Government threatens further action to reduce sugar content

Public Health England has threatened to introduce further measures to reduce sugar in foods, as it revealed businesses had failed to meet targets.

Retailers and manufacturers have reduced sugar by two per cent against a government target of five per cent.

While Public Health England called the reduction an "encouraging start" it called for further action to achieve a target of 20 per cent sugar reduction by 2022.

"We are monitoring progress closely and have not ruled out taking further action," said public health minister Steve Brine.

This came on the same day that the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that the government's sugar tax had raised £13m in April, the first month it was in force.

Read more: Sugar tax a 'cynical' government cash grab, say think tanks

But Christopher Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics, called sugar reductions "Soviet-style" and said the consumer could end up worse off.

"A 20 per cent reduction is unrealistic under any timeframe and leaves the manufacturers of many products with only one option: reduce the size of the product," he said.

"We have started to see the rip-off of shrinkflation with chocolate bars and we will see much more of it in the years ahead."

Read more: Oh crumbs: Shrinkflation hits Digestives as McVitie's reduces pack size

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