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21 January 2014

Response to Channel 4 Dispatches

Response to Channel 4 Dispatches

The Dispatches programme exploring the role of sugar in the diet (aired on 20 January) missed a simple fact: if you consume too many calories by eating too much of any type of food, you will put on weight.

The overwhelming body of scientific evidence is that it is the over-consumption of calories and our increasingly sedentary lifestyles which are causing the imbalance between energy in and energy out - the key factor driving rising obesity rates which in turn are contributing to increased incidence in Type 2 Diabetes.

Indeed, Diabetes UK, has noted: ‘it is important to be clear that we want to reduce sugar consumption because having too much can easily lead to weight gain, as is true with foods high in fat. So reducing the amount of sugar in our diets is not all that we need to do’. 

Government Family Food statistics also show that there has actually been a reduction of almost 12%* per capita in total sugars consumption in the UK over the past decade, so the suggestion that an increase in obesity results only from increased sugar consumption is not supported by current statistics. 

In addition, the suggestion that sugars are ‘hidden’ in food and drink is incorrect and mis-leading, as all sugars are declared on a product’s nutritional label.  

We want consumers to be able to make up their own minds about sugar and how it can be consumed as part of healthy diet and active lifestyle by providing them with the facts and science.

Notes to editors:

*Annual statistics about food and drink purchases in the UK (DEFRA) visit site here.

For further information, please call 0207 492 0975 or email

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