In the UK, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has launched an online petition to tax all sugary drinks by 20p per litre1. While the British government have no current plans to introduce this type of measure, it begs the questions – Are sugar taxes or voluntary reductions by industry the best ways to fight obesity? Is it possible to quantify the food and beverage industries’ efforts to voluntarily reduce sugar in their products?
Dietary experts claim that a sugar tax on sweetened beverages may not be effective in fighting obesity in Ireland2. So, what can be done instead?
Creme Global, in conjunction with Food and Drink Industry Ireland (FDII), has been assessing the impact of voluntary reformulation (i.e. products reduced in sugar, but also energy, total fat, saturated fat and/or sodium) by Irish food manufacturers across a broad range of foods and drinks.
This impact is measured in two ways: (1) the reduction in nutrients sold on the market, and (2) the reduction in dietary intakes (using Irish national consumption data). Results from this project will be published shortly.