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Food and Drink Industry Ireland Report on Reduced Fat, Saturated Fat, Sugar, Salt and Calories in Products

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Food and Drink Industry Ireland Report on Reduced Fat, Saturated Fat, Sugar, Salt and Calories in Products

Food and Drink Industry Ireland Report on Reduced Fat, Saturated Fat, Sugar, Salt and Calories in Products
January 28
15:07 2016

A newly launched a report from Food and Drink Industry Ireland (FDII) shows significant reductions in fat, saturated fat, sugar, salt and calories achieved through reformulation, which includes changing the recipes, of some of Ireland’s most popular foods and beverages.

The FDII /Creme Global Reformulation Project report, compiled by leading analysts Creme Global, used data on 600 products from 14 of Ireland’s major food and drink companies and was supported by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI). It showed that during the seven years (2005 – 2012) covered by the research:

* Salt content of the products analysed reduced by 37%;

* Sugar content fell by 14%;

* The amount of energy as measured in calories sold over the seven years to 2012 reduced by 12%;

* Both total fat and saturated fat intake reduced by approximately 10%

Leo Varadkar TD, Minister for Health says: “In Health, the focus is generally on the day to day problems we face but we will never get on top of these or get budgets under control in the long-term if we don’t improve our health as individuals and as a nation. Being healthy starts with personal responsibility, but the Government also has a role to play.The recent Healthy Ireland survey showed that while obesity levels have stabilised, still some 60% of people are overweight or obese.”

He adds: “The food industry is well placed to play an important role in the ongoing battle against obesity. I see them playing a key part and leading by example. While I support the efforts being made on reformulation in the past, I would like to see this work moving at a quicker pace with clear targets and timelines for achievement over the next three to five years.”

“This FDII report is the first of its kind in the world,” points out Paul Kelly, Director of FDII. “Never before has the impact of reformulation on the diet of an entire nation been analysed. The commitment of food and drink companies to change recipes and introduce new products has had a significant and positive impact on the diet of Irish consumers.”

Paul Kelly continues: “A recent report by McKinsey Global found that reformulation by industry is second only to consuming smaller portions in the impact it has on tackling obesity. Today we demonstrate and acknowledge the commitment of food and drink companies in Ireland to improve the health of the nation through reformulation while maintaining the highest standards of product safety, integrity and taste.”

The 14 major consumer food and drink companies will now provide reformulation data for the period 2013 to 2015. This will be the basis of another report to be published next year to allow trend analysis and better informed business and policy decisions in the future.

FDII will also recruit companies into a wider reformulation reporting programme modelled on the successful salt reduction collaboration between industry and the FSAI that ran from 2003 to 2013. Participating companies will provide FDII with information on reformulation and other product innovations such as portion size, fortification and the introduction of new products containing less calories, salt, sugar, fat and/or saturated fat.

Dr Mary McCreery, Consultant Registered Dietician Nutritionist, comments: “The FDII/Creme Global research provides food companies and policy makers alike with valuable insights on the progress being made in product reformulation and importantly on the positive impact it has had and will continue to have on the nation’s diet and health. If all companies with similar products reformulated their energy content to the same extent as those currently involved in the research, the biggest effect would be in children and would prevent over half a stone excessive weight gain per year in each child.”

Paul Kelly concludes: “FDII’s reformulation initiative is part of an ambitious programme undertaken under its Health Strategy, which was launched in 2013. Last March, hundreds of public and private sector companies participated in Ireland’s first Workplace Wellbeing Day, an FDII initiative designed to improve employee health through promoting better nutrition and physical activity. Workplace Wellbeing Day 2016 will take place onFriday, 8th April. It is managed by the Nutrition and Health Foundation (NHF), which, like FDII, is part of Ibec.”

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