Soft drinks industry urged to set sugar reduction targets
New research by Action on Sugar has revealed the shockingly high levels of free sugars found globally in sugar-sweetened soft drinks.
With sugar-sweetened soft drinks being inked to the escalating worldwide obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemic, the pressure group is now calling for all international drink manufacturers to unite in setting sugar reduction targets immediately.
The survey, which reviewed 274 sugar-sweetened soft drinks produced across the world, found that every single product (with available nutrition data) would receive a high red colour-coded label if it were consumed in a standard 330ml can. Furthermore, 88% of products (with available nutrition data) contain more than the daily recommended amount.
The group gives the example of a 330ml can of Coca Cola, Pepsi or 7Up if it were consumed anywhere in the world, would 100% contain more than an entire adult’s maximum daily amount of free sugars for the day (25g – 6 tsp/d).
Graham MacGregor, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Queen Mary University of London and Chairman of Action on Sugar, commented: “Overweight and obesity increases health-care costs and threatens the economic growth on which a country’s future prosperity and wellbeing depend. This survey illustrates the fact that the soft drinks industry is part of the cause of the world’s growing obesity pandemic and action must be taken now.
Kawther Hashem, nutritionist at Action on Sugar added: “It’s high time soft drinks manufacturers around the world stop adding unnecessary sugars and calories to their products and work universally to set sugar reduction targets once and for all. Our research has shown discrepancies between the sugar content in the same carbonated drinks sold across the world and this needs to stop."
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