RCPCH responds to report on sugar reduction

We have responded to the publication by Public Health England (PHE) of its second year report on progress by the food industry to reduce sugar in ‘everyday’ foods.

Professor Russell Viner, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said:

Today’s findings are a mixed bag. The soft drinks levy is a success story and shows that government can make a significant difference when it compels the food industry to act in the interests of child health.

On the other hand - the results of the voluntary sugar reduction programme reveal the limits of self-regulation. While there are pockets of progress, industry is largely asleep at the wheel. It is time for a wake-up call. One in three children are overweight or obese by age 11 and the food industry has a major role to play in helping us turn this around.

If industry fails to act for child health, then we look forward to the introduction of mandatory sugar reduction targets in 2020.