Food campaigners claim UK supermarkets ‘encourage sugar consumption’

UK supermarkets have been condemned by food experts and campaigners for failing to tackle sugar levels and further encouraging sugar consumption.

According to reporting by The Guardian, scientific research group Action on Sugar and environmental charity Global Feedback claim that supermarkets including Tesco, Aldi and Waitrose have helped to increase the amount of sugar consumed by the UK public, while misleading people on how much they do to tackle obesity.

In their recent report, the organisations said that supermarkets “continue to encourage sugar consumption through their drive for higher sales, despite paying lip service to healthy eating goals.”

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“Promoting sugar reduction success without reducing sugar sales misleads the public and government to think that retailers are part of the solution to obesity and diet-related ill health, while in fact being part of the problem.”

Morrisons was the only supermarket that told the campaigners it had set a target to cut back the total amount of sugar it sells across its range of food, while many others claimed they had plans to increase sales of healthier products.

However, none of the 10 supermarkets that were looked into provided evidence that they had cut the total amount of sugar they sell.

In December, the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities released the final report of its sugar reduction programme.

Sugar reduction targets were found to be up to 82% below the government’s voluntary goal by 2020 and the target of a 20% reduction in sugar for the food insustry had been missed.

It said the average amount of sugar in products such as cereals, cakes and biscuits had seen a 3.5% reduction since the initiative’s launch in 2017.

Last month, the government’s food tsar, Henry Dimbleby resigned after claiming the Conservative party has been inactive against tackling obesity.

According to reporting by The Times, the Leon co-founder said the government has an “ultra-free-market ideology” and has refused to place restrictions on the junk-food industry.



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