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UK Health Watchdog Calls For More Progress On Children’s Cereal Formulation And Packaging

August 16, 2023: 12:00 AM EST
Action on Sugar, a UK health watchdog based at Queen Mary University of London, says cereal brands have not done enough to reduce the sugar content of cereals targeting kids. The 14.9 percent reduction in sugar levels achieved between 2015 and 2020 falls short of the 20 percent target set by the Government. The organisation calls for a ban on packaging that appeals to children for products containing medium or higher levels of sugar, salt and saturated fat. Graham MacGregor, Action of Sugar chair and professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Queen Mary University of London, says the impact of obesity on economic productivity and NHS resources is huge and drastic changes are needed, especially when related to children. Action on Sugar argues that, unlike the Government’s HFSS regulations that restrict TV advertising of ‘unhealthy’ foods targeting children, there are no equivalent restrictions for packaging. UK Health Minister, Will Quince, however, believes the watchdog’s calls for tighter packaging rules are a “a step too far”, arguing that interventions should be the responsibility of parents not a “nanny state”. Action on Sugar, however, has acknowledged the work Lidl has made on sugar content and the removal of cartoon characters from packaging.
Gill Hyslop, "The sugary cereal debate: Action on Sugar calls for ban of child-friendly packaging; health minister brands plain wrapping ‘a step too far’", Bakery & Snacks, August 16, 2023, © William Reed Ltd
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