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Soft drinks brands cut down sugar

Leading soft drink brands have committed to dropping the amount of sugar and calories in their drinks as part of a government plan to fight obesity.  

Lucozade Energy and Ribena ready to drink will cut the amount of sugar by 10% Public Health Minister Anna Soubry announced.

At the Food and Drink Federation's 'Delivering Healthy Growth' event late last week, Sourby unveiled the latest brands to sign up to the Responsibility Deal, which calls on the food industry to contribute to improving public health.

“Overall, more than 480 companies including many leading high street brands have signed up.

“Through the Responsibility Deal we're already achieving real progress in helping people reduce the calories and salt in their diet,” Soubry said.

With a third of children aged 10 or 11, and just under two thirds of adults overweight or obese, England has some of the highest obesity rates in the developed world.  

An American study published in the British Medical Journal reported that calorie labelling influenced the choices of one in six customers.

The study seemed to show that having calorie content clearly on the label enables people to make more informed choices.

Chair of the Responsibility Deal Food Network Dr Susan Jebb said: "I hope we'll now see others, including the out of home sector, taking a careful look at how they can come to the table with new commitments to encourage their customers choose smaller portions and swap to lower calorie options."

Since launching in 2011 over 70% of fast-food and takeaway meals will have calories clearly labelled.

All of the major supermarkets and 69% of the retail market have committed to removing artificial trans fats.

Twenty-three leading food and drink companies including Coca Cola, Subway and Nestlé have signed up to the calorie reduction pledge, with eight new signatories announced last week.