Sweet solutions to a weighty problem

Sweet solutions to a weighty problem

Soaring global obesity levels are leading governments around the world to consider – and sometimes adopt – measures to curb the threat to health. These include everything from voluntary initiatives designed to encourage the food and drink industry to reformulate its products to reduce high levels of fat, sugar and salt (HFSS), to the introduction of fiscal measures such as taxes on foods that contain them.

One of the latest examples of the impact fiscal measures are having is described in a paper [1] published in The Journal of the American Medical Association in May 2019, which reported that a tax on sugary drinks introduced in 2017 in Philadelphia, USA had halved purchases in the city in the first year.

This emphasises that the efforts to reduce obesity have, to date, focussed on reducing sugar in both food and beverages. It has primarily been driven by concerns about growing childhood obesity – particularly during the second decade of life – which is now acknowledged to be a strong predictor of adult obesity, especially for extremely overweight children of obese parents.

As a result, food companies have sought alternatives to sugar in their products to replace the calorie contribution of sweetened food and drink, while also providing many of the functional properties of sugars. However, it is often a complex and time-consuming process.

Leatherhead can help you through this complex maze, enabling identification of the right sugar replacement ingredients to meet particular needs. Remember, consumers may only buy the new reformulated products if they have the same taste and mouthfeel that sugar delivers.

[1] https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2733208?guestAccessKey=86610f39-a0eb-46d4-a30a-3ddef0036408&utm_source=For_The_Media&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=ftm_links&utm_content=tfl&utm_term=051419