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Sugar: Love It or Leave It?

Sugar: Love It or Leave It?

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It’s on every table, and seemingly everybody’s mind. From a spoonful in coffee to baked goods, desserts, and even some condiments, sugar is an important ingredient or addition to many recipes. However, as a nation we’re eating too much1, and non-government organisations and the government are challenging people to consume less and the industry to use less.

Controlling Sugar Intake

The World Health Organisation has recommended limits on the amount of sugar people consume2, and multiple governments around the world have introduced new regulations or taxes to help reduce added sugar consumption3. After a 2015 review of the role of carbohydrates in the diet4, UK recommendations were tightened and it is now recommended that no more than 5% total energy should come from free sugars. In August 2016, as part of the Childhood Obesity Plan, Public Health England implemented a sugar reduction programme which aims to see sugar reduced by 20% by 2020 in the nine categories of food that contribute the most sugar to children’s diets5,6. Furthermore, a levy was put in place on some sugary drinks from April 2018 to further encourage the reduction of sugar in drinks7.

Finding a Balance

Today, the foodservice industry is facing a challenge.  Is it possible to meet the new health recommendations, follow government regulations, and deliver enough flavour to keep your customers satisfied?

Equipping Yourself to Succeed

We’ve pulled together a series of articles designed to help you learn more about sugar: where it’s found in food and beverages, how it affects health, and what you can do to reduce sugar in recipes. You can use this information to help educate your staff and your customers about these concerns, new guidelines, and the positive steps you’re taking in your own kitchens and cafés.

Tell Me More

Many consumers are looking to limit sugars in their diet and appreciate transparency. Why not help them out?

You can help by displaying front of pack nutrition information on menus, cups, wrappers, or other containers. In line with EU guidelines, nutrition information displayed must either state the energy value (kJ and kcal) alone or energy value (kJ and kcal) plus amounts (in grams) of fat, saturates, sugars and salt.

Those who are looking for the information will appreciate your support. It may help guide them to the menu choices that are right for them, or reassure them that their old favourites fall within their needs.

Contact Nestlé if you’d like more information on the work they’ve done to reduce sugar and calories in their products.

1.Public Health England,, National Diet and Nutrition Survey, 2018 2. WHO, Sugar Guidelines, 2015 3. WCRF, Curbing Global Sugar  Consumption, 2015 4. SACN, Carbohydrates and Health, 2015 5. UK Government, Childhood Obesity: A Plan for Action, 2016 6. Public Health England, Sugar Reduction: Achieving the 20%, 2017 7. HM Revenue & Customs, Policy Paper: Soft Drinks Industry Levy, 2016

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