Soft drinks to cut sugar content under government scheme

Medical Government/ NHS related news

The government has announced that a number of major soft drinks brands have agreed to reduce the sugar and calorie content of their products as part of its Responsibility Deal initiative.

Under the agreement, the manufacturers of Ribena Ready to Drink and Lucozade Energy will reduce their sugar and calorie levels by ten percent and AG Barr - creator of Irn-Bru - will reduce calorific content across their portfolio of drinks by five percent.

Meanwhile, J2O will launch two flavours in a new slimline can, which will offer a ten percent calorie reduction compared with a standard 275 mL bottle, with Co-operative Food and Burtons Biscuits also agreeing measures of their own.

The aim of the scheme is to combat obesity, as 60 percent of adults and one-third of ten and 11-year-olds in England are classed as overweight or obese - one of the highest rates in the world.

Public health minister Anna Soubry said: "All in the food industry have a part to play and I now expect companies which are not yet taking action to come forward and make pledges."

This comes after the Royal College of Physicians called on the government to deliver an improved strategy to help the NHS cope with the rising rates of UK obesity earlier this month.

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