Food giants told to slash sugar or face tax on chocolate and biscuits

FOOD giants face a tax on sweet treats unless they cut sugar levels.

The threat comes after data showed no reduction in sugar in chocolates and biscuits.

Getty – Contributor

One in three children leave primary school too fat – putting them at increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and several cancers[/caption]

Health bosses battling the obesity crisis, want kids to consume 20 per cent less sugar by 2020.

Products targeted include confectionery, biscuits and cakes.

Officials had demanded that popular sweet food makers cut sugar levels by five per cent by last August.

But a report in May showed a drop of two per cent.

Alamy

New research by Public Health England shows nine in ten adults think obesity is a major problem[/caption]

Two in three major brands had ignored Government pleas.

Now officials say the industry could face fresh action if no improvement is seen by next year.

Duncan Selbie, chief executive at Public Health England, said: “Customers want faster progress, in particular businesses that have taken little or no action.

“We will be publicly reporting on these during 2019.”

 

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A Government source said if industry failed to meet the challenge, a tax or shaming of non-compliant firms were options.

Critics said targets had failed and shoppers could face “shrink­flation” — where products get smaller, but prices stay the same.

Christopher Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: “In many cases, sugar reduction is not feasible, so the only option is shrinking the product.”



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