Sugar content in soft drinks has reduced by 29% in the UK, shows study

Sugar content in soft drinks has reduced by 29% in the UK, shows study

Ultra-processed food consumption linked to rising obesity epidemic in the U.S. The research, published in BMC Medicine , shows that individual soft drink companies in the UK are making a sizeable contribution to sugar reduction, with eight out of the top 10 companies reducing the sugar content of their products by 15% or more. The two biggest companies, Coca-Cola and Britvic, had reduced the total quantity of sugars they sold in drinks by 17% and 26% respectively, although the sugar content of their flagship brands Coca-Cola and Pepsi remained unchanged. There were increases in volume sales of sugars in drinks sold by Innocent and Red Bull; the sugar content of their products was largely unchanged, but the companies had seen increases in overall volume sales. The analysis shows that nearly three-quarters (73%) of the reduction seen in the amount of sugar sold in soft drinks was due to reformulation of existing products or the introduction of new, lower sugar drinks, and 27% was due to changes in purchasing behavior. Lead researcher Lauren Bandy said: 'It is encouraging to see such a large reduction in sugars sold in soft drinks. This is largely a result of change in the composition of drinks but there have also been shifts in consumer purchasing behavior, with more consumers choosing drinks with low, or no, sugar content. These changes are likely to be due to a combination of government action, mostly through the SDIL, changes in marketing practices on the part of the soft drinks industry, and greater awareness of the harms caused by sugary drinks amongst consumers. They show that it is possible for improvements in public health to be consistent with successful business practices.' Co-author Susan Jebb, Professor of Diet and Population Health at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, said: 'National and international governments are calling for change in the food industry to improve public health. This new method allows researchers to monitor the progress being made and to make this information available to the public. This external scrutiny will hopefully encourage more positive and rapid action by the food industry to achieve healthier diets.' Source:



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