Soft Drinks Brands Lucozade And Ribena to Reduce the Amount of Sugar And Calories in Their Products By Up to 10 Per Cent
Leading soft drinks brands Lucozade and Ribena will reduce the amount of sugar and calories in their products by up to 10 per cent as part of the Government’s drive to curb obesity levels, Public Health Minister Anna Soubry has announced.
Speaking at the Food and Drink Federation’s ’Delivering Healthy Growth’ stakeholder event, the minister unveiled the latest brands to sign up to the Responsibility Deal’s calorie reduction pledge. Ribena ready to drink and Lucozade Energy will reduce the amount of sugar and calories by up to 10 per cent; AG Barr, who produce IrnBru, will reduce the calorific content across their portfolio of drinks by five per cent; and J2O will launch two flavors in a new slim-line can which will represent a 10 per cent calorie reduction compared with their standard 275mL bottle.
The Public Health Responsibility Deal aims to tap into the potential for businesses and other influential organizations to make a significant contribution to improving public health by helping us to create this environment.
England has some of the highest obesity rates in the developed world with 60 per cent of adults and one third of 10 and 11 year olds being overweight or obese. The Government’s Obesity Call to Action outlined that consuming too many calories is at the heart of the problem and through initiatives like the Responsibility Deal Calorie Reduction pledge concerted action is needed.
Other pledges announced include:
Co-operative Food will look at controlling calories through a variety of measures, including establishing calorie guidelines and target levels in popular product lines; and
Burtons Biscuits Company will offer more portion control packs and will be reviewing its recipes to reduce calories where possible within its portfolio.
Public Health Minister Anna Soubry said:
“Being overweight and not eating well is bad for our health. To reverse the rising tide of obesity we have challenged the nation to reduce our calorie intake by five billion calories a day. On average that’s just 100 calories less a day per person.
“Today’s announcement will cut the calories and sugar by up to 10 per cent in leading brands like Lucozade and Ribena. Through the Responsibility Deal we are already achieving real progress in helping people reduce the calories and salt in their diet. Overall, more than 480 companies including many leading high street brands have signed up to the Responsibility Deal.
“All of the major supermarkets have now committed to removing artificial trans fats, and over 70 per cent of fast food and takeaway meals sold on the high street have calories clearly labeled, but more needs to be done.
“We are encouraged by the extra businesses which have signed up today but I want to see even more progress. All in the food industry have a part to play and I now expect companies which are not yet taking action to come forward and make pledges.”
Chair of the Responsibility Deal Food Network Dr Susan Jebb said:
“I’m pleased to see the soft drinks manufacturers, like GSK, AG Barr and Britvic join Coca-Cola and PepsiCo to make some very real commitments to help consumers cut down on their calories as they take control of their weight.”
“I hope we will now see others, including the out of home sector, taking a careful look at how they can build on this and come to the table with new commitments to encourage their customers choose smaller portions and swap to lower calorie options.”
Director General of the Food and Drink Federation Melanie Leech said:
“We commend these businesses for joining existing pledge signatories in a shared commitment to support the calorie reduction challenge issued to the nation by ministers last year. Of the 31 pledge signatories, 15 are manufacturers, demonstrating our sector’s willingness to engage and deliver improved public health outcomes under the Deal.
“On calorie reduction, and the other pledges already issued by the Food Network, we urge the Department of Health to continue its efforts to broaden engagement and bring in new companies to work with those of our members, and others, who have already made substantial commitments through the Responsibility Deal.”
The eight new drink and food manufacturers, supermarket and catering companies which have signed up this week include GlaxoSmithKline, Co-Operative Food, Burtons Biscuits, AG Barr, Britvic, Dairy Crest Lexington Catering and CH&Co. They join the 23 companies including Mars and Tesco which have already pledged.
Source: Department of Health
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