“My name is Israel and I live in Alicante. Why aren’t the EU countries united in demanding a reduction of sugar and salt in foods aimed at children, like cola, cereals and chips when we know that they contribute to obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Thanks very much.”
We put the question to Jean-Paul Allonsius, the president of European Obesity Day. He answered: “My grandfather who was a pastry chef used to say: ‘When a patissier doesn;t have any ideas he adds sugar!’
That says a lot about sugar. And also with salt, you drink. When you eat salty food you need to drink.
These days the food industry as a whole uses too much fat, saturated fat, salt and sugar.
These four ingedients are cheap and allows the industry to bring down production costs, making bigger margins and profits.
And somewhere along the line, we as consumers, pay for that excess with our health. It’s obviously harmful.
One European in two is already overweight, and that endangers health, so you could even say we have an epidemic.
On top of that 21 million children are already overweight in the EU – that’s a considerable number – and each year 400 000 more join the list of overweight or obese.
Obviously prevention is very, very important. It’s our future generations at stake, but what can we do about the half of the population already overweight? We’re asking for everything possible to be done to reduce levels of fat, saturated fat, salt and sugar in our food, and the European Commission has already agreed with our argument. It remains to be seen if it will actually be carried out by the industry in Europe.
I think certain companies – I’m not going to name names, that’s not my role – are already modifying their recipes, and will try to push the message of responsibilties, not of the customer this time, but of the company facing the real issue of weight-loss that we must all take.
And you know, less sugar, fat, saturated fat and salt doesn’t harm healthy people either!”
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