We work with the Northern Ireland industry to make food healthier by:
- reformulating products to lower the levels of sugar, salt or fat in foods
- reducing the portion size, and/or the number of calories in single-serve products
- shifting consumer purchasing towards lower or no added sugar products
The Eating Well Choosing Better programme supports small and medium sized businesses here with food product improvement, as well as improving the availability of small and/or reduced portion sizes, to make the healthy choice easy for the NI consumer. This project has been included on the NI Programme for Government consultation and will follow a delivery plan to replicate the policy efforts in England and the Republic of Ireland.
The Childhood Obesity Plan was published in England on 18 August 2016. This outlined a number of actions to be taken forward with industry including both a soft drinks industry levy and a sugar reduction plan.
Public Health England (PHE) subsequently published a paper outlining their role in the implementation of the Obesity Plan which includes a list of nine food categories that contribute most of the sugar in our diet. From 2017 PHE will work towards setting targets, similar to the current UK salt targets, to deliver 20% reduction in sugar across these categories by 2020.
The categories identified by PHE are as follows:
- cakes and morning goods
- chocolate confectionery
- sweet confectionery
- ice cream
- sweet spreads