Reducing sugar in our diet


Reducing sugar in our diet

Food and drink manufacturers are working with the Government as it embarks on a highly ambitious sugars reduction drive.

In this short video, FDF’s Chief Scientific Officer Helen Munday explains what this process involves and what it will mean for manufacturers, retailers, café and restaurant owners.

Video script

Britons have never before been able to buy such a wide range of safe, nutritious and affordable food and drink.

You can find everything from “free from” options to food and drinks fortified with vitamins and minerals. There are lighter options all the way through to more indulgent ones.

But the recipe for staying fit and healthy hasn’t really changed – eat a balanced diet with lots of fruit and vegetables and be active.

To help people maintain a balanced diet, food and drink manufacturers have responded by reducing: energy, certain types of fats, and salt.

Following a review of scientific evidence in 2015, which recommended we eat less sugar and more fibre each day, the Government and the food industry are now working together to help people get fewer of their calories from sugars.

Sugars play a number of roles in food and drink – for example, adding flavour, helping give the rise and colour in cake and keeping ice-cream soft by lowering the freezing point.

They also come from a variety of sources. For instance, a fruit yoghurt contains naturally occurring sugars from the milk and fruit – and may have sugars added to balance the flavour.

You can always find out how much sugar is in a product by reading the label. It’s the law.

Many food and drink manufacturers have included this information voluntarily for almost a decade – often on the front of packaging.

As part of wider efforts to reduce calorie intakes, we’re working with the Government as it embarks on a highly ambitious sugars reduction programme, which needs to involve the whole food industry.

There are three ways food manufacturers, retailers, restaurateurs and others in the food chain are reducing sugars:

1) Lowering sugars in recipes

This sounds simple but balancing recipes can be complicated and people can detect even the smallest change in sugars in a product, which is one reason why reducing sugars is more difficult than salt reduction.

2) Reducing portion sizes

This is useful where, for legal or practical reasons, sugars can’t be reduced in the recipe.

3) Changing the variety of products/options sold

By adding new and promoting more lower sugars options to their ranges, food producers will offer people more choice.

More and more lower-sugar or no sugar foods and drinks are now available.  For example, almost 60% of soft drinks sold are no-sugar or low-sugar.

Our industry has a proven track record of making healthier products.

Our industry is committed to making it easier for people to choose healthier food.

More healthier products. More choice.

It’s never been easier for people to choose – and enjoy – a balanced diet.