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Food firms’ pledge on saturated fat is “thinnest of thin interventions”

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 28 October 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6523
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

Experts have challenged the UK government’s claims that new pledges by food producers and retailers to reduce saturated fats in many products would substantially improve people’s health.

Tim Lang, a food policy professor at City University London, said that the undertakings to cut saturated fat were a small step forward but the “thinnest of thin interventions,” given the scale of the public health challenge.

He told the BMJ, “If something’s really important, like tackling obesity, it is folly to rely on weak, self selected agreements. We need a commitment to toughen up regulation.”

The government announced on Saturday 26 October that “almost half” the food manufacturing and retail industry had signed up to its responsibility deal, the “saturated fat reduction pledge.”1 It said that their combined commitments would “remove more than one and a half Olympic size swimming pools of saturated fat from the nation’s diet.”

Nestlé has said that it would remove 3800 tonnes of saturated fat from over a billion Kit Kat bars each year by “reformulating the recipe.”

Tesco …

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