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Monday, 26th October 2015

UK: Sugar Reduction: The evidence for action

Source: Public Health England via GOV.UK

From Executive Summary:

We are eating too much sugar and it is bad for our health. Consuming too many foods and drinks high in sugar can lead to weight gain and related health problems, as well as tooth decay. Almost 25% of adults, 10% of 4 to 5 year olds and 19% of 10 to 11 year olds in England are obese, with significant numbers also being overweight. Treating obesity and its consequences alone currently costs the NHS £5.1bn every year.

Sugar intakes of all population groups are above the recommendations, contributing between 12 to 15% of energy. Consumption of sugar and sugar sweetened drinks is particularly high in school age children. It also tends to be highest among the most disadvantaged who also experience a higher prevalence of tooth decay and obesity and its health consequences.

Over the last 30 to 40 years there have been profound changes in our relationship with food – how we shop and where we eat as well as the foods available and how they are produced. Food is now more readily available, more heavily marketed, promoted and advertised and, in real terms, is much cheaper than ever before. All of these nudge us towards over consumption. The changes have crept up on us and while none of this is anyone’s fault, it is time to do something about it.

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) has concluded that the recommended average population maximum intake of sugar should be halved: it should not exceed 5% of total dietary energy. SACN also recommended that consumption of sugar sweetened drinks should be minimised by both adults and children. By meeting these recommendations within 10 years we would not only improve an individual’s quality of life but could save the NHS, based on a conservative assessment, around £500m every year.

+ Full Report (PDF; 1.2 MB)

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

More articles by Adrian Janes »



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