‘Added sugar’ labelling delay symptom of broader lack of obesity policy

Monday 27 November, 2017

Executive Manager of the Obesity Policy Coalition, Jane Martin, responds to the communique released by the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation yesterday.  

“We are very disappointed that the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation did not recommend added sugars be identified on food labels, but deferred the decision yet again. With the release today of Australian Institute and Health Welfare figures showing that 71% of men, 56% of women and 1 in 5 (20%) children aged 2–4 were overweight or obese, this lack of action is frustrating.

“Better food labelling is an element of the comprehensive approach we need to turn the tide of weight-related chronic health conditions such as cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

“While more and more Australians are becoming obese, including the disturbing trend of the doubling of rates of obesity in very young children (2-5 year olds), now is not the time to shy away from making important decisions to improve the health of the nation. Instead we need a concerted long-term strategy developed independently away from the influence of Big Food.

“This is a growing problem affecting millions of Australians that merits a serious, evidence informed response. Obesity together with diet is a leading burden of disease that requires a long term comprehensive approach. As it currently stands, the lack of action to prevent obesity is only going see the myriad of health problems associated with obesity get worse,” said Ms Martin.

The communique can be found here - http://foodregulation.gov.au/internet/fr/publishing.nsf/Content/forum-communique-2017-November