Posts

Taxing sugar is good for all

Cosmos 

A study out of the University of Cambridge found that, a year after the introduction of a sugar tax in the UK, people were still purchasing the same amount of soft drink but consuming 10% less sugar. The results are described in a paper published in The BMJ. The UK introduced the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) on soft-drink manufacturers in April 2018. Drinks with more than 8g sugar per 100mL are taxed at £0.24/L, and drinks with 5–8g sugar per 100mL are taxed at £0.18/L. The tax aimed to encourage manufacturers to reduce the amount of sugar in their drinks. Read more

Are high-sugar adverts contributing to obesity in Mediterranean countries?

FoodNavigator. Com 

The Spanish food industry is promoting unhealthy products for breakfast, according to Mireia Montaña Blasco from the Open University of Catalonia, who has undertaken research in response to rising obesity rates in Mediterranean countries. In total, the researcher analyzed 355 advertisements from 117 different products that appeared across Spanish media including the internet, television, radio, print and outdoor advertising.  Among the findings was that a vast majority of those targeted at children had an average sugar content of 36.2% compared to 10.25% for those targeted at adults. In Spain one in three children are overweight and the country has the highest proportion of childhood obesity in Europe. Read more

Covid 19 coronavirus: Junk food companies accused of ‘Covid-washing’ during lockdown

NZ Herald 
20 of the biggest junk and fast food brands in New Zealand have been accused of “Covid-washing” by pushing their products on the back of the nation’s lockdown according to a study from the University of Auckland. The study analyzed nearly 1400 social media posts and found about 27 per cent of the posts related to Covid-19 themes, of which more than a third linked a brand with community spirit. The study’s lead author, Dr Sarah Gerritsen, said Covid-washing portrayed a company as empathetic and contributing in a meaningful way to the pandemic response.”When, in reality, it was just another strategy to promote products and choices that are detrimental to health.” Read more

Raiding your cupboards like a vending machine? Big Food is feeding our snack addiction

USA Today  
Big Food is using our deepest human instincts against us to make their products more addictive than ever, and then maneuvering to exploit our efforts to regain control of our health. In the early days of COVID-19, manufacturers of cookies, crackers and chips saw sales jump nearly 30% as people loaded up on items they hadn’t had since childhood. And now, the companies aren’t about to let us go. Read the article

Television advertising limits can reduce childhood obesity, study concludes

Science Daily 
Limiting the hours of television advertising for foods and beverages high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) could make a meaningful contribution to reducing childhood obesity, according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Oliver Mytton of the University of Cambridge, UK, and colleagues. Researchers estimate the ban would cut childhood obesity by 40,000 and save the UK £7.4billion in lost productivity. One in three children in England leaves primary school overweight, increasing their risk of cancer, heart disease, and type-2 diabetes substantially.  Read the article

Coronavirus: Snacking and family meals increase in lockdown

BBC
A study of lockdown eating from the Guy’s and St Thomas’s Charity and the Bite Back 2030 healthy eating charity, studied over 1,000 14-19 year olds and found contrasting trends for more unhealthy snacks, but also more shared meals as families spent more time at home together. It also found a widening social divide in healthy and unhealthy eating. The report describes snacking as the “biggest negative consequence” in eating habits during the pandemic, with a 40% increase in snacks. Young people in poorer families were “more likely to snack, less likely to eat fresh fruit and vegetables” than their wealthier counterparts. Read the article here

Taxing sugar levels in soda could prevent 2 million US cases of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, study says

CNN

Taxes on sugary drinks, a new study has revealed, can lead to major health gains and reductions in health care costs — but just how much of a benefit they provide can vary by the design of the tax. Read the article here

Over 100 doctors call for tax on junk food to handle obesity epidemic

Metro Newspaper (UK) 

A group of around 200 doctors and healthcare professionals signed an open letter to ministers putting forward a number of proposals to overhaul the UK’s ‘unfair, unhealthy and unsustainable’ food system when the pandemic passes. This includes a tax on foods that are high in salt and fat, a tax on food derived from animal agriculture, subsidies for plant-based diets, a return of public sector catering to stop processed meat being served in schools and hospitals and that the ban on junk food advertising is accelerated and made total, banning such advertising even after the watershed. Read the article here

Action on Sugar says UK’s oral health likely to worsen following COVID-19

Dentistry Online 

Katharine Jenner, nutritionist and campaign director at Action on Sugar, said COVID-19 could mean certain risk factors lead to worse oral health outcomes. The UK based campaign group said COVID-19 has led to popular companies heavily advertising unhealthy food and drink products – but little has been done to curb it. This follows the delay of a report on sugar reduction within the confectionary sector, which has been held up as a result of the pandemic. Progress by manufacturers has stalled against the Public Health England set target of 20% in voluntary cuts by 2020. Read the article here

National study finds diets remain poor for most American children; disparities persist

Tufts Now 

Despite consuming fewer sugar-sweetened beverages and more whole grains, most American children and adolescents still eat poorly – and sociodemographic disparities persist, according to an 18-year national study between 1999 and 2016 of U.S. children’s dietary trends. Read the story here

You can find the study here (behind a paywall)