Excess sugar in food and drink needs tackling by law | Letters

Letters: The rather bizarre idea suggested by David Cameron’s government that the food industry will act in our interests and not its own via some sort of responsibility deal is frankly ridiculous

So while the population of this country and, for that matter, the world is being poisoned for profit by the high sugar content in our food and drinks, is a sugar tax the answer? Gaby Hinsliff writes about Jamie Oliver’s campaign (Jamie is right: it’s madness not to clamp down on sugar, 4 September). The rather bizarre idea suggested by David Cameron’s government that the food industry will act in our interests and not its own via some sort of responsibility deal is frankly ridiculous.

I suggest the only way to stop the slaughter is to impose strict limits on sugar in foods by law. The next step would be to impose an outright ban on the use of the most toxic, cheap and nasty variety in nearly all soft drinks: high fructose corn syrup. What on earth is the Food Standards Agency doing about it?
Dr Maureen Tilford
Norwich

• In the light of Jamie’s Sugar Rush, I hope not to see another emollient letter from the head of advocacy for AB Sugar in the Guardian. The industry’s line is always to stress that sugar is just one of several issues linking food and health and a holistic approach is the only solution. Not true! A simple ban on adding real sugar to artificial drinks, and compulsory health warnings (not traffic lights) on fruit drinks containing natural sugars, would go a long way towards a solution. The industry will cope.
Tim Grollman
London

• With reference to Gaby Hinsliff’s recent article on sugar consumption, it is important to remember that there is no magic bullet when it comes to tackling obesity. Gaby correctly points out that we need to look at diet within the context of lifestyle.

Government data shows that, despite a 12.5% fall in total sugar consumption over the last 14 years, obesity rates continue to rise. Obesity is a complex issue and one area that is important to consider is the contribution of a balanced diet. So while reducing calories – which could include sugars – can help people lose or control their weight, as part of this the starting point should be calories (energy) in and calories (energy) out.

What’s required is collaborative action to find real and workable solutions to tackle this multifaceted issue.
Katharine Teague
Head of advocacy, AB Sugar

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