Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Choice calls for better labelling to help cut sugar intake

If consumers could identify added sugars on food packs they could each avoid an average of 26 teaspoons of sugar a day and lose up to 38.3 kilograms a year, according to a report from consumer organisation Choice.

Choice says it found that savoury processed foods and products with claims of being ‘healthy’ are some of the worst offenders when it comes to added sugar.

“It’s all but impossible for the average shopper to make an informed choice about added sugar in their diet,” Choice Campaigns and Policy Adviser Katinka Day said.

“It’s time added sugars were clearly labelled on processed-food products so consumers can make more informed choices with their daily diet.

“You have to be a food scientist to identify added sugars in processed foods. Consumers in Australia have no clear way of knowing how much sugar has been added to a food. That’s why we want food and health ministers to take action and require added sugars to be clearly labelled on food products.”

Choice’s report comes as state, territory and federal food and health ministers are set to discuss sugar labelling at the Forum of Food Regulation meeting on April 28.

An earlier investigation by Choice found the food industry was using 43 different words on ingredient lists to “disguise” added sugar, including glucose solids, corn syrup, panela, molasses and elderberry juice concentrate.

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