Obesity: Sugar content in soft drinks is to be reduced by 50 percent

Obesity: Sugar content in soft drinks is to be reduced by 50 percent

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Health experts call for 50 percent less sugar in soft drinks

Health experts are calling for the sugar content in conventional soft drinks to be halved. Great Britain shows that this is possible. The reduction of the sweetener would make an important contribution in the fight against obesity and related diseases.

Unhealthy drinks

"Sugar-sweetened drinks should generally only be drunk in small quantities because they contain many calories and can contribute to the development of overweight," writes the German Society for Nutrition (DGE) on its website. In addition, the frequent consumption of sodas and cola can lead to health problems such as tooth decay, high blood pressure and diabetes. It is therefore fundamentally to be welcomed if politicians work to ensure that less sugar is consumed through soft drinks. But what the Federal Ministry of Food is planning is far too little for health experts.

Reduce frequency of obesity

"We want to reduce the frequency of obesity and obesity and the associated diseases in Germany," said Federal Food Minister Julia Klöckner in a recent statement.

“One of the components to achieve this goal is our reduction and innovation strategy,” said the politician.

This focuses “on reducing the energy supply through a reduction in sugar and fats and on lowering high salt levels in finished products.”

But what the ministry is planning is far from enough, according to health experts.

Halving the sugar content can be implemented

According to a communication published by the Science Information Service (idw), Barbara Bitzer, spokeswoman for the German Alliance for Noncommunicable Diseases (DANK), said of the recently published draft by the Federal Ministry of Food for a national reduction and innovation strategy for sugar, fats and salt in finished products:

“The reduction strategy is weakening when it comes to the key issues of soft drinks and children's marketing. In the case of soft drinks, it is not enough for Federal Minister of Food Julia Klöckner to call for a 'significant double-digit sugar reduction' - industry can also understand this as a relatively small reduction of 15 or 20 percent. ”

According to Bitzer, “a sugar reduction of 50 percent is necessary for conventionally sweet cola and lemonade”. "The example of Great Britain proves that this can be implemented quickly," says the expert.

The Deutsche Diabetes Gesellschaft (DDG), which is a member of DANK, also demands a 50 percent sugar reduction in soft drinks.

"In view of the fact that soft drinks as additional calorie carriers have a major influence in the development of obesity, we urge Ms. Klöckner to reach this target mark in the concrete agreements with the industry," said DDG President Professor Dr. med. Dirk Müller-Wieland in a release published by idw.

Special children's foods are unnecessary

DANK also criticizes the aim that products with children's optics "should not have a less favorable nutrient composition than those that are not specifically aimed at children" as insufficient:

"There is no progress if children's products are just as unhealthy as normal products," said Bitzer: "Here, of all things, a particularly vulnerable group is not protected, presumably so as not to limit the sales interests of the industry."

Müller-Wieland from DDG says: “Special children's foods are actually completely unnecessary. If anything, they should have a particularly favorable nutrient composition. ”

The German Alliance for Noncommunicable Diseases demands that marketing aimed at children and adolescents be completely banned if the product cannot be classified as healthy according to the standards of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The experts welcome the minister's announcement to closely monitor the implementation of the reduction and, if there is no willingness to cooperate, to examine regulatory measures.

"We very much hope that the industry will now take advantage of this last chance," said Bitzer: "The medical specialist associations brought together in DANK will follow the process closely and take Ms. Klöckner's word for it." (Ad)

Author and source information

Video: The Obesity Epidemic (November 2022).