Let’s take action on sugar

9 January 2014        

Category: BHF Comment


A new public health campaign has launched today to get us all thinking about how much sugar is in the things we eat and drink.

Leading health experts have joined together to form Action on Sugar to make people more aware of the hidden sugars in our shopping basket.

But while we can control the amount of sugar we add ourselves, some sugars aren’t so easy to spot. You might not be surprised to hear that flavoured water and sports drinks can contain large amounts of added sugar, but yoghurts, ketchup, and ready meals are just a few everyday foods that can also contain hidden sugars.

Action on Sugar want to gradually reduce the amount of added sugar in the food and soft drinks we buy. They have calculated that a 20 to 30 per cent reduction in sugar added by the food industry would lead to a reduction in calorie intake of around 100 calories a day. 

Small changes to the products we eat everyday it could make a difference to our waistlines

Our Associate Medical Director, Mike Knapton, said: “We need energy to keep us going through the day. But sugars added to foods like fizzy drinks and biscuits contribute to our daily calorie intake without giving us any other nutritional value.

“If manufacturers made small changes to the products we eat everyday it could make a difference to our waistlines. It would need to be combined with other measures to fully address the problem of obesity, but it’s a step in the right direction.

“Taking action to reduce the sugar content in our favourite treats is a great way to help us all to eat less of the sweet stuff. However, this doesn’t mean that we need to stop thinking about our overall diet. Enjoying a healthy balanced diet, and making sure you get plenty of exercise, will help you to keep your heart healthy and your weight down.”