen, not one correctly identified that the levy only applies to sugary soft drinks. Two-thirds believed it would apply to sweets/sugared…
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EU rules on junk food marketing watered down

Plans to revise the rules around advertising of junk food to children have been watered down by the European Parliament, according to campaigners. The audiovisual media services directive (AVMSD) is a package of laws covering television advertising and shopping, sponsorship and product placement. Campaigners identified it as a “once in a decade” opportunity to protect…
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Politicians side-tracked by sugar taxes

Politicians have been distracted by sugar taxes rather than led the fight to tackle obesity from all angles, according to Richard Dobbs, senior partner at McKinsey and lead author of his firm’s seminal report on obesity in 2014. Dobbs claimed there is a “real gap in political leadership”. Politicians and policymakers are not as concerned…
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