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Sugar in food: critics urge tougher regulation as industry fails to meet reduction target

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k2280 (Published 22 May 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k2280
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London

Retailers and manufacturers have managed to cut sugar in foodstuffs by only 2% in the first year of the government’s voluntary reduction programme, failing to meet the 5% target.

The slow progress has been criticised by academics and campaigners, who say that change will come about only by regulation. Public Health England, however, branded it an encouraging start,1 adding that more sugar reduction plans that had not been included in its analysis were in the pipeline.

In 2016 the government published its childhood obesity plan for England, which challenged the food industry to cut 20% of sugar from a range of products by 2020, including 5% in the first year.2 The plan was roundly condemned by doctors’ leaders, …

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