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homeTuesday 17th September 2019

Overwhelming support to reduce sugar

Katie Coyne22/11/2018 - 13:55

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Sugary food and drink gets prime position
Sugary food and drink gets prime position

Nine out of ten people support reducing sugar and calories in everyday foods, according to a survey from Public Health England.

The survey carried out by Ipsos MORI found 90 per cent of people supported the government working with the food industry to make everyday foods and drinks healthier – and the number one reason people supported this move was to help the NHS.

There were no exceptions made for food eaten out in restaurants, coffee shops or cafes. The same percentage of people thought obesity is a problem in the UK and 79 per cent thought it had an impact on the NHS.

Some 90 per cent thought the main responsibility for tackling obesity lay with individuals and families, 80 per cent with the food industry, and 72 per cent the government.

Only cancer and mental health at 47 per cent and 43 per cent of respondents respectively were seen as bigger health issues than obesity at 39 per cent.

PHE chief executive Duncan Selbie said: ‘Obesity is the pandemic of modern times. Customers are saying they want faster progress from the food industry, and in particular, those businesses that have taken little or no action. We will be publicly reporting on these during 2019.’

The survey found support, for example, from 87 per cent of respondents for supermarkets to replace unhealthy foods near supermarkets checkouts with healthier ones.

The results of the survey were unveiled at the Food Matters Live conference held in London on Tuesday, on food health and nutrition.

 PHE chief nutritionist Dr Alison Tedstone said: ‘Severe obesity in ten-to-eleven year-olds is at an all-time high.

‘Plans to improve the nation’s diet are often described as ‘nanny state’ interference, but it’s clear people want healthier food and they expect the industry to play their full part in this.’

 

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