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Experts launch 'war on sugar'

Leading health experts have joined to launch a public health campaign encouraging people to think about how much sugar is in food. 

Action on Sugar wants to highlight that yoghurts, ketchup, ready meals and bread are everyday foods that also contain hidden sugars. 

But a 20-30% reduction in sugar added by the food industry would lead to a reduction in calorie intake of around 100 calories per day. 

Dr Aseem Malhotra, a cardiologist and science director of Action on Sugar, said: "Added sugar has no nutritional value whatsoever and causes no feeling of satiety.

"Aside from being a major cause of obesity, there is increasing evidence that added sugar increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and fatty liver."

British Heart Foundation associate medical director Mike Knapton said: “If manufacturers made small changes to the products we eat everyday it could make a difference to our waistlines. It would need to be combined with other measures to fully address the problem of obesity, but it's a step in the right direction. 

“Taking action to reduce  the sugar content in our favourite treats is a great way to help us all to eat less of the sweet stuff. However, this doesn't mean that we need to stop thinking about our overall diet.” 

Action on Sugar has been set up by the team behind Consensus Action on Salt and Health, a group which aims to encourage cuts to salt intake.