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Caroline Spelman - why we're taking on the food industry

THE Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has mounted an attack on the hidden sugar, salt and fat in everyday packaged foods.

THE Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has mounted an attack on the hidden sugar, salt and fat in everyday packaged foods.

In a direct challenge to food manufacturers and retailers, he said that he would consider introducing new laws to limit the amount of sugar, salt and fat in processed foods to curb childhood obesity, but he would also give supermarkets and manufacturers a chance to get their “house in order” before resorting to legislation.

I think Jeremy is quite right to take on the food industry over the hidden additions in so many products such as cereals, biscuits, sauces etc.

As a mum of three, I know just how hard it can be to restrict sugar, salt and fat when they are present in a wide range of everyday processed foods. I’m sure every parent knows the problem of pester pressure when shopping with children who clamour for highly flavoured foods which are not really good for them.

While we need to do something positive to tackle childhood and adult obesity, we also need to consider the wider health implications of the hidden ingredients in packets and jars we buy for the store cupboard. People who are diagnosed with diabetes are often amazed to find out how much ‘secret’ sugar manufacturers put into their products.

I used to work in the sugar industry, so I know quite a bit about the high demand for sugar. Sugar occurs naturally and we are predisposed to crave it but it just needs to be consumed in moderation. When manufacturers and retailers remove the unwelcome additions then we have a chance of creating healthy and balanced diets for ourselves and our children.

 

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