As pressure mounts for people to cut down on the amount of sugar they have in their diet it comes as welcome news to hear that Kellogg’s are doing their part. Since the beginning of this year Coco Pops have contained 14% less sugar, other items in the branding range such as Frosties have also had a 30% reduction in the sugar content. The Original Wheats range continues to have no added sugar.
More information about sugary cereals and naming and shaming those with the highest sugar content is here.
Why is cutting down sugar so important?
Public Health England has challenged businesses to cut sugar by 20% by 2020, this could lead to 200,000 tons of sugar being removed from the UK market. The problem with added sugar is that it contributes to a number of diseases, most notably tooth decay and diabetes.
What is the link between sugar and tooth decay?
We all have bacteria in our mouth, this is quite normal, as these bacteria digests their food they excrete acid and it is this acid which attacks the enamel. As the enamel attack progresses decay can set in which can ultimately lead to tooth loss if left to progress unchecked. The bacteria feed excitedly on sugar and so reducing the amount of sugar reduces the amount of acid these bacteria excrete.
Read more about why sugar is so bad for your teeth.
At the moment the 20% reduction challenge by Public Health England is voluntary however a Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL), otherwise known as ‘sugar tax’ is set to begin from April 2018.
Questions about the sugar tax?
Will the price of soft drinks go up?
Not necessarily, says the government website. If producers can find ways to reduce the amount of sugar in their drinks then the amount of tax they pay will go down, possibly even to nothing at all. There is also no requirement to pass on this tax to consumers.
What drinks will have the sugar tax?
Any drinks which have added sugar and sugar content over 5g/100ml will incur a tax. The tax is banded and will increase with more sugar, currently this will increase at 8g/100ml. Any drink which does not contain added sugar will not be taxed such as fruit drinks.
As you can see, the government is doing its part to reduce sugar, producers are doing their part… You doing yours also?
Image source: freedigitalphotos.net