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Added: 22nd November 2018 by British Sugar
We recognise the focus on the food industry and our ingredient as policy debates continue about how to tackle the issue of obesity, and it is an issue we take extremely seriously as a business. We’re also aware that there’s a lot of conflicting and confusing information available relating to food and drink and nutrition, and our ingredient, sugar, and we’re keen to play our part in aiding consumer understanding.
Against this backdrop, the latest Government statistics published in April are interesting showing a reduction of 16.6% per capita in consumption of total sugars in the UK since 2001, while obesity levels have not fallen. We therefore think focusing attention on one ingredient is not only unhelpful in addressing the complex causes of the obesity crisis, but is also not supported by the evidence.
This week marks the British Nutrition Foundation’s (BNF) Healthy Eating Week, which aims to encourage all UK workplaces, universities, schools and nurseries to come together to focus on healthy eating and drinking and physical activity, and to celebrate healthy living. We’re proud to support BNF on their broader programme of work.
As part of our contribution to the policy landscape we have also provided three unrestricted educational grants to the think tank 2020health to explore the causes and drivers of obesity and the potential solutions that could be employed to tackle the current situation, with the reports demonstrating just how complex the situation is, with no silver bullet to address the issue.
In 2014 we launched Making Sense of Sugar, which helps inform and educate people about sugar and the role it can play as part of a healthy balanced diet. The aim is to provide factual information based on robust science, so we can all make informed choices about what we choose to consume. This week, Making Sense of Sugar has a new blog with tips on how to take on the five challenges set for BNF Healthy Eating Week.
We’re also committed to improving education and we have provided funding that BNF has used to design and develop teaching kits to enable teachers to teach healthy eating, food and farming and cooking – with approximately 500 teachers using the resource to date.
We’re proud of the work we’ve done to date, but we’re not complacent and we’ll continue to play our part in aiding consumer understanding about nutrition and diet, particularly relating to sugar. We recognise the critical importance of addressing the obesity crisis - but we believe it is only by ensuring that policy is based on the evidence, and looks at the issue holistically, rather than focusing on a single ingredient, that we will start to see results.